FA CUP 1872-73

Winners: Wanderers

Runners-up: Oxford University

Holders from previous season: Wanderers


First round
26 October 18721st Surrey Rifles2-0Upton Park 
 Allport, Hastie     
19 October 1872 Barnes0-1South Norwood 
walkoverClapham Rovers   Hitchinscratched
26 October 1872Maidenhead1-0Marlow 
26 October 1872Oxford University3-2Crystal Palace 
 Dixon, Longman, Summer   Armitage, Soden 
26 October 1872Royal Engineers3-0Civil Service 
 not known     
26 October 1872Windsor Home Park4-2Reigate Priory 

EH Bambridge, GB Bambridge,

Gardiner, 1 other

   Clutton 2 
ByeWanderers    see note 1 below
ByeQueen's Park    see note 2 below
Second round
23 November 1872Clapham Rovers0-3Oxford University 
     Dixon, Kirke-Smith, Ottaway 
23 November 1872Maidenhead3-01st Surrey Rifles 
 Collings, Goulden, Hebbes     
23 November 1872South Norwood1-0Windsor Home Parksee note 3 below
7 December 1872Windsor Home Park3-0South Norwood 
 Clark, Gardiner, F Heron     
ByeWanderers    see note 1 below
ByeQueen's Park    see note 2 below
ByeRoyal Engineers     
Third round
9 December 1872Oxford University1-0Royal Engineers 
21 December 1872Maidenhead1-0Windsor Home Park 
ByeWanderers    see note 1 below
ByeQueen's Park    see note 2 below
3 February 1873Oxford University4-0Maidenhead 
 Dixon, Ottoway, W Paton, Vidal     
ByeWanderers    see note 1 below
ByeQueen's Park    see note 2 below
walkoverOxford University   Queen's Parkdue to be played at Kennington Oval, London
ByeWanderers    see note 1 below
29 March 1873Wanderers2-0Oxford UniversityPlayed at Lillie Bridge Grounds, London
3,000Kinnaird (27), Wollaston (80)     


GK: Reginald de Courtenay Welch

FB: Leonard Howell

HB: Edward Bowen

FW: Charles Wollaston

FW: Robert Kingsford

FW: Alexander Bonsor

FW: Capt. William kenyon-Slaney

FW: Charles Thompson

FW: Arthur Kinnaird

FW: Rev. Henry Holmes Stewart



GK: Andrew Leach

FB: Capt. Francis Marindin

FB: Charles Mackarness

HB: Francis Birley

FW: Charles Longman

FW: Arnold Kirke-Smith

FW: Robert Vidal

FW: Frederick Maddison

FW: Cuthbert Ottaway

FW: Harold Dixon

FW: Walter Paton

FW: John Robert Sumner


Alfred Stair (Upton Park)


Match Summary

The 1873 FA Cup final was the second final of the world's oldest football competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup.


Unusually, the final was held in the morning, so as to avoid a clash with the annual Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race which was held on the same day.


(Note 1) Wanderers reached the final without playing a match, as the original rules of the competition stated that the holders would receive a bye straight to the final and other teams would compete to gain the other place in the final and challenge the holders for the trophy. Oxford University reached the final when their semi-final opponents, Queen's Park, dropped out of the competition due to some of their player's work commitments (note 2).


Both teams had key players absent for the final, including several who had represented Wanderers in the previous year's final. The best player on the day was Arthur Kinnaird, who scored the first goal for Wanderers. Charles Wollaston added a second goal towards the end of the match to give Wanderers a 2–0 victory and a second consecutive FA Cup win.


Oxford University's first-choice goalkeeper, Charles Nepean, was unavailable, as were four of Wanderers' regular players, including Thomas Hooman, William Crake and Albert Thompson, all of whom had been in the cup-winning team the year before.


As cup-holders, Wanderers were permitted to choose the stadium at which the match would be played. As the club had no official stadium of its own, its officials chose the Lillie Bridge ground in West Brompton.


Oxford University dominated the early stages of the game due largely to the strong running of Arnold Kirke-Smith. Newspaper The Sportsman commented that "the whole eleven work[ed] well together and with great energy".


Nonetheless, Wanderers came closer to scoring when William Kenyon-Slaney got the ball into the goal, only for the umpires to disallow the goal due to an infringement of the offside rule. After 27 minutes, Wanderers captain Arthur Kinnaird, whom the press rated as the best player of the match due to his dribbling skills, gave his team the lead when he outpaced Oxford's backs and kicked the ball between the goalposts.


In a desperate attempt to secure an equalising goal, Oxford University took the unusual step of dispensing with the use of a goalkeeper and moved Andrew Leach, who had been playing in that position, upfield to play as a forward.


This plan back-fired at around the 80-minute mark, however, when Charles Wollaston broke through and scored a second goal for the Wanderers, who thereby retained the trophy which they had won in its inaugural year. The correspondent from The Field stated that the shot would easily have been saved had there been a player in goal.


Post Match

Oxford's sporting disappointment continued in the afternoon, as the university's crew was defeated by three lengths by Cambridge in the Boat Race, Cambridge's fourth successive victory in the contest.


As was the norm until 1882, the winning team did not receive the trophy at the stadium on the day of the match, but later in the year at their annual dinner.


Note 3: The result of the Second round tie between South Norwood and Windsor Home Park was declared void and a replay was ordered. The original match had ended before 90 minutes had been played.