THE F.A.CUP FINAL  - 25th April 1936

Arsenal v Sheffield United

The photo shows Harry Hooper, the Blades captain shaking hands with his opposite number Alex James of Arsenal before the start of the Final. The referee is Harry Nattrass


The following is a match report that was taken from the Daily Telegraph 



Drama of Dodds Header That Hit Post *

A Champagne Shampoo

By Frank Coles

Arsenal are Cup holders again for the second time in six years As expected, they beat Sheffield United in Wembley's fourteenth Final Tie, but not as comfortably as 2-to-1-on favourites are supposed to win . 

The honours of a match which rarely produced a high standard of play should go to Sheffield United, whose defence held out for an hour and a quarter and who twice narrowly missed taking the lead before Drake scored. 

In winning the Cup for Arsenal at the 29th minute of the second half, Drake accepted the only scoring chance that came his way The opening was made by Bastin, who tricked Hooper very cleverly before pushing the ball squarely across to his unmarked centre-forward.

 It was the kind of opportunity Drake had been waiting for all the afternoon and, quick as thought, he swung his left leg at the ball Before Smith, the goalkeeper, could move an inch a crashing drive had found the roof of the net

Sheffield United could argue with justification that Bastin, might not have put Drake through if Hooper had not been handicapped by a leg injury They could also point to the fact that Jackson, playing immediately in front of Hooper, was also limping

Drake's goal gave new life to a game which for the greater part of the second half, had lapsed into a dull, dumdrum affair, so lacking in quality and thrills that the 93,000 crowd was almost silent


However, a touch of genuine drama was to follow No sooner had United set the ball rolling again than Barton streaked past Hapgood and swung over a beautifully accurate centre Dodds, pounding down the middle, got his head to the ball and a thrilled crowd yelled "Goal!

But no, the ball hit the crossbar with a bang instead of going into the net Terribly bad luck for United.

 They had struck back gallantly, and for practically the first time Arsenal's magnificent defence was shaken The movement, swift and sudden skilfully executed was a reminder of what had happened in the opening quarter of an hour, and it set me wondering why United did not exploit their five-men-up attack more often

As I had prophesied, United were an extremely dangerous team in the first 15 minutes because they were willing to gamble on attack They threw the last ounce into a grand assault on Arsenal's goal and, as early as the third minute, nearly succeeded


For 20 minutes United had Arsenal's defence at full stretch All this time Smith, in the United goal, was a spectator When, at length, he was called into action he ought to have been beaten; from Bastin's pass Bowden had an easy scoring chance To the undisguised dismay of Drake, who was by his side, Bowden shot weakly outside the post

This, Arsenal's first rejoinder to United's beginning gesture, marked the transfer of the initiative. Whereas Arsenal's goalkeeper was untroubled for the remainder of the opening half, Smith became the busiest man on the field Incidentally, he proved himself a first-class workman

The half hour after the interval did not provide the onlookers with much excitement

Fortunately, Drake's goal and United's bid to save the match made the last quarter of an hour worth while, but I am bound to say that as a spectacle this latest Final Tie disappointed me. The Sheffield forwards were unlucky. On their first Wembley appearance they met the most astute defence in the country And if they had shown a sign of wavering, United's attack assuredly would have won the match.

Barclay and Pickering, the inside forwards, were a long way ahead of Bowden and James They tried mightily hard to draw a cast-iron defence by holding the ball, and their understanding with the wing men was excellent

At outside right Barton was as effective as Hulme, without attempting to be as spectacular - he was always a worry to Hapgood - and, until he was slowed down by injury, Williams was dangerous, despite the fact that he was up against Male, the best back on the field

The experience of Dodds was in one respect similar to that of Drake Both met master stoppers But Dodds was given a far better service than Drake received If his luck had been good he would have converted a flashing cross from Williams midway through the second half The pace of the ball just beat him

I have described Male as the outstanding back Second to him I rate Hooper, United's captain, who had the difficult job of subduing Bastin.  Johnson, the centre-half, also played a great game.

Arsenal - Wilson, Male, Hapgood, Crayston, Roberts, Copping, Hulme, Bowden, Drake, James (Captain), Bastin

Sheffield United - Smith, J, Hooper (Captain), Wilkinson, Jackson Johnson, McPherson, Barton, Barclay, Dodds, Pickering, Williams 

Referee H Nattrass (Durham) Linesmen: J M Wiltshire (Dorset) and Dr A W Barton (Amateur FA.)  

Attendance 93,384

* Jack Dodds recalled the incident in later years. He pointed out that the Gunners centre half Herbie Roberts nudged him in the back just as his head made contact with the ball. If Roberts had not fouled him, he was sure that he would have scored the equaliser.

There is also a copy of a match report that appeared in the Scotsman two days later


Back Row  Davison, (Secretary-Manager) Jackson, Cox, Smith, Hooper (Captain), Wilkinson, McPherson, Steele (Coach)

Front Row  Barton, Williams, Barclay, Stacey, Dodds, Pickering, Bird, T Johnson, Boot 

Sheffield United's FA Cup run that year is highlighted in the following table 

Date Round Team Result Scorers Attendance
11 Jan Third Round.(Away) Burnley 0-0   25,444
16 Jan Third Round - replay (Home) Burnley 2-1 Barton, Barclay 12,802
25 Jan Fourth Round (Away) Preston North  End 0-0   35,368
30 Jan Fourth Round - replay (Home) Preston North  End 2-0 Dodds, Barton 34.529
15 Feb Fifth Round (Home) Leeds United 3-1 Pickering (2), Dodds 68,287
29 Feb Sixth Round (Home) Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Barclay, Dodds (2) 22,295
21 Mar Semi Final - Molineux Fulham 2-1 Pickering, Bird 51,568

Above is another team photograph that was taken around the same time

There are a few interesting points that can be made with regard to the events of that season


Born : Southampton, Hampshire 16 August 1912 and was signed from Southampton in March 1934 for 6,500. He made his debut at Highbury against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 24 March 1934 (Arsenal won 3-2 and Drake scored on his debut) 

Played for Arsenal 1934-45

League played 168  goals 124
FA Cup played 14  goals 1
Charity Shield played 2 goals 3
Arsenal Total played 184 total goals 139

England Internationals 5. He made his international debut on 14th November 1934 against Italy in a friendly international and scored the third goal in a 3 -2 win

2 League Championship medals 1934-35 1937-8   

FA Cup Winners medal 1935-36

FA Charity Shield Winners Medal 1934-35 1938-39

Previous Clubs Southampton Gasworks, Winchester City, Southampton

Manager of Hendon 1946, Reading 1947-52, Chelsea 1955 for nine seasons (the only Chelsea manager to win championship). Reserve team manager and chief scout at Fulham.

Jock also shares the distinction along with George Ker of Queens Park (1880 - 1882) of being the player who has scored most goals against England at international level. Jock scored seven goals against England, but these were all during World War II, so were not regarded as official.  His first was at Newcastle in 1939 and his seventh at Villa Park in 1945. Jock, who played for Sheffield United in the 1936 F.A. Cup Final, scored a hat-trick against England in a 5-4 win at Hampden Park, in 1942. He played in six wartime games against England, but never won a full international cap for Scotland.


The Daily Telegraph

Rothmans Football Yearbook

Sheffield United The First Hundred Years - Denis Clarebrough


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This page was last updated on 16/02/15 08:20