This month sees the first FA Cup final at the New Wembley,so this months ‘Ground Image Of The Month’ features a photograph taking from the first FA Cup final at the old Empire Stadium Wembley between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United in 1923.
This was the first sporting event staged at the new 127,000 capacity national stadium,such was the interest generated for this first final that a huge crowd of an estimated 200,000 gathered at the venue,eventually bursting through the gates (and getting in for nowt!) and swarmed on to the pitch,it took PC Scorey and a grey horse named Billie to bring order to proceedings and clear the crowd from the pitch,the final was thereafter known as “The White Horse Final” as the giant horse appeared white on primitive newsreel footage, a footbridge built near the new stadium is named the ‘White Horse Bridge’ in honour of Billie.
The game eventually kicked off 45 minutes late with the spectators watching from the edge of the pitch,this caused inconvenience to the players when throw ins and corners were taking,the honour of the first Wembley cup final goal went to David Jack,scoring in the second minute as the Trotters went on to beat the Hammers 2-0.
This incident gave birth to the all ticket match with all finals being all ticket affairs ever since,the official attendance was giving as 126,047,but it’s been estimated there could have been up to 240,000 present,a record attendance for a football match which will never be beating.