1888 FA Cup Final Score: West Bromwich Albion 2 Preston North End 1
Match Venue: Kennington Oval, London
Date: Saturday 24th March 1888
Scorers: West Bromwich Albion – George Woodhall, Jem Bayliss. Preston North End – FredDewhurst
West Bromwich Albion Team: Bob Roberts, Albert Aldridge, Harry Green, Ezra Horton, Charlie Perry, George Timmins, Billy Bassett, George Woodhall, Jem Bayliss, Joe Wilson, Tom Pearson.
Preston North End Team: Dr. R. H. Mills-Roberts, Bob Howarth, Nick J. Ross, Bob Holmes, David Russell, Johnny Graham Jack Gordon, Jimmy Ross, John Goodall, Fred Dewhurst, George Drummond.
Referee: Major Francis Marindin
1888 FA Cup Final Match Report
After two final defeats in successive years, the West Bromwich Albion squad won at their third attempt. Preston North End, their opponents, had annihilated Hyde 26-0 in an earlier round, to this day a record score in the FA Cup competition, and had forty-three consecutive victories to their credit and a FA Cup goal-tally of fifty for and only two against. Jimmy Ross scored eight goals in that particular game, and he went on to score 19 goals in the FA Cup competition that season, a record at the time.
They were so supremely confident of winning the 1888 FA Cup Final, so the story goes that their captain asked if the team could be photographed with the trophy before the match.
For the first time, the ground was closed for a football match – on a 19,000 crowd inside the Oval – and unfancied West Bromwich Albion gained a popular, if surprising, victory. With a weekly wage bill of £10, a side of purely local Staffordshire extraction took on ‘Proud Preston,’ a team of highly paid artists, and won by two goals (Bayliss and Woodhall) to one, after Dewhurst’s equalizer for Preston North End had been hotly disputed.
The open, long-passing game of West Bromwich Albion, backed by their tremendous enthusiasm, swept aside Preston’s artistry and achieved a victory primarily inspired by their diminutive outside-right and captain Billy Bassett, essentially a man for the big occasion.
1888 FA Cup Qualifying Rounds
Scarborough v Shankhouse *; South Bank v East End, Newcastle 3-2; Elswick Rangers v Church Institute 2-0; Whitburn v Middlesbrough 0-4; Sunderland v Morpeth Harriers 3-2; West End, Newcastle v Redcar 5-1; Gateshead v Darlington 0-3; Church v Cliftonville, Belfast *; Oswaldtwistle R v Witton 3—4; Rawtenstall v Darwen 1-3; Blackburn R v Bury wo; Accrington Stanley v Rossendale 11-0; Blackburn Park Road v Belfast Distillery 3-6; Burnley v Darwen Old Wand 4-0; Blackburn Olympic bye; Liverpool Stanley v Halliwell 1 -4; Higher Walton v Heywood Central 8-1; Bootle v Workington 6-0; Hurst v Astley Bridge 5-3 (Hurst disqualified); PRESTON NORTH END v Hyde 26-0; South Shore v Denton 2-0; Bolton Wand v Everton 2-2,1-1,2-1; Fleetwood Rangers v West Manchester 4-1; Stoke v Burslem Port Vale 1-0; Leek v Northwich Vie 2-4; Chirk v St Oswald’s, Chester4-1; Crewe Alexander v Druids 5-0; Vale o fLlangollen v Oswestry O-2; Chester v Davenham 2-3; Macclesfield v Shrewsbury T 1 -3; Over Wand v Wellington St George’s 3-1; Wrexham Olympic bye; Aston Shakespeare v Burton Wand 2-3 (Burton disqualified); Walsall Swifts v Wolves 1 -2; Walsall T v Mitchell’s St George’s 1 -2; Warwick Co v Excelsior 0-5; Small Heath Alliance v Aston Unity 6-1; Stafford Road v Gt Bridge Unity 2-1; WEST BROMWICH ALBION v Wednesbury Old Ath 7-1; Burton Swifts v Birmingham Southfield 7-0; Oldbury T v Aston Villa 0-4; Staveley v Derby Co 1 -2; Ecclesfield v Derby Midland 4-1; Sheffield v Lockwood Brothers 1 -3; Long Eaton Rangers v Park Grange 6-3; Belper T v Sheff Wed 2-3; Owlerton v Eckington Works 2-1; Derby St Luke’s v Derby Junction 2-3; Heeley v Attercliffe 9-0; Matlock v Rotherham 2-3; Basford R v Lincoln Albion 3-2; Notts Rangers v Jardines 10-1; Lincoln Lindum v Grantham 0-4; Notts Swifts v Nottingham Forest 1-2; Gainsboro Trinity v Boston 7-0; Mellor’s Limited v Notts Olympic 1-2; Lincoln C v Horncastle 4-1; Cleethorpes v Grimsby T 0-4; Lincoln Ramblers v Notts Co 0-9; Chatham v Luton T 5—1; Rochester v Royal Engineers 0—3; Hitchin v Old Wykehamists 2-5; Millwall R v Casuals *; Crusaders, Belfast v Lyndhurst 9-0; Lancing Old Boys v Old Etonians 2-4; Clapton v Old Westminsters 1-4; Old St Mark’s v East Sheen 7-2; Reading v Dulwich 0-2; Gt Marlow v South Reading 4-1; Old Brightonians v Swindon T 1 -0; Old Carthusians v Hanover Utd 5-0; Chesham v Watford R 1 -3; Swifts v Maidenhead 3-1; London Caledonians v Old Foresters 1 -6; Hendon v Old Harrovians 2-4; Hotspur bye – * = Score Unknown.
Darlington v Elswick Rangers 4-3; Sunderland v Belfast Distillery 3-1; Middlesbro v South Bank 4-1; Shankhouse bye; Blackburn Olympic v Blackburn R 1-5; West End. Newcastlev Witton 2-4; Accrington S v Darwen Old Wand 3-2; Darwen v Church 2-0; Astley Bridge v Halliwell 0-4; Fleetwood Rangers v Higher Walton 1-3; Bootle v South Shore 1-1 (Bootle claimed match); PRESTON NORTH END v Bolton Wand 9-1; Wrexham Olympic v Davenham 1-2; Chirk v Shrewsbury T 10-2; Northwich Vie v Crewe Alex 1 -0; Over Wand v Stoke-on-Trent 0-3; Oswestry bye; Burton Swifts v Gt Bridge Unity 2-5; Lockwood Brother’s bye; Small Heath Alliance v Aston Villa 0-4; Wolves v Aston Shakespeare 3-0; Mitchell’s St George’s v WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0-1; Birmingham Excelsior bye; Owlerton v Sheffield Heeley 1 -0; Derby Junction v Rotherham 3-2; Long Eaton Rangers v Sheff Wed 1 -2; Derby Co v Ecclesfield 6-0; Lincoln C v Gainsboro Tr 2-1; Grantham v Notts Rangers 0-4; Notts County v Basford R wo; Nott’m Forest v Mellors Limited 2-0; Grimsby T bye; Old Etonians v Old St Mark’s 3-2; Chatham v Royal Engineers 3-1; Old Wykehamists v Crusaders. Belfast 2-3; Old Westminsters v Millwall R 8-1; Dulwich v Hotspur 2-0; Gt Marlow v Old Foresters 2-3; Old Harrovians v Old Brightonians 0-4; Watford R v Old Carthusians 1-3; Swifts bye
Darlington v Shankhouse 0-2; Middlesbro v Sunderland 2-2, 2-4; Accrington S v Blackburn R 1-3; Darwen v Witton 1-1,2-0; Higher Walton v Bootle 1-6; PRESTON NORTH END v Halliwell 6-0; Stoke-on-Trent v Oswestry 3—0; Davenham v Chirk 1-6; Crewe Alex bye; Birmingham Excelsior v Gt Bridge Unity 1 -2; WEST BROMWICH ALBION v Wolves 2-0; Aston Villa bye; Derby Junction v Lockwood Brothers 2-1; Derby Co v Owlerton 6-2; Sheff Wed bye; Grimsby TV Lincoln C 2-0; Nott’m Forest v Notts Co 2-1; Notts Rangers bye; Crusaders, Belfast v Chatham 4-0; Old Etonians v Old Westminsters 7-2; Dulwich v Swifts 1-3; Old Brightonians v Old Carthusians 0-5; Old Foresters bye
Gt Bridge Unity v Bootle 2-1; Nott’m Forest v Old Etonians 6-0; Old Foresters v Grimsby T 4-2; Crewe Alex v Swifts 2-2 (Swifts disqualified); Crusaders. Belfast v Sheff Wed 0-1; Shankhouse v Aston Villa 0-9; Darwen v Notts Rangers 3-1; Chirk bye; Derby Junction bye; Derby Co bye; WEST BROMWICH ALBION bye; Middlesbro bye; Blackburn R bye; Old Carthusians bye; PRESTON NORTH END bye; Stoke-on-Trent bye.
Old Carthusians v Gt Bridge Unity 2-0; Darwen v Blackburn R 0-3; WEST BROMWICH ALBION v Stoke-on-Trent 4-1; Crewe Alex v Derby Co 1 -0; Aston Villa v PRESTON NORTH END 1 -3; Middlesbro v Old Foresters 4-0; Derby Junction v Chirk 1 -0; Nott’m Forest v Sheff Wed 2-4
WEST BROMWICH ALBION v Old Carthusians 4-2; Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexander 0-2; Derby Junction v Blackburn Rovers 2-1; Sheff Wednesday v PRESTON NORTH END 1-3
1888 FA Cup Semi Finals
West Bromwich Albion v Derby Junction 3-0; Preston North End v Crewe Alexander 4-0
In 2015, an auction was held for a copy of the match programme from the 1888 FA Cup Final, which originally sold for a penny. Harold Ely, the director of West Bromwich Albion, owned the programme once. It sold for £20,000 at auction.
Rhett is an Australian-born, globe trotter who is a UEFA ‘A’ Licence Soccer Coach. With his family, he has traveled and coached soccer in more than 30 countries, while attending World Cups, European Championships, and some of the biggest local derbies in the world!