FA Amateur Cup final, 1967
18 April ~ Crowds at the final of the FA Amateur Cup (from 1974 the FA Vase) weren't quite what they had been in the 1950s, when five successive finals pulled in capacity 100,000 gates. But a three-quarters full Wembley stadium was 30,000 higher than the previous year's attendance, when Wealdstone had beaten Hendon. Perhaps the public imagination was ignited by the match-up between a storied amateur team such as Enfield FC – yet to lift this trophy for the first time – and an up-and-coming club from a Merseyside satellite town whose players were on average 20 years old.
The match programme's tone is lofty, from that era when writer chappies considered themselves somewhat better than the people they described. Skelmersdale, "the Skem", are "a homely, little club" who surprised many by punching above their weight and reaching Wembley. "They are hoping to improve ground facilities, and, perhaps, become a limited company." If the little northern fellows can find someone to jolly well explain to them what all that will entail.
The players are broadly split among working class and middle class professions – for every printer and machinist there's a PE teacher, accounts manager or a librarian. Enfield keeper Ian Wolstenholme is "an enthusiastic theatre-goer", which isn't something you see in every football player's profile, amateur or not. He was also one of the keys to Enfield's success – in nine games during this campaign his team conceded just twice. After the scoreless draw at Wembley, Enfield won the replay one week later at Maine Road, 3-0 in front of 55,000.
Targeting the fan demographic "Yell for Bovril". A smiling, bobble-hatted, rosette-wearing, rattle-toting youngster also manages to hold a cup of Bovril ("Warms and cheers") while supporting his team. A wholesome and virtuous symbol of the pre-hooligan era.
Result Enfield 0 Skelmersdale 0 (aet)
Enfield Wolstenholme, Sedgley, Reid, Payne, D'Arcy, Moxon, Churchill, Connell, Hill, Day, Howard. Sub: Adams.
Skelmersdale Crosbie, Bermingham, Bridge, Unsworth, Wade, Moorcroift, Whitehead, Worswick, Bennett, Burns, Mansley. Sub: McDermott.
The 2014 FA Vase final will be played at Wembley on May 10, Sholing v West Auckland. Tickets: £15 (£5 for under 16s). Kick-off: 3pm