The first FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium between West Ham and Bolton attracted a gargantuan crowd of 250,000, twice what the ground could hold. This film shows the teeming masses lining the pitch, controlled only by men with bowler hat and walking sticks until the mounted police – including the famous white horse - arrive. Captions report “unparalleled scenes” and praise the “magnificent restraint and good humour” that helped prevent an “appalling disaster”.
This was a historic day for English football and the film captures several extraordinary moments, such as the sight of police horses storming across the pitch as the two captains shake hands on the centre circle, and of the players entering the pitch through a tunnel of spectators. At another point, thousands of men wave their hats gleefully at the camera to salute the watching King George V. The extended shots of the game are also interesting, although the camera manages to miss the second goal in Bolton’s 2-0 victory.
Selected by London's Screen Archives From the BFI National Archive