What’s Another Year?

Among the twenty or so clubs entering the FA Cup for the first time is a team from United Counties League Division One called Peterborough Sports. However, is the club really entering this historic competition for the first time or have they played in it before? My records suggest the latter, and if correct would establish a brand new record in the competition for Peterborough Sports: the longest gap between FA Cup matches of almost 93 years, a gap unlikely to be surpassed unless Amateur Football clubs such as Old Etonians make a remarkable return.

It’s highly likely that the current management staff and players of Peterborough Sports are unaware that their club might have played in the FA Cup in the past, but the clues are all there in their own website. Peterborough Sports is the latest incarnation of a club founded in 1919 as Brotherhoods Engineering Works who played under that name until 1999 when they were re-branded as Bearings Direct. Two years after that the Peterborough Sports moniker was adopted. But it is in their formative years as Brotherhood Works when they seemingly participated in the FA Cup.

Brotherhoods Engineering Works entered the Northants League in their inaugural season as a club, winning the title in their first year and remaining in that league for four seasons before joining the Peterborough and District League. During these four seasons in the Northants League the club also played in the FA Cup. In 1919/20 they beat Bourne Town 1-0 in the Preliminary Round and then beat Stamford by the same scoreline in the First Qualifying Round only to be disqualified presumably for fielding an ineligible player. The club never won another FA Cup match being knocked out in the Preliminary Round in each of the next three seasons first by Irthlingborough Town (1-0), then by Wellingborough Town (3-0 after a 3-3 draw) and finally by Desborough Town (2-1 after a 2-2 draw). The last season the club played in the FA Cup coincided with the first when the final was played at Wembley.

So if Peterborough Sports is connected to Brotherhoods Engineering Works, as it suggests they are on their website, then almost 93 years will have passed since the club last played an FA Cup match. Heaton Stannington’s return to the competition after 38 years is a long wait in its own right to experience FA Cup football again, but that pales into insignificance to Peterborough Sports’ hiatus. And if the club can overcome Eynesbury Rovers on the 15th August they will record their first FA Cup victory in 96 years. It’s a couple of FA Cup records that will etch the name of Peterborough Sports into FA Cup folklore for all time. (Twitter @FACupFactfile)

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