Their last FA Cup final ... the glorious pasts of this year's four semi-finalists

Just for once, fans of all the teams left need long memories to remember their last time at English football's showpiece

This year's semi-finalists are a bonanza for souvenir sellers. There will be no wearing last year's memorabilia, as is often the case in recent years. None of the quartet has reached a final for 40 years, three have not made it since the Second World War and Barnsley not since before the First. So even if Dad, or Grandad, kept his FA Cup momentoes they will be far too valuable to dig out of the loft and wave around at Wembley this weekend.

Barnsley: 1912

More than 200 coaches will leave South Yorkshire for Wembley tomorrow. When Barnsley last reached the FA Cup final, 96 years ago, horse-drawn charabanc was a more likely mode of transport. There was no Sat Nav then but the nags should have known the way, it was Barnsley's second final at the old Crystal Palace in three years. In 1910 the Second Division club had taken Newcastle to a replay before losing. They again held top-flight opposition in West Bromwich before winning the replay, at nearby Bramall Lane, 1-0 with a goal two minutes from the end of extra-time from Harry Tufnell.

Barnsley's strength was defence, with six goalless draws in their record 12-match Cup run including three against Bradford City, knocking the holders out 1-0. The following year Barnsley sold half-back George Utley to Sheffield United for a British record £2,000 and their fortunes declined.

Champions: Blackburn.

British record transfer fee: £1,000 Alf Common (Sunderland to Middlesbrough, 1905).

Also that year: The Titanic sinks; Scott dies in the Antarctic.

Prime Minister: Herbert Asquith (Liberal).

Monarch: George V.

Killer fact: For the third successive season the final was drawn, a feat not achieved again for 58 years.

Cardiff City: 1927

The first and, to date, only time the FA Cup has left England, except on the increasingly common sponsors' promotional tours. Cardiff's win was famously attributed to the greasy surface of Arsenal goalkeeper Dan Lewis's new jersey, not least by the goalkeeper himself as he fumbled Hughie Ferguson's 73rd-minute shot, the ball slipping from his chest and into the net via his elbow. For decades, it is said, Arsenal always washed their keeper's jersey before use.

The Bluebirds credit the win to Trixie, a black cat they adopted as a lucky mascot. The cat followed a number of City players around a golf course, leading to the players adopting the moggie.

Champions: Newcastle.

Record transfer fee: £6,500 Bob Kelly (Burnley to Sunderland, 1925).

Also that year: Charles Lindburgh flies the Atlantic; first transatlantic phonecall made.

Prime Minister: Ramsey MacDonald (Labour).

Monarch: George V.

Killer fact: Abide With Me sung for the first time before a final.

Portsmouth: 1939

By now it was firmly established that any Cup run was as likely to be the result of luck as skill. Portsmouth thus arrived placing their faith in manager Jack Tinn's "lucky spats". Wolves flamboyant manager Major Frank Buckley trusted in his team's special diet featuring 'monkey gland' supplements. The shoes won with struggling Pompey creating one of the biggest final upsets by beating Wolves 4-1.

Wolves, who were also runners-up in the League, had Stan Cullis at the heart of their defence but they were given the runaround by Portsmouth.

Pompey's opening goal came from a familiar face, Bert Barlow having been on the Molineux books just two months previously. John Anderson added a second prior to half-time before a Cliff Parker brace sandwiched Dicky Dorsett's reply.

For once "consolation" was an appropriate description of his goal, as the teenager was at the time the youngest FA Cup final scorer. John Sissons (West Ham United 1964) and Norman Whiteside (Manchester United, 1983).

Ten years later Cullis became the youngest FA Cup-winning manager, guiding Wolves to victory over Leicester aged 33.

Champions: Everton.

Record transfer fee: £14,500 (Bryn Jones, Wolves to Arsenal, 1938).

Also that year: Second World War declared.

Prime Minister: Neville Chamberlain (Conservative).

Monarch: George VI.

Killer fact: Portsmouth held the trophy for six years as a result of the Second World war. It remained safe despite heavy bombing of the naval port.

West Bromwich Albion: 1968

Modern trends had begun to infiltrate the game. Both sides wore their away shirts in the final and West Brom's Dennis Clarke became the first substitute in an FA Cup final. He replaced the injured John Kaye for extra time. This was long overdue as many finals had been ruined by a player suffering injury. With 37-year-old John Osbourne keeping a clean sheet the tie was won by Jeff Astle's extra-time winner. This earned the Baggies their fifth triumph and enabled Astle to become only the eighth player to score in every round of the tournament. Only Peter Osgood (Chelsea, 1970) has since achieved the feat.

Everton's line-up included future Goodison Park managers Howard Kendall, Joe Royle and Colin Harvey.

Champions: Manchester City

Record transfer fee: £125,000 (Martin Chivers, Southampton to Tottenham, 1968)

Also that year: Martin Luther King assassinated; student riots in Paris.

Prime Minister: Harold Wilson (Labour)

Monarch: Elizabeth II

Killer fact: The first final to be televised in colour.

News
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own