This is the 10th in the first series of exclusive FA Cup Memories from all across the football spectrum.
Every day, having started on May 1st 2020, a new set of FA Cup memories are being published via this FACupFactfile blog, and today is the turn of high quality sports photographer with a focus on the Non-League and Amateur game.
SERIES ONE, No. 10
Connection to the world of Football: Photographer, writer, and publisher specialising in non-League and amateur football; and the history of the game.
David produces the excellent photo-essay blog called Centre Circle Publishing, a high quality, highly recommended series of articles that anyone interested in the game of football would love. Here is the link: https://dbauckham.exposure.co/
First memory of the FA Cup: David says, “Definitely the 1968 Final (I was eight). WBA 1 Everton 0. Jeff Astle scored the only goal I think? I remember afterwards wondering why both teams wore their change kit, which probably says something about me!”
What a great Final to have as your first memory. West Bromwich Albion lifted the FA Cup for the 5th time. Only three teams had won it more often at the time.
Jeff Astle would go on to become the first player to score in both the FA Cup Final and the League Cup Final for games played at Wembley.
Favourite memory of the FA Cup: David says, “Can I pick two?
14 December 1974. A Parka-clad 14 year old sitting on the touchline at Fetcham Grove as Leatherhead beat Colchester United 1-0 in the 2nd Round. My Nan lived in nearby Ashtead, so I had an affinity to the Tanners, as well as Dulwich Hamlet (my local non-League club) and Chelsea back then. I wasn’t allowed to go to Millwall.
5 November 2005. A twice taken Ollie Rowland penalty earned Eastbourne Borough a 1-1 draw at Priory Lane against Oxford United. It was the first time Borough had reached the 1st Round and we were delighted to draw a Football League club at home. I was doing the announcements that day. An attendance of 3,770 in front of the TV Cameras and on MOTD. Oxford won the replay 3-0 but it didn’t matter.”
Ollie Rowland’s Penalty for Eastbourne Borough
I love the fact that a 14-year old David was not ‘allowed to go watch Millwall’. But Millwall’s loss is probably non-league football’s gain. That 1974 win for Leatherhead, with the winning goal scored by John Doyle, led to a famous FA Cup run for the club, known now for the brash forecasts and confidence of the ‘Leatherhead Lip’, Chris Kelly.
And what a great memory for Eastbourne Borough, holding a Football League club to a draw in their first ever FA Cup 1st Round match. Eastbourne Borough have reached the 1st Round three times again since, but are yet to face another Football League side.
Last FA Cup match attended: David says, “21 September 2019. Portland United vs. Salisbury, 2QR with Salisbury scraping a 1-0 win. I had been trying to get to Portland for ages in order to feature them, and this was an ideal occasion.”
It was a real pleasure for me to meet David at Portland United. We’d been trying to organise a game we could both be at to serve both our purposes for a while. David produces a fantastic photo blog under his Centre Circle Publishing moniker, something I cannot recommend enough that people should explore and enjoy.
Thoughts on the future of the FA Cup: David says, “I think the FA Cup still has a future, but wish the Premier League and some Championship clubs would pay more than lip service to it, and weren’t so pre-occupied with Europe and achieving / avoiding promotion.
It still has a bit of magic in the early rounds and most importantly is an opportunity for non-League clubs to generate some money. I know that Portland’s run from the Extra-Preliminary Round did them quite a lot of good this (last) season.
Having said that I think the stringent grading that has excluded many of those clubs from the competition is a travesty, and hitting them financially, especially as losing clubs also get rewarded now!”
Every non-league club would love to participate in the FA Cup. Six hundred and forty-four of them do so currently, but hundreds more are desperate to be involved. The FA are reorganising the non-league pyramid (on hold due to the Covid_19 pandemic) and this could be the perfect time to open up the competition to involve more clubs.
The 2019-20 competition saw two non-league clubs from the eighth level of the pyramid make it all the way through to the 2nd Round ‘Proper’ and they created a significant buzz by doing so, putting this famous competition in the limelight in a positive way. The FA has to find a way to create more of these type of positive stories.
Many thanks to David for taking the time to share his personal recollections and thoughts about the FA Cup. Do follow his @CentreCirclePub account on Twitter and his associated blog.
No. 11 in this exclusive FA Cup Memories series, the recollections from a broadcaster for BBC Sport and Sky Sports, someone who grew up watching the FA Cup in Scotland, can be read by clicking on this link: https://facupfactfile.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/fa-cup-memories-series-111-eilidh-barbour/
No. 9 in this FA Cup Memories series, the recollections from a football presenter and a touchline reporter for Sky Sports, can be read by clicking on this link: https://facupfactfile.wordpress.com/2020/05/09/fa-cup-memories-series-19-geoff-shreeves/
You can read this exclusive FA Cup Memories series from where it all started with BBC 5 Live Commentator John Murray by clicking on this link: https://facupfactfile.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/fa-cup-memories-series-11-john-murray/
Follow @FACupFactfile on Twitter for news of when future memories are published.