Dixie’s Cup Final

The 1933 FA Cup final was a momentous one for many reasons. Ted Sagar and Dixie Dean were appearing in what turned out to be their only FA Cup final. It was Everton’s first Wembley cup final appearance and the players wore numbers on their shirts for the first time in a competitive match. The numbers were from 1-22, with Everton wearing one to eleven and City wearing 12-22.

With both teams first choice jerseys being blue, neutral strips had to be worn. City chose Red and Everton chose white. Everton had no proper manager at the time and so the team selection was almost certainly taken in consultation with skipper Dixie Dean. The selection was to prove a slightly controversial one.

Everton’s decision to omit Ted Critchley in preference to Albert Geldard on the right wing had caused some consternation amongst the Goodison faithful. Critchley who had lost his place seven months earlier had been brought back in the semi final game against West Ham and had scored the winning goal.

City had their own problems too. Centre forward Freddie Tilson was ruled out and Marshall came in at inside right with Herd moving to centre forward. It was veteran Jimmy McMullan’s last game before his retirement and was looking to sign off on a high.

City were fastest off the starting blocks creating a chance within the first minute. Toseland sent over a high, searching far post cross which Sagar did well to hold. Although he was rarely troubled on the day, Sagar’s calm assurance when he handled the ball had a positive, inspiring effect on his team mates.

Everton turned the tables on City and started to get a foothold on the game. With Dean in tremendous form it was only a matter of time before City’s defence buckled and so it proved in the 41st minute. City keeper Langford under intense pressure from Dean dropped a Britton cross and winger Stein had the simple task of side footing the ball home from close range. 1-0 to Everton!

The hapless Langford was guilty of another howler seven minutes into the second period when he failed to hold another Britton cross and Dean powerfully headed home a deserved goal. Ten minutes from time Jimmy Dunn got his name on the scoresheet with the third getting on the end of Geldard’s looping cross. The winger’s selection had been vindicated by his valuable contribution.

The referee blew for full time and Everton climbed the steps to the royal box. Dean received the trophy and held it aloft to the Blue half of the 93,000 crowd and the party went on into the night both in London and all the way back down to Liverpool.

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