1925 FA Cup Final

The 1925 FA Cup Final was contested by Sheffield United and Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium. Sheffield United won by a single goal, scored by Fred Tunstall.

This was the first time a team from outside England had played in an FA Cup Final since Queens Park of Glasgow in 1885.

1925 FA Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view)
Event1924–25 FA Cup
Sheffield United Cardiff City
England Wales
1 0
Date25 April 1925
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeG. N. Watson

Route to the final

Sheffield United

Round Opposition Score[1]
1st Corinthians (h) 5–0
2nd The Wednesday (h) 3–2
3rd Everton (h) 1–0
4th West Bromwich Albion (h) 2–0
Semi-final Southampton (n) 2–0

Four goals by Johnson helped Sheffield United defeat amateur side Corinthian F.C. 5–0 in the first round of the cup in front of a home crowd of 38,167.[2] This set up a second round tie against local rivals The Wednesday who took a two goal lead in the opening ten minutes. Goals from Sampy and Green drew United level before half-time and another goal by Sampy early in second half gave United a 3–2 win.[3]

United were given another home tie in the third round where a single goal by Tunstall was enough to give them a win over Everton in what was, at the time, a record attendance at Bramall Lane of 51,745.[4] This figure was surpassed in the fourth round as 57,197 watched goals by Tunstall and Johnson give United a 2–0 home win against West Bromwich Albion.[5]

For United’s next match they travelled to Stamford Bridge to face Second Division side Southampton. It was United’s seventh appearance in the semi-final of the competition (and 100th cup tie overall). An own goal late in the first half gave United the lead. After the break Southampton had a chance to draw level but their penalty was saved by Sutcliffe. This was soon followed by a goal from Tunstall securing a 2–0 win and a place in the final. [6]

Cardiff City

Round Opposition Score[1]
1st Darlington (h) 0–0
Darlington (a) 0–0
Darlington (n) 2–0
2nd Fulham (h) 1–0
3rd Notts County (a) 2–0
4th Leicester City (h) 2–1
Semi-final Blackburn Rovers (n) 3–1

Cardiff faced Darlington in the first round of the cup. After two goalless draws the tie was decided with a third match at the neutral venue of Liverpool. Cardiff knocked out the Third Division North side with second half goals from Len Davies and Willie Davies to give a 2–0 win and set up a home tie against Fulham.[7] Cardiff’s second round match was played in a heavy downpour that caused play to be temporarily suspended. A Len Davies goal late in the first half was enough to give Cardiff a 1–0 win.[8]

Cardiff travelled to Meadow Lane for their third round tie against Notts County which they won 2–0 thanks to goals from Nicholson and Gill.[9] Cardiff hosted Leicester City in the fourth round where after a goalless first half Beadles gave Cardiff the lead, only for Duncan to level the score. In the final minute Willie Davies scored directly from a corner to send Cardiff through with a 2–1 win.[10]

The semi-final saw Cardiff return to Meadow Lane as a neutral venue for their match with Blackburn Rovers. Early goals from Nicholson, Gill and Willie Davies gave Cardiff a 3–0 lead at half-time. McKay replied for Blackburn with a headed goal after the break but the game finished 3–1 to Cardiff.[11]

Match details

Sheffield United England1–0Wales Cardiff City
Tunstall Goal 30'
Sheffield United
Cardiff City
GK England Charles Sutcliffe
DF England Billy Cook
DF England Ernest Milton
MF England Harry Pantling
MF England Seth King
MF England George Green
FW England David Mercer
FW England Tommy Boyle
FW England Harry Johnson
FR Ireland Billy Gillespie (c)
FL England Fred Tunstall
John Nicholson
GK Ireland Tom Farquharson
DF Scotland James Nelson
DF Scotland Jimmy Blair
DF England Harry Wake
MF Wales Fred Keenor (c)
MF England Billy Hardy
MF Wales Willie Davies
FW England Jimmy Gill
FW England Joe Nicholson
FR Wales Harry Beadles
FL Wales Jack Evans
Fred Stewart


  1. ^ a b "England FA Challenge Cup 1924–1925". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Exit of Corinthians". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 12 January 1925. p. 8. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  3. ^ "Warm time for Bill Inglis". Sunday Post. 1 February 1925. p. 14. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  4. ^ "City and Rovers Disappoint: Cup-tie facts and figures". Western Daily Press. 23 February 1925. p. 9. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  5. ^ "F.A. Cup-Fourth Round: Sheffield United rise to great heights to oust the Albion". Sheffield Daily Telegraph. 9 March 1925. p. 8. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  6. ^ "Sheffield United's Seventh Semi-Final". Star Green ‘un. 28 March 1925. p. 4. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "Cardiff through: Darlington mastered in cup replay". Daily Herald. 20 January 1925. p. 10. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  8. ^ "Downfall of Fulham: Cardiff City triumph in a Sea of Mud". Daily Herald. 2 February 1925. p. 10. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  9. ^ "A black day for Notts". Nottingham Journal. 23 February 1925. p. 6. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  10. ^ "Wembley on the Horizon: Fourth obstacle too stiff for Leicester". Nottingham Journal. 9 March 1925. p. 6. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  11. ^ "Cardiff City win: Blackburn Rovers beaten at Nottingham". Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer. 30 March 1925. p. 3. Retrieved 4 October 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.

External links

1924–25 FA Cup

The 1924–25 FA Cup was the 50th season of the world's oldest football cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup. Sheffield United won the competition for the fourth time, beating Cardiff City 1–0 in the final at Wembley.

Fans of Sheffield United sung the very popular song of the era "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More" during the match.

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. Some matches, however, might be rescheduled for other days if there were clashes with games for other competitions or the weather was inclement. 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 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.

Bert Menlove

Bertie Menlove (8 December 1892 – 3 July 1970) was an English footballer who played as a forward in the Football League for Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.Born in St Albans, Menlove transferred in 1920 from Barnet & Alston to Aston Villa. He didn't make any league appearances for Villa and moved on to Crystal Palace, then of the Southern League. He scored his only hat–trick for Palace in a Southern League march versus Gillingham in March 1920. The following season Palace joined the newly constituted Third Division and with Menlove scoring five goals that season they topped the league and secured promotion to the Second division. Notable that season was an FA Cup win over then First Division Manchester City, a game in which Menlove scored. The following season Palace achieved a 6-0 FA cup win at first division Everton (this remains Everton's largest home cup defeat) with Menlove netting a couple. His tally of seven goals in the 1921–22 season for now second division Palace encouraged First Division Sheffield United to sign him in the spring of 1922.During his spell (1922–1926) at Sheffield United in 81 appearances Menlove scored 43 goals (41 in the league) including two hat–tricks: against Tottenham in March 1924 and Birmingham in October 1925. Despite his goal scoring record Menlove did not play in Sheffield United's 1925 FA Cup Final winning team.

After leaving Sheffield United Menlove played for the 1926–1927 Midland League runners-up Boston Town and was there the following season too. In 1929 Menlove moved to Bangor in North Wales and played with Bangor Athletic playing in the Wales National League (North), and he married whilst in the city.In 1932 Menlove was playing for Ashford Town in the Kent League - a season in which the club were league runners-up and they scored an Ashford Town season record 115 league goals. The following season he served as player-manager at the clubMenlove died in July 1970.

Cardiff City F.C.

Cardiff City Football Club (Welsh: Clwb Pêl-droed Dinas Caerdydd) is a professional association football club based in Cardiff, Wales. It competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1899 as Riverside A.F.C., the club changed its name to Cardiff City in 1908 and entered the Southern Football League in 1910 before joining the English Football League in 1920. The team have spent 17 seasons in the top tier of English football since, the longest period being between 1921 and 1929. Their most recent season in the top flight was the 2018–19 Premier League season.

Cardiff is the only team from outside England to have won the FA Cup, doing so in 1927. They have also reached three other cup finals in English competitions, the 1925 FA Cup Final against Sheffield United, the 2008 FA Cup Final against Portsmouth and the 2012 Football League Cup Final against Liverpool, suffering defeat on each occasion. They have won the Welsh Cup on 22 occasions, making them the second most successful team in the competition's history behind Wrexham.

With the exception of a short period this century, the team have played in home colours of blue and white since 1908, which gives them the nickname "The Bluebirds". Cardiff's first permanent ground was Ninian Park opened in 1910; it remained in use for 99 years until the club moved into the Cardiff City Stadium in 2009. Cardiff have long-standing rivalries with nearby clubs Swansea City, known as the South Wales derby and Bristol City, known as the Severnside derby. The club's record appearance holder is Billy Hardy, who made 590 appearances in a 20-year playing spell with Cardiff, and their record goalscorer is Len Davies with 179 goals.

David Mercer (footballer)

David William Mercer (20 March 1893 – 1 June 1950) was an English professional footballer who made over 220 appearances as an outside right in the Football League for Sheffield United. He also played league football for Hull City and Torquay United and won two caps for England.

Ernest Milton

Ernest Milton (7 August 1897 – 2 September 1984) was an English footballer who played as a left or right back for Sheffield United in The Football League. Born in Kimberworth near Rotherham he also had a spell for Kilnhurst Town as well as guesting for Birmingham, Rotherham County and Barnsley during World War I.

Fred Keenor

Frederick Charles Keenor (31 July 1894 – 19 October 1972) was a Welsh professional footballer. He began his career at his hometown side Cardiff City after impressing the club's coaching staff in a trial match in 1912 organised by his former schoolteacher. A hard-tackling defender, he appeared sporadically for the team in the Southern Football League before his spell at the club was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War. Keenor served in the 17th (Service) Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, led by Major Frank Buckley, which became known as the Football Battalion. He fought in the Battle of the Somme, suffering a severe shrapnel wound to his thigh in 1916. He returned to Britain and after a lengthy rehabilitation he ended the war as a physical training instructor, reaching the rank of sergeant. He also appeared as a guest player for Brentford during the war.

Overcoming doubts about the possibility of playing again, Keenor returned to the game with Cardiff as they embarked on the most successful period in their history. They won promotion to the First Division one season after joining the Football League in 1920. Keenor helped the club to the 1925 FA Cup Final, when Cardiff suffered a 1–0 defeat to Sheffield United. In 1926, he replaced the departing Jimmy Blair as club captain, leading the team to success in the 1927 FA Cup Final later in the season, in which they defeated Arsenal 1–0. Their triumph remains the only time the competition has been won by a team based outside England.

Keenor was released by Cardiff at the end of the 1930–31 season, which saw the club relegated to the Third Division South. During his time at Cardiff, he made more than 500 appearances for the club, winning four Welsh Cup titles, the FA Cup and the FA Charity Shield in a 19-year association with the side. He is regarded as one of the club's all-time greats. A statue of Keenor, lifting the FA Cup, was erected outside Cardiff's new ground, the Cardiff City Stadium, in November 2012 following a public fundraising campaign.

Keenor finished his career with spells at Crewe Alexandra, Oswestry Town and Tunbridge Wells Rangers. During his career, he also attained 32 caps for the Wales national football team. He helped the side win the British Home Championship three times, in 1920, 1924 and 1928, and captained the side on numerous occasions, scoring two goals. Following his death in 1972, the Football Association of Wales secretary Trevor Morris commented, "Fred Keenor will go down as one of the greatest players and greatest characters ever produced by Wales".

Harry Beadles

George Harold "Harry" Beadles (28 September 1897 – 29 August 1958) was a Welsh professional footballer who played for Liverpool, Cardiff City, Southport and Dundalk, as well as the Wales national football team. A veteran of World War I, where he served in the 7th battalion of the Royal Welch Fusiliers after enlisting at the age of just 16. He took part in operations in Turkey, where he was awarded the Serbian Gold medal for his actions in saving a Serbian officer, and Palestine.On his return to Britain, Beadles played amateur football for his local side Newtown and Liverpool based side Grayson's before being spotted by First Division side Liverpool, where he was part of consecutive First Division title winning sides in 1921–22 and 1922–23. However, he struggled to establish himself in the first team, making 18 appearances during his 3 seasons at Anfield. He joined Cardiff City in August 1924 where he spent less than two seasons, including playing in the 1925 FA Cup Final, before being sold to Sheffield Wednesday in an attempt to raise funds as the club experienced financial difficulties.Beadles never played a senior game for the first-team with Wednesday and he later finished his career with spells at Southport, where he was the club's top scorer for three consecutive seasons in the Third Division North, and Irish side Dundalk, where he served as player-manager. During his career, he made over 100 appearances in the Football League and won 2 caps for Wales in 1925.

Harry Pantling

Harold "Harry" Pantling (16 May 1891 – 21 December 1952) was an English footballer.

Harry Wake

Henry Williamson "Harry" Wake (born 21 January 1901 — 1981) was an English professional footballer. He is most famous for playing for Cardiff City in the 1925 FA Cup Final and being part of the team that won the 1927 FA Cup, although he missed the final through injury.

It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'

"It Ain't Gonna Rain No Mo'" is a song by "The Red-Headed Music Maker", singer and instrumentalist Wendell Hall (1896–1969). Hall's 1923 recording of it was a hit in the US and also in Britain, where it was sung during the 1925 FA Cup final by Sheffield United supporters, making it a popular football song of the era.

This song is an example of the folk tradition of transmission with local variants. Antecedents from the 19th century are known. Carl Sandburg suggested that the song goes back at least to the 1870s and includes verses in his American Songbag (1927). By the 1920s many variants were already extant in popular culture. Mr. Hall most likely codified what already existed and added original verses.

The song may be somewhat familiar to modern listeners because of its use in a number of films, especially vintage animated cartoons, typically in the form of a brief vocal refrain or as an instrumental musical comment. It is featured at the end of a 1930 Pathé Studios cartoon titled Noah Knew His Ark, and part of it is sung in The Plumber, a 1933 Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon. This tradition has continued into modern times: a part of the song was sung in the 2014 film Against the Sun and was also featured over the end credits.

In 2019, the song entered the public domain in the United States.

Jack Evans (footballer, born 1889)

John Hugh "Jack" Evans (31 January 1889 – 1971) was a Welsh professional footballer. He spent the majority of his career with Cardiff City, making over 350 appearances in all competitions and playing in the club's first seasons in the Football League. He also played for the Wales national football team, winning 8 caps.

Jimmy Blair (footballer, born 1888)

James Blair (11 May 1888 – 28 February 1964) was a Scottish international footballer, probably most well known for playing in the 1925 FA Cup Final for Cardiff City.

His sons, Doug and Jimmy Jr., were also professional footballers.

Jimmy Gill

James J. Gill (9 November 1894 – 1964) was an English professional footballer. He was born in Sheffield.Gill began his career at hometown side Sheffield Wednesday in 1913. With the club suffering financial difficulties he was sold to Cardiff City in 1920 for £750 and was the club's top scorer in its first year in the Football League. He would go on to consistently challenge for the award along with strike partner Len Davies during his five years at the club. While at the club he also played in the 1925 FA Cup Final, which they went on to lose 1–0 to Sheffield United. The following season, he left to join Frank Buckley's Blackpool.He made a scoring debut for Blackpool on 24 October 1925, in a 4–0 victory over Wolves at Bloomfield Road, netting the first goal. He made a further fourteen appearances during the 1925–26 league campaign, scoring three more goals. His final game for Blackpool occurred on 6 February 1926, in a 5–0 defeat at Port Vale.

Gill ended his career with spells at Derby County, Crystal Palace and Scarborough.

Jimmy Waugh

James Waugh (12 August 1898 – 26 March 1968) was a footballer who played as a Centre half. Born in the village of Chopwell in Tyne and Wear, Waugh began his career as an amateur with Durham City before spending a brief spell representing his home town club of Chopwell Colliery at the start of 1921.It was while at Chopwell that Waugh was spotted by Football League club Sheffield United who signed both Waugh and fellow defender Bill Sampy for a joint fee of £250 in April 1921. Waugh made a slow start to his career with the Blades and did not begin to feature regularly until November 1922, from which point he missed only one of the following 103 first team matches. Waugh was considered to lack pace and this caused him problems from 1925 when the offside rule was changed. A neck injury prevented Waugh from playing in the 1925 FA Cup Final and after a run of games at the start of the 1925–26 season he lost his place in the side to Seth King. Despite being selected for the FA tour of Canada in the summer of 1926, Waugh was unable to reclaim his place in United's starting eleven and was eventually transferred to Darlington in January 1927 after having made 143 appearances for the Blades and scored three goals.A success at his new club, Waugh was a regular member of the match day team until 1933, including being ever present during the 1929–30 season. Waugh was part of the coaching staff at Darlington for much of his time there and took up a full-time coaching position once he retired from playing. With his career nearing an end, Sheffield United played a benefit match for Waugh in April 1932 and he later returned to the club to act as a scout from 1934.

Joe Nicholson

Joseph Robinson Nicholson (born 4 June 1898 in Ryhope, died 1974) was an English professional footballer. He is most famous for playing for Cardiff City in the 1925 FA Cup Final.

Len Davies

Leonard Stephen Davies (28 April 1899 – 1945) was a Welsh professional footballer. He remains the record goalscorer for Cardiff City in both league and all competitions having scored 179 goals for the club between 1919 and 1931. His involvement with the club coincided with their greatest period, a term in which Cardiff consolidated their position in the First Division and in which they regularly did well in the FA Cup. He also represented Wales at international level.

Seth King

Seth King (14 February 1897 – 8 February 1958) was an English footballer who played as a defender in The Football League. Born in Penistone, South Yorkshire he began his career as an amateur playing for his local church team. After a spell in Huddersfield Town's reserves, he signed as a professional for Sheffield United, for whom he played over 100 times and won an FA Cup winners medal in 1925. He later had spells at Oldham Athletic and Denaby United before retiring.

Tom Farquharson

Thomas Gerard Farquharson (4 December 1899 – 24 December 1970) was an Irish professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. Born in Dublin, he played youth football for local sides. In his teens, he became a member of the Irish Republican Army and was arrested by the British Army for removing wanted posters and held in Mountjoy Prison. He was released on the basis that he would leave Ireland, instead settling in South Wales.

He played football for Oakdale and Abertillery Town before being spotted by Football League side Cardiff City in 1922. He made his professional debut in May of the same year. He helped the side finish as runners-up in the First Division during the 1923–24 season and reach the FA Cup final in 1925 FA Cup Final. In 1927, he was a member of the Cardiff City team that became the only non-English team to win the FA Cup. He remained with the club until 1935, winning the Welsh Cup on four occasions and the FA Charity Shield once. He played in 445 Football League matches for Cardiff, which remained a club record until 1985.

A dual internationalist, he also played for both Ireland teams – the Irish Free State national football team and the Ireland national football team (IFA). After making his debut for the IFA side in 1923, he went on to win seven caps. In 1931, he caused controversy by rejecting a call up to instead play for the Irish Free State side. He won a further four caps for the Free State, winning his last in 1931.

Tommy Boyle (footballer, born 1901)

Thomas Boyle (21 February 1901 – 9 January 1972) was an English footballer who played as an inside right or right half. He played for Sheffield United, Manchester United and Northampton Town, winning the FA Cup with Sheffield United in 1925. He later spent a season as player-manager of Scarborough.

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