Manchester U 4 Blackpool 2
Manchester United 4 Blackpool 2, Wembley Stadium, English FA Cup Final, April 24, 1948. The FA Cup Final in 1948 between Blackpool and Manchester United is widely regarded as one of the best ever played at Wembley. In front of a crowd of 100,000 spectators in North London, Matt Busby´s men eventually beat the Bloomfield Roaders by a 4-2 score courtesy of a double by Jack Rowley, and one goal each from Stan Pearson and John Anderson.
On their road to Wembley Stadium, Manchester United had knocked out First Division clubs Aston Villa, Liverpool, Charlton Athletic, Preston North End, and Derby County, while Blackpool had eliminated Second Division opposition Leeds United, Third Division North side Chester, Southern League club Colchester United and Second Division teams Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur on their way to the 1948 FA Cup Final. At Wembley, the Manchester United side included experienced campaigners like Johnny Carey, Allenby Chilton, and Jimmy Delaney, whereas Joe Smith´s Blackpool fielded a team that contained household names such as Harry Johnston, Stan Matthews, and Stan Mortenson. The Mancunians had won the FA Cup in 1909 when Ernest Mangnall´s men edged out fellow First Division team Bristol City by 1-0 in front of an attendance of more than 70,000 people at Crystal Palace in South London thanks to a first half goal from prolific Scottish inside forward Sandy Turnbull, while opponents Blackpool had never laid their hands on the trophy.
Both Manchester United and Blackpool enjoyed several of goal scoring chances during the opening stages with opportunities missed at both ends. The first goal of the contest came after fifteen minutes when Blackpool full back Eddie Shimwell converted from the penalty spot after England international marksman Stan Mortensen had been brought to the ground inside the eighteen-yard box by United defender Allenby Chilton. Five minutes later, though, former Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic forward Jack Rowley equalised after a misunderstanding in the penalty area between goalkeeper Joe Robinson and centre half Eric Hayward. The Tangerines then recorded their second goal of the match when Mortenson beat Jack Crompton with a close range shot ten minutes before the half-time break. But with less than twenty minutes left of the final, a skillfully worked free-kick from Johnny Morris was met by Rowley who headed Manchester United level. The rest of the final saw Blackpool firmly on the defensive, as Stan Pearson fired United into a 3-2 lead with a blistering shot in the 80th minute before John Anderson made the final score read 4‑2 two minutes afterwards. Manchester United Team: Jack Crompton, John Aston, Johnny Carey, Allenby Chilton, John Anderson, Henry Cockburn, Charlie Mitten, Jack Rowley, Jimmy Delaney, Johnny Morris, Stanley Pearson. Substitutes: None. Blackpool Team: Joe Robinson, Eddie Shimwell, John Crosland, Harry Johnston, Eric Hayward, Hugh Kelly, Stanley Matthews, Alex Munro, Stanley Mortensen, George Dick, Walter Rickett. Substitutes: None.
Sir Matt Busby Quickfacts
Matt Busby´s long term work was crowned when his team won the European Cup in 1968 after defeating Benfica 4-1 after extra time in the final at Wembley on the 29th of May that year.