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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888




The competition had two rounds before the quarter finals and League membership did not guarantee a place in the first round. One club did not enter and several others were made to qualify.

Stoke 1-2 Warwick County

First qualifying round: October 6th 1888 {After Extra Time}

Victoria Ground, Stoke

Attendance: 1,500

Scorers: {Stoke}: Tom Wainwright: {2} {Warwick}:

Ranked at the time: 1

The Football League was only a few weeks old when Stoke took on Warwick County in their first ever cup tie as a league club. A home defeat pretty much rounded off a dreadfull year for the Potteries club in which they finished bottom of the league and required re-election to retain their place among the elite. Warwick County had earned their little piece of footballing history by becomming the first non league club to beat a league side, though it caused barely a ripple in the press at the time as the status of league clubs was yet to be realised. County failed to reach the competition proper and quickly vanished.

Stoke: 1:Charlie Hassall, 2:Albert Bourne, 3:Edgar Montford, 4:Tom Wainwright, 5:Albert Farmer, 6:Will Holford, 7:Jimmy Sayer, 8:Tom Forrester, 9:Harry Montford, 10:Alf Edge, 11:Billy Tunnicliffe. Manager:Harry Lockett

Warwick County:

Linfield Athletic 4-0 Bolton Wanderers

Second qualifying round: 17th November 1888

The Meadow, Belfast


Scorers: Gaffiken, Johnston, Pedan {2}

Ranked at the time: 1

The F A cup was never intended to be a competition for English clubs alone, hence Bolton's trip to Belfast to take on Linfield in the qualifying rounds of the 1888 competition. The Irish club were a good outfit who totally outplayed their English opponents before being forced to withdraw from the competition due to the costs involved. The Irish Association later banned its members from entering the F A cup, leaving Linfield to go on and dominate the semi professional Irish game. Their Meadow Ground, behind Sandy Row was little more than a playing field and was quickly abandoned in 1889 when the club built their first proper stadium on Ulsterville Avenue.

Linfield: 1:Gordon, 2:Close, 3:Morrison, 4:J Torrans, 5:Christian, 6:McKeown, 7:Gaffiken, 8:R Torrans, 9:Pedan, 10:Johnston, 11:S Torrans. Manager:Committee

Bolton: 1:Moores, 2:j Haydock, 3:Jackson, 4:Greenhalgh, 5:W Simmers, 6:Joe Pearson, 7:Walter Rushton, 8:Knowles, 9:Richard Turner, 10:Jimmy Turner, 11:Whittle. Manager: John Bentley

Wednesday 3-2 Notts County

Second round: 16th February 1889

Olive Grove, Sheffield

Att: 10,000

scorers: {Sheffield} Ingram, Tom Cawley, Winterbottom: {Notts} Alf Shelton, Frederick Snook

Ranked at the time: 1

Many believed that it was a huge oversight for Wednesday to have been left out of the Football League, although late efforts had been made to extend the programme to allow them entry. Their lot instead was to be the leading non league club in the country, starting by sending Notts County crashing out of the cup before they went down themselves at Wolves in the quarter finals.

Wednesday 1:J Smith, 2:F Thompson, 3:Brayshaw, 4:Dungworth, 5:Betts, 6:Waller, 7:Wnterbottom, 8:Ingram, 9:Woolhouse, 10:Cawley, 11:Mumford. Manager:Committee

County: 1:Tom Widdowson, 2:Tom McLean, 3:John Clements, 4:George Brown, 5:Charles Shelton, 6:Alf Shelton, 7:Bill Hodder, 8:Frederick Snook, 9:Harry Jackson, 10:Harry Daft, 11:Teddy May. Manager:Edwin Browne