When Cup matches continued until there was a result! 1945/6 and today’s anniversaries

By Tony Attwood

1945/6 was a strange season.  The wartime leagues continued as before, for although the war was over, too many players were still away from their clubs in the armed forces.

But the FA Cup came back after its wartime suspension, and for one season only, it was played on a home and away basis after the six preliminary rounds.

The home/away system for this one season meant that draws were less likely over the two legs, and of course reduced the chances of giant killing considerably, as the smaller clubs can often pull off a shock once, but rarely twice against the same team.

However there were some drawn games.   But, there was also a partial ban on mid-week games being played as the government attempted to get the rebuilding programme underway.  With no floodlights on offer, evening games were not on, so a midweek replay would have meant supporters taking an afternoon off work.

It was not a total ban, and as far as I can work out clubs could get permission to play a match mid-week.  But only once, if the Ministry of Labour agreed.

So those replays had to get a result, and clubs agreed among themselves that if after the normal 30 minutes extra time it was still a draw in a replayed cup match, the game would continue until someone scored.

In the 4th round games on 26 and 30 January 1946, Blackpool beat Middlesbrough 3-2 and Middlesbrough then beat Blackpool 3-2.  The replay on 4 February 1946 is recorded as resulting in Blackpool 0 Middlesbrough 1.

In his memoires, Tom Whittaker reports this match.

“I remember the third game between Middlesbrough and Blackpool, on the Leeds United ground, lasting 30 minutes of extra time, and then, played to a finish, going another 31 minutes before the Middlesbrough captain, George Hardwick, brought merciful relief with a penalty.”

From what I can make out, Nottingham Forest v Watford, 3rd round replay on 16 January 1946 was finished in the same way, as was QPR v Crystal Palace on the same day.

Apparently the FA then ordered the practice to be stopped, and presumably reached a compromise with the government.

Arsenal fared poorly in the Cup this season losing 0-6 to West Ham away on 5 January and winning 1-0 in the second leg (played at Tottenham’s ground, Highbury still being in the hands of the War Ministry) on 9 January 1946.

Just another of those little quirky things that has slipped out of most history books.

Here are the anniversaries for 10 June


  • 10 June 1910: Local press reports in SE London confirmed that Henry Norris was willing to sell his Woolwich Arsenal shares to local people.   But it was also confirmed that the 10 June 1910 share issue itself had failed.
  • 10 June 1919: Dr Kevin O’Flanagan born – he played for Arsenal in 1946/7.  He played for Ireland at both football and rugby, was also a sprint champion, and played football for both N Ireland and the Irish Free State.
  • 10 June 1925: Having returned early from Huddersfield’s tour Herbert Chapman met with directors of Huddersfield prior to agreeing to manage Arsenal.
  • 10 June 1936: Arsenal release Frank Hill and Ehud Rogers.  Hill moved on to Blackpool after playing 76 league games.  Rogers had signed for Arsenal in 1934, making 16 league appearances and scoring 5 goals and moved on to Newcastle.
  • 10 June 1945: Tommy Baldwin born.  Some sources quote 1946.  He played first for Wrekenton Juniors before joining Arsenal. He turned professional in 1962, and made his league debut in the 3–0 defeat of Birmingham City in April 1965.
  • 10 June 1966: David Platt born. He was an apprentice at Man U before moving on to Crewe and then Aston Villa.  After that he played in Italy before joining Arsenal from Sampdoria.
  • 10 June 1984: Almost unimaginably, given the state of their relative teams, England beat Brazil 2-0 in Rio with Sansom and Woodcock in the side.
  • 10 June 1985: Brian Talbot sold to Watford after 254 league games and 40 league goals for Arsenal.  After that he moved on to Stoke, WBA, Fulham and Aldershot before playing finally for Sudbury Town, and then moving into management.
  • 10 June 1993: Archie Macauley died.  After a playing career which earned him numerous plaudits he had a very successful managerial career with Norwich, WBA and Brighton, but then, aged 50, having just taken Brighton up, he gave it all up and is said to have become a traffic warden.
  • 10 June 2009: George Eastham finally presented with his World Cup medal.  As a squad member who did not play in the 1966 World Cup Final he had not been granted a medal – but finally got one 43 years later.
  • 10 June 2013: Park Chu Young, on loan to Celta Vigo, was fined for failing to turn up at a match.  He then went on loan to Watford, for whom he played two games, before being sold to Al Shabab.

 The full anniversaries index can be found here.


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