1954 FA Cup Final

The 1954 FA Cup Final was a football match between West Bromwich Albion and Preston North End, played on 1 May 1954 at the original Wembley Stadium in London. It was the final match of the 1953–54 staging of English football's primary cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup (better known as the FA Cup). The match was the 73rd FA Cup Final and the 26th to be played at Wembley.

West Bromwich Albion were appearing in their ninth final, having won the cup on three previous occasions, while Preston had won the competition twice and were playing in the final for the sixth time. The two clubs had met in one final before in 1888, with Albion winning 2–1 on that occasion; in this match, Albion won 3–2. Ronnie Allen opened the scoring but Preston soon equalised through Angus Morrison. Preston then took the lead through Charlie Wayman although the goal was probably offside. Allen equalised from the penalty spot before a late goal from Frank Griffin secured the cup for Albion for the fourth time. This capped off the club's greatest ever season as they also finished second in the table, agonisingly losing out on 'the double' to Black Country rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The last surviving member of the winning team, Ray Barlow, died in March 2012 at the age of 85. As of June 2019, Tommy Docherty is the only surviving player from the match.

1954 FA Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view)
Event1953–54 FA Cup
West Bromwich Albion Preston North End
3 2
Date1 May 1954
VenueWembley Stadium, London
RefereeArthur Luty (Leeds)


1954 FA Cup memorabilia
Memorabilia from the final on display at the National Football Museum in Preston.

Both clubs were members of the First Division, West Bromwich Albion having finished as runners-up during the 1953–54 league season and Preston North End 11th. Albion were victorious in both league matches between the two sides, winning 2–0 at Deepdale and 3–2 at The Hawthorns.[1] The teams had met on six previous occasions in the FA Cup. Albion had won four of those ties, including the 1886–87 semi-final and 1888 final, while Preston were victorious in the semi-finals of 1888–89 and 1936–37.[2]

Route to the final

West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion
Round Opposition Score
3rd Chelsea (h) 1–0
4th Rotherham United (h) 4–0
5th Newcastle United (h) 3–2
6th Tottenham Hotspur (h) 3–0
Semi-final Port Vale (n) 2–1

As a First Division club, West Bromwich Albion entered the FA Cup at the third round stage. They began their 61st FA Cup campaign at home against Chelsea, whom they beat 1–0 thanks to an own goal by Ron Greenwood.[3] Their next cup match saw Albion defeat Rotherham United 4–0, in what was the first ever meeting between the two sides in any competition. Johnny Nicholls scored two of the goals and Ronnie Allen and Reg Ryan one each.[4] A hat-trick from Ronnie Allen gave Albion a 3–2 win against Newcastle United in round five in a thrilling match. The game was played in front of 61,088 spectators, the highest attendance at The Hawthorns for 16 years. An estimated 20,000 more were locked out.[5] Albion were then drawn at home for the fourth round in succession; this time Tottenham Hotspur were the visitors as the competition reached the quarter-final stage. A free-kick by Ray Barlow and two goals from Johnny Nicholls resulted in a 3–0 West Bromwich Albion victory.[6]

Staffordshire rivals and Third Division North leaders Port Vale were the opposition in the semi-final, which was played at the neutral venue of Villa Park in front of a near 70,000 crowd. Vale's Albert Leake opened the scoring before the break, but Albion equalised just after the hour when Jimmy Dudley's cross evaded the Vale goalkeeper Ray King and ended up in the net. Ronnie Allen, playing against his former team, scored the winning goal for Albion from a penalty kick, following a foul on George Lee.[7] leading to scenes of wild celebration from the Albion supporters.

Match details

West Bromwich Albion3–2Preston North End
Allen Goal 21' Goal 63' (pen.)
Griffin Goal 87'
(Report) Morrison Goal 22'
Wayman Goal 51'
West Bromwich Albion
Preston North End
GK 1 England Jim Sanders
RB 2 England Joe Kennedy
LB 3 England Len Millard (c)
RH 4 Scotland Jimmy Dudley
CH 5 England Jimmy Dugdale
LH 6 England Ray Barlow
OR 7 England Frank Griffin
IR 8 Republic of Ireland Reg Ryan
CF 9 England Ronnie Allen
IL 10 England Johnny Nicholls
OL 11 England George Lee
England Vic Buckingham
GK 1 England George Thompson
RB 2 Scotland Willie Cunningham
LB 3 England Joe Walton
RH 4 Scotland Tommy Docherty
CH 5 Australia Joe Marston
LH 6 Scotland Willie Forbes
OR 7 England Tom Finney
IR 8 England Bobby Foster
CF 9 England Charlie Wayman
IL 10 Scotland Jimmy Baxter
OL 11 Scotland Angus Morrison
Scotland Scot Symon


  1. ^ McOwan, Gavin (2002). The Essential History of West Bromwich Albion. Headline. p. 245. ISBN 0-7553-1146-9.
  2. ^ Matthews, Tony; Mackenzie, Colin (1987). Albion! A Complete Record of West Bromwich Albion 1879–1987. Breedon Books. pp. 157–164. ISBN 0-907969-23-2.
  3. ^ Matthews (2004) pp. 62–63.
  4. ^ Matthews (2004) pp. 68–69.
  5. ^ Matthews (2004) pp. 74–75.
  6. ^ Matthews (2004) pp. 82–83.
  7. ^ Matthews (2004) pp. 88–89.
1953–54 FA Cup

The 1953–54 FA Cup was the 73rd staging of the world's oldest football cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup. West Bromwich Albion won the competition for the fourth time, beating Preston North End 3–2 in the final at Wembley.

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.

1953–54 in English football

The 1953–54 season was the 74th season of competitive football in England.

Angus Morrison (footballer)

Angus Cameron Morrison (26 April 1924 – 18 December 2002) was a Scottish footballer who played as an outside left in the Football League.

Angus Morrison started his professional football career with his local Highland Football League club, Ross County F.C., who now play in the Scottish Premier League.

He moved to Derby County in October 1944, for the fee of one box of cigars. While at Derby, Morrison played 52 times and scored 21 goals.

In November 1948, Morrison moved to Preston North End. During a highly successful tenure, he made 262 appearance, scoring 70 goals, including one in the 1954 FA Cup Final, when Preston lost out to West Bromwich Albion. Sir Tom Finney said of Morrison, "He was a very, very nice fellow who was quite unassuming. He was very popular with the fans and a very good player. Angus was a big strong lad, he was about 6ft, but he was quite quick and a good goalscorer. He was a very good player to have in your side." In 1957 Morrison transferred to Millwall, making 15 appearances and scoring 4 goals.

In his later years, he served as team manager at Nuneaton Borough and Belper Town and as a coach at Ripley Miners Welfare.

Bob Holmes (footballer)

Robert Holmes, (23 June 1867 – 17 November 1955) was a professional footballer, who played for Preston North End.

Cleator Moor Celtic F.C.

Cleator Moor Celtic Football Club is a football club based in Cleator Moor, Cumbria, England. The club are currently members of the North West Counties League Division One North and play at McGrath Park, on Birks Road, Cleator Moor.

Des Thompson

Desmond Thompson (4 December 1928 – July 2010) was an English professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper for York City, Burnley and Sheffield United. He was born in Southampton, the son of George Thompson, the Southampton goalkeeper.His brother, George was also a professional goalkeeper, who played for Scunthorpe United, Preston North End, Manchester City and Carlisle United including playing for Preston on the losing side in the 1954 FA Cup Final.

Eric Jones (footballer, born 1931)

Eric Jones (born 23 June 1931 in Ulverston) is an English former football player, who played for Preston North End, Nottingham Forest, Doncaster Rovers, Accrington Stanley, Southport and Lancaster City in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Jones nearly signed for Blackburn Rovers, but he had to do National Service in the RAF. Following the completion of his National Service, Jones signed for Preston North End. Eric was born in Ulverston, but was brought up in Preston and was a keen PNE supporter. Eric was an understudy to Tom Finney. Playing in the same position as Finney, a regular England international, meant that Eric found it extremely difficult to get regular first team appearances. Jones was unlucky not to play in the 1954 FA Cup Final, which Finney played in despite not being fully fit. Jones had deputised for Tom Finney against West Bromwich Albion only three weeks before at The Hawthorns and in his own words "had played well". In fact Eric says that after the game Len Millard came up to him and said "Good match son, I can see who has been training you", referring to the fact that he was playing on the right wing with a left foot, similar to Finney.Jones was friendly with Peter Higham and he followed him to Nottingham Forest. Jones went on to play for Doncaster Rovers, Accrington Stanley, Southport and Lancaster City in the remainder of his career.

Frank Griffin (English footballer)

Frank Albert Griffin (28 March 1928 – 4 June 2007) was a professional football player. He played as a winger and his most notable achievement was scoring the winning goal in the 1954 FA Cup Final.

George Lee (footballer)

George Lee (4 June 1919 – 1 April 1991) was an English footballer who played left wing for York City, Nottingham Forest And West Bromwich Albion. After retiring from playing he became coach at West Bromwich Albion and later Norwich City.

George Thompson (footballer, born 1900)

George Herbert Thompson (1900 – 6 June 1968) was an English footballer who played for York City and Southampton as a goalkeeper during the 1920s.

George Thompson (footballer, born 1926)

George Herbert Thompson (15 September 1926 – 7 March 2004) was an English footballer who played as a goalkeeper in the 1950s and 1960s for Scunthorpe United, Preston North End, Manchester City and Carlisle United including playing on the losing side in the 1954 FA Cup Final.

Jimmy Baxter (footballer, born 1925)

James Cunningham Baxter (8 November 1925 – May 1994) was a Scottish footballer, who played for Dunfermline Athletic, Barnsley, Preston North End and Morecambe. He scored more than 100 Football League goals, and was part of the Preston North End team in the 1954 FA Cup Final.

Jimmy Sanders (footballer)

James Sanders (5 July 1920 – 11 August 2003) was an English footballer who played as a goalkeeper, most notably for West Bromwich Albion.

Joe Kennedy (footballer)

Joseph Peter Kennedy (15 November 1925 – 17 September 1986) was an English professional footballer who played at centre half for the majority of his career, virtually all of which was spent at West Bromwich Albion.

Joe Marston Medal

The Joe Marston Medal is an A-League award given to the player of the match in the A-League Grand Final each year. Introduced in 1990, previously the award was also given to the best player in the National Soccer League grand final. The medal is named after Joe Marston, who played for Australia national association football team in the 1950s and was a member of the Preston North End side that played in the 1954 FA Cup Final.

Johnny Nicholls

John Nicholls (3 April 1931 – 1 April 1995), better known as Johnny Nicholls or sometimes Jack Nicholls, was an English footballer who played as a forward. During his professional career he represented West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City and Exeter City.

Len Millard

Leonard Millard (7 March 1919 – 15 March 1997), better known as Len Millard, was an English footballer who played the majority of his career at left back.

Tom Finney

Sir Thomas Finney (5 April 1922 – 14 February 2014) was an English footballer who played from 1946 to 1960 as an outside left for Preston North End and England. He is widely acknowledged to have been one of the sport's greatest-ever players. He was noted for his loyalty to Preston, for whom he made 569 first-class appearances, and for many outstanding performances in international matches.

In later life, Finney was Club President of both Preston and of non-league Kendal Town F.C. For his charitable work, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1961 New Year Honours and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1992 New Year Honours and was knighted in the 1998 New Year Honours.

Tommy Docherty

Thomas Henderson Docherty (born 24 April 1928), commonly known as "The Doc", is a Scottish former football player and manager. Docherty played for several clubs, most notably Preston North End, and represented Scotland 25 times between 1951 and 1959. He then managed a total of 13 clubs between 1961 and 1988, as well as managing the Scottish national team. Docherty was manager of Manchester United between 1972 and 1977, during which time United were relegated to the Second Division but promoted at the first attempt.

Qualifying rounds
FA Cup Finals
League Cup Finals
FA Charity Shields
Football League play-off Finals
Other matches
FA Cup Finals
Football League War Cup Finals
FA Community Shields
Football League play-offs
Other matches
FA competitions
Football League
Lower leagues
Related to national team

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.