Archivist: Bristol City 0-1 Manchester United, 1909 FA Cup Final
Crystal Palace, 24 April 1909: Manchester United captain Charlie Roberts leads his team out on to the pitch for the FA Cup Final against Bristol City.
United won the final, their first FA Cup triumph, with a goal in the 22nd minute from their Scottish forward Sandy Turnbull.
Turnbull was a superb player but his career was seriously tainted. Twice he was implicated in match-fixing. The second time he received a lifetime ban for his part in United’s dubious 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in 1915. Two years later he was killed in the Battle of the Somme. In 1919 his ban was lifted, albeit posthumously.
Note Charlie Roberts’ shorts – saucily high for the times. Roberts earned a reputation as his own man and not only because he contravened FA regulations by wearing his shorts above the knee; he was instrumental in the formation of the Players’ Union, now the PFA.
This remains City’s only appearance in an FA Cup Final. Sad face.