In what was to become a landmark season for The Arsenal Football Club, they struggled to overcome a dogged Hull City team who were on their way to be being relegated from Division Two (that’s The Championship to our younger readers). We tell the story of a very feisty FA Cup semi-final replay.

Programme cover for the game Courtesy of Leonard Evans

Programme cover for the game
Courtesy of Leonard Evans

Arsenal 1 (Jack 10)

Hull City 0

Date: 3pm Wednesday 26 March 1930

Competition: FA Cup semi-final replay

Location: Villa Park, Aston Villa

Attendance: 46,200

Referee: Mr A Kingscott

Match Report:

The teams played each other just four days after the first encounter at Elland Road which had seen Arsenal pull back a two goal deficit. Hull were 2-0 ahead at half-time but injuries to Stan Alexander, Paddy Mills and James Walsh meant the out of form Gunners were able to take advantage of their opponents’ depleted forces to equalise and earn a replay.

Arsenal made just one change as Joey Williams replaced Joe Hulme, while Hull made two enforced changes with Philip Cartwright and Tom Bleakley replacing Alexander and Walsh.

The fact that the match reached the replay stage was surprising to many observers as Hull were at the bottom of the Second Division and about to be relegated, while Arsenal were an up and coming team from the First Division.

Hull again acquitted themselves well and had much the better of the first half, but in the 10th minute the winning goal was started by a flash of genius from Alex James who threaded a long defence splitting ball to Williams. The right winger then dashed down the line and crossed from the goal-line for David Jack to connect with a right-footed volley for the winner.

The game was transformed shortly after the break, as the Hull centre half Arthur Childs became the first man to be sent off in a semi-final after he kicked out at Jack Lambert.

As Childs left the pitch players from both teams were still remonstrating with the referee and someone kicked the ball into the melee of players hitting Tom Parker straight in the face and knocking him to the floor. Both sets of players looked as though they were about to square up but, before it could get ugly, the referee managed to blow his whistle to restart the game.

The rest of the game disintegrated into a free for all as player after player went down from crunching indiscriminate tackles. Mills of Hull was carried off, unable to return to the fray, while Dan Lewis had to have his head bandaged after a collision. In addition, Alf Baker, Parker and Jack of Arsenal all picked up injuries as did Matt Bell and Fred Gibson of Hull.

Arsenal’s first ever trophy beckoned, with Herbert Chapman’s old team standing in the way, while Hull’s valiant efforts were eventually eclipsed 84 years later as they reached the FA Cup final for the first time.

Very philosophical

Very philosophical


Arsenal: D Lewis, T Parker, E Hapgood, A Baker, B Seddon, C Jones, J Williams, D Jack, J Lambert, A James, C Bastin.

Hull City: F Gibson, G Goldsmith, M Bell, A Childs, T Bleakley, B Gowdy, P Cartwright, R Starling, J Howieson, D Duncan, P Mills.

Facts about linked to the match or players:

In between the matches, Hull trained at Hornsea in Yorkshire, and Arsenal played golf at Brighton before travelling to Birmingham.

During the match the crowd began fighting in at least twenty different locations on the terraces, which was sparked by the dismissal.

While the actual foul was not in itself too heinous this was an early incidence of the two yellows make a red principle, as Childs had apparently been verbally cautioned twice previously by the referee.

For the rest of the game the referee was greeted with a cacophony of cat calls, boos and ironical cheering by the crowd, as most were siding with Hull and believed the Childs sending-off to be unjust, but were unaware of the onfield discussions between him and the referee earlier in the game.

Additionally, one of the linesmen later formally reported a number of Hull players to the FA for using bad language.

The Hull manager, Bill McCracken, was an ex-Newcastle player who, in his eighteen years there, won three League Championships and one FA Cup medal. He took up the reins for Hull in 1923 and stayed at the helm until 1931, and remains the second longest serving manager in terms of competitive games in charge of Hull City.

The rest of the FA cup run:

In honour of Herbert Chapman, who had managed both finalists, the teams were led onto the pitch side-by-side for the first time in a final. Arsenal’s opener was designed on the team bus on the way to the game, Alex James taking a quick free-kick to Cliff Bastin who returned the ball for the talisman to score. For the second, Jack Lambert latched onto a long through-ball and shrugged off the Huddersfield defenders to secure Arsenal’s first major silverware.

Facts relating to 1929-30 Season:

This was the fifth year of Herbert Chapman’s initial five year plan to win a trophy.

Arsenal seriously considered, but eventually dropped, plans to change their name to London City FC.

Five days before the FA Cup final, Arsenal and Leicester played out a 6-6 draw – the highest ever scoring draw in Football League history. David Halliday scored four times for Arsenal but was dropped for the final.

Background to article

This season we’ve been asked to write a regular page in the official Arsenal programme based on a classic match featuring the opponents for each game we play in. Programme editor Andy Exley has kindly given us permission to reproduce the match reports on our blog. We will also be including additional material that didn’t make the final edit of the programme. If you can’t get to The Emirates, the programme is available on iPad and iPod for a bargain 69 pence per issue.


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Or have a look at our other site: The Arsenal Collection  for more Arsenal memorabilia.

Copies of our books Royal Arsenal – Champions of the South and Arsenal: The Complete Record 1886-2018 are still available from the publishers.

6 thoughts on “Classic Match Report: Arsenal v Hull – 26 March 1930 HANDBAGS!!!!

  1. Wayne Brown on 22 October 2014 at 8:43 am said:

    Brilliant stuff, love it….crunching tackles, heads bandaged, balls smack in the face, players carried off…..makes you wonder what todays players or should that be “prima donnas” would have made of such a game. Played when men were men and just got up and got on with it without all the theatrics we see today.

    PS Shame we can’t all see the digital programme, not all of us use “fruit” based products, but hey-ho keep up the good work 🙂

  2. Can you imagine what the fans at Tottenham, already long-established as hyper-sensitive about their “London” and “North London” identities even though they were officially in Middlesex until 1965, would have said if Arsenal had, in fact, changed its name to “London City Football Club”? The word “apoplectic” comes to mind.

    • It wouldn’t have just been them who were annoyed had it proceeded.
      Aside from every team in London, I can’t see that the Arsenal fans would have approved !

  3. Well spotted! We need to use a keener eye on future blogs.

  4. Garry King on 20 October 2014 at 1:57 pm said:

    I thought the 1930 FA Cup Final was played on 26.04.1930 against Huddersfield Town. The FA Cup Semi-Final replay against Hull was 26.03.1930 ?

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