1949 FA Cup Final

The 1949 FA Cup Final was the 68th final of the FA Cup. It took place on 30 April 1949 at Wembley Stadium and was contested between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City. Wolves had finished sixth in the First Division that season and boasted several England internationals among their ranks, while Leicester had narrowly avoided relegation from the Second Division and were making their first Wembley appearance.

Wolves won the match 3–1, thus winning the FA Cup for the third time. Jesse Pye (2) and Sammy Smyth scored Wolves' goals, with Mal Griffiths replying for Leicester. Captain Billy Wright was presented with the cup by Princess Elizabeth.

1949 FA Cup Final
Event1948–49 FA Cup
Leicester City Wolverhampton Wanderers
1 3
Date30 April 1949
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeReg Mortimer (Huddersfield)

Road to Wembley

Leicester City

3rd Round Leicester City 1–1 Birmingham City
3rd Round (Replay) Birmingham City 1–1 Leicester City
3rd Round (2nd Replay) Leicester City 2–1 Birmingham City
4th Round Leicester City 2–0 Preston North End
5th Round Luton Town 5–5 Leicester City
5th Round (Replay) Leicester City 5–3 Luton Town
6th Round Brentford 0–2 Leicester City
Semi-final Portsmouth 1–3 Leicester City [1]
(at Highbury)

Wolverhampton Wanderers

3rd Round Wolverhampton Wanderers 6–0 Chesterfield
4th Round Sheffield United 0–3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
5th Round Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–1 Liverpool
6th Round Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–0 West Bromwich Albion
Semi-final Wolverhampton Wanderers 1–1 Manchester United
(at Hillsborough)
Semi-final (Replay) Manchester United 0–1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
(at Goodison Park)

Match summary

Wolves started determinedly and took a 13th-minute lead when Jesse Pye, who had been preferred to Dennis Wilshaw, stooped to head in an inch-perfect Hancocks cross. Leicester kept Wolves at bay until almost half-time, when Pye collected the ball in the penalty area with his back to goal, after the Foxes had struggled to clear a corner, and turned to slam it home for his second.

Leicester brought the game to life immediately after the interval courtesy of Mal Griffiths, who flicked the ball home after Williams parried Chisholm's initial effort. Within minutes, they believed they were level only for a narrow offside decision to rule out Chisholm's finish. Sammy Smyth quickly turned the game around when he picked up the ball in the centre circle and drove through the Leicester defence before hitting the ball low into the far corner to make it 3–1 and clinch the cup for Molineux men for the third time in their history. It was the first of five major trophies that they would win under the management of Stan Cullis.

Leicester were without two of their key players for the game, both of them ruled out by injury. Goalkeeper Ian McGraw was unable to play due to a broken finger, while Don Revie had suffered a nose injury.

Match details

Leicester City1–3Wolverhampton Wanderers
Griffiths Goal 47' Report Pye Goal 13'42'
Smyth Goal 64'
Leicester City
Wolverhampton Wanderers
1 England Gordon Bradley
2 England Ted Jelly
3 Scotland Sandy Scott
4 England Walter Harrison
5 England Norman Plummer (c)
6 England Johnny King
7 Wales Mal Griffiths
8 England Jack Lee
9 England Jimmy Harrison
10 Scotland Ken Chisholm
11 Scotland Charlie Adam
Scotland Johnny Duncan
1 England Bert Williams
2 England Roy Pritchard
3 England Terry Springthorpe
4 England Billy Crook
5 England Bill Shorthouse
6 England Billy Wright (c)
7 England Johnny Hancocks
8 Northern Ireland Sammy Smyth
9 England Jesse Pye
10 Scotland Jimmy Dunn
11 England Jimmy Mullen
England Stan Cullis


  1. ^ https://www.thegiantkillers.co.uk/1949leicester.htm

External links

1949 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1949 in the United Kingdom.

Dennis Wilshaw

Dennis James Wilshaw (11 March 1926 – 10 May 2004) was an English international footballer. A forward, he scored 173 goals in 380 appearances in the Football League, and also scored ten goals in twelve appearances for the England national team (including one goal in the 1954 FIFA World Cup and four goals against Scotland at Wembley). He spent 13 years with Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1944 to 1957, where he won the First Division title in 1953–54. He spent 1946 to 1948 on loan at Walsall, and ended his career after playing for Stoke City between 1957 and 1961.

Don Revie

Donald George Revie OBE (10 July 1927 – 26 May 1989) was an England international footballer and manager, best known for his successful spell with Leeds United from 1961 until 1974 which preceded his appointment as England manager.

A forward, he began his career with Leicester City in August 1944, before a £19,000 move to Hull City in November 1949. He was sold on to Manchester City in October 1951 for a fee of £25,000, where he became the main focus of the "Revie Plan" which saw him named as FWA Footballer of the Year in 1954–55 after innovating the role of the first deep-lying centre forward in England. He won the FA Cup in 1956, having finished on the losing side in the 1955 final. He was bought by Sunderland for £22,000 in October 1956, before moving on to Leeds United in November 1958 for a £14,000 fee. In total he scored 108 goals in 501 league and cup appearances in an 18-year professional career, also scoring four goals in six England appearances as well as winning representative honours for the Football League XI and the England B team.

In March 1961, Revie was appointed player-manager of Leeds United, then a Second Division club who had never previously won a major trophy. Under Revie's management, Leeds became a major force in English football, winning the Second Division in 1963–64, the First Division in 1968–69 and 1973–74, the FA Cup in 1972, the League Cup in 1968, the FA Charity Shield in 1969, and the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1968 and 1971. Additionally, Leeds were First Division runners-up five times, twice FA Cup runners-up and runners-up in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup. In July 1974 he accepted the job as England manager, but had an unsuccessful three years in the role before quitting in highly controversial circumstances to take up the management role with the United Arab Emirates. He later had spells in Middle Eastern club football with Al-Nasr and Al-Ahly.

As Leeds manager he was criticised for the physical and often negative approach of his teams, though the period was noted for its highly physical football across the country. His resignation as England manager fuelled criticism of him as money-obsessed, and unproven allegations of bribery and financial misconduct also tarnished his reputation. He retired in 1984, but was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in May 1987, which led to his death two years later. He remains a highly popular figure in Leeds, and has a stand named after him at Elland Road as well as a statue outside the ground.

Ian McGraw

Ian McGraw (30 August 1926 – October 2014) was a Scottish footballer, who played as a goalkeeper for Arbroath and Leicester City. He was part of the Leicester squad that reached the 1949 FA Cup Final, but McGraw missed the game due to injury.

Jesse Pye

Jesse Pye (22 December 1919 – 19 February 1984) was an English footballer. He played in the Football League for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Luton Town and Derby County and scored twice in the 1949 FA Cup Final for the former.

Pye's first professional club was Sheffield United whom he joined in 1938. However, the outbreak of World War II and suspension of league football halted his hopes of a league career with the Blades. After war service in North Africa and in Italy, he signed to Notts County in 1945 and played in the transitional league season of 1945-46. At the end of the season, as the Football League prepared to relaunch, he joined First Division Wolverhampton Wanderers for £10,000.

The forward made an instant impact at Molineux, scoring a hattrick on his league debut on 31 August 1946 as Wolves thrashed Arsenal 6-1, and finished the campaign with 21 goals. He continued with his goalscoring exploits the following season, being joint top goalscorer for the club. The next year brought Pye his first taste of silverware as he scored twice in the 1949 FA Cup Final, to help Wolves beat Leicester City 3-1.

His prowess in front of goal won him a call-up to the England team. He had already played in a Victory International on 19 January 1946, scoring in a 2-0 win over Belgium, but eventually made his full debut on 21 September 1949 in a 2-0 defeat against Ireland at Goodison Park. This game, England's first defeat on home soil to a non-Home Nation opponent, would prove to be his only cap.

He suffered a string of injuries during 1950-51, which sidelined him for half the league games, but he recovered to finish as top goalscorer once again the next season. Despite this feat, he was allowed to leave the club at the end of the season, joining Luton Town for £5,000. In total, he played 209 times for Wolves, scoring 95 goals.

Pye settled well at the Second Division club and netted 24 goals in his first season in 1952-53 as the club finished 3rd, just missing promotion. He added a further 37 goals before stunning the club by moving to fellow second tier side Derby County in October 1954.

Despite Pye's firepower, Derby suffered the drop to the Third Division (North). He played one more season at the Baseball Ground, as the team finished 2nd, narrowly missing out on an immediate return to the Second Division.

He left the club in 1957 and became a landlord in Wisbech, also opening several sweet shops. He was signed up to the local non-league football club Wisbech Town, playing in the Midland League. Pye scored the goal that beat Colchester United to put Wisbech Town into the second round proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history in November 1957. He became player/manager of the club in March 1960 and held the post until resigning in April 1967. The following year he sold his shops in the town and moved to Blackpool to become a hotelier.

He died in Blackpool on 19 February 1984 aged 64.

Johnny Duncan (footballer)

John "Johnny" Duncan (nicknamed "Tokey") was a Scottish football player and manager, who is most notable for his time at Leicester City.

He captained the club to its greatest ever league finishes of 3rd and 2nd place in the First Division in 1927–28 and 1928–29 respectively. While also carrying much of the backroom influence at the time as he asserted the club remained faithful to Peter Hodge's passing style. He later managed the club to its first ever major cup final in 1949. He has been described as "an indelible Leicester City great"He also holds the (joint) club record at Leicester for the most goals in a single game, scoring six goals in a 7–0 victory over Port Vale on Christmas Day 1924 (this record was later equalled by Arthur Chandler, who scored the opening goal before Duncan hit his six against Port Vale).Former Leeds United and England manager Don Revie, who played under Duncan at Leicester, dedicates an entire chapter of his autobiography to Duncan, entitled "My Debt to Johnny Duncan" claiming "Until you have heard Johnny Duncan talk about Soccer then your Football Education is sadly lacking."

Johnny King (footballer, born 1926)

John King (5 November 1926 – 11 January 2010) was an English footballer who played as a wing half for Leicester City in the 1940s and 1950s.He was born in Great Gidding and first played for Peterborough United before joining Leicester in September 1943. He made 197 Football League appearances and played for the Foxes in the 1949 FA Cup Final, and remained with the club until July 1955.

List of people from Leicester and Leicestershire

This is a list of notable people born in Leicester, England, or in the county of Leicestershire, educated there, or otherwise associated with the city or county.

Roy Pritchard

Roy Thomas Pritchard (9 May 1925 – January 1993) was an English footballer who played 247 league games at full back in the Football League for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Notts County, and Port Vale. He also played war-time football for Wolves, Mansfield Town, Notts County, Swindon Town and Walsall, and later played Southern League football for Wellington Town. He won the Fourth Division title with Port Vale in 1958–59, and won both the FA Cup with Wolves in 1949, as well as the First Division title in 1953–54.

Sep Smith

Septimus Charles "Sep" Smith (15 March 1912 – 28 July 2006) was an English footballer who played as a creative wing half and originally as an inside forward. Born in Whitburn, County Durham, in 1912, he was the seventh son born in his family, hence the name Septimus.He is often considered the best all round player in Leicester City's history and is also the club's longest serving player of all-time having been a player at the club for 19 years and 246 days, as well as captaining the club for 13 years (making him by far the club's longest serving captain).Smith spent his entire career at Leicester, starting in 1929 and ending in 1949. He made 373 competitive appearances for the Foxes, scoring 37 goals. However, he lost seven seasons of his career because of World War II, during which time he made a further 213 appearances and scored 48 goals during regionalised wartime football. Including these wartime appearances, his tally of 586 appearances makes him Leicester's second top appearance maker of all-time behind Graham Cross.Smith mentored former Leeds United and England manager Don Revie during his time at Leicester. Revie, who dedicated an entire chapter in his autobiography entitled "What I Owe to Sep Smith" claimed "I'm proud now to think of how much time Sep spent passing on his Soccer knowledge to me. He played a big part in my shaping my career." He also referred to Smith as "an extraordinary footballer," saying "he could place the ball within an inch of a man's toe – [and] that when he lobbed the ball to his winger the opposing full back felt the ball graze his hair as he tried to strain his neck that extra inch, like a drowning man trying to lift his head out of the water."He was the guest of honour at the Leicester's final game at Filbert Street (the club's home for over 110 years) in April 2002 and a suite at Leicester's current home ground The King Power Stadium is named after him in recognition of his service to the club.

Terry Springthorpe

Terry Springthorpe (December 4, 1923 in Draycott, Derbyshire, England – July 25, 2006) was an English-American football defender. He began his career in England before moving to the American Soccer League in 1950. He also earned two caps with the U.S. national team.


Wisbech ( WIZ-beech) is a Fenland market town, inland port and civil parish in the Fens of Cambridgeshire, England. It had a population of 31,573 in 2011. The town lies in the far north-east of the county, bordering Norfolk and only 5 miles (8 km) south of Lincolnshire. The tidal River Nene running through the town centre is spanned by two bridges. Before the Local Government Act 1972 came into force in 1974 Wisbech was a municipal borough.

World Forum/Communist Quiz

"World Forum/Communist Quiz" is a Monty Python sketch, which first aired in the 12th episode of the second season of Monty Python's Flying Circus on 15 December 1970. It featured four icons of Communist thought, namely Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Ché Guevara and Mao Zedong being asked quiz questions.

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