1938–39 FA Cup

1938–39 FA Cup
Country England
Champions Portsmouth
Runners-up Wolverhampton Wanderers

The 1938–39 FA Cup was the 64th season of the world's oldest football cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup. Portsmouth won the competition for the first time, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 4–1 in the final at Wembley. As this was the last full FA Cup competition before the Second World War, Portsmouth held the trophy until the end of the 1945-46 season.

Matches were scheduled to be played at the stadium of the team named first on the date specified for each round, which was always a Saturday. Some matches, however, might be rescheduled for other days if there were clashes with games for other competitions or the weather was inclement. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played, a replay would take place at the stadium of the second-named team later the same week. If the replayed match was drawn further replays would be held until a winner was determined. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played in a replay, a 30-minute period of extra time would be played.


Round Date
Extra Preliminary Round Saturday 3 September 1938
Preliminary Round Saturday 17 September 1938
First Round Qualifying Saturday 1 October 1938
Second Round Qualifying Saturday 15 October 1938
Third Round Qualifying Saturday 29 October 1938
Fourth Round Qualifying Saturday 12 November 1938
First Round Proper Saturday 26 November 1938
Second Round Proper Saturday 10 December 1938
Third Round Proper Saturday 7 January 1939
Fourth Round Proper Saturday 21 January 1939
Fifth Round Proper Saturday 11 February 1939
Sixth Round Proper Saturday 4 March 1939
Semi-Finals Saturday 25 March 1939
Final Saturday 29 April 1939

First round proper

At this stage, 43 clubs from the Football League Third Division North and South joined the 25 non-league clubs having come through the qualifying rounds. Barnsley, York City and Notts County were given a bye to the Third Round. To make the number of matches up, non-league Scarborough and Bromley were given byes to this round. 34 matches were scheduled to be played on Saturday, 26 November 1938. Eight were drawn and went to replays in the following midweek fixture.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1Chester3–1Bradford City26 November 1938
2Darlington4–0Stalybridge Celtic26 November 1938
3Bournemouth2–1Bristol City26 November 1938
4Watford4–1Northampton Town26 November 1938
5Reading3–3Newport County26 November 1938
ReplayNewport County3–1Reading5 December 1938
6Walsall4–1Carlisle United26 November 1938
7Folkestone2–1Colchester United26 November 1938
8Lincoln City4–1Barrow26 November 1938
9Gainsborough Trinity2–1Gateshead26 November 1938
10Swindon Town6–0Lowestoft Town26 November 1938
11Scarborough0–0Southport26 November 1938
ReplaySouthport5–3Scarborough29 November 1938
12Doncaster Rovers4–2New Brighton26 November 1938
13Wrexham1–2Port Vale26 November 1938
14Ipswich Town7–0Street26 November 1938
15Bristol Rovers4–1Peterborough United26 November 1938
16Bromley2–1Apsley26 November 1938
17Hull City4–1Rotherham United26 November 1938
18Clapton Orient3–1Hayes26 November 1938
19Oldham Athletic2–2Crewe Alexandra26 November 1938
ReplayCrewe Alexandra1–0Oldham Athletic30 November 1938
20Crystal Palace1–1Queens Park Rangers26 November 1938
ReplayQueens Park Rangers3–0Crystal Palace28 November 1938
21Southend United3–0Corinthian26 November 1938
22Hartlepools United2–1Accrington Stanley26 November 1938
23Scunthorpe United4–2Lancaster City26 November 1938
24Halifax Town7–3Rochdale26 November 1938
25Cheltenham Town1–1Cardiff City26 November 1938
ReplayCardiff City1–0Cheltenham Town30 November 1938
26Yeovil & Petter's United2–1Brighton & Hove Albion26 November 1938
27Runcorn3–0Wellington Town26 November 1938
28Torquay United3–1Exeter City26 November 1938
29Workington1–1Mansfield Town26 November 1938
ReplayMansfield Town2–1Workington30 November 1938
30Walthamstow Avenue4–1Tunbridge Wells Rangers26 November 1938
31Aldershot1–1Guildford City26 November 1938
ReplayGuildford City3–4Aldershot30 November 1938
32Horden CW1–1Chorley26 November 1938
ReplayChorley1–2Horden CW30 November 1938
33North Shields1–4Stockport County26 November 1938
34Chelmsford City4–0Kidderminster Harriers26 November 1938

Second Round Proper

The matches were played on Saturday, 10 December 1938. Four matches were drawn, with replays taking place in the following midweek fixture. One of these, Halifax Town vs. Mansfield Town, then went to two more replays before being settled.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1Chester2–2Hull City10 December 1938
ReplayHull City0–1Chester15 December 1938
2Walsall4–2Clapton Orient10 December 1938
3Folkestone1–1Yeovil & Petter's United10 December 1938
ReplayYeovil & Petter's United1–0Folkestone15 December 1938
4Lincoln City8–1Bromley10 December 1938
5Gainsborough Trinity0–1Doncaster Rovers10 December 1938
6Ipswich Town4–1Torquay United10 December 1938
7Stockport County0–0Walthamstow Avenue10 December 1938
ReplayWalthamstow Avenue1–3Stockport County15 December 1938
8Bristol Rovers0–3Bournemouth10 December 1938
9Hartlepools United0–2Queens Park Rangers10 December 1938
10Scunthorpe United1–2Watford10 December 1938
11Cardiff City1–0Crewe Alexandra10 December 1938
12Port Vale0–1Southend United10 December 1938
13Halifax Town1–1Mansfield Town10 December 1938
ReplayMansfield Town3–3Halifax Town14 December 1938
ReplayMansfield Town0–0Halifax Town19 December 1938
ReplayMansfield Town1–2Halifax Town21 December 1938
14Southport2–0Swindon Town10 December 1938
15Runcorn3–1Aldershot10 December 1938
16Horden CW2–3Newport County10 December 1938
17Chelmsford City3–1Darlington10 December 1938

Third round proper

The 44 First and Second Division clubs entered the competition at this stage, along with Barnsley, York City and Notts County. The matches were scheduled for Saturday, 7 January 1939, although seven matches began at later dates. Eight matches were drawn and went to replays, with one of these requiring a second replay to settle the fixture.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1Birmingham2–0Halifax Town7 January 1939
2Blackpool1–2Sheffield United7 January 1939
3Chester1–0Coventry City7 January 1939
4Chesterfield1–1Southend United11 January 1939
ReplaySouthend United4–3Chesterfield16 January 1939
5Liverpool3–0Luton Town7 January 1939
6Leicester City1–1Stoke City7 January 1939
ReplayStoke City1–2Leicester City11 January 1939
7Notts County3–1Burnley7 January 1939
8Blackburn Rovers2–0Swansea Town7 January 1939
9Aston Villa1–1Ipswich Town7 January 1939
ReplayIpswich Town1–2Aston Villa11 January 1939
10Sheffield Wednesday1–1Yeovil & Petter's United7 January 1939
ReplayYeovil & Petter's United1–2Sheffield Wednesday12 January 1939
11Grimsby Town6–0Tranmere Rovers10 January 1939
12Wolverhampton Wanderers3–1Bradford Park Avenue7 January 1939
13Middlesbrough0–0Bolton Wanderers7 January 1939
ReplayBolton Wanderers0–0Middlesbrough11 January 1939
ReplayBolton Wanderers0–1Middlesbrough16 January 1939
14West Bromwich Albion0–0Manchester United7 January 1939
ReplayManchester United1–5West Bromwich Albion11 January 1939
15Sunderland3–0Plymouth Argyle7 January 1939
16Derby County0–1Everton7 January 1939
17Tottenham Hotspur7–1Watford7 January 1939
18Queens Park Rangers1–2West Ham United7 January 1939
19Fulham6–0Bury7 January 1939
20Barnsley1–2Stockport County7 January 1939
21Brentford0–2Newcastle United7 January 1939
22Portsmouth4–0Lincoln City7 January 1939
23Norwich City0–5Manchester City12 January 1939
24Chelsea2–1Arsenal7 January 1939
25Huddersfield Town0–0Nottingham Forest11 January 1939
ReplayNottingham Forest0–3Huddersfield Town16 January 1939
26Cardiff City1–0Charlton Athletic7 January 1939
27Newport County0–2Walsall7 January 1939
28Southport1–1Doncaster Rovers10 January 1939
ReplayDoncaster Rovers2–1Southport12 January 1939
29Runcorn2–4Preston North End7 January 1939
30Leeds United3–1Bournemouth11 January 1939
31York City0–5Millwall11 January 1939
32Chelmsford City4–1Southampton7 January 1939

Fourth round proper

The matches were scheduled for Saturday, 21 January 1939. Five games were drawn and went to replays, of which two went to a second replay.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1Birmingham6–0Chelmsford City21 January 1939
2Liverpool5–1Stockport County21 January 1939
3Preston North End2–0Aston Villa21 January 1939
4Notts County0–0Walsall21 January 1939
ReplayWalsall4–0Notts County26 January 1939
5Blackburn Rovers4–2Southend United21 January 1939
6Sheffield Wednesday1–1Chester21 January 1939
ReplayChester1–1Sheffield Wednesday25 January 1939
ReplaySheffield Wednesday2–0Chester30 January 1939
7Wolverhampton Wanderers5–1Leicester City21 January 1939
8Middlesbrough0–2Sunderland21 January 1939
9Everton8–0Doncaster Rovers21 January 1939
10Sheffield United2–0Manchester City21 January 1939
11Portsmouth2–0West Bromwich Albion21 January 1939
12West Ham United3–3Tottenham Hotspur21 January 1939
ReplayTottenham Hotspur1–1West Ham United30 January 1939
ReplayWest Ham United2–1Tottenham Hotspur2 February 1939
13Millwall2–2Grimsby Town21 January 1939
ReplayGrimsby Town3–2Millwall24 January 1939
14Chelsea3–0Fulham21 January 1939
15Cardiff City0–0Newcastle United21 January 1939
ReplayNewcastle United4–1Cardiff City25 January 1939
16Leeds United2–4Huddersfield Town21 January 1939

Fifth round proper

The matches were scheduled for Saturday, 11 February 1939. There were four replays, of which two went to second replays.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1Birmingham2–2Everton11 February 1939
ReplayEverton2–1Birmingham15 February 1939
2Wolverhampton Wanderers4–1Liverpool11 February 1939
3Sunderland1–1Blackburn Rovers11 February 1939
ReplayBlackburn Rovers0–0Sunderland16 February 1939
ReplayBlackburn Rovers1–0Sunderland20 February 1939
4Sheffield United0–0Grimsby Town11 February 1939
ReplayGrimsby Town1–0Sheffield United14 February 1939
5Newcastle United1–2Preston North End11 February 1939
6Portsmouth2–0West Ham United11 February 1939
7Chelsea1–1Sheffield Wednesday11 February 1939
ReplaySheffield Wednesday0–0Chelsea13 February 1939
ReplayChelsea3–1Sheffield Wednesday20 February 1939
8Huddersfield Town3–0Walsall11 February 1939

Sixth round proper

The four Sixth Round ties were scheduled to be played on Saturday, 4 March 1939. There was one replay, in the Huddersfield Town–Blackburn Rovers match.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1Wolverhampton Wanderers2–0Everton4 March 1939
2Portsmouth1–0Preston North End4 March 1939
3Chelsea0–1Grimsby Town4 March 1939
4Huddersfield Town1–1Blackburn Rovers4 March 1939
ReplayBlackburn Rovers1–2Huddersfield Town9 March 1939


The semi-final matches were played on Saturday, 25 March 1939. Wolverhampton Wanderers and Portsmouth won their matches to meet in the final at Wembley.


Main article: 1939 FA Cup Final

The 1939 FA Cup Final was contested by Portsmouth and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wembley. Portsmouth won 4–1, with goals from Bert Barlow, John Anderson and two by Cliff Parker. Dicky Dorsett scored Wolves' effort.

As a result of the suspension of the FA Cup for the duration of the Second World War, the next FA Cup final was not until seven years later in 1946, thereby enabling Portsmouth fans to claim that their team has held the Cup for the longest time.

Match details

29 April 1939
15:00 GMT
Portsmouth 4 – 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Barlow  29'
Anderson  43'
Parker  46',  71'
Dorsett  54'
Empire Stadium, Wembley, London
Attendance: 99,370
Referee: T. Thompson (Leamington)

See also


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