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The Giant Killers

Every F A cup slaying since 1888


Pompey emerged on the national stage in 1901 when they knocked Grimsby out of the cup and won the Southern League title, which should have been sufficient to earn the club a place in the League but it was almost twenty years before they became founder members of division three in 1920 and reached the big time in 1927 with the F A cup arriving at Fratton Park in 1939. Portsmouth's golden age was 1949 and 1950 when they clinched back to back titles but the rot set in at the end of the decade with relegation in 1959 and a drop back into the third division in 1961. It was over a quarter of a century before Pompey made it back to the big time in 1987 and ended the long wait for a second F A cup in 2008 when Nwankwu Kanu silenced Cardiff. By 2010 Pompey were in a mess both on and off the pitch as relegation from the top flight came along with being put into administration. With Portsmouth's greatest days having been in the thirties and forties it's hardly surprising that their two most notable cup exits come from this period. Their 1935 exit at Bristol City is now but a footnote in the club history but Pompey fans will always rue the fact that the club should have done the League and cup double in 1949, their bid being scuppered in a semi final that most felt they only had to turn up to win. Their opponents from Leicester forgot to read the script however.

Magic Moments


2-0 vs Grimsby Town

First round replay: January 29th 1902

Attendance: 12,000

Scorers: Frank Bedingfield, Arthur Chadwick

Ranked at the time: 18

Today: outside the top 300


2-0 @ Small Heath

First round: 4th February 1905

Attendance: 23,000

Scorers: Lee, Steve Smith

Ranked at the time: 8

Today: outside the top 100


2-1 @ Manchester United

First round replay: 16th January 1907


Scorers: Bill Kirby, John Hunter

Ranked at the time: 17

Today: Outside the top 200