1973 WFA Cup Final (lost footage of football match; 1973)

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Programme for the Final.

Status: Lost

The 1973 WFA Cup Final (also known as the 1973 Mitre Challenge Trophy Final) culminated the 1972-73 WFA Cup season. Occurring on 29th April 1973 at Bedford Town's The Eyrie, it featured Southampton defeating Westthorn United 2-0 to claim its third consecutive WFA Cup.


Heading into the Final, Southampton were the defending champions.[1][2] Its campaign from the Third Round onwards saw it defeat Johnson Rangers, Crompton Wanderers, Preston North End Supporters Club, and Birmingham City.[3] Meanwhile, Westthorn United's campaign from the Regional Finals onwards consisted of it overcoming Lee's, Fodens, and Amersham Angels.[3] Since the WFA Cup's inception in the 1970/71 season, Southampton had yet to be beaten and were seeking their third consecutive WFA Cup.[1][2] Meanwhile, this was Westthorn United's first Final.[1][2]

Notably, many of the players from both sides competed in the first women's international between England and Scotland on 18th November 1972.[4][2] Aside from containing many of Scotland's best players of the era, Westthorn were also set to win the first ever Women's Scottish League title.[2] Thus, they were deemed Southampton's biggest threat since the WFA Cup's inception.[2] With Football League stadiums remaining inaccessible, the WFA forged an agreement with Southern League club Bedford Town to stage the Final at its ground The Eyrie.[5][2] Around 3,000 were known to have been in attendance, with a WFA newsletter praising the crowd for producing a "tremendous atmosphere".[2][5]

The Match

The Final itself occurred on 29th April.[5] Westthorn confirmed its potential by generally pushing Southampton for the win throughout the match. The WFA newsltter deemed the game as "a real thriller".[2] Ultimately, Southampton broke the deadlock at the 70th minute thanks to a chip from Sylvia Kenway.[2][5] The defending champions would double their lead five minutes later, when Lynda Hale capitalised on a defensive error to score.[2][5] Southampton therefore claimed its third consecutive WFA Cup while maintaining its 100% unbeaten record in the tournament's history.[2][1] Westthorn's appearance was the last instance of a Scottish club competing in the WFA Cup Final as of the present day.[2]


Brief surviving footage is known to exist within the BBC archives under limited access.[2] Based on private correspondence with A History of the Women's FA Cup Final author Chris Slegg, highlights may have been broadcast on television, although this has yet to be confirmed.[6] As of the present day, no footage is currently publicly available, with the uncut tape likely having not survived. Nevertheless, a photo of the match can be found in A History of the Women's FA Cup Final.[2]

See Also

Football Media