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First Team News

On This Day… 30th April: Part Two

30 April 2020

We felt this story needed a second article, as we look back 82 years to the last time the Lilywhites won the FA Cup Final on this date in 1938.

Having lost to Sunderland the previous year, Preston North End headed to Wembley, having dispatched West Ham United, Leicester City, Arsenal, Brentford and then Aston Villa in the semi-final at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, to reach the FA Cup Final, where they would face Huddersfield Town, who had beaten them in the 1922 showpiece event.
Lining up with a team of: George Holdcroft, Len Gallimore, Andy Beattie, Bill Shankly, captain Tom Smith [It seems to be a good day to be a captain Tom!], Bob Batey, Dickie Watmough, George Mutch, Bud Maxwell, Bobby Beattie and Hugh O'Donnell it was a side that was determined to put right the previous year’s loss to the Rokerites.
It was the first FA Cup Final to be shown live on television and didn’t provide the goal-fest, with 90 minutes, plus 28 minutes of extra-time all played out without a solitary strike, until the last dying embers of the additional half hour.
King George VI had earlier welcomed the players, shaking their hands before the match and would be the man to present the trophy to the victor and that proved to be North End after the decisive late moment.
George Mutch latched onto a gorgeous through pass from Shankly, to go one-on-one with the keeper only to be brought down inside the box by Alf Young, to be subsequently awarded a penalty by London match official Mr A Jewell.
Just like the aforementioned 1922 Cup Final, the penalty was questioned as to whether the tackle had occurred inside the box.
With less than one minute to go, Mutch stepped up, smashed the inside of the crossbar and scored, giving North End the win.
In the build up to the Lilywhites’ goal, TV commentator Thomas Woodroffe had exclaimed: “If there’s a goal scored now, I’ll eat my hat” and, true to his word, the commentator appeared on TV and proceeded to devour a cake in the shape of a boater hat!
A great day, followed by great celebrations, with skipper Smith collecting the trophy from the King, before returning it to great celebrations back in the town.

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