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History

75th Anniversary Of FA Cup Triumph

30 April 2013

On this day in 1938, Preston North End triumphed in the FA Cup Final against Huddersfield Town.

We take a look back to that special day for the Club with a superb gallery of images, courtesy of our Club historian Ian Rigby and a look back to the game itself…

After victories against West Ham United, Leicester City, Arsenal, Brentford and Aston Villa in the previous rounds, the Lilywhites travelled to Wembley Stadium to face the Terriers in a repeat of the 1922 Final which the Yorkshire club won by a solitary goal.

This was to be the first ever FA Cup Final which was televised and with a TV audience and a crowd of over 93,000 inside the stadium, anticipation was through the roof for the contest.

North End were led out by acting manager James Taylor, after the Deepdale board decided not to appoint a new manager following the resignation of Tommy Muirhead in the summer of 1937.

When the Lilywhites took to the field of play, their fans could have had cause for concern when they saw that Jimmy Dougal had been joined by Jimmy Milne in missing the match, after both players failed to make the Final through injury.

The duo had played in every round until the final so it was a great shame that they both missed out on such a special occasion.

Dougal was replaced in the starting XI by James Maxwell and Bob Batey deputised for Milne.

After the customary tradition of meeting the King, the action got underway on the park.

The first half of this historic occasion was covered by Arsenal manager George Allison who was commentating despite the Gunners playing against Liverpool that very day.

Despite both teams’ best endeavours, the defences were well and truly on top, as chances proved hard to come by and the referee Mr Jewell blew for half-time with the score still all-square.

After another tense 45 minutes; this time with commentary provided by Lieutenant-Commander Thomas Woodrooffe, the game entered extra-time.

Like the first half, chances were hard to come by in the second, with Bill Shankly coming closest to breaking the deadlock for the Lilywhites.

As the clock ticked down, everyone began to think that the game was heading to a replay as there was no goal insight, with Woodrooffe saying as much as the match entered the final of its 120 minutes, ‘if there is a goal now, I’ll eat my hat’, exclaimed the former naval officer.

Then, no sooner had the words left his mouth than North End’s inside right George Mutch picked up the ball and bore down on goal.

As he was about to pull the trigger, Huddersfield captain Alf Young stuck out his left leg, sending Mutch sprawling onto the hallowed Wembley turf leaving Jewell with no choice but to award a penalty.

As Wembley held its breath, Scotland’s Mutch dusted himself down and placed the ball on the spot before blasting it in off the crossbar with his right foot, past the despairing Bob Hesford in the Huddersfield goal.

The North End fans were jubilant and Mutch had more than justified his £5,000 transfer from Manchester United.

No sooner had the Terriers took centre, than the full-time whistle was blown and Preston North End was FA Cup winners once again.

On their return to Lancashire, the players paraded through the flag-market in the town, showing the trophy to the loyal Prestonian fans.

And as for Thomas Woodrooffe, he did go on to eat a bowler hat live on television – although it was made of cake and marzipan!

Did you know? The captain of the Cup winning side, Tom Smith, has a plaque in his name in the dug outs at Deepdale!


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