1956 Southern Junior Floodlight Cup Final (lost footage of football match; 1956)

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Programme for the Final.

Status: Lost

The 1956 Southern Junior Floodlight Cup Final culminated the inaugural Southern Junior Floodlight Cup, a youth football competition. Occurring on 3rd January 1956 at Boleyn Ground, the Final saw Chelsea defeat West Ham United 2-1. It was also the first football match to be televised live by ITV.


Heading into the encounter, Chelsea had invested greatly into its youth development.[1] In the 1953/54 season, the Juniors side won the North Surrey League, South East Counties Cup and the London Minor Challenge Cup.[1] A season later, they won the South East Counties League.[1] Thanks to the success in these competitions, as well as the fledging Southern Junior Floodlight Cup, Chelsea's academy was compared to Manchester United's run under Matt Busby by 1958.[1] Of the limited information surrounding the match, it is known that Chelsea won the encounter 2-1 at Boleyn Ground.[1] A year later, West Ham United exacted revenge, beating Chelsea by the same score to claim the 1957 Southern Junior Floodlight Cup.[1]

The match is also notable for being the first to be televised live by ITV.[2] ITV, which was founded on 22nd September 1955, consisted of various franchises.[3] Among them was Rediffusion, who established a broadcast company called Associated-Rediffusion to provide television in Croydon.[4] While televising Football League matches were off limits due to concerns by Football League authorities that television would reduce match attendances, other, typically smaller games, were freely available to broadcast.[5][2] To assess football's potential on ITV, Rediffusion opted to broadcast the final 45 minutes of the Final live.[2] Commentary was provided by Danny Blanchflower, who would later provide commentary for CBS' National Professional Soccer League coverage in 1967.[2][6]


Ultimately, the match was televised live in a period where telerecordings were rare until videotape was perfected in the late-1950s.[7] The broadcast has yet to resurface, and likely due to the match's lack of importance compared to senior matches, no images or other recordings are publicly available either.

See Also

External Link