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The 1923 Cup Final

Posted in Animals, Historical articles, History, Sport, Sporting Heroes on Tuesday, 31 May 2011

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This edited article about Wembley Stadium originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 954 published on 3 May 1980.

Wembley, picture, image, illustration

PC Scorey on his white horse at Wembley

Built for the 1924 Empire Exhibition, at a cost of £750,000, Wembley Stadium in London was opened on 28th April, 1923, for its first FA Cup Final.

From the beginning, the stadium established the reputation for drama which was always to be associated with the events it staged.

The final was intended to be the first “pay at the gate” one, but this idea was later seen to be impracticable.

The match was delayed when thousands of fans rushed the gate. They invaded the pitch, and formed a wall of bodies along the touchline.

It was a tense situation for the crowd and for the police alike, with at least 126,000 spectators (and probably nearer 160,000) crammed into the stadium to see West Ham play Bolton Wanderers.

Only the courage of PC George Albert Scorey, on his white horse, Billy, prevented a disaster, as he valiantly held the centre of the pitch and restored order. The game, after a 40-minute delay, went ahead with the pitch hemmed in by spectators. The final score-line, 57 years ago, was 2-0 to Bolton. A West Ham player, understandably bitter, remarked that his best pass of the afternoon came from a spectator.

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