1977 WFA Cup Final (lost footage of football match; 1977)

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Photos of QPR celebrating their win.

Status: Lost

The 1977 WFA Cup Final (also known as the 1977 Pony WFA Cup Final) culminated the 1976-77 WFA Cup season. Occurring on 15th May 1977 at Dulwich Hamlet's Champion Hill Stadium, it featured Queens Park Rangers (QPR) defeating Southampton 1-0, avenging its loss a year prior.


Heading into the Final, Southampton were the defending champions.[1][2] Their road to the Final consisted of beating Bristol Bluebirds, Warminster Wanderers, Cope Chat, Waterlooville, Dartford College, and Preston North End.[3] Meanwhile, QPR's campaign saw it overcome Bellington United, Tottenham Hotspur, an unknown opponent in the Third Round, Willesden, Kilnhurst Shooting Stars, and EMGALS.[3] QPR were looking to avenge its loss to the five-time champions Southampton a year prior, while also aiming to earn its first Cup.[1]

With Football League stadiums still being unavailable, the WFA forged an agreement with Isthmian League side Dulwich Hamlet to stage the Final at its ground Champion Hill Stadium.[4][5][2] 3,000 were said to have attended the game.[2] Like with the previous WFA Cup Final, BBC cameras were present at the Stadium, capturing footage that would later be shown on its Cup Final Grandstand as a prelude to the men's FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Liverpool.[6][2] Meanwhile, Christine Cairns became the first female linesman at a WFA Cup Final, something that has become a norm in women's football in England.[2]

The Match

The Final itself commenced on 15th May 1977.[4][2] After 25 minutes, QPR forward Carrie Staley scored what was ultimately the only goal of the game.[2][4] However, many in attendance were also in praise of QPR goalkeeper Pat Napier, as she became the first to withstand the Southampton offence for the entire 80 minutes, with Southampton having been present for and scoring a goal in every WFA Cup Final beforehand.[2][4][1] Therefore, QPR were victorious, avenging its defeat to Southampton the year prior, while also becoming the first London club to earn the Cup.[2][5][4]

Napier was deemed the "Player of the Match" and awarded with a bouquet of flowers.[2] Meanwhile, Staley posed with the trophy, a photo of which was published in the Daily Mirror.[2][5] According to Staley, "He asked me to put some lipstick on and kiss the cup. That really wasn't on. We were women playing in a man's world. Sexism was rife."[5] In an interview with A History of the Women's FA Cup Final, QPR forward Sandra Choat stated "This match made everything. To beat Southampton in a game of significance was just incredible. We were so determined to make up for the previous year when we really should have beaten them."[2]


According to issue 2,793 of Radio Times, 25 minutes were televised on 21st May 1977 on BBC One, with commentary provided by Bob Wilson.[6] The broadcast has yet to resurface, however, and no footage of the match is currently publicly available. Nevertheless, some photos of the match can be found online.[5]



See Also