1896 FA Cup Final Score: Sheffield Wednesday 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
Match Venue: Crystal Palace, London
Date: Saturday 18th April 1896
Sheffield Wednesday Scorer: Fred Spiksley 2. Wolverhampton Wanderers Scorer: David Black
Sheffield Wednesday Team: Jimmy Massey, Jack Earp, Ambrose Langley, Harry Brandon, Tommy Crawshaw, Bob Petrie, Archie Brash, Alec Brady, Laurie Bell, Harry Davis, Fred Spiksley.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Team: Billy Tennant, Dickie Baugh, Tommy Dunn, Billy Owen, Billy Malpass, Hill Griffiths, Jack Tonks, Charlie Henderson, Billy Beats, Harry Wood, David Black.
Referee: Captain William Simpson
1896 FA Cup Final Match Report
After Wolverhampton Wolves had won the Cup Final in 1893, the club’s chairman had obtained permission from the Football Association to present each player with a ten-inch high silver replica of the trophy. One of these models was used as a copy for the new FA Cup.
The first club to win the new trophy was Sheffield Wednesday, who were semi-finalists in the previous two seasons, and their opponents in the 1896 Cup Final were Wolves, now playing in their third cup final in eight seasons. Sheffield Wednesday was aiming for their first FA Cup win.
The hero of a fierce match was Sheffield Wednesday’s outside-left Fred Spiksley. The Crystal Palace crowd saw a very early goal. In just over a minute, a brilliant run by Harry Davis and Fred Spiksley ended with the latter giving Wednesday the lead, but David Black quickly hooked in an equalizer for Wolves from close to the post.
Sheffield Wednesday, however, was not to be subdued, and after 18 minutes, the slight and silky winger Fred Spiksley put them ahead again with a terrific shot that hit an upright on its way into the net. The ball had been hit with such force that it rebounded back into the soccer field of play before goalkeeper Billy Tennant realized where the shot had gone.
The multiple goalscorer Fred Spiksley was known as the fastest man in football during this era. After retiring from playing, Spiskley joined the circus and worked in a theatre with Charlie Chaplin. Later, he became a football coach, working in Sweden, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, the United States, Peru, and Mexico, as well as in England.
Sheffield Wednesday FA Cup Moment
Wednesday was never expected to reach the FA Final, not being exceptionally strong in the League, yet they always managed to rise to the occasion in the Cup. At their Olive Grove ground, they were reckoned invincible in a cup tie. In the semi-final against Bolton Wanderers, they drew 1-1 at Goodison Park A few days later, the replay was played at Nottingham. The Wednesday managed to secure their first FA Cup final appearance after winning 3-1.
In one of the best finals for several years, The Wednesday held a 2-1 lead when starting the second half. Wolves came back into the game and forced Wednesday onto the defensive, bombarding goalkeeper Jimmy Massey with shot after shot.
The Wednesday’s play deteriorated in the last quarter of an hour, excitement getting the better of some of their players, but they could still make two breakaways, and Alec Brady hit the crossbar in one of them. Finally, Captain William Simpson blew the final whistle. The London attendance of 48,836 had witnessed The Wednesday record their first FA Cup win.
1896 FA Cup Round By Round
Notts County v WOLVERHAMPTON WOLVES 2-2, 3-4; Liverpool v Millwall A 4-1; Burnley v Woolwich Arsenal 6-1; Stoke v Spurs 5-0; Derby County v Aston Villa 4-2; Newton Heath v Kettering 2-1; Darwen v Grimsby Town 0-2; Blackburn Rovers v West Bromwich Albion 1-2; Southampton St Mary’s v SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 2-3; Sunderland v PNE 4-1; Nottingham Forest v Everton 0-2; Burton Wanderers v Sheffield United 1-1, 0-1; Blackpool v Burton Swifts 4-1; Crewe Alex v Bolton Wanderers 0-4; Chesterfield v Newcastle United 0-4; Small Heath v Bury 1 -4
WOLVERHAMPTON WOLVES V Liverpool 2-0; Burnley v Stoke 1-1, 1-7; Derby Co v Newton Heath 1-1, 5-1; Grimsby T v WBA 1-1, 0-3; SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY v Sunderland 2-1; Everton v Sheff Utd 3-0; Blackpool v Bolton Wand 0-2; Newcastle Utd v Bury 1-3
WOLVERHAMPTON WOLVES v Stoke 3-0; Derby Co v WBA 1-0; SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY v Everton 4-0; Bolton Wand v Bury 2-0
1896 FA Cup Semi Finals
WOLVERHAMPTON WOLVES v Derby County 2-1; SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY v Bolton Wanderers 1-1, 3-1