The 1945-46 FA Cup was the 65th season of the world's oldest football cup competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, generally known as the FA Cup, and the first to be held after the Second World War. Derby County were the winners, beating Charlton Athletic 4-1 after extra time in the final at Wembley, London. The tournament witnessed a disaster in the sixth round when, during the second leg of the Bolton Wanderers versus Stoke City tie, 33 people were crushed to death in the Burnden Park disaster.
For the only time in the history of the competition, all matches from the First Round Proper up to and including the Sixth Round Proper were played over two legs, the first leg being played at the stadium of the team named first on the date specified for each round, which was always a Saturday. In the first and second rounds proper, the second leg was played on the following Saturday; from the third round onwards, it was played during the week following the first leg. If aggregate scores were level after 90 minutes of the second leg had been played, a replay would take place at a neutral venue. These changes were made in order to give clubs additional revenue, as the Football League would not resume normal play until the autumn of 1946
The game was goalless until the 85th minute, when Jackie Stamps and a Charlton defender jumped up to head a centre from the right. As the ball was nodded out it went straight to Dally Duncan, who shot goalwards. Bert Turner tried to kick the ball clear, but only managed to turn the ball into his own net past a helpless Sam Bartram. In the next minute Turner scored for his own side when he took a free-kick from the edge of the Rams’ penalty area, and although goalkeeper Vic Woodley appeared to have the shot well covered, the ball struck a Derby player and was deflected past Woodley into the opposite corner of the net to which he was diving. Turner thus became the first player to score for both sides in an FA Cup Final. At the age of 36 years 312 days, Turner also became the oldest player to score in an FA Cup Final. The match finished level after 90 minutes, but Derby won 4-1 after extra time, with a goal from Peter Doherty and a double from Jackie Stamps.
When Stamps shot for goal in the closing minutes of normal time, the ball burst en route. Stamps went on to score twice with the new ball as Derby beat Charlton Athletic 4-1. A week earlier, when the same sides had met in the League, the match ball had also burst. The players in the 1946 Cup final were awarded two medals each. Due to a shortage of gold following the Second World War, the two teams were initially presented with bronze medals (winners and runners-up) on the day, and subsequently awarded the proper gold versions when gold became more readily available later that year.
Back Row (L-R)
Jim Bullions, Jack Nicholas (captain), Vic Woodley, Leon Leuty, Jack Howe, Walter “Chick” Musson
Front Row (L-R)
Stuart McMillan (manager), Reg Harrison, Raich Carter, Jack Stamps, Peter Doherty, “Dally” Duncan, Dave Willis (trainer)
When Sam Bartram, the Charlton goalkeeper who Jack had scored against at Wembley in 1946, learned that he was blind, he helped organise a testimonial match and in January 1970, the two great football adversaries met again, a quarter of a century after the historic match. More than 12,000 turned out for the event and raised around £4,000 because they knew that Jack Stamps was a special man. He had great skills as well as enormous strength and he was a folk hero of the 1940s because of his complete identification with supporters. He was one of them, in love with Derby County, and he never changed. Jack was proud of what he achieved and always carried his Cup medal with him. Jack, who had been blind for over 20 years by the time he died in December 1991, attended Rams matches almost until his death. He could not see what was happening but he sensed the flow of the game, was talked through and loved the atmosphere.
Walter “Chick” Musson signed for Derby on his 17th birthday, October 8th 1937 and was part of the County side who lifted the FA Cup in 1946. As a left half he was feared by many of his opponents for his ferocious tackling even though he was only 5ft 8ins tall. When he left Derby County in June 1954 he became player manager of Brush Sports in the Birmingham League but sadly ten months later “Chick” died of leukaemia at the tender age of only 34.
It is worth noting that Raich Carter and Peter Doherty played in the North Lancs League during WWII, Peter played for the Royal Air Force at Christie Park and Raich played for the RECCE Regiment.