1950 FA Cup Final (partially found footage of football match; 1950)

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Arsenal Captain Joe Mercer celebrating winning the trophy with his teammates.

Status: Partially Found

The 1950 FA Cup Final culminated the end of the 69th FA Cup season. Occurring on 29th April 1950 in front of 100,000 at Wembley Stadium, the match saw Arsenal defeat Liverpool 2-0 to claim its third FA Cup.


Arsenal and Liverpool were both First Division members,[1] and thus entered the tournament in the Third Round Proper.[2] Arsenal defeated Sheffield Wednesday, Swansea, Burnley, Leeds, and Chelsea to reach the Final.[2] Meanwhile, Liverpool's campaign saw it overcome Blackburn Rovers, Exeter City, Stockport County, Blackpool, and Merseyside rivals Everton.[2] Arsenal had previously won two FA Cups prior to the Final, having last won it in 1936.[3] Meanwhile, Liverpool had yet to win an FA Cup, with 1950 marking its first appearance in the Final for 36 years.[4]

Heading into the game, confidence was high among the Liverpool side.[5] Two weeks before the Final, the club had won a First Division game at home against Arsenal, achieving a league double against their Cup rivals.[6][5] However, Liverpool suffered a setback when wing-half and future manager Bob Paisley suffered an injury that kept him out of four consecutive league matches.[5] Despite having scored against Everton in the Semi-Final, and having seemingly been fit enough to play, Liverpool's directors voted to replace him with Bill Jones 5-4.[7][5] With substitutes not being available in 1950, this meant Paisley was left out to the squad.[5][7] Paisley was devastated by the news, and had considered leaving the club, only to be talked out of it by centre-forward Albert Stubbins.[7][5] Arsenal's Reg Lewis was also in danger of being dropped, but was ultimately selected for the match.[6]

100,000 attended the match, with Liverpool allocated just ten percent of the tickets.[5][7] Considering over 100,000 had applied for said tickets, it left the vast majority of Liverpool fans disappointed.[5] Additionally, neither side would play in their traditional red kits.[8] Arsenal instead opted to play in gold shirts, while Liverpool were instructed by the FA to wear a different outfit, opting to play in white shirts.[8][6][7] Meanwhile, the BBC would televise the match live, with commentary provided by Jimmy Jewell and Peter Lloyd.[9][10]

The Match

The match itself occurred on 29th April at Wembley Stadium, marking Liverpool's first appearance at the ground.[5][7] Both sides proved lively in the early stages, but it was Arsenal who took the lead, courtesy of a goal from Reg Lewis after 17 minutes.[5][6][7] While Liverpool attempted a comeback, it appeared the Merseyside club was being outplayed, with Alex Forbes and Captain Joe Mercer generally preventing Billy Liddell from capitalising on opportunities.[5][6] Nevertheless, Liverpool almost levelled it after a header from Bill Jones hit the crossbar, with Albert Stubbins narrowly failing to connect a cross from Liddell just before half-time.[5]

Liverpool continued challenging Arsenal's defence for the first 20 minutes of the second-half.[5] However, the London side secured the victory after 62 minutes via a counter-attack initiated by Mercer, which culminated with a cross from Freddie Cox being converted into a first-time shot by Lewis 20-yards from the goal to make it 2-0.[5][6][7] From there, Arsenal controlled proceedings to win its third FA Cup, with it also matching Bolton Wanderers by achieving a record third win at Wembley.[5][7]

Post-match, Mercer praised the Liverpool player, including for allowing him to train at their facilities since his main job was based in Merseyside.[6] Notably, Arsenal were almost awarded the loser's medals as Queen Elizabeth had given Mercer the wrong memento.[6] This would be quickly corrected however, and since then, Arsenal have won 14 FA Cups, the last being a 2-1 win over Chelsea in 2020.[3][6] Meanwhile, it would take until 1965 for Liverpool to achieve its first FA Cup, having won the Cup eight times after last winning the 2022 edition.[4]


Ultimately, the Final was televised live in an era where telerecordings were rare, with video tape not being perfected until the late-1950s.[11][12] Telerecordings at the BBC did occasionally occur prior to 1950, as some footage of the 30th November 1949 match between England and Italy still exists within the BBC archives.[11] However, the BBC confirmed that the only match featuring commentary from Jewell with surviving footage is indeed the aforementioned England-Italy game.[11] Thus, all televised footage of the 1950 FA Cup Final is permanently missing.[11] Nevertheless, some newsreel footage of the event remains publicly available.



Movietone News newsreel of the match.

British Pathé newsreel of the match.

British Movietone newsreel of the match.


See Also

Football Media

Early BBC Sports Television

Early BBC Television