Arsenal History – Great Video of Vintage Arsenal v Chelsea 1952 FA Cup Semi-Final

It’s not often that you find extremely good ancient Black and White footage of classic football games, but this one from Pathe news is excellent, and I was informed about by the great JustArsenal regular Ken1945.

This is what I have managed to find out about the tie….

The 1952 FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Chelsea was arranged for 29 March 1952 at White Hart Lane. The match was abandoned due to heavy snow.

A replay was held on 5th April but this time it kicked off but yet again got abandoned in the 72rd minute to to more heavy snow!

It was rearranged again for 7th April 1952 at the same venue, which Arsenal won 3–0. The replay was also played in difficult conditions, but Arsenal were able to overcome the conditions and win 3–0. Freddie Cox scored twice for Arsenal, with Doug Lishman scoring the other goal.

The victory meant that Arsenal reached the FA Cup final for the second year in a row. They would go on to win the final 2–0 against Newcastle United.

The 1952 FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Chelsea was a memorable match for a number of reasons. It was the first time that an FA Cup semi-final had been abandoned due to snow. It was also the first time that Arsenal had reached the FA Cup final for two years in a row.

Here is the video of the last game……

And here is why the first game was abandoned. I don’t know why they even bothered with an inspection!

Tags Arsenal v Chelsea 1952 FA Cup Semi-Final




  2. 59000 at Highbury – we didn’t have to move!!!

    Some great names mentioned in the commentary and this was the season I first went to Highbury… hardly saw anything, but fell in love with The Arsenal from then onwards.

  3. Unfortunately you have got it a bit wrong we lost 1-0 in the final Wally Barnes our left got injured & we finished the game with 10 men We had previously won the 2 years before beating Liverpool in the final 2-0 This also followed a famous semifinal against Chelsea at White Hart Lane where we drew the first game 2-2,& winning the replay This is also on Pathe News 2 down in 20 minutes Freddie Cox scored direct from a corner on the stroke of half time & midway thru the second half Leslie Compton scored the equalizer from a corner taken. by his brother Denis I saw both semi finals & the final against Newcastle

  4. I take it you were 7 years old then.
    Can you imagine the crush at the 73,000 record attendance against Sunderland in the ’30’s. A few broken ribs no doubt !
    Had to be fit to attend those games back then.
    I was at Wembley twice in ’67 to watch friendlies against Spain and Soviet Union. School trips to celebrate being world champions. Probably 100,000 in attendance, but of course, more space at Wembley so not the tight squeeze of Highbury matches in the ’30s. Greaves scored against Spain and an idol of mine Alan Ball scored a goal against the Ruskies. I was so happy that night.

  5. It was so packed, when I arrived, it took ages to even find a way to get onto the actual terraces from the walkways!
    Leaving the northbank to get into the underground station, was another nightmare, as I believe there was only two exits from said northbank.

    Yes, I was just seven and really started going on a regular basis when I was ten… after my family stopped trying to change my allegiance to the spuds, as they all supported them.

    By the way, there are even more of these snippets on Google featuring The Arsenal and many other clubs, if one likes to delve into the past.

    1. It’s a great idea Ken. I will try and do more of these now and then…
      If anyone has some interesting ideas I could do a bit of research….

      1. There’s a lot of history about the building of the North Bank, including a dead horse and spud memorabilia thrown in by one of their supporters – might be interesting to our younger supporters.

        Also Phil and Jon might have some ideas

  6. Sorry to be a spoilsport ,but having checked in Arsenal the complete record which has details of every arsenal game played . The semi final game v Chelsea held on 5th April was the rearranged game for the postponed game on 29th March 1952 It was’nt abandoned due to heavy snow ,but finished as a 1-1 draw The replay held on 7th April was won by Arsenal 3-0 as set out in your original posting

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