Fas­ci­nat­ing foot­ball facts

Cu­riosi­ties of Mid­lands foot­ball, with Tony Matthews

Black Country Bugle - - YED SCRATCHERS -

• David As­son, born in West Bromwich, ref­er­eed the first-ever Wem­b­ley FA Cup fi­nal in 1923, when Bolton Wan­der­ers beat West Ham United 2-0 in front of an es­ti­mated 200,000 spec­ta­tors, with 123,000 of them pay­ing!

He spent most of his foot­ball life ref­er­ee­ing in the Stour­bridge area and as a 15 year-old, had an un­suc­cess­ful trial with the Bag­gies.

• Two Stour­bridge­born ref­er­ees – Ken Burns and Eric Jennings – both of­fi­ci­ated in FA Cup fi­nals – the for­mer 1970 when Chelsea drew with Leeds United, and the lat­ter in 1973 when Sun­der­land beat Don Re­vie’s Leeds.

• An­dre Mar­riner, born in Shel­don, Birm­ing­ham, ref­er­eed the 2013 FA Cup fi­nal when Wi­gan Ath­letic up­set the odds by beat­ing Man- ch­ester City 1-0.

• The only FA Cup fi­nal ever to be stopped by ‘fog’ was the 1935 en­counter be­tween Sh­effield Wed­nes­day and the Al­bion at Wem­b­ley. The ref­eree Bert Fogg blew the fi­nal whis­tle af­ter the Owls had won 4-2.

• A to­tal of 59 FA Cup semi-fi­nals have been staged on the grounds of As­ton Villa; two have taken place at both the As­ton Lower Grounds (1884 and 1886) and Welling­ton Road (1890 and 1896) and 55 have been held at Villa Park (19012007).

There have been ten semis at Mo­lineux (18921957); nine at St An­drew’s (1905-1961) and two at The Hawthorns (1902 and 1960). The last one at Mo­lineux ended As­ton Villa 2 Al­bion 2 and the last one at The Hawthorns saw Wolves beat Villa 1-0. As yet not one of our Mid­land clubs has been asked to host an FA Cup fi­nal (not even a re­play).

• Three Eng­land man­agers also had links with As­ton Villa and West Bromwich Al­bion. They are Joe Mercer, Gareth South­gate and Gra­ham Tay­lor with Villa, and Sam Al­lardyce, Roy Hodg­son and Bobby Rob­son with Al­bion. Tay­lor also bossed Wolves as did Glenn Hod­dle, while 1966 World Cup win­ner Sir Alf Ram­sey later be­came man­ager of Birm­ing­ham City.

Burn­ley’s Char­lie Tay­lor (left) is shown a yel­low card by Shel­don-born ref­eree An­dre Mar­riner for a foul on Wolves winger Adama Traore at Mo­lineux, Septem­ber 16, 2018. (Nick Potts/pa Wire)

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