FA Cup: When Speirs headed in to help Bradford City bring the Cup home

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BRADFORD CITY may have become the third Yorkshire club to lift the FA Cup when beating Newcastle United in 1911.

But, as the Football Association vice-president Charles Crump pointed out before handing the trophy over to captain Jimmy Speirs, the Bantams would forever hold the proud boast of being the first team to have their name inscripted on the base.

And what is more, the trophy itself had been designed and made by a Bradford jewellers, Fattorini & Sons.

The win was a deserved one, even if City only triumphed after a replay against the Magpies at Old Trafford. The first tie, which ended goalless, took place at Crystal Palace and 11 trains took around 6,000 Bantams fans to the capital.

Back in Bradford, thousands more had gathered outside the offices of the local evening newspaper in Market Street waiting for news of the final. As the nearby Town Hall clock ticked on, a shout went up that City had scored but it was wishful thinking and the final finished goalless.

Five days later, the two teams met again in the replay in Manchester and this time Bradford had the backing of more than 14,000 supporters with many more locked out.

The early play belonged to Newcastle but it was City who were destined to prevail thanks to a header from Speirs.

City’s victorious team returned to their home city at 9pm that night and an estimated 100,000 locals packed the streets hoping for a glimpse of the trophy.

Getting from the old Exchange station to the Midland Hotel was far from easy thanks to the excited throng but the players eventually made it to toast City’s finest hour.

The Cup would remain in use for 80 years before, in response to inevitable wear and tear, an exact replica was commissioned by the FA. Fattorini’s original is currently at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

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