Classic Cup Finals: 1923
TheFA.com takes a look back at the historic match which saw the first ever win for Bolton Wanderers in the first of our new series of 'Classic Cup Finals'...
West Ham United
JR Smith 53
The FA Cup Final
Empire Stadium, Wembley
Saturday 20 April 1923
The first Final at the new stadium at Wembley, played on 28 April 1923, was amrked by disorderly scenes unparalleled in the history of the game. Before the match a crowd of 100,000 outside the stadium rushed the gates, burst the barriers and swarmed onto the field of play. In all about 200,000 people - a record football crowd - squeezed into a space supposed to accomodate 127,000.
The stadium had been completed in 300 working days at a cost of £750,000. The workmen had made use of 25,000 tons of concrete, 1500 tons of steel and half a million rivets.
But for the anger of the mob of 200,000 people, and the presence of King George V in the Royal Box, the match would probably been called off. Although it took three-quarters of an hour after the time fixed fior the start of the match for mounted police to clear the pitch, it was virtually impossible to observe the rules of the game. When a player took a corner kick, for example, the crowd were so close up to the touchline that he could not take his run until policemen had forced people away from the corner of the field.
Bolton won the match 2-0 and took the Cup for the first time, after two previous appearances in the Final. The first Wembley goal came only two minutes after the delayed start, and David Jack, Bolton's inside-right, was the scorer.
Jack leter played in three more finals, one for Bolton and two for Arsenal. He was also the first player for whom a transfer fee of £10,000 was paid. It is said that, while he was shooting into the West Ham net in the 1923 Final, one of the West Ham defenders, Tresadern, was struggling to get back on to the pitch after finding himself the wrong side of part of the crowd on the touch-line.
When half-time came, neither side left the field, and eight minutes after the interval Bolton scored a second. JR Smith, Bolton's centre-forward and the only Scotsman in the match, took a beautiful pass from Vizard on his left and shot home past a perplexed Hufton. The ball rebounded into play so swiftly that few had realised he had scored.
Bolton Wanderers: Pym; Haworth, Finney; Nuttall, Seddon, Jennings; Butler, Jack, JR Smith, J Smith, Vizard
West Ham United: Hufton; Henderson, Young; Bishop, Kay, Tresadem; Richards, Brown, V Watson, Moore, Ruffell
Referee: DH Asson (West Bromwich)