1985 WFA Cup Final (lost footage of football match; 1985)

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Revision as of 14:15, 31 December 2023 by SpaceManiac888 (talk | contribs) (2023 is nearing the end... anyhow, this was the last WFA Cup Final to receive non-dedicated television coverage. In a game that set up the 1990 Final clash quite nicely, Friends of Fulham outmatched Doncaster Belles on "home soil" of sorts thanks to acquiring Craven Cottage!)
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Programme for the Final.

Status: Lost

The 1985 WFA Cup Final culminated the 1984-85 WFA Cup season and was the 15th overall. It transpired on 12th May 1985 at Craven Cottage with around 1,500 people in attendance. The Final saw Friends of Fulham beat Doncaster Belles 2-0 to claim its first and only WFA Cup, as well as set up a tense clash for the 1990 Final.


The tournament's defending champions were Howbury Grange, who edged out 1983 champions Doncaster Belles 3-2 in the Final.[1][2][3] The two clubs were among the 110 who entered the 1983-84 cup season, down from 114 the previous year.[4][3] Teams were split into eight groups for the first three rounds, separated by geographical regions.[4] Ultimately, Howbury Grange suffered a walkover defeat at the first hurdle, allowing Horsham to progress after failing to register at least eleven players.[4][1] Meanwhile, Friends of Fulham were placed in Group D and were among four clubs within it to receive a bye to the second round.[4] But in an interview with A History of the Women's FA Cup Final, defender Lori Hoey described the subsequent games as "brutal".[5] The club's run saw them defeat Swindon Spitfires 9-0, local rivals Millwall Lionesses 4-1, the once-dominant Southampton 3-0, Newbury 4-0, and Town & County 5-0 to reach their first-ever Final.[4][2][5] Meanwhile, Doncaster Belles started in Round 1.[4] Their campaign saw them overwhelm Leek Leaders 34-0 and achieve a walkover against Daresbury, before they overcame Kilnhurst 2-0, C&C Southwick 5-2, Broadoak 3-0, and Norwich 5-0.[4] Having reached their third consecutive Final, the Belles subsequently sought their second title and redemption over their 1984 loss.[2][5]

The match would occur a few months before England's 1985 Mundialito Final triumph against Italy.[6] Considering both clubs' prestige in reaching that year's WFA Cup Final, it is unsurprising that some Fulham and Doncaster players contributed to the Lionesses' victory.[7][5] Based on a preview report, Friends of Fulham's Terry Wiseman, Brenda Sempare and Marieanne Spacey were included in the squad, as was the Belles' Lorraine Hanson.[7][5] Others, like the Belles' striker Jackie Sherrard, were also close to making the team.[5] The Belles could be considered the favourites thanks to their previous WFA Cup runs.[2] However, Friends of Fulham had a surprising trump card; the WFA had successfully secured Fulham's Craven Cottage, made available as the Cottagers defeated Notts County 1-0 a day prior.[8][5] Hence, as Hoey noted, the club had a "home" advantage for this tie.[5] But also on 11th May 1985, the Bradford City stadium fire occurred,[9] prompting a minute's silence before the Final kicked-off.[5] While Craven Cottage was unaffected at the time, Volume 186 of The Architects' Journal reported that a 1987 briefing by the Hammersmith and Fulham Council backed stronger escape routes and other measures at the ground to avoid a similar disaster.[10]

The Match

The Final took place on 12th May 1985, amidst wet and bracing conditions.[11][5] Sources conflict on the attendance at Craven Cottage; the Women's FA Cup claims 925 witnessed the match in-person, but A History of the Women's FA Cup Final found an issue of The News Line reported around 1,500 visited the ground.[11][5] After 22 minutes, a pass by Friends of Fulham's Sallie Jackson reached Cheryl McAdam, whose subsequent shot opened the scoreline.[5][11] Soon afterwards, Belles goalkeeper Wendy Hardisty could not prevent Cathy Hynes' lob from entering her team's net.[5][11] Despite their track record, Doncaster never really got into the game.[5] In fact, Fulham could very well have extended their lead, but Spacey's crosses failed to be capitalised upon by her team.[5]

Back in the early days of women's football, only one substitute could be made.[5] After 77 minutes, Fulham opted to substitute defender Noreen O'Flyn in favour of Marion Carpenter.[11] At some point, Doncaster opted to replace captain Shelia Stocks with Karen Walker.[11] This proved a costly mistake, as a late Linda Curl challenge inflicted an injury on Sherrard, which likely explained the latter's absence from the Mundialito.[5][7] Friends of Fulham subsequently won the match 2-0 and earned their first WFA Cup.[5][11][2] In her A History of the Women's FA Cup Final interview, Hoey described the win as "pure joy mixed with relief that my lifetime ambition had been fulfilled".[5]

In the subsequent tournament, Aylesbury ended Friends of Fulham's title defence with a 2-1 win in Round 3.[12][2] Meanwhile, the Belles reached their fourth consecutive Final, only to be beaten 4-3 by Norwich.[2][12] Nevertheless, Doncaster subsequently won the 1986 and 1987 WFA Cups.[2] Fulham reached the 1989 Final, where they were edged out 3-2 by Leasowe Pacific.[2] In 1990, they and the Belles met again in the Final.[13] This time, the Belles achieved vengeance, beating their rivals 1-0 courtesy of new signing Gillian Coultard to claim their fifth WFA Cup.[13][2]


According to A History of the Women's FA Cup Final author Chris Slegg, brief highlights were shown during a match report by the breakfast television programme TV-am.[14] In fact, this would be the last time a WFA Cup Final received non-dedicated television coverage.[14] After a four-year hiatus, highlights of the 1989-1993 Finals would be broadcast by Channel 4 in its exclusive women's football coverage, with the 1994 Final onwards being televised live.[15][14] The highlights were likely utilised for the book's match report, having dwelled within the ITV Sport archive.[5] However, with the ITV Sports archive off-limits for non-commercial purposes,[16] and with no footage resurfacing online, the brief TV-am report currently remains publicly unavailable. Even if this coverage were to resurface, the uncut match tape would remain lost.

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 A History of the Women's FA Cup Final detailing the 1984 Final and the reason behind Howbury Grange being unable to defend their crown the following season (p.g. 85-87). Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 The Women's FA Cup detailing the results of every WFA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Women's FA Cup detailing the results of the 1983-84 WFA Cup and noting 114 clubs entered the tournament. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 The Women's FA Cup detailing the road to the 1985 WFA Cup Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 A History of the Women's FA Cup Final providing a match report of the Final (p.g. 88-91). Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  6. Big Soccer summarising the 1985 Mundialito Final. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Preview report of the 1985 Mundialito Final (provided by National Football Museum). Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  8. 11 vs 11 detailing the result of Fulham's match against Notts County on 11th May 1985. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  9. The Athletic documenting the Bradford City stadium fire. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  10. Volume 186 of The Architects' Journal reporting on the Hammersmith and Fulham Council demanding better fire safety and escape provisions for Craven Cottage two years following the Bradford City stadium fire. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 The Women's FA Cup detailing the result of the match and other statistics. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Women's FA Cup Final detailing the results of the 1985-86 WFA Cup. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  13. 13.0 13.1 Women's Football Archive detailing the 1990 WFA Cup Final between the two teams. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Correspondence between Chris Slegg and Lost Media Wiki user SpaceManiac888. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  15. BBC Sport detailing the history of television coverage for the Women's FA Cup. Retrieved 31st Dec '23
  16. ITV Sport Archive noting its footage cannot be obtained for personal use. Retrieved 31st Dec '23