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Preston’s Revenge: The 1938 FA Cup Final Huddersfield vs Preston

Back in the early days of the FA Cup, Huddersfield Town took the trophy home after beating Preston North End in the 1922 FA Cup Final. The match went down in history and was played at Stamford Bridge, the last FA Cup Final to be played outside of Wembley until 1970.

Huddersfield’s winning goal was scored from a controversial penalty kick in the 67th minute; which was later confirmed to have been awarded in error.

Nevertheless, Huddersfield Town had won in the FA Cup Final. 16 years later, Preston North End would get their revenge.

The 1938 FA Cup Final

On April 30, 1938, Preston North End met Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup Final again. Preston had played an amazing season, whereas The Terriers had barely scraped through to the Wembley showcase.

This FA Cup Final was broadcasted on television and drew in an estimated 10,000 viewers.

King George VI welcomed the players, shaking their hands before the match – but, despite the excitement, the match was uneventful and finished 0-0.

Karma

The referee blew his whistle to signal the start of extra time – and here, Preston’s luck changed.

George Mutch – one of Preston’s greatest ever players – latched onto a gorgeous through pass from Shankly to go one-on-one with the keeper only to be brought down inside the box by Alf Young. Preston North End were subsequently awarded a penalty.

Just like the 1922 FA Cup Final, the penalty was questioned as to whether the tackle had occurred inside the box. Shankly, oddly, refused to take the penalty as he was too nervous; instead it was left to Mutch to score.

With less than one minute to go, Mutch stepped up, smashed the inside of the crossbar and scored, giving Preston North End the win.

In the build up to Preston’s goal, commentator Thomas Woodroffe exclaimed: “If there’s a goal scored now, I’ll eat my hat.” And, true to his word, the commentator appeared on TV and proceeded to devour a cake in the shape of a boater hat.

They do say that revenge is a dish best served cold.

Life After the FA Cup Win

War interrupted what should have been the finest years of Shankly’s playing career but, before he was 30 years old, Shankly was serving in the RAF.

He continued to play throughout the Second World War in various, wartime League Cup matches. He even played for Liverpool in a derby match at Anfield, winning 4-1.

Once the war had ended, Shankly returned to Preston, becoming captain in 1949. But, at 33, his playing days were coming to an end and, as a masseur, Shankly set his sights on coaching and management.

Shankly left Preston North End in 1949 to manage Carlisle United, much to the Lilywhites’ disappointment.

Even though his time with Preston was short-lived, Shankly counted the 1938 FA Cup Final as one of the pinnacle moments of his playing career.

“When the whistle blows at Wembley and you’ve played in a final and you’ve won, that’s the greatest thrill of your life. No doubt about that. I thanked God for that. That feeling is unbelievable,” exclaimed Shankly.

The Shankly Hotel Preston

FA Cup Final

We at Signature Living are looking forward to celebrating everything Preston has to say and do. We also can’t wait to continue the story of The Old Post Office and what we do best by reviving this iconic, architectural masterpiece.

With plans for The Shankly Preston and The Carriage nearing completion, make sure to keep on top of the latest news by checking back to the blog soon and following our Facebook Page.