7 May 1955

Toon win ‘Fisher Final’

Newcastle United won the FA Cup on this day in 1955, in a match that became known as the ‘Fisher Final’.

At 4pm, with Newcastle United and Manchester City drawing 1-1 and the second half about to begin, television and radio coverage was interrupted by the third in a series of talks by the Geoffrey Fisher, the Archbishop of Canterbury. By popular request, the talk was also transmitted over the stadium’s public address system. During the talk, Newcastle scored twice to take a 3-1 lead, and there were no further goals. The Archbishop’s theme was the role of the public schools in promoting standards in public life.

After the match, as Newcastle captain Jimmy Scoular went to collect the cup, the crowd struck up a chorus of 'Blaydon Races', with its distinctive refrain: ‘Lots o’ lads and lasses there, all wi’ smiling faces / 
Gannin’ alang the Scotswood Road to see the Blaydon Races.’ According to local folklore, the Duke of Edinburgh shook Scoular’s hand and said: ‘Tell me, Mr Scoular, why do these people all have smiles upon their faeces?’ The remark was taken to be a humorous comment on the Geordie accent.

The story is almost certainly apocryphal, however. In Scoular’s autobiography, Talk of the Toon, he says: ‘It was a tremendous honour to collect the coveted cup on behalf of a great club. His Royal Highness asked jokingly if I had come far, and said of our wonderful followers, “They make a hell of a noise, don’t they?”’

The victorious Newcastle United team
Picture: PA

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