100 years since 300,000 fans turned out to see Bolton become first team to win FA Cup at Wembley

Video report by Granada Reports journalist Paul Crone

It is 100 years since 300,000 football fans descended on Wembley to see Bolton Wanderers become the first team to win the FA Cup.

Huge crowds made their way to Wembley Stadium to watch the match between Bolton and West Ham, on 28 April 1923.

It later became known as the White Horse Final, after a white police horse arrived to keep the 10,000 fans still on the pitch at kick-off, in order.

But, just a few years earlier, more than half of the Bolton Wanderers team had fought in WWI, serving on the Western front and enduring the horrors of the trenches.

Seven of the team fought in WW1.

From the starting 11 at Wembley, seven members of the Bolton squad joined up to fight for King and country, including goalkeeper Dick Pym who had been shot in the leg during the war.

Author and historian Gerry Lees said: "He was subsequently the most expensive goalkeeper, and he had been shot in the leg!"

Another member of the team, Jimmy Seddon, had suffered with trench foot as a result of the war. But the centre-back went on to play in three Cup Finals at Wembley.

Other squad members served in the Navy and the Royal Flying Corps, lives that were a million miles away from the glamour of playing at the Wembley Cup Final in front of King George V.

Fans came to Wembley in their droves. Credit: British Pathé

Bolton Wanderers' Chaplain Phil Mason said the club is proud of the 1923 winning team.

He said: "The fact that they had gone through the horrors of the war themselves, and to do what they did at Wembley...we are immensely proud."

Historian and Bolton Wanderers fan Gerry Lees believes those who served during world war one and played that day were far from nervous about the final.

Gerry said: "After everything they saw in the war, even a Cup Final of that magnitude would not have phased them."

On the day in 1923, Bolton beat West Ham 2-0, with goals from David Jack and John Reid Smith.

An exhibition about the historic game and club's history is open at Bolton's Museum and Art Gallery until 25 June.

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