Date: Saturday, 4th March 1950.

Venue: Highbury, North London.

Competition: F.A Cup 6th Round.

Score: Arsenal 1 Leeds United 0

Scorers: Arsenal: Lewis. Leeds United: Nil.

Attendance: 62,573. (Receipts £8,109)



Arsenal: Swindin; Scott, Barnes; Forbes, Compton (L), Mercer; Cox, Logie, Roper, Lewis, Compton (D).


Leeds United: Searson; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Charles, Burden; Cochrane, Iggleden, Browning, Dudley, Williams.

Referee: W.H.E. Evans (Liverpool).


A Cup fever gripped Leeds as United finally made an impression in the competition after years of failure. Manager Frank Buckley changed all that, adding pride and passion to United’s vocabulary and sending fans flocking to Elland Road in their thousands.


Second Division Leeds had set off in style in the Third Round and had won easily at Carlisle by 5-2 with goals from Len Browning, Davie Cochrane, Harold Williams and a brace from Frank Dudley. United took a five goal lead in the first forty-three minutes. Len Browning opened the scoring after four minutes. Frank Dudley got a second twelve minutes later before Harold Williams scored the third in the twenty-second minute. Dudley got his second and United’s fourth in the thirty-fourth minute and David Cochrane added the fifth two minutes before half-time. Lindsay scored for Carlisle in the forty-fourth minute and Dick added a second after seventy-two minutes.

The teams were:

Carlisle United: McLarne; Horton, McIntosh; Buchan, Hill, Stokoe; Hogan, Billingham, Lindsay, Dick. Iceton.

Leeds United: Searson; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Charles, Burden; Cochrane, McMorran, Browning, Dudley, Williams.


A crowd of 51,000 saw Harold Williams net the goal as United drew with First Division Bolton Wanderers at Elland Round in the Fourth Round. With the Lancashire team heavy favourites to win the replay at Burnden Park, United pulled off one of those giant-killing acts for which the competition is famous for, and dispensed with Bolton. Goals by Frank Dudley and Len Browning had given United the advantage but Harry McShane and Nat Lofthouse scored for the Trotters to force the game to extra time. Despite strength sapping ankle deep mud, Len Browning rose to head on a John Charles free-kick for Frank Dudley to grab the winner and pull off a 3-2 upset which enabled United to advance to the Fifth Round where they had a home tie with Second Division Cardiff City. United had lined up with the same team as won through at Carlisle for the home game, but Ray Iggleden had replaced Eddie McMorran for the replay.


Tickets for the game were put on sale at a Reserve fixture against Derby County and it drew an attendance of 31,000 such was the demand for tickets, and a crowd of  over 50,000 were on hand to see United beat Cardiff 3-1 with goals from Harold Williams, Davie Cochrane and Ray Iggleden. United were unchanged from the winning eleven at Bolton.


As a reward for their Fifth Round triumph, United drew the plum sixth-round tie at Highbury against the mighty Arsenal. The clamour for tickets was unprecedented and an estimated 150 coaches made the trip from West Yorkshire to roar on their heroes. Staff at the Highbury underground station had to call for more ticket collectors to cope with the mass of supporters and hours before the kick-off thousands were already queuing outside the ground.


United, who had one of the worst FA Cup records of any club in the Football League, were up against Arsenal with a fine FA Cup record who sat in fourth position in the First Division compared to United’s Second Division status. Underdogs Leeds took the Highbury stage by storm, showing no nerves and matching Arsenal stride for stride in a pulsating tie. There was a nasty clash of heads early in the game as Len Browning and Leslie Compton vied for a high ball. It resulted in Compton having to leave the field for ten minutes and have two stitches inserted into his head wound and he bravely played the rest of the game with a blood soaked sponge in his hand. United were unable to take advantage of their temporary numerical superiority as the aging Joe Mercer marshalled his international defence to perfection.


While the Arsenal defence proved to be superb, United’s defence was equally dominant with young Welsh star John Charles eliminating any threat from the Gunner’s centre-forward Don Roper, while full-backs Jimmy Dunn and Jim Milburn subdued their wingers and half-backs Jim McCabe and Tommy Burden prompted a series of intelligent United raids.


As the fascinating match reached half-time there was an high expectancy of at least a replay at Elland Road. However those hopes were sent crashing in the fifty-second minute as, when the decisive goal came, however, it was scored by Arsenal when Reg Lewis toe-poked in a cross after a brilliant run down the left-wing by Alex Forbes. The Scottish International half-back in a long mazy run beat Ray Iggleden, Jimmy McCabe and Jimmy Dunn before slipping the ball to Don Roper and the centre-forward’s centre was toe-poked into the net as John Charles and Jimmy Milburn converged on the inside –forward.


Such a goal would have broken the hearts of most teams but United moved their game up a notch and penned Arsenal in their own half with wave after wave of attacks. Leeds fought tooth and nail for a replay as Arsenal pulled eight men back to cope with the mounting United pressure. Goal-keeper George Swindin blocked a Frank Dudley header with his knees before Ray Iggleden grazed the bar with a shot from two yards in the dying minutes. Swindon, who was born in Bradford and had played for Leeds in War-time games, was no doing his fellow Yorkshiremen any favours and pulled off several fine saves, but he also had an international defence in front of him and they were superb and had that essential bit of good luck which saw them into the semi-final at United’s expense. United lacked the little bit of luck necessary and in the dying minutes Frank Dudley fired into the side-netting and United’s last chance was gone.


So Arsenal held out and went on to win the Cup, going on to beat Chelsea in the Semi-Final 2-0 before defeating Liverpool by the same score at Wembley, leaving Leeds to reflect on what might have been, but managing to finish fifth in the Second Division.







Arsenal: Back Row: Joe Mercer (6) Captain, Wally Barnes (3), George Swindin (1), Archie

Macauley (4), Freddie Cox (7).

Front Row: Laurie Scott (2), Reg Lewis (10), Peter Goring (9), Jimmy Logie (8), Denis Compton

(11), Leslie Compton (5).



 Alex Forbes                                                   Don Roper

Alex Forbes played right-half in place of Archie Macauley and Don Roper played centre-forward

in place of Peter Goring.


LUFC: Back Row: Eddie McMorran (8), Frank Dudley (10), Jimmy Dunn (2), Harold Searson (1),

John Charles (5), Jim Milburn (3), Jim McCabe (4).

Front Row: David Cochrane (7), Ray Iggleden (8), Tommy Burden (6) Captain, Len Browning (9),

Eric Kerfoot, Harold Williams (11).


In the Cup Run Eddie McMorran played the first two games at Carlisle and at home to Bolton,

while Ray Iggleden played the final three. Eic Kerfoot did not play any FA Cup games.


Highbury Action:


Harold Searson saves from Denis Compton with Jimmy Dunn on hand


Reg Lewis toe-pokes the winner past Harold Searson as John Charles and Jimmy Milburn converge.


Jimmy Dunn climbs highest to win a header


 Harold Searson saves from Denis Compton as Jimmy Dunn and Tommy Burden watch


The Leeds players:



Goalkeeper: Harold Searson                                   Right Back: Jimmy Dunn                                             Left Back: Jimmy Milburn



Right Half: Jimmy McCabe                                Centre Half: John Charles                                  Left Half and Captain: Tommy Burden



Outside Right: Davie Cochrane                        Inside Right: Eddie McMorran                            Inside Right: Ray Iggleden



Centre Forward: Len Browning                                  Inside Left: Frank Dudley                                     Outside Left: Harold Williams


The Leeds squad leave the Old Leeds Central Station, with the Great Northern Hotel on the right of the picture. Tony Ingham and

Eddie McMorran were with this squad but did not play at Highbury, while Grenville Hair and Jimmy Milburn are not in the photograph.



The Road to Highbury:



Date: Saturday, 7th January 1950.

Venue: Brunton Park, Carlisle.

Competition: F.A Cup 3rd Round.

Score: Carlisle United 2 Leeds United 5

Scorers: Carlisle United: Lindsay, Dick. Leeds United: Browning, Dudley (2), Williams, Cochrane.

Attendance: 22,832. (Receipts £1,814 12s 9d)



Carlisle United: McLaren; Horton, McIntosh; Buchan, Hill, Stokoe; Hogan, Billingham, Lindsay, Dick. Iceton.


Leeds United: Searson; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Charles, Burden; Cochrane, McMorran, Browning, Dudley, Williams.

Referee: C. Fletcher (Northwich, Cheshire).


United won their first FA Cup–tie since before the war in the 1938-39 season in the Third Round at home to Bournemouth and only their second FA Cup victory on opposition soil since the club was founded in thirty years previous! It was a win achieved in convincing fashion.


It had seemed a tricky fixture against the Cumbrian team, but it turned out to be a superb attacking performance by United in the first half, as they ran in five unanswered goals in the first forty-three minutes. United were off to a flying start as Len Browning gave them the lead after just four minutes, when he controlled a fine through-ball at speed before sweeping it into the net past Carlisle’s goalkeeper Scott McLaren.


Major Buckley had come up with an innovative move of using Eddie McMorran, who was usually a striker, as a deep lying forward in a role later to be perfected by Don Revie at Manchester City and modelled on the Hungarian National Team system. It confused the Carlisle defence and United took full advantage of the chaos. The Leeds wingers Harold Williams and Davie Cochrane were on top form and revelled in the space they had. It was the Welshman who set up the second Leeds goal after just sixteen minutes when he set up Frank Dudley. The Welshman, who had been United’s tormentor in the previous year’s Third Round tie when he was with Newport County, added United’s third goal on the twenty-two minute mark, while Davie Cochrane was the instigator of United’s fourth goal which Frank Dudley added the finishing touch to in the thirty-fourth minute. The Irishman rounded off the scoring in the forty-third minute.


The Cumbrians pulled one back a minute before half-time through Jimmy Lindsay and former Blackpool striker George Dick got Carlisle’s second after seventy-two minutes but United were never threatened and coasted to an easy victory.


The game was a tactical triumph for Major Buckley over the young Carlisle Manager Bill Shankly, who became the legendary Manager of Liverpool and had many a tactical battle with Don Revie when both teams were in their prime in the late sixties and through the seventies. The game also marked the first FA Cup appearance of the young Welshman and future Legend John Charles.



Frank Dudley scored twice at Carlisle and at Bolton.


Date: Saturday, 28th January 1950.

Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.

Competition: F.A Cup 4th Round.

Score: Leeds United 1 Bolton Wanderers 1.

Scorers: Leeds United: Williams. Bolton Wanderers: Lofthouse.

Attendance: 51,488. (Receipts £5,323)



Leeds United: Searson; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Charles, Burden; Cochrane, McMorran, Browning, Dudley, Williams.


Bolton Wanderers: Hanson; Roberts, R.Banks; Barrass, Gillies, Howe; McShane, Moir, Lofthouse, Bradley, Langton.

Referee: Mr E. Plinston (Stockton Heath, Warrington).


The demand for the visit of First Division Bolton Wanderers was so great that the United’s Directors made the game all-ticket for the first time in the club’s Elland Road history.  The Tickets went on sale at the home game against Southampton on the previous Saturday and were quickly sold out as were the 12,500 which were allocated to Bolton.


Bolton were a well respected and renowned First Division club with many household names in their ranks. Keeper Stan Hanson and left back Ralph Banks were fine defenders and Ralph’s brother Tommy was later to succeed him and play for England. Mal Barrass was later to become an England centre-half and Matt Gillies was a solid reliable centre-half who later became equally well-known as a Manager. In attack Wanderers had Scottish International Inside Forward Willie Moir, England Centre-Forward and Bolton Legend, Nat Lofthouse and their record signing from Preston North End at £20,000, Left Winger Bobby Langton, who amassed eleven caps for England and was a noted goal-scorer.  On a lighter note but an equally good player was Right-Winger Harry McShane, who also played for Manchester United and Hamilton Academicals and his son, Ian McShane, became a well-known film actor and starred in several TV series.


It was not a day for good football as the surface was frozen and the United players wore protective knee pads to help stop the knee injuries which were prevalent in those conditions. They also wore special boots but it was Bolton that looked the better side and adapted to the conditions better than the home team. While bigger men were not so sure footed it was the two Leeds wingers who were the smallest players on the pitch that showed up best for United and it was from a Davie Cochrane lob that Harold Williams opened the scoring as he rifled in his shot after twenty-five minutes. The goal was totally against the run of play as Len Browning was kept in check by Matt Gillies as Bolton continued to do most of the attacking.


Nat Lofthouse was giving John Charles a hard time with his usual robust performance, but Captain Tommy Burden was putting in an excellent performance and Full-Backs Jimmy Dunn and Jimmy Milburn were able to keep the Trotters at bay. Nat Lofthouse was not going to be denied and after he had already hit a post and seen one goal-bound effort blocked by “Iron Man” Milburn, then grazed the bar and forced several desperate saves from Harold Searson before he finally got the one that counted and scored a well-deserved equaliser in the seventieth minute. United had held out against the odds until there was just twenty minutes to go their resistance was finally broken when Lofthouse finally bundle the ball over the line from close range in typical fashion.


The last twenty-minutes was just one-way traffic with Bolton laying siege to the Leeds goal and raining shot after shot on the target. Somehow United survived but few would have given them any chance in the Replay at Burnden Park.




Date: Wednesday, 1st February 1950.

Venue: Burden Park, Bolton.

Competition: F.A Cup 4th Round Replay.

Score: Bolton Wanderers 2 Leeds United 3 (a.e.t).

Scorers: Bolton Wanderers: McShane, Lofthouse. Leeds United: Dudley (2), Browning.

Attendance: 29,440. (Receipts £3,591)



Bolton Wanderers: Hanson; Roberts, R.Banks; Barrass, Gillies, Howe; McShane, Moir, Lofthouse, Bradley, Langton.


Leeds United: Searson; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Charles, Burden; Cochrane, Iggleden, Browning, Dudley, Williams.

Referee: Mr E. Plinston (Stockton Heath, Warrington).


United defied the atrocious conditions to achieve one of the most surprising results in the history of the FA Cup. On a pitch that was almost unplayable and covered in snow, slush, ice, water and combinations of all four, it was United who adapted the better of the two teams and took a surprising 2-0 lead after the ever reliable Frank Dudley had risen to head home an Harold Williams cross in the second minute and then three minutes into the second half it was Centre-Forward Len Browning who rose to head home from point-blank range with Bolton keeper seemingly rooted to his goal-line.


In between John Charles had shown that he was a quick learner and totally blotted out the robust Nat Lofthouse, which in turn blunted the Bolton attack and United were good value for their two goal lead. United seemed well in command, but wanderers hit back just five minutes later as Harry McShane for once got the better of Jimmy Milburn to shoot past Harold Searson after being put through by Nat Lofthouse. With twenty minutes to go Bolton drew level as a United attack broke down in midfield and Bolton quickly broke downfield and Lofthouse beat the diving Harold Searson with a firm left-footed drive.


United had to call upon every ounce of their determination to take the game into extra-time and then dug deep into their reserves of energy and like the start to each half they produced a quick-fire goal. This time, five minutes into extra-time it was Frank Dudley who became the hero of the hour as John Charles pumped a free-kick-forward for Len Browning to win the ball in the air and flick it on for the Inside-Left to gleefully shot the ball home via the underside of the bar and despite all Bolton’s efforts they could not draw level and United ran out deserved winners.


Two-goal Frank Dudley may have been the hero, but Manager Buckley was quick to praise all of his eleven men saying, “I’ve seen some wonderful displays of Cup fighting on bad pitches in my long connection with football, including many epic struggles when I was Manager of Wolves, but United’s display was the best I have ever seen. Every man more than pulled his weight.”



Match Action:


Harold Searson saves under pressure from Nat Lofthouse while Willie Moir, Jimmy Dunn, Tommy Burden and John Charles watch.



John Charles and Harold Searson in the mud at Burnden Park.                              Len Browning was on target at Carlisle and Bolton.


Len Browning and Matt Gillies race for a through ball


Date: Saturday, 11th February 1950.

Venue: Elland Road, Leeds.

Competition: F.A Cup 5th Round.

Score: Leeds United 3 Cardiff City 1.

Scorers: Leeds United: Williams, Cochrane, Iggleden. Cardiff City: Sherwood (pen).

Attendance: 53,099. (Receipts £5,418)



Leeds United: Searson; Dunn, Milburn; McCabe, Charles, Burden; Cochrane, Iggleden, Browning, Dudley, Williams.

Cardiff City: Joslin; Lever, Sherwood; Baker, Montgomery, Williams; Hollyman, Evans, Stitfall, Blair, Edwards.

Referee: Mr W.R. Rodgers (Birmingham).


Cup fever gripped the City of Leeds as United faced their first ever Fifth Round tie at Elland Road against Cardiff City.  Suddenly everyone wanted to see the game as it was probably the most important game in United’s history to that date. The Directors were left with the dilemma of finding tickets for all their supporters, particularly those who had stood by United through thick and thin. They came up with the solution that the tickets would go on sale at a Central League match against Bolton Wanderers Reserves which took place on the Saturday before the Cardiff game. Amazingly, the game, which finished in a 1-1 draw, was played before an attendance of 20,000, while the first team kept up their good form with a 4-0 victory at Coventry City in front of a crowd of 22,990.


Harold Searson had a good-luck charm of a cloth doll and it was now officially adopted as the club’s mascot and given the name of Lulu (the club’s initials) and he carried it out into the inclement weather which greeted the two teams on match day. The game had been in doubt due to heavy rain, but the ground staff had worked round the clock to make the pitch playable even though it resembled a gluepot. There was even Wilfred Pickles inviting the fans of Leeds and Cardiff to “Have a Go”, a well known Radio show which was played over the public-address system in the run up to the big kick-off.


The Welsh International selectors were also there to run the rule over several Cardiff players but, more to the delight of the Leeds fans, the prospects of John Charles and Harold Williams. The massive crowd of 53, 099 were packed into the ground like sardines and several people fainted due to the pressure.


United did not let their followers in the huge crowd down and scored twice in the first ten minutes. The crowd erupted when Harold Williams gave United the lead after just nine minutes when he flicked Frank Dudley’s cross past Cardiff goalkeeper Phil Joslin and just one minute later it was Davie Cochrane who doubled United’s lead much to the delight of the United fans. It was a beautiful goal as Ray Iggleden’s delicate feint created enough space for him to slip the ball to the jet-heeled Irishman, who nipped past Welsh International Captain and full-back Alf Sherwood to beat Joslin all ends up with an unerring shot into the net.


The crowd’s cheers quickly turned into boos as six minutes later referee Rodgers spotted an offence during an immense scramble in the United penalty box and pointed to the spot. Alf Sherwood clinically placed the penalty kick beyond Harold Searson to reduce the arrears. Heavy showers continued and there was an inevitable churning up of the pitch and it soon resembled a mud-bath as United strived to get the elusive third goal.


Davie Cochrane had an effort disallowed early in the second half but the massive crowd were rewarded with a goal which gave more breathing space after a spell of sustained United pressure. Jim McCabe, like Cochrane an Irish International, cracked in a shot which was blocked by Alf Sherwood but Ray Iggleden crowned a fine display by crashing in the rebound with a glorious twenty-yard drive. The goal broke Cardiff’s spirit and United finished the match in comfort to book a place in the Sixth Round for the first time in their history.





Cardiff City: 1951-2
Back row: Derrick Sullivan, Marwood Marchant, Ron Stitfall, Mike Tiddy
Middle Row: George Edwards, Billy Baker, Glyn Williams, Phil Joslin, Doug Blair,

Roley Williams, Charlie Rutter
Front row: Ken Hollyman, Wilf Grant, Cyril Spiers (Manager), Alf Sherwood Captain,

Bobby McLaughlin
Insets: Ken Chisholm, Stan Montgomery, Ron Howells.


Leeds United: 1949-50: The team that played Cardiff City:

Back Row: John Charles (5), Jimmy Dunn (2), Harold Searson (1), Jimmy Milburn (3),

Tommy Burden, Captain (6).

Middle Row: Ray Iggleden (8), Len Browning (9), Major Frank Buckley (Manager),

Bob Roxburgh (Trainer), Frank Dudley (10), Jim McCabe (4).

Front Row: Davie Cochrane (7), Harold Williams (11).