Looking back at the FA Cup round that lasted up to 66 days (Part 2)

Bad weather has caused the third round of the FA Cup of 1962/1963 to be delayed … 261 times.

3 of 29 matches took place

The weather has worsened since December. Frost fog has forced 18 Football League matches to be canceled, including eight on December 22, 1962. Four days later, most of England was covered in 35.5cm thick snow.

The snow kept falling, the frost never thinned, and the ice in the River Thames was so thick that one could organize a race on it. January 1963 goes down to history as the coldest month of 20th century England.

Because much of England is flooded with snow, fresh food prices are up 30% and in many areas, the main water supply has been frozen. Naturally, English football is not prepared for such a sudden, impactful crisis.

At this time, some teams still don’t have headlights, so the FA called on teams to play in the afternoon to avoid having their power cut. However, only a few yards (Goodison Park among them) have underground heating.

So on January 5, only three matches of the third round of the FA Cup took place: In the Northwest, Preston lost 1-4 at home to Sunderland and Tranmere drew 2-2 with Chelsea. In the southwest, Plymouth football team was beaten 5-1 by West Brom.

Many football matches were postponed

29 other matches were postponed. With only Sunderland and West Brom winning tickets for the fourth round, 62 teams entered what The Times described dryly as “one of the most extraordinary rounds in tournament history …”

Of course, realizing that the icy will not soon melt and know that, if the fans do not come to the field will affect their finances, the team owners are trying to think of a solution as long as is a playable field. They took them to Danish snow moving tractors, fire generators, hot air machines, and also tried de-ice pellets.

In fact, even when the snow is cleared, the ground is usually frozen to almost 1 meter. Wrexham has dirtied their Racecourse Ground with more than 80 tons of sand and the reward for being able to play after 4 days is delayed. The thing is, they lost 0-3 on the beach court before Liverpool of legend Bill Shankly later.


Looking back at the FA Cup round that lasted up to 66 days (Part 1)

Today, the team must replay a match in the FA Cup makes them feel tired, but in the 1962-63 season, a round of the tournament lasts up to 66 days.

The bad weather

It took 66 days to complete the third round of the FA Cup in the 1962-63 season. The chaos, hardship and hope of collapse that affected English football in the coldest winter since 1740 are stamped on the picture of Sheffield United’s third round match schedule against Bolton, scheduled to take place on January 5, 1963.

It came with the words: “After much delay due to unprecedented winter conditions, the last match took place on February 20, 1963, the ball rolled at 7:15 pm. FINAL! On March 6, 1963, the ball rolled at 7:15 pm. ”

The two emotional “FINAL” words were almost the last word for the longest round in FA Cup history. The third round suffered 261 delays (Lincoln City – Coventry was postponed 15 times) when it snowed 15 feet (4.75m) thick, stormy winds, frosty fog, three months of frost and temperatures as low as -20, 6 degrees Celsius, making the match impossible.

As usual, the round started on 5/1 – only 3 matches took place – and closed when Middlesbrough defeated Blackburn 3-1 at Ayresome Park on March 11.

In this round, the FA panicked over the financial consequences of freezing – for example, Blackpool did not play a home game between December 15 and March 2 – to the extent recommended. interest-free loans. However, teams are not the only ones who feel uncomfortable.

Because there are no matches to attract millions of betting players to predict the score, the companies fearing bankruptcy have created a Pool Panel like a football lottery, which means predicting football results in days (but not the score).

Until the FA tries to find a solution to escape the climate chaos, the season must last longer, meaning the FA Cup final will take place 3 weeks later than planned, on May 25 / 1963.