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1903–04 FA Cup

1903–04 FA Cup
Country England
Champions Manchester City
Runners-up Bolton Wanderers

The 1903–04 FA Cup was the 33rd season of the world's oldest association football competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup (more usually known as the FA Cup). Manchester City won the competition for the first time, beating Bolton Wanderers 1–0 in the final at Crystal Palace, through a goal scored by Billy Meredith.

Matches were scheduled to be played at the stadium of the team named first on the date specified for each round, which was always a Saturday. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played, a replay would take place at the stadium of the second-named team later the same week. If the replayed match was drawn further replays would be held at neutral venues until a winner was determined. If scores were level after 90 minutes had been played in a replay, a 30-minute period of extra time would be played.


The format of the FA Cup for the season had two preliminary rounds, five qualifying rounds, an intermediate round, three proper rounds, and the semi finals and final.

Round Date
Extra Preliminary Round Saturday 12 September 1903
Preliminary Round Saturday 19 September 1903
First Round Qualifying Saturday 4 October 1903
Second Round Qualifying Saturday 17 October 1903
Third Round Qualifying Saturday 31 October 1903
Fourth Round Qualifying Saturday 14 November 1903
Fifth Round Qualifying Saturday 28 November 1903
Intermediate Round Saturday 12 December 1903
First Round Proper Saturday 6 February 1904
Second Round Proper Saturday 20 February 1904
Third Round Proper Saturday 5 March 1904
Semi-Finals Saturday 19 March 1904
Final Saturday 23 April 1904

Intermediate Round

The Intermediate Round featured ten games, played between the ten winners of the Sixth Qualifying Round, and ten teams given byes. Manchester United, Bristol City, Preston North End, Woolwich Arsenal, Barnsley and Grimsby Town from the Second Division were entered automatically into this round, as were non-league Reading, Bristol Rovers and New Brompton.

The other Second Division sides had to gain entry to this round through the earlier qualifying rounds. Burton United and Bradford City were entered at the First Qualifying Round stage, with Bradford going out in the Fourth Qualifying Round. Glossop were entered at the Second Qualifying Round, but a walkover was awarded to their opponents, Heywood. The others, Blackpool, Burnley, Burslem Port Vale, Chesterfield, Gainsborough Trinity, Leicester Fosse, Lincoln City and Stockport County were entered at the Third Qualifying Round stage, with only Gainsborough and Burslem Port Vale reaching the intermediate round from these.

The ten matches were played on 12 December 1903. Four matches went to replays, with two of these going to a second replay and one of these, the Manchester United – Small Heath game, then went to a third replay.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Preston North End 2–1 Darwen 12 December 1903
2 Reading 1–0 Gainsborough Trinity 12 December 1903
3 Grimsby Town 2–0 Barnsley 12 December 1903
4 Burslem Port Vale 3–0 Burton United 12 December 1903
5 Stockton 2–1 Shrewsbury Town 12 December 1903
6 New Brompton 1–1 Bristol City 12 December 1903
Replay Bristol City 5–2 New Brompton 16 December 1903
7 Brentford 1–1 Plymouth Argyle 12 December 1903
Replay Plymouth Argyle 4–1 Brentford 16 December 1903
8 Bristol Rovers 1–1 Woolwich Arsenal 12 December 1903
Replay Woolwich Arsenal 1–1 Bristol Rovers 16 December 1903
Replay Bristol Rovers 0–1 Woolwich Arsenal 21 December 1903
9 West Ham United 0–1 Fulham 12 December 1903
10 Manchester United 1–1 Small Heath 12 December 1903
Replay Small Heath 1–1 Manchester United 16 December 1903
Replay Small Heath 1–1 Manchester United 21 December 1903
Replay Manchester United 3–1 Small Heath 11 January 1904

First round proper

The First Round Proper contained sixteen ties between 32 teams. 17 of the 18 First Division sides were given a bye to this round, as were Bolton Wanderers from the Second Division, and non-league Southampton, Portsmouth, Millwall and Tottenham Hotspur. They joined the ten teams who won in the intermediate round.

The matches were played on Saturday, 6 February 1904. Four matches were drawn, with the replays taking place in the following midweek fixture.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Bristol City 1–3 Sheffield United 6 February 1904
2 Bury 2–1 Newcastle United 6 February 1904
3 Preston North End 1–0 Grimsby Town 6 February 1904
4 Southampton 3–0 Burslem Port Vale 6 February 1904
5 Stoke 2–3 Aston Villa 6 February 1904
6 Reading 1–1 Bolton Wanderers 6 February 1904
Replay Bolton Wanderers 3–2 Reading 10 February 1904
7 Notts County 3–3 Manchester United 6 February 1904
Replay Manchester United 2–1 Notts County 10 February 1904
8 Blackburn Rovers 3–1 Liverpool 6 February 1904
9 West Bromwich Albion 1–1 Nottingham Forest 10 February 1904
Replay Nottingham Forest 3–1 West Bromwich Albion 13 February 1904
10 Everton 1–2 Tottenham Hotspur 6 February 1904
11 Stockton 1–4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 6 February 1904
12 Woolwich Arsenal 1–0 Fulham 6 February 1904
13 Manchester City 3–2 Sunderland 6 February 1904
14 Portsmouth 2–5 Derby County 6 February 1904
15 Plymouth Argyle 2–2 Sheffield Wednesday 6 February 1904
Replay Sheffield Wednesday 2–0 Plymouth Argyle 10 February 1904
16 Millwall 0–2 Middlesbrough 6 February 1904

Second Round Proper

The eight Second Round matches were scheduled for Saturday, 20 February 1904. There was one replay, between Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers, played in the following midweek fixture, but this was again drawn and went to a second replay the following week.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Bury 1–2 Sheffield United 20 February 1904
2 Preston North End 0–3 Middlesbrough 20 February 1904
3 Blackburn Rovers 3–1 Nottingham Forest 20 February 1904
4 Aston Villa 0–1 Tottenham Hotspur 25 February 1904
5 Sheffield Wednesday 6–0 Manchester United 20 February 1904
6 Bolton Wanderers 4–1 Southampton 20 February 1904
7 Derby County 2–2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 February 1904
Replay Wolverhampton Wanderers 2–2 Derby County 24 February 1904
Replay Derby County 1–0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 29 February 1904
8 Woolwich Arsenal 0–2 Manchester City 20 February 1904

Third round proper

The four Third Round matches were scheduled for Saturday, 5 March 1904. Two matches were drawn and replayed in the following midweek fixture.

Tie no Home team Score Away team Date
1 Derby County 2–1 Blackburn Rovers 5 March 1904
2 Sheffield United 0–2 Bolton Wanderers 5 March 1904
3 Tottenham Hotspur 1–1 Sheffield Wednesday 5 March 1904
Replay Sheffield Wednesday 2–0 Tottenham Hotspur 9 March 1904
4 Manchester City 0–0 Middlesbrough 5 March 1904
Replay Middlesbrough 1–3 Manchester City 9 March 1904


The semi-final matches were played on Saturday, 19 March 1904.


Main article: 1904 FA Cup Final

The Final, the first all-Lancashire final since the start of the competition, took place at Crystal Palace on Saturday 23 April 1904. The 32nd FA Cup final was contested between Manchester City and Bolton Wanderers. Manchester City won 1–0. The goal was scored by Billy Meredith.

Match details

23 April 1904
15:00 GMT
Manchester City 1 – 0 Bolton Wanderers
Meredith Goal 23' [1]
Crystal Palace, London
Attendance: 61,374[2]
Referee: A. J. Barker
Manchester City
Bolton Wanderers [3]

See also


  • Official site; fixtures and results service at
  • 1903-04 FA Cup at
  • 1903-04 FA Cup at
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