The 1924–25 FA Cup was the 50th season of the world’s longest running football cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup. Sheffield United won by a single goal, scored by Fred Tunstall. Fans of Sheffield United sang the popular song of the era “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More” during the match. This was the first time a team outside England had played in an F.A. Cup Final since Queens Park of Glasgow in 1885.
Nearly 92,000 spectators attended the final. The only goal of the game was scored by Sheffield United’s Fred Tunstall after 30 minutes when he dispossessed Harry Wake on the edge of the Cardiff penalty area before shooting past goalkeeper Tom Farquharson. Cardiff were unable to respond and the match finished 1–0, giving Sheffield United their fourth FA Cup triumph. The match remains the last time Sheffield United have won the competition.
At the end of the match, United fans flooded onto the field and the goalscorer Tunstall was carried on the shoulders of spectators in celebration. The team were presented with their winner’s medals by the Duke and Duchess of York in the Royal Box and the cup was awarded to United captain Gillespie. He described himself as “the happiest man in Britain” upon receiving the trophy. After the teams had left the field, the Lord Mayor of Cardiff, W. H. Pethybridge, visited the United dressing room to offer them his congratulations. United remained in London for two days before travelling to Liverpool for a match against Everton. The team returned to Sheffield on 28 April, where they were met by a crowd of thousands before being driven to the town hall where they displayed the trophy from the balcony of the building.
Matches were scheduled to be played at the stadium of the team named first on the date specified for each round, which was always a Saturday. Some matches, however, might be rescheduled for other days if there were clashes with games for other competitions or the weather was inclement. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played, a replay would take place at the stadium of the second-named team later the same week. If the replayed match was drawn further replays would be held until a winner was determined. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played in a replay, a 30-minute period of extra time would be played.
The format of the FA Cup at that time was two preliminary rounds, six qualifying rounds, four proper rounds, the semi-finals and the final. This was the last season with the Cup in this format, as from the next season onwards, the fifth and sixth qualifying rounds would be renamed to the First and Second Rounds Proper.
United played Wednesday in the Second round proper on 31 January 1925. United won 3–2, these were the only goals United conceded in the entire competition!
The semi-final matches were played on Saturday, 28 March 1925. The matches ended in victories for Sheffield United and Cardiff City, who went on to meet in the final at Wembley.
28 March 1925 Sheffield United 2–0 Southampton
28 March 1925 Cardiff City 3–1 Blackburn Rovers
25 April 1925 Sheffield United 1–0 Cardiff City (Tunstall 30′)
Wembley, London – Attendance: 91.763 – Referee: G. N. Watson
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