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.

1904 FA Cup Final
Event1903–04 FA Cup
Manchester City Bolton Wanderers
1 0
Date23 April 1904
VenueCrystal Palace, London
RefereeA. J. Barker


The final was held at Crystal Palace, the tenth final played at the venue.[1] Neither club had previously won the competition. Bolton reached the final in 1894, but were beaten comfortably by Notts County, losing 4–1 at Goodison Park despite a strong performance by goalkeeper John Sutcliffe.[2]

In their passage to the final Manchester City faced opposition from the top division in all but one round. Second Division Woolwich Arsenal, City's opponents in the second round, were the exception. Sunderland were defeated 3–2 at Hyde Road in the first round, and the visit to Arsenal yielded a 2–0 win. A club record crowd of 30,022 watched the quarter-final against Middlesbrough,[3] but a 0–0 draw meant a replay at Ayresome Park was required, which City won 3–1 to set up a semi-final against The Wednesday.[4] Two goals from Turnbull and one from Meredith gave City a 3–0 win at Goodison Park.[5]

Bolton's cup run started slowly, with a replay required to overcome non-league Reading. A 4–1 victory over Southampton secured a quarter-final berth at Sheffield United. As a Second Division team with a poor away record, Wanderers were clear underdogs in the quarter-final, particularly in view of Sheffield United's strong home form.[6] Nevertheless, Bolton prevailed 2–0 courtesy of goals by Sam Marsh and Billy Yenson.[7] At this point Marsh had scored in every round of the competition. A 1–0 defeat of Derby County in the semi-final took Bolton to the final.

Though Lancashire was a football stronghold in the early years of the professional game, providing a large proportion of Football League teams, the cup final had never been contested between two Lancashire clubs until the 1904 final.[8] 30,000 supporters from the region travelled to London,[9] sparking press reports of records for North-South rail travel.[10] Lacking alternative accommodation, several thousand slept on the platforms at Euston and St Pancras.[11] A jovial atmosphere built up, with the Manchester Industrial Boys Band playing Hiawatha.[10] However, in London itself, the match received less attention than a final featuring a southern team would have done.[12] Tickets in an uncovered stand cost 5s.[13]

Prior to the match the teams both stayed in the suburb of West Norwood, within walking distance of Crystal Palace. Manchester City arrived on 21 April, and were joined the following day by the Bolton Wanderers,[14] who had spent the earlier part of the week at a training camp in Norbreck, near Blackpool.[15] London's Morning Leader described the relaxed nature of the Manchester City players, commenting that "they might have been a tug of war eleven out for a holiday".[16]

The majority of observers, including The Times correspondent, expected a win for Manchester City,[12] as they had performed strongly over the League season, lying second in the First Division on the day of the final, whereas Bolton were a mid-table Second Division side whose most talented forward, Boyd, was sidelined through injury.[17] Manchester City had one injury worry, Billy Holmes, who had missed the previous league match after sustaining an injury against Nottingham Forest. George Livingstone, initially a doubt, was passed fit well in advance.[14] When the final line-ups were announced, both teams had one change from the semi-finals. For Bolton, Boyd was replaced by Clifford, who had not played in any of the previous rounds,[7] and Archie Freebairn switched to Boyd's usual flank "with a view to coping with Meredith".[14] For Manchester City, Sam Ashworth replaced Holmes. Both teams played 2–3–5, the standard formation of the period.


Crystal Palace stadium

The match took place in good weather, with the crowd approximately 62,000.[8] Dignitaries present included Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, Colonial Secretary Alfred Lyttelton, Postmaster General Lord Stanley and Lord Kinnaird. Also in attendance were cricketers WG Grace, GL Jessop and CB Fry, plus several members of the Australian cricket team.[18] Also in attendance was Willie Maley, brother of Manchester City's manager Tom and manager of Celtic whose team had won the Scottish Cup the week before by beating Rangers 3-2[19] Manchester City entered the field of play first, led by captain Billy Meredith, with the Bolton team emerging shortly after. Manchester City won the toss, and elected to play towards the southern end of the ground in the first half,[4] with the wind at their backs.[20] The opening exchanges were fairly even, the Athletic News reporting that "For some time there was little to choose between the rivals", but that "Manchester were the more systematic and scientific".[21]

Twenty minutes into the game, a pass to the right wing by George Livingstone eluded Bolton's Archie Freebairn,[22] and reached Meredith, who dribbled beyond Bob Struthers for a run on goal. He shot to goalkeeper Davies' left, scoring the opening goal.[4] Reporters with Bolton sympathies, such as ex-Bolton secretary JJ Bentley, claimed the goal to be offside, though the Bolton players made no appeal to the referee.[22][23] The goal led to one over-exuberant Manchester City supporter invading the pitch, and subsequently being escorted away by police, though in contrast to the modern image of the football hooligan, the Sporting Chronicle reported that the man was then allowed back onto the terraces, as the police had been impressed by the level of devotion that he had demonstrated.[24]

Bolton had the majority of possession in the second half, aside from a ten-minute spell,[25] but the performance of the Manchester City defence limited Bolton's goalscoring opportunities. The Manchester Evening News singled out Herbert Burgess for particular praise in this respect, writing that City had "considerable reason to be thankful to their left-back, Burgess... ...the famous International played a game which has rarely been surpassed".[18] The Bolton Evening News took a rather different view, claiming that physical play by Burgess provoked the ire of the crowd.[26] Bolton's adoption of "kick and rush" tactics resulted in a spell of pressure, but to no avail.[12] Bolton's best chance came in the final five minutes, a shot by White which "missed by inches".[25] The match finished 1–0, giving Manchester City their first major honour.

Match details

Manchester City1–0Bolton Wanderers
Meredith Goal 23' [27]
Manchester City
Bolton Wanderers[29]
Goalkeeper Jack Hillman
Full-back Johnny McMahon
Full-back Herbert Burgess
Half-back Sammy Frost
Half-back Tommy Hynds
Half-back Sam Ashworth
Forward Billy Meredith
Forward George Livingstone
Forward Billie Gillespie
Forward Sandy Turnbull
Forward Frank Booth
Tom Maley
Goalkeeper Dai Davies
Full-back Walter Brown
Full-back Bob Struthers
Half-back Robert Clifford
Half-back Sam Greenhalgh
Half-back Archie Freebairn
Forward David Stokes
Forward Sam Marsh
Forward Billy Yenson
Forward Wattie White
Forward Archie Taylor
John Somerville

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Replay if scores still level.


Manchester City captain Meredith received the trophy from the serving prime minister,[30] Arthur Balfour, a patron of the club.[23] Alfred Lyttelton then made a speech praising the efforts of the two teams. Lyttelton, a former footballer himself, compared the play in the final with the match he played for the England team against Scotland in 1877. Noting that "the game is a good deal changed", he emphasised how the final had demonstrated the importance of teamwork, in contrast to his day when "each man played for himself".[18]

While most of those in attendance behaved well, with few reports of disturbances, later in the day several young men "with provincial accents" appeared at a west London police court charged with drunken disorder. Due to "offence caused by 'scrimmage'", they were issued with fines averaging 10s.[18]

Manchester City did not return directly to Manchester, but instead went to Liverpool, as the club's final league fixture was scheduled for Monday afternoon at Everton. At this point Manchester City were still in contention for the league title. However, a 1–0 defeat at Goodison Park eliminated City from the title race and confirmed The Wednesday as champions.[31] The team arrived in Manchester in that evening, and travelled to the Town Hall to commence a victory parade. From the Town Hall, the parade travelled to Ardwick Conservative Club, via Deansgate, Market Street and Ardwick Green.[18] The number of people lining the route was five times as many as had attended a recent visit by the Prince and Princess of Wales.[32]


  1. ^ James, Manchester – The Greatest City, p54
  2. ^ Pawson, 100 Years of the FA Cup, p56
  3. ^ James, Manchester – The Greatest City, p51
  4. ^ a b c James, Manchester City – The Complete Record, p110
  5. ^ Ward, The Manchester City Story, p12
  6. ^ Marland, Bolton Wanderers – A Complete Record 1877–1989, p16
  7. ^ a b Marland, Bolton Wanderers – A Complete Record 1877–1989, p218
  8. ^ a b Pawson, 100 Years of the FA Cup, p57
  9. ^ James, Manchester – A Football History, p103
  10. ^ a b "English Cup Tie: Extraordinary Scenes In London". Manchester Evening News. 23 April 1904. p. 3.
  11. ^ James, Manchester – A Football History, p105
  12. ^ a b c "The Association Cup. Victory for Manchester City". The Times (Times Digital Archive 1785–1985). UK. 25 April 1904. p. 11.
  13. ^ Creighton, Manchester City: Moments To Remember, p11
  14. ^ a b c "Football Notes – The Final Tie". Manchester Evening News. 22 April 1904. p. 2.
  15. ^ "English Cup Final – Early Scenes in London". Manchester Evening Chronicle. 23 April 1904.
  16. ^ "The Cup Final – Prospects for Tomorrow". Manchester Evening Chronicle. 22 April 1904. p. 3.
  17. ^ Harding, Football Wizard – The Billy Meredith Story, p86
  18. ^ a b c d e "The Final Tie: Victory of Manchester City". Manchester Evening News. 25 April 1904. p. 2.
  19. ^ W. Potter, David (2003). Willie Maley: The Man Who Made Celtic. Tempus Publshing.
  20. ^ "A proud day for Manchester City". Manchester Evening News. 23 April 1904. p. 4.
  21. ^ Harding, Football Wizard – The Billy Meredith Story, p90
  22. ^ a b Ward, The Manchester City Story, p13
  23. ^ a b James, Manchester City – The Complete Record, p111
  24. ^ James, Manchester – A Football History, p106
  25. ^ a b Pawson, 100 Years of the FA Cup, p58
  26. ^ Gent, Making Headlines: The History of Bolton Wanderers Football Club as Seen Through the Eyes the Pages of the Bolton Evening News
  27. ^ "1904 Manchester City". Match report at fa-cupfinals.co.uk. FA-CupFinals.co.uk. Archived from the original on 20 July 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  28. ^ "1904 FA Cup Final Match Details". Sporting Chronicle. Archived from the original on 21 May 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  29. ^ "English FA Cup Finalists 1900–1909". Historical Kits. Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2009.
  30. ^ Harding, Football Wizard – The Billy Meredith Story, p59
  31. ^ James, Manchester City – The Complete Record, p32
  32. ^ "The winners of the English Cup, reception of the City team". Manchester Evening News. 26 April 1904. p. 2.


  • Creighton, John (1993). Manchester City: Moments To Remember. Ammanford: Sigma Press. ISBN 1-85058-397-8.
  • Gent, Leslie (2004). Making Headlines: The History of Bolton Wanderers Football Club as Seen Through the Eyes the Pages of the Bolton Evening News. Bristol: Sports Programme. ISBN 978-0-9537444-4-2.
  • Harding, John (1998). Football Wizard – The Billy Meredith Story. London: Robson Books. ISBN 1-86105-137-9.
  • James, Gary (2006). Manchester City – The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 1-85983-512-0.
  • James, Gary (2005). The Official Manchester City Hall of Fame. Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-61282-1.
  • James, Gary (2008). Manchester – A Football History. Halifax: James Ward. ISBN 978-0-9558127-0-5.
  • Marland, Simon (1989). Bolton Wanderers – A Complete Record 1877–1989. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 978-0-907969-51-8.
  • Pawson, Tony (1972). 100 Years of the FA Cup. London: Heinemann. ISBN 0-330-23274-6.
  • Ward, Andrew (1984). The Manchester City Story. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 0-907969-05-4.
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.

1926 FA Cup Final

The 1926 FA Cup Final was a football match between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City on 24 April 1926 at Wembley Stadium 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 55th final, and the fourth at Wembley.

Each team progressed through five rounds to reach the final. Both teams were members of the Football League First Division, Bolton Wanderers occupying a position in upper-mid-table and Manchester City next to bottom. Consequently, Bolton entered the match as favourites and, as expected, went on to win, their single goal being scored by David Jack.

Archie Taylor

Archie Taylor may refer to:

Archie Taylor (footballer, born 1882) (1882 – ?), Scottish footballer who won the FA Cup in 1912

Archie Taylor (footballer, born 1939) (born 1939), English footballer

Archie Taylor (footballer) in 1904 FA Cup Final

Billy Meredith

William Henry Meredith (30 July 1874 – 19 April 1958) was a Welsh professional footballer. He was considered one of the early superstars of football due to his performances, notably for Manchester City and Manchester United. He won each domestic trophy in the English football league and gained 48 caps for Wales, for whom he scored 11 goals and won two British Home Championship titles. His favoured position was outside right, and his key skills were dribbling, passing, crossing and shooting. A dedicated and extremely fit professional, his habit of chewing on a toothpick during games made him instantly recognisable.

In 27 seasons in the Football League from 1892 to 1924 (not including the four seasons lost to the First World War and the 1905–06 season in which he was banned for bribing an opposition player), he scored 176 goals in 740 league and cup appearances. He played for Chirk, before joining Northwich Victoria in 1892. His career took off when he signed with Manchester City in 1894 and turned professional in January 1895. He captained the team to the club's first major honour, a 1–0 victory over Bolton Wanderers in the 1904 FA Cup Final. He moved to Manchester United in May 1906 after being banned for bribing Aston Villa half-back Alex Leake £10 to lose a match. There he won the league title in 1907–08 and 1910–11, the FA Cup in 1909, as well as two FA Charity Shields. He also helped to set up the Players' Union, which was a fore-runner of the Professional Footballers' Association. He returned to Manchester City in 1921 at the age of 47 and played a further 32 games before retiring in 1924, making him the oldest ever player for City, United and Wales. He later ran the Stretford Road Hotel and helped to coach the short-lived Manchester Central.

Johnny McMahon (English footballer)

Johnny McMahon was a footballer who played as a centre half for Manchester City between 1902 and 1906.

McMahon began his career at Preston North End in 1900. He made 65 appearances for Preston North End before transferring to Manchester City in 1902. He made his Manchester City debut in December 1902 in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United. He was part of the City team which defeated Bolton Wanderers 1-0 to win the 1904 FA Cup Final.

He made 100 league appearances for Manchester City and scored one goal. In 1906 he signed for Bury whom he made 60 appearances for before retiring from the game in the 1908/09 football season.

List of Manchester City F.C. players (25–99 appearances)

Manchester City Football Club, then known as Ardwick, first entered the Football Alliance in the 1891–92 season. In 1892, the Football League decided to expand, and invited the Alliance clubs to join; having chosen not to apply for entry into the First Division, Ardwick were placed in the newly formed Second Division. In April 1894 Ardwick became Manchester City, following the creation of Manchester City Football Club Ltd. as a limited company.The club's first team have competed in numerous nationally and internationally organised competitions, and all players who have played between 25 and 99 such matches, either as a member of the starting eleven or as a substitute, are listed below. Each player's details include the duration of his Manchester City career, his typical playing position while with the club, and the number of games played and goals scored in domestic league matches and in all senior competitive matches. Where applicable, the list also includes the national team for which the player was selected, and the number of senior international caps he won while playing for the club. The names are ordered first by number of appearances in total, then by date of debut.

List of people from Stoke-on-Trent

This is a list of notable people who were born in or near, or have been residents of the City of Stoke-on-Trent, England. Also listed are people who lived in the area before city status was granted in 1925.

The city was built on the pottery industry, and at the centre of that industry was the Wedgwood family, especially Josiah Wedgwood. Today he is credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery, and is also remembered as a prominent opponent of slavery. Other giants of the pottery industry were Thomas Minton, William Moorcroft, and Josiah Spode.

Many notable residents of Stoke-on-Trent have gone on to achieve recognition in their own field. Legends of rock Slash and Lemmy spent portions of their childhood in the city, whilst Robbie Williams split from Take That to establish himself as a pop megastar in his own right. Local businessmen John Caudwell, Peter Coates, and John Madejski made large fortunes from founding Phones 4u, Bet365, and Auto Trader respectively. A new branch of Christianity in Primitive Methodism was formed from the endeavours of Hugh Bourne and William Clowes. In literature, Arnold Bennett was a prodigious novelist, and often drew on the local area for inspiration, particularly in his 1902 work Anna of the Five Towns. Another famous face is Captain Edward Smith, who went down with his ship, the Titanic, in 1912. In terms of military service, three recipients of the Victoria Cross were native to Stoke-on-Trent. R. J. Mitchell, inventor of the spitfire, also came from the city.

In sporting achievements, local clubs Port Vale and Stoke City have helped to develop the talents of local footballers, and in turn local names such as Roy Sproson, Freddie Steele, and Denis Smith have provided the club's with many years of loyal service. However the most famous player to be associated with the area is Stanley Matthews – the only player to have been knighted while still playing, the Wizard of the Dribble was the inaugural winner of the Ballon d'Or. He played for Stoke and later managed Port Vale. Outside of football, the most significant individual sportsman to hail from the city is Phil Taylor, sixteen-time winner of the World Professional Darts Championship.

Manchester derby

The Manchester derby refers to football matches between Manchester City and Manchester United, first contested in 1881. United play at Old Trafford while City play at the City of Manchester Stadium, the two grounds separated by approximately 4 miles (6.4 km). The teams have played 178 matches in all competitions, United winning 73, City 53, and the remaining 52 having been drawn.

Sam Greenhalgh

Samuel Greenhalgh (July 1882 – 1955) was an English footballer who played as a centre half in the Football League with Bolton Wanderers and Aston Villa in the early 20th-century.He was a member of the Bolton Wanderers team which finished as runners-up in the 1904 FA Cup Final.

Sammy Frost

Sammy Frost was a footballer who played as a half back for Manchester City between 1901 and 1906.

Frost made his Manchester City debut in September 1901 in a 3-1 defeat against Everton. He was part of the City team which defeated Bolton Wanderers 1-0 to win the 1904 FA Cup Final.

He made 103 league appearances for Manchester City and scored 4 goals. He subsequently played for Millwall before recurring knee ailments forced him to retire.

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.

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