So this was the final instalment of the London Challenge Cup as the F.A. had abolished the distinction between amateur and professionals for the following season, although it was revived as a lesser competition briefly in the 1990s. Tottenham Hotspur were the decisive winners of the competition, with four victories and one draw, without conceding a goal and scoring 16. They beat Wealdstone 4-0 (home), Orient by the same score at home after a 0-0 draw, and Arsenal 3-0 (home) before setting up a final against Isthmian League Hayes.
The final was plain sailing for Spurs who won comfortably 5-0. Hayes had reached the final with victories against Dagenham 2-1 (home aet), Crystal Palace 3-1 (home), Fulham 1-0 (away) and Queens Park Rangers 2-0 (home) after a 0-0 draw, and a long wait for the Government’s ban on the use of floodlights to be lifted! Note the miss-spelling of “Hotspurs” on the programme cover below.
Final – played at Church Road, Hayes 29th April 1974.
Tottenham Hotspur 5 (Scorers: McGrath 2, Jones 2, Neighbour pen)
Team: Daines, Osgood, Naylor, Dillon, Collins, Peck, McGrath, Clapton, Jones, Holder, Neighbour.
Probable team: Cracknell, Barnard, Bell, Kent, Hatt, Hartridge, Palfrey, James, Butler, Meadows, Wilks, Sub James.
Like buses, you wait ages for one and two come along at once! So it was for Orient as they squeaked a narrow victory over the Isthmian League amateurs of Enfield in a quickly arranged final. Orient having won their semi-final against Dagenham only the evening before, insisted on playing the final the following evening as they were due to go on tour and did not run a second team, otherwise the cup would have to be held over to the following season. Orient defeated Chelsea 2-1 away in the second round before the match with Dagenham. A hastily produced team sheet is shown below.
Enfield had played six matches to reach the final, having disposed of Metropolitan Police at home (3-1) after a draw away, Arsenal at Highbury by 2-0, Wealdstone at Lower Mead 3-2, and Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 at home after a 1-1 draw. Enfield were also out of luck in the Middlesex Senior Cup final losing to the powerful Hendon side after a replay, but they did lift the London Senior Cup, also after a replay, against Hitchin Town. They seemed to like replays as they had ten of them in their various cup outings that season!
Final – played at Southbury Road, Enfield 8th May 1973.
Orient 2 (Scorers: Queen, Bowyer)
Probable team: Bowtell, Hoadley, Arber, Allen, Harris, Walley, Downing, Bullock, Bowyer, Queen, Dyson, Sub Johnson.
Enfield 1 (Scorer: Turley)
Probable team: Taylor, Turl, Grant, Payne, Gibson, Wood, Butterfield, Adams, Brooks, Gray, Turley, Sub Fitzpatrick.
Leyton Orient also featured in the revived LCC final of 1992-93 played at Brisbane Road, where they overcame Barnet 3-2 and highlights are available on YouTube here, although the date on the caption may be wrong:
It had been a long time coming for Orient. Sixty years and a change of name to be precise, since they last won the LCC. In 1911-12 Clapton Orient won the cup by defeating Millwall 3-0 at White Hart Lane on 4th December 1911. The team that day was: Bower; Johnson, Johnston; Hind, Liddell, Willis; Dalrymple, Parker, McFadden, Dix, A.N. Other. Scorers: Dalrymple, Parker, McFadden. The London Challenge Cup was a more important competition then as the match report appeared in the Daily Express and Daily Mirror. The match reports are available here:
For 1971-72, Orient beat Dagenham in a replayed final at Brisbane Road, Leyton, after a 1-1 draw at Victoria Road, Dagenham. Lazarus for Orient and Brooks for Dagenham were the scorers in the first match.
Final Replay – played at Brisbane Road, Leyton, April/May 1972.
Probable team: Bowtell, Arber, Rofe, Bennett, Harris, Walley, Fairbrother, Brisley, Riddick, Allen, Johnson.
Probable team: Huttley, Ford, Dudley, Davidson, Webb, Moore, Leakey, Fry, Dear, Baker, Brooks.
Orient reached the final with wins against Barnet (2-1 away), Arsenal (4-2 home), Queens Park Rangers (3-2 home). Whilst Dagenham beat Bexley United (1-0 away), Charlton Athletic (1-0 away), Crystal Palace (2-1 away), Enfield (3-2 away).
Wimbledon and Tottenham Hotspur reached the final this season. Wimbledon were clearly a club going places, as having won the Isthmian League three years on the trot (1961-64) and winning the F.A. Amateur Cup in 1962-63, they must have felt they had acheived all they could at amateur level and so turned professional in 1964 and joined the Southern League. This gave them automatic entry into the London Challenge Cup, where they were finalists two consecutive seasons, although they lost both. Seven years later they were members of the Football League.
Final – played at White Hart Lane, Tottenham 30th November 1970, attendance 2,837.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Scorer: Woolcott)
Team: Daines; Evans, Want; Pratt, Naylor, Bunkell; Jenkins, Cutbush, Woolcott, Holder, Neighbour. (Sub Johnson).
Probable team: Guy; Law, Martin; Sanderson, McCready, Shreeves; Bailham, Cooke, O’Rourke, Collins, Hodges.
Tottenham reached the final with victories over Dagenham (3-0 home, after a 0-0 draw), Arsenal (1-0 away) and West Ham (1-0 home). Wimbledon’s path took in wins over St Albans City (5-1 away), Orient (2-0 away), Crystal Palace (2-1 home) and Hitchin Town (3-0 home).
West Ham United retained the trophy they had won the previous season with a victory after a replay against Tottenham Hotspur. The first match played at White Lane on 18th November 1968 ended in a 2-2 draw in front of 4,241 spectators.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Scorers: Bunkell, Woolcott)
Team: Skeet; Cutbush, Collins J; Evans Pratt, Want; Johnson, Bunkell, Bond, Woolcott, Mail (Sub Pitt).
West Ham United 2 (Scorers: Glozier, Llewelyn)
Team: Death; Heffer, Glozier; Bovington, Cushley, Miller; Clements, Lindsay, Hartley, Dear, LLewelyn.
Final Replay – played at Upton Park, West Ham, 16th December 1968, attendance 6,095.
West Ham United 3 (Scorers: Bennett, Lindsay, Holland)
Team: Death; Heffer, Glozier; Bovington (Holland), Morgan, Miller; Clements, Bennett, Hartley, Lindsay, LLewelyn.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Scorers: Pratt, Mail)
Team: Skeet; Cutbush, Collins J; Evans Pratt, Want; Johnson, Bunkell, Pitt, Woolcott, Mail.
Tottenham had reached the final with victories over Dagenham (1-0 home), Millwall (8-2 home) and Enfield (3-1 home). The Hammers had overcome Chelsea (4-2 home, after two draws 1-1 and 3-3), Barnet (2-1 home) and Queens Park Rangers (2-1 away).
Tottenham Hotspur won the 1963-64 version of this competition and the round details where known are as follows:
Wealdstone 1 Arsenal 2
Barnet 3 Leyton Orient 2
Chelsea 4 Finchley 0
Brentford 5 Bexley United 2
Crystal Palace 5 Hounslow Town 3
Tottenham Hotspur 3 Millwall 0
Queens Park Rangers v Fulham
West Ham United v Charlton Athletic
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Chelsea 3 Arsenal 0
Tottenham Hotspur 3 West Ham United 2
Brentford v Barnet
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Fulham 0
Barnet 2 Chelsea 6
Final – played at White Hart Lane, Tottenham 16 March 1964, attendance 5,163.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Scorers: Low, Clayton)
Team: Brown W; Barton, Dennis; Low, Smith A, Henry; Possee, Clayton, Saul, Gillingwater, Aitchison.
Team: Dunn; Hinton, Harris A; Hollins, Young, Sorrell; Fascione, Brown, Mulholland, Harmer, Somers.
The final was due to be played on 2nd December 1963, but Spurs had a more pressing engagement with Manchester United in the European Cup Winners Cup the following night. Spurs reserves were a strong team that season as they also won the Football Combination by a margin of ten points from Plymouth Argyle reserves.
Reading Turf Wars. A History of London Football by Steve Tongue (2016), I am reminded that two non-league teams did in fact win the competition, Millwall (1908-09 and 1914-15) and Crystal Palace (1912-13 and 1913-14) as they were Southern League teams when they won, albeit they were both professional sides. So no amateur team won the cup until the brief revival period.
Some of Fulham’s record in the London Challenge Cup is available here:
and likewise West Ham’s here:
Chelsea were victors in this season, and reached the final with a thumping victory over Wembley in the first round by 16-0! Wembley finished two from bottom of the Corinthian League that season. Arsenal were seen off in the second round 2-1 and Tottenham succumbed 4-1 in the semi-final.
Tooting & Mitcham United, the other finalists were having possibly their best season ever, with retaining the championship of the Isthmian League, and winning the London and Surrey Senior Cups later in the season. They beat Wimbledon, their fellow Isthmian Leaguers in the semi-final. In the previous season they had reached the 3rd Round of the FA Cup after a lengthy run, and lost to Nottingham Forest after a replay. They also had prolific scorer Paddy Hasty selected for the Great Britain football team at the 1960 Olympics. He was the last player to score for a GB football team until the London games of 2012.
Final – at Stamford Bridge 30 November 1959.
Chelsea 2 (Scorers: Gibbs, Cliss)
Team: Robertson; Sillett, Whittaker, McMillan, Scott; Compton, Corthine, Cliss; Bridges, Gibbs, Tambling.
Tooting & Mitcham United 1 (Scorer: Hasty)
Team: Pearson; Harlow, Holden, Slade, Bennett; Murphy, Grainger, Hyde, Hasty; Roberts, Flanagan.
Details of Chelsea’s London Challenge Cup results are available here:
and information about Tooting in that period is here:
Tottenham Hotspur won the 1958 edition of the London Challenge Cup with a 3-1 victory over West Ham United on 1st December 1958, under the White Hart Lane floodlights in front of a healthy attendance of 18,195. Although this was supposed to be recorded as a Tottenham reserve team fixture, according to the following Saturday’s programme versus Preston North End, the game was ‘a preview of the Boxing day league encounter, for both clubs substantially fielded their first teams’ and both sides ‘provided first class entertainment’.
Tottenham Hotspur 3 (Scorers: Brooks, Smith 2)
Team: Hollowbread; Baker, Henry; Dodge, Norman, Iley; Brooks, Harmer, Dunmore, Smith, Jones.
West Ham United 1 (Scorer: Grice)
Team: Rhodes; Bond, Cantwell; Malcolm, Brown, Nelson; Grice, Woosnam, Keeble, Dick, Musgrove.
Tottenham reached the final with victories over Charlton Athletic (4-0 home), Finchley (2-1 home) and Queens Park Rangers (7-0 home). West Ham defeated Millwall (2-1 away), Leyton Orient (4-1 home) and Arsenal (4-3 home) along the way.
Finchley, the non-leaguers from the Athenian League were in the competition by virtue of having finished as runners-up to Sutton United in the previous season’s London Senior Cup final. They finished mid-table in the Athenian that year and gave Spurs a hard fight in Round Two. An attendance of 4,505 showed the London Challenge Cup was a worthwhile and valuable competition, even on a Monday evening.
I came across the Chelsea FC handbook for 1951-52 recently and it had the result and line-ups for the 1950-51 final which is detailed below:
Brentford 1 Charlton Athletic 2 – at Stamford Bridge 4th December 1950, attendance 2,000.
Brentford: Gaskell; Monk, Manley; Bragg, Hart, Bristowe; Balls, Anders, Garneys, Coote, Girling. Scorer: Anders.
Charlton Athletic: Uytenbogaardt; Campbell, Neilsen; Johnson, Allison, Hammond; Fell, Lumley (T), D’Arcy, Purves, Duffy. Scorer: D’Arcy 2.
Charlton had a fairly decent reserve team at this time as they won the Football Combination the season before (1949-50).
There is also a recent website detailing match reports and scores from some of the London Challenge Cups from 1908 to 1928. A very interesting and useful resource for the London football historian. It can be accessed here: https://londonchallengecup.weebly.com/index.html
Searching for some information on this now defunct football cup competition I could only find limited details of winners and the results of the revived cup on the Wikipedia and Football Club History Database websites (see below). Then I came across a full list of winners and finalists in some old paperwork which I think is possibly from an old London Football Association handbook which I no longer have.
The London Challenge Cup was organised by the London F.A. and first competed for in 1908 and was started after the London Senior Cup began in 1882. All of the London professional sides entered the competition along with some selected non-league professional sides and four of the leading amateur clubs of the day, these were offered to the four semi-finalists in the previous season’s London Senior Cup, usually making the numbers up to sixteen with four rounds and sometimes a preliminary round.
There was an unofficial change in the 1930s when the Football League first division clubs started playing their reserve teams although the strength of teams was left to individual clubs and some would include first team regulars. The Spurs history website http://www.tottenhamhotspur.com/history/honours lists two first team cup winners (1911 and 1929) and six reserve team wins (1937, 1948, 1959, 1964, 1971 and 1974). An Arsenal history website is also interesting at http://www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk/archives/8383 for details of their cup finals.
Six non-league teams made it through to the final of the competition in the years prior to the short revival and these were Leyton (1908/09 and 1927/28), Tooting & Mitcham United (1959/60), Dagenham (1967/68 and 1971/72), Wimbledon (1969/70 and 1970/71), Enfield (1972/73) and Hayes (1973/74), although none of them managed to lift the trophy.
The competition finally succumbed to the removal of the distinction between amateur and professional players in 1974 and ceased to be, although it was revived in 1990 until 2000 mainly for non-league teams with Leyton Orient being the only Football League team to win it.
Summary of Winners (1908-1974):
9 – West Ham United
8 – Tottenham Hotspur
5 – Chelsea
4 – Millwall, Queens Park Rangers
3 – Fulham, Orient (one as Clapton Orient), Crystal Palace, Brentford
2 – Charlton Athletic
For the record the results of the finals are as follows:
1908-09 – Millwall 2 Leyton 0
1909-10 – Fulham 4 Tottenham Hotspur 1
1910-11 – Tottenham Hotspur 2 Fulham 1
1911-12 – Clapton Orient 3 Millwall 0
1912-13 – Crystal Palace 1 West Ham United 0 (after 0-0 draw)
1913-14 – Crystal Palace 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0
1914-15 – Millwall 2 Arsenal 1
1919-20 – Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 0
1920-21 – Crystal Palace 1 Clapton Orient 0
1921-22 – Arsenal 1 Crystal Palace 0
1922-23 – Charlton Athletic 2 Crystal Palace 1
1923-24 – Arsenal 3 Charlton Athletic 2 (Listed as 3-1 on Arsenal website, see above)
1924-25 – West Ham United 2 Clapton Orient 1
1925-26 – West Ham United 2 Arsenal 1
1926-27 – Chelsea 2 Clapton Orient 1
1927-28 – Millwall 6 Leyton 3
1928-29 – Tottenham Hotspur 5 Millwall 1
1929-30 – West Ham United 2 Brentford 1
1930-31 – Arsenal 2 Tottenham Hotspur 1
1931-32 – Fulham 2 Crystal Palace 1
1932-33 – Queens Park Rangers 3 West Ham United 0
1933-34 – Arsenal 4 Tottenham Hotspur 0
1934-35 – Brentford 2 Millwall 1
1935-36 – Arsenal 4 Brentford 2
1936-37 – Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 0
1937-38 – Millwall 4 Crystal Palace 0
1938-39 – Queens Park Rangers 3 Tottenham Hotspur 1
1946-47 – West Ham United 3 Crystal Palace 2
1947-48 – Tottenham Hotspur 3 Fulham 1
1948-49 – West Ham United 2 Chelsea 1 (after 1-1 draw)
1949-50 – Chelsea 3 Brentford 0 (after 4-4 draw)
1950-51 – Charlton Athletic 2 Brentford 1
1951-52 – Fulham 1 Charlton Athletic 0
1952-53 – West Ham United 2 Brentford 1
1953-54 – Arsenal 3 Chelsea 2 (after 1-1 draw)
1954-55 – Arsenal 2 West Ham United 1 (after 1-1 draw)
1955-56 – Queens Park Rangers 2 Brentford 1
1956-57 – West Ham United 3 Millwall 1
1957-58 – Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1
1958-59 – Tottenham Hotspur 3 West Ham United 1
1959-60 – Chelsea 2 Tooting & Mitcham United 1
1960-61 – Chelsea 3 Arsenal 1
1961-62 – Arsenal 3 Millwall 1
1962-63 – Arsenal 4 Chelsea 1
1963-64 – Tottenham Hotspur 2 Chelsea 0
1964-65 – Brentford 2 Chelsea 1
1965-66 – Queens Park Rangers 4 Arsenal 0
1966-67 – Brentford 2 Fulham 1 (after 0-0 draw)
1967-68 – West Ham United 3 Dagenham 1
1968-69 – West Ham United 3 Tottenham Hotspur 2 (after 2-2 draw)
1969-70 – Arsenal 2 Wimbledon 1
1970-71 – Tottenham Hotspur 1 Wimbledon 0
1971-72 – Orient 2 Dagenham 1 (after 1-1 draw)
1972-73 – Orient 2 Enfield 1
1973-74 – Tottenham Hotspur 5 Hayes 0
and there it ended until a brief revival.
1990-91 – Carshalton Athletic 4 Welling United 2
1991-92 – Welling United 2 Dulwich Hamlet 0
1992-93 – Leyton Orient 3 Barnet 2
1993-94 – Uxbridge 3 Welling United 0
1994-95 – St Albans City 6 Fisher ‘93 0
1995-96 – Bromley 3 Leyton Pennant 2
1996-97 – Uxbridge 1 Leyton Pennant 0 (after 3-3 draw)
1997-98 – Boreham Wood 3 Uxbridge 1
1998-99 – Dulwich Hamlet 3 Uxbridge 2 (Listed as 2-1 to Dulwich on FCHD website)
1999-2000 – Uxbridge 2 Dulwich Hamlet 2 (Uxbridge won 5-4 on penalties)
© April 2014