1872 FA Cup Challenge

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Date: 1872 to 1872
Location: Englandmap
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Welcome to the England Project's 1872 FA Cup Challenge!

The FA Cup is the oldest national football competition in the world. Officially known as the Football Association Challenge Cup, the inaugural tournament kicked off in November 1871 between 15 clubs.

The first FA Cup final was played on the afternoon of Saturday 16 March 1872 at The Oval in Kennington, Surrey. A crowd of 2,000 fans gathered to watch the Wanderers defeat the Royal Engineers 1-0 after a goal by Wanderers' forward Morton Betts 15 minutes into the first half.

The England Project's FA Cup Challenge aims to create, source and connect WikiTree profiles for the 22 players and referee who took to the pitch in the inaugural final. A handful of them already have profiles, but most don't.

To join the fun, simply follow the steps below.

Here's what to do ...

1. Choose a team and player
  • Pick a team—either the Wanderers or Royal Engineers. Their players are listed below.
  • Add your name next to the player(s) you plan to work on. To add your name, click the "edit" tab of this page and insert your name in the following format:
    [[WikiID-123|Your Name]]
  • Up to 3 people can work on each player, so put your name down before you miss out!
  • You can work on as many players as you like.
2. Create, source and connect the player's WikiTree profile
  • Check if the player's got a WikiTree profile. If not, create one!
  • Source the profile with at least minimum sources. All of the players are on Wikipedia, so that might be a good place to start!
  • Connect the player to the global tree. You will know he's connected if you link him to a profile that's got "... is 24 degrees from Brad Cunningham, 33 degrees from Richard Valens and 17 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree ..." at the bottom.
  • Don't feel you need to do everything yourself. It's all about teamwork!
3. When you finish the player
  • Once you've connected the player's profile to the global tree, update this page to show it's done.
    Do this by clicking the "edit" tab of this page and adding the following at the end of the player's line: ~~~~ ⚽
    Click "save changes" and it will automatically add your name, the date and time.
4. Winning team
  • The winner will be the team that finishes all their players first, or that has finished the most players at the end of the challenge.
  • If your team wins, you will receive bragging rights—and a winner's sticker to add to your own profile!
Thank you everyone for joining in!
Royal Engineers has won the rematch 11-9 in just over 24 hours!

The teams


Wanderers was an amateur football club based in Upper Norwood, Surrey. It included most of the "great players, who have represented the universities and public schools."[1] It dominated the early years of the FA Cup, winning five times between 1872 and 1878.

The contemporary newspaper reports differ slightly as to the line-up in the 1872 final,[2][3] but the players are generally accepted to have been as follows.[4][5][6] You can find links to their Wikipedia pages here.

Player WikiTree Team
C. W. Alcock (captain) Hilary | Pat | [[WikiID|Name]]Buckle-52 08:04, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
E. E. Bowen Laura DeSpain | Hardnut | [[WikiID|Name]]
A. G. Bonsor Frustrated Fan | Ian S | [[WikiID|Name]] Christmas-476 11:57, 17 May 2020 (UTC) 🏈
M. P. Betts Hilary | [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]]Buckle-52 07:59, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
W. P. Crake Hilary | Hardnut | [[WikiID|Name]] Hardman-1532 12:58, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽️
T. C. Hooman Nic | Hardnut | [[WikiID|Name]] |Farler-25 23:52, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
E. Lubbock [[WikiID|Name]] | Holly Torano | Hardnut Hardman-1532 11:11, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽️
A. C. Thompson Hardnut| [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]] Hardman-1532 10:17, 17 May 2020 (UTC)⚽️
R. C. Welch (GK) Paul Shepard | DJ Naylor | Ian S |Farler-25 15:50, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
R. W. S. Vidal Ian S | [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]] Speed-878 05:42, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
C. H. Wollaston Joe Farler | Heather Brannon | [[WikiID|Name]]Farler-25 12:31, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽

Royal Engineers

Royal Engineers was formed in 1863 to represent the Corps of Royal Engineers (or Sappers) of the British Army. It is based in Chatham, Kent. The club won the FA Cup in 1875 and played in three of the first four finals.

The line-up in the 1872 final was as follows. You can find links to the players' Wikipedia pages here.

Player WikiTree Team
Capt. Marindin (captain) Leandra Ford | [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]]Ford-7139 15:13, 16 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
Capt. Merriman (GK) Dave Welburn | [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]] Welburn-134 10:11, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
Lieut. Addison Joan Whitaker| [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]] ⚽️
Lieut. Mitchell Carol Keeling| [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]]Winton-239 09:04, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
Lieut. Creswell Carol Keeling | [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]]Winton-239 20:41, 16 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
Lieut. Renny-Tailyour Elizabeth Viney | Jo Fitz-Henry | [[WikiID|Name]] Greet-49 03:53, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
Lieut. Henry Rich Jo Fitz-Henry|Elizabeth Viney | [[WikiID|Name]]Fitz-Henry-9 18:47, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
Lieut. Goodwyn Carol Keeling | [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]]Winton-239 14:20, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
Lieut. Muirhead Fran Weidman | [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]] McHugh-842 15:43, 16 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
Lieut. Cotter Leandra | [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]]Ford-7139 18:23, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽
Lieut. Bogle Dave Welburn | [[WikiID|Name]] | [[WikiID|Name]]Welburn-134 09:40, 17 May 2020 (UTC) ⚽


The early rounds of the 1871-2 FA Cup season were officiated by two umpires, one provided by each team. Disputes over the match rules led to the adoption of a neutral referee in the later rounds and the final.

Name WikiTree Team
Alfred Stair (Upton Park) Cormack-404| Fran Weidman | [[WikiID|Name]]

His Wikipedia page is here.

Some interesting facts

  • The Wanderers reached the final having won only one of its four matches in the preliminary rounds.
  • Wanderers' forward and goalscorer Morton Betts played under the pseudonym "A. H. Chequer", inspired by his membership of the Harrow Chequers club.
  • Under the rules in place at the time, the teams changed ends after every goal.
  • Royal Engineers' player Edmund Creswell broke his collar bone early in the match but refused to leave the pitch until full time. The rules did not allow substitutes.
  • Both sides focused on attack more than defence. The Wanderers lined up with eight forwards, one midfielder, one defender and a goalkeeper. The Royal Engineers comprised seven forwards, one midfielder, two defenders and a goalkeeper.

A short newspaper report

Source: Morning Post, 18 March 1872[3]

THE CHAMPION CUP AT FOOTBALL.—The officers of the Royal Engineers and the celebrated Wanderers played their final contest for the Association Challenge Cup at the Surrey Cricket Club ground on Saturday afternoon. There was a vast number of spectators, including many ladies in the tent, and there were several open landaus on the ground. The ball was kicked off at three o'clock, and after a scrimmage the Wanderers got the ball down towards the Engineers, who had a downfall of their lines by a well-directed kick by E. Chequers. Many battles were fought with no other result, the Wanderers having it all their own way from the commencement to the end. The Engineers worked hard, but could not alter the state of affairs. It was a perfectly one-sided match, the Wanderers taking it comparatively easy, only defending their goal, having obtained their object by coming into possession of the trophy. The Engineers could never get within many yards of their opponents' quarters. It would be needless to state any other particulars ...

A more detailed newspaper report

The following contemporary newspaper report describes the match in more detail and lists all of the players and officials involved in the match. It may be added as a source to the profiles of those involved in the match. You can read it here.

Source: The Sportsman, 19 March 1872 [7]


  1. 'A great event in the football world will come off to-day at Kennington-oval.' Morning Post (London, England), 16 Mar 1872, page 5. British Library Newspapers. Gale Newsvault (subscription service, accessed 8 May 2020)
  2. 'Football', Bell's Life in London and Sporting Chronicle (London, England), 23 Mar 1872, Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals. Gale Newsvault (subscription service, accessed 8 May 2020)
  3. 3.0 3.1 'The Champion Cup at Football.' Morning Post (London, England),18 Mar 1872, page 2. British Library Newspapers. Gale Newsvault (subscription service, accessed 8 May 2020)
  4. 'Wanderers won the first ever FA Cup Final on 16 March 1872', The FA (accessed 8 May 2020)
  5. Rob Cavallini, The Wanderers - Five Times F.A. Cup Winners, 2005, page 38.
  6. Wikipedia contributors, "1872 FA Cup Final," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed 7 May 2020)
  7. "Football. The Association Challenge Cup. The Final Tie." The Sportsman, No. 1190, 19 March 1872, p. 4, col. 4; "British Newspapers," database with images, Findmypast ( : accessed 10 May 2020), image (subscription); British Library. Transcription available here

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