The Community Shield is now traditionally contested by the Premier League Champions and the FA Cup winners as the curtain raiser to the English football season.
In the past though all manner of teams have contested the game and more than a few famous events had punctuated the event.
The publicity will tell you that this year will see the centenary of what has long been known as the Charity Shield. However Toast researchers believe that it is ten years older. Between 1898 and 1907 a match was contested between the country’s leading amateur team and the top professional club of the year. The match was played at the end of the season for the Sheriff of London Shield. The Football Association and the amateur equivalent had a disagreement and it was discontinued.
The role of honour of the old trophy includes the famous amateur club Corinthian Casuals (who beat Bury 10-3 in 1904) and current Premier League outfits Newcastle, Aston Villa, Spurs, Liverpool and Sunderland. The original trophy stood over six feet high and was the largest ever trophy contested in football. The Corinthians auctioned the trophy in the 1980’s to raise much needed cash and it is now thought to be in America.
Manchester United are the only club to have won the Charity Shield after a replay doing so in the inaugural year of 1908. Queens Park Rangers were the Southern League Champions that year and perished 4-0 in that replay.
United returned to win the trophy again three years later thumping Swindon Town 8-4!! United did not win the Shield again until 1952 but after their 2007 shoot out win over Chelsea, they have now won it on fourteen occasions.
On Sunday Pompey will be the first side outside the big four to contest the shield since Newcastle in 1996. This will be Pompey’s second Charity Shield and they drew the first in 1949 when as Champions they drew 1-1 with Wolves at Highbury – Duggie Reid scored the goal in front of 25,000 fans. In those days the Shield was then shared between the clubs.
The next season Pompey were champions again but the FA organised a game between the England World Cup team and an FA Canadian touring team in place of the usual club game. The match was played at Stamford Bridge in September 1950 and the two teams read like a who’s who of England football. Tom Finney, Billy Wright, Nat Lofthouse, Stan Mortensen, Alf Ramsey, Stanley Matthews and Wilf Mannion were amongst the two teams. It was no wonder over 38,000 turned up on a Wednesday afternoon to watch. To make up for Pompey’s disappointment both Jimmy Dickinson and Reg Flewin played (on opposite sides).
It was 1959 before the FA moved the game to the start of the season and it was usually then played on the ground of one of the competing clubs.
What a goal!
The TV cameras were rarely seen at Charity Shield games but they were there at Old Trafford in August 1967 when champions Manchester United took on Cup Winners Tottenham Hotspur. This game featured one of the most remarkable goals ever seen.
Pat Jennings the Spurs keeper took a clearance kick from the Stretford End penalty area and the ball sailed high and long and deceived United keeper Alex Stepney before ending up in the net. Stepney blamed the sun but it was a lovely moment for Jennings one of the real gentlemen of football and a happy genial Ulsterman. The game finished 3-3.
Live Television arrives
The first Shield to be shown live on television was the Leeds United and Liverpool game in 1974. Ted Croker the FA boss also decided that Wembley Stadium would be the best setting for the season curtain raiser.
The game did not disappoint. The teams were led out by two famous managers – Liverpool by Bill Shankly and Leeds not by Don Revie who was now England manager but new boss Brian Clough. Clough had tried to get Revie to lead out Leeds but was told to get on with it.
The abrasive Clough had shaken up Leeds and they were in no mood to play a friendly with Liverpool – their old foes. Billy Bremner and Johnny Giles were soon at the ankles of the Red’s players and it was no surprise when eventually Bremner clashed with Kevin Keegan and a brawl commenced leaving the referee no alternative but to show both players the red card. It a famous incident they both stormed off and threw their shirts away in anger as they marched down the touchline to the dressing rooms.
That was the first time a red card was seen at Wembley stadium and sparked a response form the media. The FA Disciplinary Committee chairman Vernon Stokes (former Pompey director) called his group together and meted out 11 match bans to both players and fined them each £500!!
The Times reported ‘Never before had Wembley witnessed such a disgrace as two British players for the first time were dismissed from the stadium. It made child’s play of the Rattin affair in the World Cup of 1966.’ Toast’s Eastneydave was at the Rattin game and concurs with that opinion.
(For the record Liverpool beat Leeds 6-5 on penalties)
So that is it then The Community Shield as it became in 2003 is the first trophy of the season and although a friendly game it does not always live up to its name.
If you are going enjoy the game and sing your hearts out as Pompey have no more games scheduled at Wembley so it may be along time before we go back.
Written by eastneydave.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.