Stoke fans ‘hung out of trains’ to get to Manchester City on record-breaking day


No FA Cup action for Stoke City this week and even though Manchester City are in fifth round action tomorrow, you can bet cup fever won’t be a patch on this day in 1934.

Yes, today is the anniversary of when Man City v Stoke generated what is still the biggest ever crowd in English football outside of Wembley.

The excitement was so great for a quarter-final clash in 1934 that 25,000 supporters travelled north to make up a bumper attendance of 84,569.

The trains leaving Stoke station were so packed that some fans spent the entire journey in luggage racks and others were hanging out of windows.

There were high hopes that the Potters – who had been promoted back to the top flight the previous summer – were going to reach the last four for the first time since 1899.

After all, they were in the middle of a run which saw them win 11 out of 14 games.

And they had a new talisman in 19-year-old winger Stanley Matthews, who had found sensational form since emerging as a first team regular since Christmas.

He went on a run of scoring 15 goals in 25 league and cup appearances from Boxing Day to the end of the season.

But he missed a sitter at Maine Road.

In the first minute, Joe Johnson beat Frank Swift and smacked the ball across the face of goal but, with the keeper off his line, Matthews and Tommy Sale both mis-kicked.

Harry Davies then hit the crossbar within 60 seconds before the game tightened up and further chances proved few and far between.

In fact, the winner – and the only goal of the day – did not even come from a shot.

The home side’s left winger Eric Brook put in a cross but keeper Roy John was blinded by the sun, missed it’s flight and the ball flew into the top corner.

Gate receipts for the game were £5,426 and the record will not be beaten any time soon.

Manchester City fans kicking a football around on their way to watch the FA Cup final. (Photo by E Dean/Getty Images)

The Manchester City supporters club at Wembley in April 1934.

Man City went on to beat Aston Villa 6-1 in a semi-final at Huddersfield Town’s Leeds Road, then Portsmouth 2-1 in the final at Wembley – in front of a whopping 93,258-strong crowd.

Manchester City:  Swift, Barnett, Dale, Busby, Cowan, Bray, Toseland, Marshall, Tilson, Herd, Brook.

Stoke:  John, McGrory, Spencer, Tutin, Turner, Sellars, Matthews, Liddle, Sale, Davies , Johnson.





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