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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888



1900 - 1902

Middlesbrough 3-1 Newcastle United

First round: 9th February 1901

Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough

Scorers: {Middlesbrough} Andy McCowie, Sandy Robertson, Willie Wardrope: {Newcastle} Jock Peddie

Ranked at the time: 21

Second division Middlesbrough recorded their first ever cup victory over top flight opponents in the most satisfactory manner possible by winning a Tyne-Tees derby against first division Newcastle with former magpie, Willie Wardrope scoring the killer goal. 'Boro reached the quarter finals for the first time this season, going down at home to West Bromwich Albion

Middlesbrough: Frail, Ramsey, Smith, McNally, Davidson, Moran, McCowie, Brown, Wilkie, Wardrope, Robertson

Newcastle: Matt Kingsley, Charlie Burgess, David Gardner, Tommy Ghee, Andy Aitken, John Carr, Sandy McFarlane, Alex Gardner, Jock Peddie, Jimmy Laidlaw, Jack Fraser

Woolwich Arsenal 2-0 Blackburn Rovers

First round: 9th February 1901

Scorers: Jimmy Tennant, Lowe

Ranked at the time: 23

Arsenal are a decade away from completing the first unbroken century of top flight football in England, which not only makes them the only club that nobody can remember being outside the top flight but also makes their presence here as a giant killer unique in the history of the club. This indeed is Arsenal's only ever cup upset victory when their mid table second division outfit put paid to the hopes of Blackburn at their Plumstead ground, which today is an industrial estate within a stone throw of Belmarsh prison. Arsenal fought hard in round two but couldn't repeat the fest against West Bromwich Albion.

Arsenal: Jimmy Ashcroft, Duncan McNichol, Jimmy Jackson, Gordon Coles, John Dick, Jack Anderson, Thomas Low, Sandy Main, Ralph Gaudie, Peter Turner, Jimmy Tennant. Manager:Harry Bradshaw

Blackburn: Walter Whittaker, Bob Crompton, Bob Haworth, Jimmy Moir, Sammy McClure, Albert 'Kelly' Houlker, Arnie Whittaker, Peter Somers, Jack dewhurst, Hugh Morgan, Fred Blackburn. Manager:Joseph Walmsley

Preston North End 2-4 Tottenham Hotspur

First round replay: 13th February 1901

Deepdale, Preston

Scorers: {Preston} Frank Becton, Tom Pratt: {Tottenham} Sandy Brown-3, John Cameron

Attendance: 6,000

Ranked at the time: 16

Preston: Peter McBride, Hugh Dunn, Johnny McMahon, Joe Elliott, Peter McIntyre, George Todd, Harold Parker, Andy gara, Tom Pratt, Frank Becton, Ellis Green. 

Managed by committee


Small Heath 2-1 Stoke

First round replay: 13th February 1901

Muntz Street, Birmingham

Scorers: {Small} Bennett, Sid Wharton: {Stoke} Len Benbow

Ranked at the time: 37

Birmingham City, under their former guise of Small Heath, had narrowly missed out on promotion back to the big time, having been relegated in 1896. This season they were on course to put that right when Stoke visited Heath's much critisised Muntz Street Ground for a first round replay after Main had forced a replay the previous Saturday at Victoria Ground. The replay was a tight affair as well, which needed extra time before Sid Wharton sealed the promotion chaser's place in the second round.

Small Heath: Nat Robinson, George Adey, Arthur Archer, Billy Walton, Walter Wigmore, Alex leake, William bennett, Jack Aston, Bobby McRoberts, Walter Main, Sid Wharton. Manager:Alfred Jones

Stoke: Tom Wilkes, Billy Capewell, Jack eccles, Billy leech, Tom Holford, Jimmy Bradley, Freddie Johnson, Mart Watkins, Sam Higginson, Willie Maxwell, Len benbow. Manager:Horace Asturbury

Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Reading

Second round: 23rd February 1901

Burnden Park, Bolton

Attendance 11,592

Scorers: A. Sharp

Ranked at the time: 8

Reading's players in 1901 found themselves in that most horrible of positions for a giant killer when they sent Bolton crshing out in this season's second round, that being the position of having been upstaged by Tottenham on the same day. Reading were a non descript mid table Southern League team at the time who were playing in their eighth F A cup tie that season, having put paid to the chances of both Bristol clubs and securing a record 11-0 victory over the ambitiously named Chesham Generals along the way. Bolton were dreadful on the day and should have been behind long before Sharp's second half winner. Reading's reward was an all non league quarter final with Tottenham but as is so often the case, they fell to their peers having beaten their betters.

Bolton: John Sutcliffe, William Brown, Thomas, Woolfall, John Low, Thomas McAteer, Archie Freebairn, George Smith, Laurie Bell, James McKie, John Picken, William Tracey


Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Bury

Second round: 23rd February 1901

Attendance: 20,250

Scorers: {Tottenham} Sandy Brown-{30, 63}: {Bury} Jasper McCluckie {2}

Ranked at the time: 6


Bury: Fred Thompson, Jack Darroch, Jimmy 'Punch' McEwan, Jack Pray, Joe Leeming, George Ross, Billy Richards, Willie Wood, James McLuckie, Charles Sagar, Jack Plant. Manager: Hamer

Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 West Bromwich Albion

Semi final: 8th April 1901 @ Villa Park, Aston

Attendance: 46,000

Scorers: Sandy Brown-4

Ranked at the time: 13


Albion: Joe Reader, Amos Adams, Archibald Dunn, Tom Perry, Abraham Jones, Harry Hadley, Richard Roberts, Andrew Smith, Jim Stevenson, Fred Wheldon, Billy Walker. Manager:Frank Heaven

Sheffield United 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur

The 1901 F A Cup Final replay

@ Burnden Park, Bolton: 27th April 1901

Attendance - 20,470

Scorers: {Sheffield} Fred Priest {40}: {Tottenham} John Cameron {52}, Tom Smith{76}, Sandy Brown {87}

Ranked at the time: 15

Tottenham Hotspur: George Clawley, Harry Erentz, Sandy Tait, Tom Morris, Ted Hughes, Jack Jones, Tom Smith, John Cameron, Sandy Brown, David Copeland, John Kirwan: Player/manager John Cameron

Sheffield United: Billy Foulke, Henry Thickett, Peter Boyle, Harold Johnson, Thomas Morren, Ernest Needham, Walter Bennett, Charles Field, George Hedley, Fred Priest, Bert Lipsham

In 1901 Southern League Tottenham became the first, and to date only club from outside the top two divisions to win the cup in over a century of cup football since the second division was formed in 1892. In doing so they also equalled Notts County's 189 record of defeating four elite clubs during their cup run. The first round replay defeat of Preston was good but hardly earth shattering as the Deepdale club were heading for relegation. It was the seond round victory over cup holders and title chasing Bury which really gripped the public imagination, especially as Tottenham had needed to come back from going behind toa goal within the first two minutes. Reading were the only non top flight club Spurs faced during the run and after knocking them out in a replayed quarter final they then demolished a hapless West Brom side at Villa Park who, like Preston, would end the season with relegation. Sheffield United were also not having the best of seasons when they faced Spurs in the final, in which Sandy Brown set a record for having scored in every round. The London club though didn't actually win the cup in London as so many northern and midland sides had done in the past. Spurs had to travel north to Bolton's Burnden Park to win a replay. That the game went to a replay at all was down to a dreadful decision by the respcted cup final referee Arthur Kingscott who awarded Sheffield United an equalising goal in a 2-2 drawn first game at Crystal Palace when the now long since lost newsreel footgae clearly showed that he was wrong. The replay had been scheduled to take place at Everton's Goodison Park but a switch was forced when Liverpool protested that this would hamper their chances of a good gate at their league game with Nottingham Forest. The game was switched to Burnden Park which led to a disastrous attendance. Liverpool still didn't profit and ended up with egg on their faces when rivals Everton hastily arranged a friendly with Third Lanark which attracted a full house and left Anfield almost empty. In truth Tottenham didn't play as well in the replay as they had in the first game and their equaliser and second gaol were both very much against the run of play. The second goal turned the tide though and by the time Sandy Brown sealed th win late on, United were clearly a beaten side.

Background image: Tottenham's Sandy Brown scores their second goal in the 1901 cup final replay against Sheffield United