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FA Cup, 4th round, 93 years ago

93 years ago yesterday Charlton and Bolton met in 4th round of the FA cup at the Valley.

Both clubs have subsequently made progress in the modernisation of the game with health and safety, community projects, impressive stadiums and spells in the Premiership - not to mention FA Cup wins. Presently alas, both are seemingly heading for the third tier of the football league - it’s a crying shame.

I suppose that that is life for you, but take a look at these two old clips from that game in 1923 - the year that Bolton won the cup in the first Wembley final. Charlton incidentally were the giant killing side from the third division south who had already defeated top flight sides Man City, WBA and PNE

The pitch is a mess, spectator conditions atrocious and the barriers give way in the North stand, (the players politely assist those affected). When the camera angle changes in the second clip we are treated to the view from the back of the East stand. You will note that many thousands are standing on an uneven, muddy cabbage patch excuse for a terrace. However, the view is awe inspiring, the ground pulsating in North, South, East and West. Yes we may have lost, but what drama, what excitement.

Those fans turned up for the football experience. It wasn’t for the clubhouse facilities, the taste of the pies or the comfortable seats. It certainly wasn’t to see second rate players from the back of beyond, who couldn’t give a monkey’s toss for their clubs.

Other things of note are the spectators on the touch line and coppers milling around by the goals, the player’s jerseys, the ref’s suit jacket attire and a possible appearance of Seth Plum?

Please note the second clip starts with a QPR Sheffield United game, but inexplicably changes after a minute or so to the Charlton Bolton game. It really is worth the wait though (about 3.5 minutes) to get a glimpse of that treacherous old east terrace and the excitement that the Charlton and Bolton sides once generated.


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    The Fourth Round was the Quarter Finals wasn't it?
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    Cheers for posting that, I've never seen that 2nd one before. Whenever I see old clips like these, it amazes me that there was never a major disaster at the Valley during the grounds early years, especially on the east or south!
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