1903–04 FA Cup

The 1903–04 FA Cup was the 33rd season of the world's oldest association football competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup (more usually known as the FA Cup). Manchester City won the competition for the first time, beating Bolton Wanderers 1–0 in the final at Crystal Palace, through a goal scored by Billy Meredith.

Matches were scheduled to be played at the stadium of the team named first on the date specified for each round, which was always a Saturday. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played, a replay would take place at the stadium of the second-named team later the same week. If the replayed match was drawn further replays would be held at neutral venues until a winner was determined. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played in a replay, a 30-minute period of extra time would be played.

1903–04 FA Cup
Country England
Defending championsBury
ChampionsManchester City
(1st title)
Runners-upBolton Wanderers


The format of the FA Cup for the season had two preliminary rounds, five qualifying rounds, an intermediate round, three proper rounds, and the semi finals and final.

Round Date
Extra Preliminary Round Saturday 12 September 1903
Preliminary Round Saturday 19 September 1903
First Round Qualifying Saturday 4 October 1903
Second Round Qualifying Saturday 17 October 1903
Third Round Qualifying Saturday 31 October 1903
Fourth Round Qualifying Saturday 14 November 1903
Fifth Round Qualifying Saturday 28 November 1903
Intermediate Round Saturday 12 December 1903
First Round Proper Saturday 6 February 1904
Second Round Proper Saturday 20 February 1904
Third Round Proper Saturday 5 March 1904
Semi-Finals Saturday 19 March 1904
Final Saturday 23 April 1904

Intermediate Round

The Intermediate Round featured ten games, played between the ten winners of the Sixth Qualifying Round, and ten teams given byes. Manchester United, Bristol City, Preston North End, Woolwich Arsenal, Barnsley and Grimsby Town from the Second Division were entered automatically into this round, as were non-league Reading, Bristol Rovers and New Brompton.

The other Second Division sides had to gain entry to this round through the earlier qualifying rounds. Burton United and Bradford City were entered at the First Qualifying Round stage, with Bradford going out in the Fourth Qualifying Round. Glossop were entered at the Second Qualifying Round, but a walkover was awarded to their opponents, Heywood. The others, Blackpool, Burnley, Burslem Port Vale, Chesterfield, Gainsborough Trinity, Leicester Fosse, Lincoln City and Stockport County were entered at the Third Qualifying Round stage, with only Gainsborough and Burslem Port Vale reaching the intermediate round from these.

The ten matches were played on 12 December 1903. Four matches went to replays, with two of these going to a second replay and one of these, the Manchester United – Small Heath game, then went to a third replay.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Preston North End 2–1 Darwen 12 December 1903
2 Reading 1–0 Gainsborough Trinity 12 December 1903
3 Grimsby Town 2–0 Barnsley 12 December 1903
4 Burslem Port Vale 3–0 Burton United 12 December 1903
5 Stockton 2–1 Shrewsbury Town 12 December 1903
6 New Brompton 1–1 Bristol City 12 December 1903
Replay Bristol City 5–2 New Brompton 16 December 1903
7 Brentford 1–1 Plymouth Argyle 12 December 1903
Replay Plymouth Argyle 4–1 Brentford 16 December 1903
8 Bristol Rovers 1–1 Woolwich Arsenal 12 December 1903
Replay Woolwich Arsenal 1–1 Bristol Rovers 16 December 1903
Replay Bristol Rovers 0–1 Woolwich Arsenal 21 December 1903
9 West Ham United 0–1 Fulham 12 December 1903
10 Manchester United 1–1 Small Heath 12 December 1903
Replay Small Heath 1–1 Manchester United 16 December 1903
Replay Small Heath 1–1 Manchester United 21 December 1903
Replay Manchester United 3–1 Small Heath 11 January 1904

First round proper

The First Round Proper contained sixteen ties between 32 teams. 17 of the 18 First Division sides were given a bye to this round, as were Bolton Wanderers from the Second Division, and non-league Southampton, Portsmouth, Millwall Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur. They joined the ten teams who won in the intermediate round.

The matches were played on Saturday, 6 February 1904. Four matches were drawn, with the replays taking place in the following midweek fixture.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Bristol City 1–3 Sheffield United 6 February 1904
2 Bury 2–1 Newcastle United 6 February 1904
3 Preston North End 1–0 Grimsby Town 6 February 1904
4 Southampton 3–0 Burslem Port Vale 6 February 1904
5 Stoke 2–3 Aston Villa 6 February 1904
6 Reading 1–1 Bolton Wanderers 6 February 1904
Replay Bolton Wanderers 3–2 Reading 10 February 1904
7 Notts County 3–3 Manchester United 6 February 1904
Replay Manchester United 2–1 Notts County 10 February 1904
8 Blackburn Rovers 3–1 Liverpool 6 February 1904
9 West Bromwich Albion 1–1 Nottingham Forest 10 February 1904
Replay Nottingham Forest 3–1 West Bromwich Albion 13 February 1904
10 Everton 1–2 Tottenham Hotspur 6 February 1904
11 Stockton 1–4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 February 1904
12 Woolwich Arsenal 1–0 Fulham 6 February 1904
13 Manchester City 3–2 Sunderland 6 February 1904
14 Portsmouth 2–5 Derby County 6 February 1904
15 Plymouth Argyle 2–2 The Wednesday 6 February 1904
Replay The Wednesday 2–0 Plymouth Argyle 10 February 1904
16 Millwall Athletic 0–2 Middlesbrough 6 February 1904

Second Round Proper

The eight Second Round matches were scheduled for Saturday, 20 February 1904. There was one replay, between Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers, played in the following midweek fixture, but this was again drawn and went to a second replay the following week.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Bury 1–2 Sheffield United 20 February 1904
2 Preston North End 0–3 Middlesbrough 20 February 1904
3 Blackburn Rovers 3–1 Nottingham Forest 20 February 1904
4 Aston Villa 0–1 Tottenham Hotspur 25 February 1904
5 The Wednesday 6–0 Manchester United 20 February 1904
6 Bolton Wanderers 4–1 Southampton 20 February 1904
7 Derby County 2–2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 February 1904
Replay Wolverhampton Wanderers 2–2 Derby County 24 February 1904
Replay Derby County 1–0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 February 1904
8 Woolwich Arsenal 0–2 Manchester City 20 February 1904

Third round proper

The four Third Round matches were scheduled for Saturday, 5 March 1904. Two matches were drawn and replayed in the following midweek fixture.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Derby County 2–1 Blackburn Rovers 5 March 1904
2 Sheffield United 0–2 Bolton Wanderers 5 March 1904
3 Tottenham Hotspur 1–1 The Wednesday 5 March 1904
Replay The Wednesday 2–0 Tottenham Hotspur 9 March 1904
4 Manchester City 0–0 Middlesbrough 5 March 1904
Replay Middlesbrough 1–3 Manchester City 9 March 1904


The semi-final matches were played on Saturday, 19 March 1904.

Bolton Wanderers1–0Derby County
Manchester City3–0The Wednesday


The Final, the first all-Lancashire final since the start of the competition, took place at Crystal Palace on Saturday 23 April 1904. The 32nd FA Cup final was contested between Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers. Manchester City won 1–0. The goal was scored by Billy Meredith.

Match details

Manchester City1 – 0Bolton Wanderers
Meredith Goal 23' [1]
Manchester City
Bolton Wanderers [3]

See also


  1. ^ Match report at fa-cupfinals.co.uk Archived 20 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Sporting Chronicle - 1904 FA Cup Final". Archived from the original on 21 May 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
  3. ^ "FA Cup Final kits, 1900-1909". Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 26 November 2008.
1903–04 Small Heath F.C. season

The 1903–04 Football League season was Small Heath Football Club's 12th in the Football League and their 4th in the First Division, having been promoted from the Second Division as runners-up in 1902–03. After spending much of the season in the relegation places, they won six of the last nine matches to finish in 11th place in the 18-team league. They also took part in the 1903–04 FA Cup, entering at the intermediate round (between the qualifying rounds and the rounds proper) and losing in that round to Manchester United after three replays. In locally organised competition, they lost to Aston Villa in the first round of the Birmingham Senior Cup.Twenty-three players made at least one appearance in nationally organised first-team competition, and there were twelve different goalscorers. Forward Charlie Athersmith played in 37 matches over the 38-match season. Billy Jones and Freddie Wilcox were joint leading scorers with eight goals, all of which came in the league.

1904 FA Cup Final

The 1904 FA Cup Final was a football match between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City on 23 April 1904 at Crystal Palace in London. The showpiece match of English football's primary cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup (better known as the FA Cup), it was the 32nd Cup final, and the tenth at Crystal Palace.

Each team progressed through four rounds to reach the final. Manchester City were a First Division team chasing a league and cup double; Bolton Wanderers were a mid-table Second Division team. Consequently, most observers anticipated a Manchester City win. In a close match featuring strong defensive play, Manchester City won 1–0. The goal, scored by Billy Meredith, was disputed by those with Bolton sympathies, who believed Meredith to be offside. The victory gave Manchester City their first major honour.

Ashford United F.C.

Ashford United F.C. are an English football club based in Ashford, Kent. The 'new' United was formed in 2011 (resurrecting a name used by the town's football club around the advent of the twentieth century). Between 1930 and 2010 the town was represented by Ashford Town FC, before it ultimately went into administration. The current club is therefore a 'phoenix club', rising from the ashes of financial ruin of its predecessor and although not a supporter owned club continues, like most non-league clubs, through the contributions of volunteers and supporters.

Ashford United are currently members of the Isthmian League South East Division following their record-breaking promotion from the Southern Counties East Football League in the 2016/17 season. United are also one of very few semi-professional teams in England to have a synthetic 3G pitch, located at their home 'The Homelands'.

Dorking F.C.

Dorking Football Club was a football club based in Dorking, Surrey, England. The club was formed in 1880 and was the oldest senior football club in Surrey until folding in 2017.

Ernest Arnfield

Ernest Arnfield (25 December 1853 – 8 August 1945) was an English football manager who was secretary/manager of Southampton F.C. from 1897 to 1911, and again from 1912 to 1919.Arnfield was born in Mellor, Derbyshire. He died in Southampton, aged 91.

Isaac Owens

Isaac Owens (1881–1916), often referred to as Ike or Ikey Owens, was an English footballer who played as an inside left or centre forward in the Football League for Woolwich Arsenal and Grimsby Town. He also played non-league football for Darlington (in three separate spells), Bishop Auckland, Crook Town, Plymouth Argyle, Bristol Rovers and Crystal Palace.

James Stewart (footballer, born 1883)

James "Tadger" Stewart (15 January 1883 – 17 February 1958) was a professional footballer who played as an inside forward and won the Football League championship with both Sheffield Wednesday and Newcastle United, as well as making three appearances for England.

Samuel Ashworth

Samuel Bolton Ashworth (March 1877 – 30 December 1925) was an English footballer who played as a defender in the Football League for Burslem Port Vale, Everton, Manchester City and Stoke. He played for Manchester City in their victory in the 1904 FA Cup Final, and also helped both City and Everton to finish second in the First Division.

Southampton F.C.

Southampton Football Club ( (listen)) is a professional association football club based in Southampton, Hampshire, England, which plays in the Premier League, the top tier of English football.

Their home ground since 2001 has been St Mary's Stadium, before which they were based at The Dell. The club has been nicknamed "The Saints" since its inception in 1885 due to its history as a church football team, founded as St. Mary's Church of England Young Men's Association, and play in red and white shirts. Southampton has a long-standing rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity and both cities' respective maritime history. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby.

The club has won the FA Cup once, in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005, ending 27 successive seasons of top-division football for the club. They returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since.

Tom Maley

Tom Maley (8 November 1864 – 24 August 1935) was a Scottish football player and manager.

Born in Portsmouth to a soldier from County Clare, Maley spent his entire playing career in Scotland, with Partick Thistle, Dundee Harp, Hibernian, Third Lanark and Celtic. An amateur during his playing days, he worked as a school teacher and later governor. He left this role in 1902 to become manager of Manchester City, helping them to their first major honour, the 1903–04 FA Cup. He was involved in the 1905 English football bribery scandal which resulted in him being banned from football. After leaving City in 1906 he became manager of Bradford Park Avenue then later assisted Southport.

Two of Maley's brothers also found fame in the footballing world. Alex Maley was a manager with Clyde, Clydebank, Hibernian and Crystal Palace while Willie Maley was a Scottish international and later manager of Celtic between 1897 and 1940.

It was on a visit to the Maley home in Cathcart in December 1887 to invite Tom Maley to join Celtic that Brother Walfrid and the rest of the Celtic deputation first met Willie Maley (Tom was out courting his wife-to-be), and their casual invitation to Willie to also come along was perhaps the most important in Celtic's history.

Tom Maley died in 1935 and was buried at Kentigern RC cemetery in Glasgow.

Tommy Hynds

Thomas "Tommy" Hynds (born 1880 in Hurlford) was a Scottish footballer.

Hynds started out as a centre half at Celtic, but was mainly a reserve; his time there included a loan spell at Bolton Wanderers in 1899. He left the Glasgow side to join Manchester City in September 1901. His City debut came on 5 October 1901 in a 2-0 defeat against Notts County at Trent Bridge. In five seasons he played 171 matches for City, scoring nine goals and helping them to the 1902-03 Second Division and the 1903-04 FA Cup; such was his value to the club he was reportedly paid more than their star player, Billy Meredith.

However, Hynds was engulfed in an illegal payments scandal in 1904 and was banned from football for four months and fined £75. While still under suspension, he was transferred to Woolwich Arsenal in December 1906. He made his Arsenal debut on 1 January 1907, against Sheffield Wednesday, but spent just five months at the club, displacing Percy Sands from the centre half position for thirteen League matches and four FA Cup ties, as Arsenal reached the semi-finals of the 1906-07 competition. He scored one goal for the club.

Hynds left Arsenal in May 1907, playing a single season for Leeds City (where he was also captain), before returning to Scotland to play for Heart of Midlothian in 1908, where he played thirty five matches. He later coached abroad, in British Columbia and Italy. Hynds' brother John also attempted a football career, but did not progress beyond the Manchester City reserve team.Hynds represented the Scottish League once, in 1901.

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