Charlton Athletic 1-0 Blackburn Rovers (lost footage of FA Cup match; 1947)

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Charltonvsblackburn1.jpg

Charlton Athletic's programme for the match.

Status: Lost

On 8th February 1947, Charlton Athletic hosted Blackburn Rovers at The Valley in the fifth round of the 1946/47 FA Cup. The hosts overcame the opposition 1-0 thanks to a late goal, and would ultimately go on to win the FA Cup after beating Burnley in the Final. The match was the first televised instance of an FA Cup match other than the Final.

Background[edit | edit source]

Charlton Athletic and Blackburn Rovers, as First Division members,[1] entered the tournament in the Third Round proper. Charlton defeated Rochdale and West Brom to reach this round, while Blackburn overcame Hull City and Port Vale.[2] Prior to the match, Charlton had never won the FA Cup,[3] whereas Blackburn had won the trophy six times.[4] Both teams were enduring unsuccessful seasons in the First Division,[1][5] and so a successful FA Cup campaign would boost morale. Charlton were also looking to redeem themselves after losing the 1946 FA Cup Final to Derby County.[6]

Meanwhile, the BBC had resumed its Television Service on 7th June 1946.[7] With the 1946 FA Cup Final having already occurred on 27th April 1946,[8] the BBC were seeking a means of televising football prior to the 1947 Final. After broadcasting an Athenian League football match between Barnet and Wealdstone, the BBC were seeking to broadcast more FA Cup matches, albeit only in the London region due to technical limitations. After some negotiating with the Football Association (FA), following concerns that televised matches may limit stadium attendance, the BBC gained permission to televise the Charlton-Blackburn encounter.[9]

Oddly, issue 1,218 of Radio Times, which documented BBC television from 2nd-8th February, did not list the match as part of BBC's coverage.[10][11] However, various sources do claim that the match was broadcast.[9][5][12][13] Possibly because the match was deemed to be a poor affair, combined with technical limitations and resistance from clubs,[9] the BBC largely abandoned broadcasting FA Cup matches aside from the Final during this time period.[13] Nevertheless, coverage of the FA Cup would continue to increase over the years, with the BBC among other channels routinely airing matches starting from the First Round Proper as of the present day.[14]

The Match[edit | edit source]

While the match is notable for its television significance, it was deemed to have been a poor game. According to Charlton Athletic: A History, The Valley's surface was covered in mud, frost and ice, which contributed towards both sides struggling to capitalise on chances. Three minutes before the end of the match, it was still 0-0, but Blackburn almost scored after Charlton goalkeeper Sam Bartram made a mistake after slipping over on an icy patch, leaving an open goal. However, Blackburn midfielder Baldwin missed the target. Not long afterwards, Charlton's Gordon Hurst forced a corner, before taking said corner that allowed Tommy Dawson to head the ball into the Blackburn net.[5]

The goal came just 13 seconds before the final whistle was blown.[12] Charlton capitalised on the win by defeating Preston North End 2-1 in the Quarter-Finals, Newcastle United 4-0 in the Semi-Finals, before beating Burnley 1-0 in the Final to win its first, and to date, only, FA Cup.[3][12]

Availability[edit | edit source]

Like all early television programs, the Charlton-Blackburn match was televised live and was unlikely to have been directly recorded. Although there were means of achieving this following the Second World War, recording seldom occurred until video tape was perfected in the late-1950s.[15] Thus, televised footage of the match is most likely permanently missing. Because the match occurred outside of the FA Cup Final, no newsreel footage was recorded for the match. Nevertheless, various sources helped to document the match's television significance.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Association Football/Soccer Media[edit | edit source]

Early BBC Sports Television[edit | edit source]

Early BBC Television[edit | edit source]

Early Sports Television Media[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 World Football detailing the 1946/47 First Division table. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  2. RSSSF detailing the road to the 1947 FA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  3. 3.0 3.1 Charlton Athletic's trophy cabinet. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  4. Transfermarkt detailing Blackburn Rovers' trophy cabinet. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Charlton Athletic A History detailing the club's 1946/47 season, the match itself, and its television coverage. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  6. Archived FA-Cup Finals detailing the 1946 FA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  7. BBC detailing the return of BBC Television Service following the Second World War. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  8. Archived FA-Cup Finals detailing the 1946 FA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Archived Off the Telly detailing the BBC securing the right to televise the match. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  10. BBC Genome archive of Radio Times issues, which did not list the match as part of BBC's television coverage. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  11. Issue 1,218 of Radio Times, which did not document the match as part of BBC's television coverage. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Charlton Athletic detailing how the team won the 1946/47 FA Cup. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  13. 13.0 13.1 Spartacus-Educational stating the game took place, but that the BBC quickly abandoned showing similar FA Cup games. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  14. Fan Banter listing some 2021/22 FA Cup First Round matches that were televised. Retrieved 31st Dec '21
  15. Web Archive article discussing how most early television is missing due to lack of directly recording television. Retrieved 31st Dec '21