SOUTHERN CHARITY CUP WINNERS

SEASON 1910-1911
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The cup winning squad

Just days after the Town clinched the Southern League title with a win over Brighton at the County Ground, they met them again in the final of the Southern Charity Cup. The Charity Cup served as a cup competition for all members of the Southern League - a third of the proceeds going to charities designated by the competition's entrants.

Swindon made hard work of getting to the final - having successfully seen off Plymouth and Bristol Rovers in rounds one and two, they met Queens Park Rangers in the semi-final - a tie which proved to be an epic. The first game was played at Stamford Bridge in November, and ended in a 1-1 draw. A replay was arranged three weeks later, this time at Fulham, but the score ended the same. The two sides then had to wait almost four months before the tie was resumed - but yet again, the game ended in a draw - with the teams locked at 0-0, fifteen minutes of extra time was played, before bad light stopped play. A fortnight later, they reconvened at White Hart Lane - and with the Town in the thick of the championship race, they chose to field a weakened line-up. Q.P.R. were installed as favourites, and the match finally looked settled as Rangers entered the final minute of the match with a 2-1 lead. Amazingly though, Ivor Mabberley popped up with an equaliser, and then another in extra time, to take the Town to the final. The semi-final had produced 405 minutes of football, and had taken 141 days to decide.

The final commenced just six days later, and was played at Craven Cottage, Fulham. The Town made a few changes from their usual line-up - George Rushton, John Morrison and Jack Burkinshaw all played in place of regulars like Billy Tout, Freddy Wheatcroft and captain Charlie Bannister. After a drab encounter, watched only by around three thousands spectators (the Charity Cup matches were all played on weekday afternoons), the score ended at 0-0 after 120 minutes of play. The match was re-arranged for three days later at the same venue, despite the attempts of Brighton officials to play the game at their Goldstone Ground.

Again the Town made changes, and though Tout, Wheatcroft and Bannister all returned, Bob Jefferson, Tommy Bolland and England international Harold Fleming were omitted. Nevertheless, the Town won by a single goal - Archie Bown heading home a cross from Wheatcroft, five minutes before half-time. The goal was hotly disputed - the Brighton players protesting that Wheatcroft had taken the ball over the goal-line before he centred the ball, but the referee, Mr G.W. Verge, awarded the goal after consulting a linesman.

Upon their return to Swindon, the team were greeted with a crowd of spectators at the train station, before going on to a victorious reception at the Eagle Hotel. The picture above shows the Town side from the 1911/1912 season, with the Dubonnet Cup, Southern League championship shield, and the Southern Charity Cup on the right.



 


Swindon Advertiser report from the Final.


Swindon Advertiser report from the Final Replay.


Report from the Swindon Advertiser, covering the after-match reception.


 

The squad the won the Dubonnet Cup, the Southern League championship, and the Southern Charity Cup during 1910 and 1911.
The cup winning squad