Football in Berkshire
History & Nostalgia

The 1911 Berks & Bucks County FA Senior Cup Final

The Royalists and the Generals (then the Bootmen) competed in the 1911 Berks & Bucks County FA Senior Cup Final

The 1911 Berks & Bucks County FA Senior Cup Final

The 1910/1911 Berks and Bucks Senior Cup Final was between Windsor & Eton and Chesham United. It took two games to separate the two sides, with Windsor finally emerging victors after the replay in Slough.

Windsor & Eton – succeeded in the modern era by Windsor FC after the original club went in to liquidation after 109 years in January 2011, have nine wins in the County FA’s senior competition in their history, while Chesham are third in the all time list with 16 – the most recent in 2018.

The first game: Windsor & Eton 0 Chesham Town 0

Supporters went to quite some effort to get to Wycombe for the Cup Final. It shows the remarkable interest there was in the County Cup competition at the time, especially in an era where travel was so difficult.

It is estimated that about 1,500 enthusiastic football followers from Windsor, Eton, Clewer, Datchet, Old Windsor, Cranborne, and various villages in the distrcit will apply at the G.W.R. booking offices on Monday for a “return to Wycombe” and are hoping that they will return thoroughly satisfied with their afternoon’s outing and that they will be helping to guard the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup, a trophy that Windsor football teams have striven to obtain for the last twenty years without success.

The same excitement was seen in Chesham where:

The general feeling at the watercress and boot town in one of consideerable confidence… The “Amber and Blacks” will be well supporterd, as practically every vehicle in the town has been chartered to do th eight miles acrtoss country, and motor car proprietors intend making three or more journeys, in addition to which a train will run via Aylesbury.

The crowd at Wycombe Wanderers ground was over 7,000. At the time this was a record for Loakes Park. Local reports say that 1,108 Windsor fans were booked on the special trains to Wycombe on the day, but that as the day was so fine many decided to cycle to the game instead.

Windsor were slight underdogs for the game, and the local press were very pleased with the final being a 0-0 draw.

Bravo Windsor and Eton! You made a fine attempt to win the Blue Riband of the Counties and have the satisfaction of knowing that you have accomplished the best performance of any local team for the past twenty legs.

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Replay at Slough: Windsor & Eton 2 Chesham Town 1

A crowd of over 2,000 watched the replay at the Dolphin Stadium in Slough. The Windsor fans had come prepared for these big Berks and Bucks Cup matches:

Pretty much everyone wore the “red and green” ribbon and we think during these many cup-fights of the Royalists a ver large quantity of colour must have been disposed of, in fact one retailer assured us that his output of ribbons had been something like 600 yards during the series of contests.

The King congratulates Windsor & Eton FC

A win for Windsor over the Southern League Chesham Town was a bit of a surprise and those following Windsor certainly made the most of it.

Needless to say everyone of Windsor’s myriad of supporters beamed with pleasure when the teams left the playing arena and the victors were shouldered to the Pavilion amid a perfect pandemonium, in which clappers, bulls, horns and toy trumpets all helped to swell the din.

There’s a brilliant passage regarding the team’s return to Windsor that shows the thrill in which the team was welcomed.

The news of the victory reached Windsor shortly after the game was over, and people immediately began to congregate near the Queen’s Statue and resolve themselves into something approaching an election crowd. The “Red and Green” was very prominent, two or three enthusiasts bringing out their straw hats which were painted with the Club’s colours.

A torchlit precession was held through the streets of Windsor, even the police had to be called to keep the peace.

The number of people increased and by 7 o’clock the vicinity of The White Hard Hotel became muich congested. Inspector Hammond adrrived on the scene with several police officers, but they had very little to do to keep the people in good order, for they were all on one side – and that the winning side. There were one or two youthful supporters of the Club who were anxious to make themselves heard, and one individual caused a little amusement by marching up and down the roadway playing upon a tin whistle. But on the whole everyone was orderly.

It’s interesting to learn just how important the County Cup was to teams at the start of the century. Especially for clubs like Windsor & Eton having a chance to take on Southern League sides like Chesham. It’s also great to see the red and green of Windsor stretches back over one hundred years, though I don’t think they had those colours

Source: Multiple editions of the Windsor, Eton & Slough Express, April 1911 from the excellent British Newspaper Archive.

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