1939 FA Cup Final

The 1939 FA Cup Final was contested by Portsmouth and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wembley. Portsmouth won 4–1, with goals from Bert Barlow, John Anderson and two by Cliff Parker. Dicky Dorsett scored Wolves' effort.

As a result of the suspension of the FA Cup for the duration of the Second World War, the next FA Cup final was not until seven years later in 1946, thereby enabling Portsmouth fans to claim that their team has held the Cup for the longest time.

Wolves had entered the game as clear favourites, having scored 19 goals in their five FA Cup games and lying second in the league table. By contrast, Portsmouth were struggling in the relegation zone.

Captain Jimmy Guthrie was presented with the cup by King George VI. Portsmouth manager Jack Tinn said afterwards that his side won thanks to the help of his "lucky spats".

1939 FA Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view)
Event1938–39 FA Cup
Portsmouth Wolverhampton Wanderers
4 1
Date29 April 1939
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeT. Thompson

Match summary

Approaching the half-hour mark, Barlow scored Portsmouth's first goal from within the area. Portsmouth pressed their advantage, refusing to let Wolves back into the contest. Anderson hooked in a second just before half time after McAlinden's chip in from the right had left the advancing Scott in no-man's-land.

Immediately after the restart, Wolves goalkeeper Scott fumbled a shot on the goal line and only prevented the strike creeping in with an outstretched hand on top of the ball. However, Cliff Parker slid in to kick the ball from under the keeper's hand to make it 3–0. Wolves drove forward to try to mount a recovery but a solitary Dorsett strike from eight yards was their only success. Portsmouth put the result beyond any doubt when Parker headed in his second and Portsmouth's fourth when he headed in from close range from a Worrall cross.

Additional history

When World War II began in September 1939, this caused the 1939 FA Cup champions Portsmouth to hold the distinction of holding the FA Cup trophy for the longest uninterrupted period - seven years - as the FA Cup competition was not held again until the end of World War II. Portsmouth manager Jack Tinn was rumoured to have kept the FA Cup trophy 'safe under his bed' throughout the duration of the war, but this is an urban myth. Because the naval city of Portsmouth was a primary strategic military target for German Luftwaffe bombing, the FA Cup trophy was actually taken ten miles to the north of Portsmouth, to the nearby Hampshire village of Lovedean, and there it resided in a quaint thatched roof country pub called The Bird in Hand for the duration of the war.[1] After the war, the FA Cup trophy was presented back by Portsmouth F.C. to the Football Association in time for the 1946 FA Cup Final.

Portsmouth's Tommy Rowe, who died in May 2006 at the age of 92, was the last surviving player from the 1939 FA Cup Final match.

Match details

Portsmouth4–1Wolverhampton Wanderers
Barlow Goal 29'
Anderson Goal 43'
Parker Goal 46', Goal 71'
Report Dorsett Goal 54'
Wolverhampton Wanderers
1 England Harry Walker
2 Scotland Lew Morgan
3 England Bill Rochford
4 Scotland Jimmy Guthrie (c)
5 England Tommy Rowe
6 England Guy Wharton
7 England Fred Worrall
8 Northern Ireland Jimmy McAlinden
9 Scotland John Anderson
10 England Bert Barlow
11 England Cliff Parker
England Jack Tinn
1 England Alec Scott
2 England Bill Morris
3 England Frank Taylor
4 England Tom Galley
5 England Stan Cullis (c)
6 England Joe Gardiner
7 England Stan Burton
8 Scotland Alex McIntosh
9 England Dennis Westcott
10 England Dicky Dorsett
11 England Teddy Maguire
England Major Frank Buckley

Match rules

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

Road to Wembley


Round 3: Portsmouth 4–0 Lincoln City

Round 4: Portsmouth 2–0 West Bromwich Albion

Round 5: Portsmouth 2–0 West Ham United

Round 6: Portsmouth 1–0 Preston North End

Semi-Final: Portsmouth 2–1 Huddersfield Town

(at Highbury)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Round 3: Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–1 Bradford Park Avenue

Round 4: Wolverhampton Wanderers 5–1 Leicester City

Round 5: Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1 Liverpool

Round 6: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2–0 Everton

Semi-Final: Wolverhampton Wanderers 5–0 Grimsby Town

(at Old Trafford)

See also

External links


  1. ^ http://www.lovedeanbirdinhand.co.uk/?BIHrequestID=4C55838218D9D39854D199BD64BA29
  • Mike Neasom, Mick Cooper & Doug Robinson (1984). Pompey: The History of Portsmouth Football Club. Milestone Publications. ISBN 0-903852-50-0.
1938–39 FA Cup

The 1938–39 FA Cup was the 64th season of the world's oldest football cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup. Portsmouth won the competition for the first time, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1 in the final at Wembley. As this was the last full FA Cup competition before the Second World War, Portsmouth held the trophy until the end of the 1945–46 season.

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 Barlow

Herbert "Bert" Barlow (22 July 1916 – 19 March 2004) was an English footballer who played as an inside forward in the Football League, where he made over 250 league appearances for Barnsley, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Portsmouth, Leicester City and Colchester United. His son Peter was also a professional footballer.

Bill Morris (footballer)

William Walter Morris (26 March 1913 – 1995) was an English footballer who spent the majority of his playing career at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Morris began his senior career in the colts side of West Bromwich Albion, before moving to Halesowen Town. He was signed by Wolverhampton Wanderers in May 1933 for £100, and made his debut for the club against former team West Bromwich Albion on 17 February 1934, playing as an emergency centre-forward.

He remained a back-up player until the 1935–36 season when he became a first choice centre-half for the Midlanders. A disappointing start to the next campaign saw him switched to right-back, which would remain his position for the rest of his Molineux career.

He played in the 1939 FA Cup Final, where Wolves were surprisingly beaten by Portsmouth, and won three England caps. His international debut came on 16 November 1939 in a 7–0 victory over Northern Ireland at Old Trafford.

The outbreak of World War II meant the suspension of league football, but Morris turned out 67 times for Wolves in regional games, and also guested for Wrexham. At the resumption of league action in 1946, Morris soon found himself out of the team, and at the end of the 1946–47 season he left Wolves.

He joined nearby Dudley Town, where he played two further seasons as a centre-forward before retiring in May 1949.

He died in 1995, aged 82.

Bill Rochford

William Rochford (27 May 1913 – 9 March 1984) was an English footballer. A member of the Portsmouth team that won the 1939 FA Cup, he played over 100 matches for Portsmouth and for their south coast rivals, Southampton.

Cliff Parker (footballer)

Henry Clifford Parker (6 September 1913 – 1983) was an English footballer born in Denaby, Yorkshire, who played as an outside left for Doncaster Rovers and Portsmouth in the Football League. During the War he worked at the aircraft factory in Hamble-le-Rice and also played football for their works team Folland Aircraft. He scored twice as Portsmouth beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1 in the 1939 FA Cup Final.

Dennis Westcott

Dennis Westcott (2 July 1917 – 13 July 1960) was an English footballer, who played for New Brighton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City and Chesterfield as a centre forward.

Dicky Dorsett

Richard Dorsett (3 December 1919 – November 1999) was an English footballer, who played as a striker. Dorsett was sometimes known as "the Brownhills Bomber" after his birthplace of Brownhills, West Midlands.

Frank Taylor (footballer, born 1916)

Frank Taylor (30 April 1916 – 1970) was an English footballer and manager who played in the Football League for Wolverhampton Wanderers and managed Scarborough and Stoke City.

Guy Wharton

Guy Wharton (5 December 1916 – 1990) was a professional footballer who played as a wing half. He was a member of the Portsmouth team that beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 in the 1939 FA Cup Final.

Wharton began his professional career with Chester in 1934–35, after being spotted by manager Charlie Hewitt's wife playing local football. After 24 first team appearances (12 in the league), Wharton moved to First Division side Wolverhampton Wanderers in May 1936. A year later he moved to Portsmouth, where he was to enjoy his FA Cup glory against his former employers. Wharton continued playing after the Second World War, leaving Pompey for Wellington Town in 1948 before concluding his league career with 39 appearances for Darlington. After concluding his career, he was briefly a coach at Watford.

Harry Walker (footballer)

George Henry Walker (20 May 1916 – 1976) was an English football goalkeeper born in Aysgarth, North Yorkshire, who played in the Football League for Darlington, Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest. He played in the Portsmouth team that beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1 in the 1939 FA Cup Final.

Later Harry worked for a company called Pump and Valve Service, he was a skilled engineer and lived at Beeston, a suburb of Nottingham. He had a wife called Ella. He worked for Pump and Valve Service up until his death and was survived by Ella.

Jimmy Guthrie (footballer)

Jimmy Guthrie was born James Wallace Taylor Guthrie in Luncarty, Perthshire, Scotland on 6 June 1912. He played for Luncarty City Boys, Perth Thistle F.C. and Scone Thistle before joining Dundee for the 1932/33 season. In August 1937 he was transferred to Portsmouth of the English First Division for a fee of £4,000.

He played 94 times for 'Pompey' most famously captaining the team to a 4-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1939 FA Cup Final. A car accident later in 1939 and the suspension of competitive football during the Second World War put an end to his playing career.

Throughout his career he was active in the Players' Union and he became the Union's fifth Chairman in August 1946 holding the position until 1957. He did much of the campaigning work that later saw the abolition of the maximum wage. His book 'Soccer Rebel', published in 1976, documents his time at the Players' Union and includes commentary about the subsequent work of the renamed Professional Footballers' Association and the state of the English game.

He died in hospital in London on 10 September 1981.

Joe Gardiner

Joseph Gardiner (23 August 1916 – 1997) was an English footballer, who served Wolverhampton Wanderers as both player and coach.

John Anderson (footballer, born 1915)

John Curr Anderson (8 May 1915 – February 1987) was a Scottish professional footballer, who played as a centre forward. The summit of his career was scoring one of the goals for Portsmouth in their 4–1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the 1939 FA Cup Final.

He was the second John Anderson to play for Portsmouth, the first having joined the club in 1903.

Lew Morgan

Lewis Morgan (30 April 1911 – 22 September 1988) was a Scottish professional football player from Cowdenbeath.

Morgan represented Scotland at schoolboy level, and played for various Scottish junior clubs before joining Dundee in 1931. He represented the Scottish League in 1933. Morgan transferred to English side Portsmouth two years later, playing mostly at left back, and he was part of the Portsmouth team that beat Wolves 4-1 in the 1939 FA Cup Final. After the Second World War he joined Watford, playing 50 Football League games for them before being released on a free transfer. Morgan then played for Chelmsford City, signing for the club in May 1948.

Stan Burton

Stanley Burton (3 December 1912 – 1977), also known as Dizzie Burton, was an English footballer who played mainly for Doncaster Rovers and appeared in the 1939 FA Cup Final for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

He was partially deaf, and so did not play to the whistle. His nickname of "Dizzie" was due to him continuing runs after the referee had blown.

Tom Galley

Thomas Galley (4 August 1915 – 12 July 2000) was an English international footballer, who spent the majority of his league career with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Tommy Rowe (footballer, born 1913)

Thomas Rowe DFC (13 August 1913 – 9 May 2006) was an English footballer. He was a member of the Portsmouth team that beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 in the 1939 FA Cup Final.

At the outbreak of WW2 all meaningful football was suspended for the duration of hostilities, and Tommy initially volunteered for the City of Portsmouth Police. He later joined the RAF and trained as a bomber pilot.

Tommy Rowe flew 39 successful bombing missions over Germany. During this time he rose to the position of squadron leader and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).

On his 40th bombing mission Tommy Rowe's aircraft was shot down over Germany and Tommy spent the last two years of the war as a prisoner of war.

When peace returned to Europe Tommy Rowe continued to serve with the RAF Volunteer Reserve, finally relinquishing his commission in August 1958.

Rowe died on 9 May 2006, aged 92. He was the last surviving member of Pompey's cup-winning side.

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