Today is the 100th anniversary of the first FA Cup final played at Wembley Stadium, and we should acknowledge the heroes who may not of brought the cup home to East London, but played their part in an historic event.
the Stadium was supposed to host 120,000 fans for the game, but despite trying to close the turnstiles well before an hour before kick-off, The fans locked out decided to just climb over the fencing and into the ground. The estimate of the actual attendance range from 250,000 to 300,00. What is known is its the largest crowd to watch a football game in the country.
The overcrowding quickly led to fans mingling on the pitch and the game looked destined not to be played. That was until, PC George Scorey, on his grey horse, Billy, decided to try force the cord back. Thanks to his effort the pitch was cleared and the game took place.
The video tells the story of the 11 men who played for West Ham and you can hear 1st hand testimony of a fan that attended the game, and the Bolton goalkeeper Dick Pym, who was the last living player from that game.
28th April 1923
100 years ago
West Ham played Bolton in the first FA Cup final to be played at the Empire Stadium, Wembley.
Short film commemorates that day and the 11 men who were some of the first legends of the club.
— 6 Foot 2 (@6foot2news) April 27, 2023
The FA cup wasn’t the only great event for the club that season. They also managed to be promoted to the top flight, Division One, of English football.
Just two days after losing in the Cup final, we defeated Sheffield Wednesday 2-0, with goals from Vic Watson and Billy Brown to set up a last game of the season shoot out the following Saturday against Notts County. County were joint top on 51 points along with the Hammers and Leicester City. County defeated The Hammers 1-0 in front of 26000 fans at Upton park, but luckily for West Ham, Leicester also lost and so it was both County and West Ham who were promoted to top flight.
The stay in top flight would last 9 years before the cloud of relegation finally engulfed us in 1932.