Historical Football Kits


English FA Cup Finalists 1930 - 1939

1933 fa cup finalThe remarkable thing about the Thirties was how frequently the same clubs fetched up in the finals. Manchester City, Portsmouth, Preston and West Bromwich Albion all appeared twice, winning one and losing one final. Arsenal won two matches in three appearances while poor old Huddersfield lost two finals.

Numbers were worn on the back of players' shirts for the first time in 1933. Everton wore 1-11 and Manchester City 12-23.

1929 - 1930

Arsenal 2 Huddersfield Town 0

venue Wembley Stadium
date 26 April 1930

The two great teams that Herbert Chapman built met on a sunny afternoon at Wembley. Arsenal, with their famous forward line proved the stronger side, scoring once in each half while the enormous Graf Zeppelin hovered overhead. Arsenal had won the cup for the first time in their history.

(Barry Weekley)


1930 - 1931

West Bromwich Albion 2 Birmingham 1

venue Wembley Stadium
date 25 April 1931

West Bromwich Albion had just been promoted from the Second Division and now met Midlands rivals, Birmingham in the FA Cup final. Albion took the lead in pouring rain but City equalised. Straight from the kick-off, Richardson dribbled through the Birmingham defence to score the winning goal.


1931 - 1932

Newcastle United 2 Arsenal 1

venue Wembley Stadium
date 23 April 1932

Arsenal were near their peak and had finished as runners up in the First Division while Newcastle had had an indifferent campaign. When Arsenal scored, the match appeared to be theirs but seven minutes before half-time, United equalised with what became known as the "over the line" goal. Photographs later confirmed that the ball had run over the dead-ball line before Richardson crossed it. The Arsenal defenders expected a goal-kick but the referee failed to blow and Allen headed home unchallenged. The Gunners did not recover and with eight minutes left, Allen scored what proved to be the winner.


1932 - 1933

Everton 3 Manchester City 0

venue Wembley Stadium
date 29 April 1933

Everton were enjoying their most successful period to date, in no small measure due to the goals scored by Dixie Dean. Promoted to Division 1 in 1931, they were champions in 1932 and now were to add the FA Cup to their trophies. They quickly took control of the match with goals from Stein, Dunne and, inevitably, Dean. For the first time, players wore numbers on their shirts: Everton 1-11 while City were 12-22. The kits were made for the final and the choice made by the clubs in advance. City chose scarlet shirts and white knickers while Everton opted for white shirts, black shorts and socks all trimmed in blue. The FA, however, ruled that blue should be left out of the picture altogether.


1933 - 1934

Manchester City 2 Portsmouth 1

venue Wembley Stadium
date 28 April 1934

Manchester City returned to Wembley once again, now in a maroon and white change kit, and this time they were successful. Portsmouth took the lead as thunder and lightning played around the stadium and held it until the 73rd minute. When their centre-half was carried off City saw their chance and scored an equaliser. With three minutes left, Tilson scored the decisive goal. The young Frank Swift, City's goalkeeper, was so overwhelmed that he fainted after the final whistle.


1934 - 1935

Sheffield Wednesday 4 West Bromwich Albion 2

venue Wembley Stadium
date 27 April 1935

For the third season in a row both teams changed because of a colour clash. Wednesday were doing well in the League while Albion had a great FA Cup tradition behind them. The match lived up to expectations as both teams attacked. Wednesday scored after two minutes but Albion equalised with a stunning goal scored by their left winger, Boyes. Wednesday restored their lead but with 15 minutes left, Albion equalised for the second time. With five minutes to play Richardson missed an easy chance to put Albion ahead and soon afterwards, Rimmer netted twice in a dramatic finale.

(Tim Ashmore)


1935 - 1936

Arsenal 1 Sheffield United 0

venue Wembley Stadium
date 25 April 1936

Arsenal made their third appearance of the decade at Wembley resplendent in their new red and white shirts. With a team packed with England players, the Gunners were at the height of their powers and expected to dismiss Sheffield United, then in the Second Division, without too much difficulty. In fact, the Blades put up a spirited fight and it took a thunderbolt from Ted Drake to settle the matter with 15 minutes left.


1936 - 1937

Sunderland 3 Preston North End 1

venue Wembley Stadium
date 1 May 1937

Despite their achievements in the League, Sunderland had never won the FA Cup. When Preston took the lead just before half-time it looked as if the trophy would remain out of their grasp. In the second half they were transformed, scoring three times to add the cup to the league championship they had won the previous season.


1937 - 1938

Preston North End 1 Huddersfield Town 0 (Extra time played)

venue Wembley Stadium
date 30 April 1938

Preston returned to Wembley for a re-run of the 1922 final played at Stamford Bridge. A dull game was won by Preston from a penalty kick, in the final minute of extra time. Ironically, Huddersfield had won their previous encounter with a penalty.


1938 - 1939

Portsmouth 4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

venue Wembley Stadium
date 29 April 1939

Wolves had a brilliant, youthful side lying second in the League while Portsmouth were struggling to ward off relegation. As happens so often in the FA Cup, the hot favourites came unstuck.

The 1920s | FA Cup Finals | The 1940s