Featherstone (1896)

The Leeds Workpeople's Hospital Cup – Bradford's first-ever trophy

Bradford reached the final of the Leeds Workpeople's Hospital Cup in 1896 in their very first season as an association football club.  The game was played at Parkside, Hunslet on the 6th April.  Menzies gave injury-ridden Bradford a 1-0 lead at half time but, with the wind now behind them, their opponents Featherstone fought back in the second half to force a replay. This was played at the same venue on the 22nd April and the following report appeared in the Bradford Observer the next day.


The Bradford and Featherstone teams met in the final tie for the Leeds Workpeople's Hospital Cup, on the Parkside Ground, Hunslet, last night before 1500 spectators. Bradford went off at the start, and immediately gets into position in front of goal, Menzies puts the ball into the net during the first two minutes. Thompson and Menzies kept up a fusillade, and after some neat passing, in which the Park Avenue team excelled, Dell shot a second goal. Featherstone improved somewhat afterwards, but found Lemoine sound in defence, and when the teams changed over, Bradford were a couple of goals ahead. 

The second half opened in precisely the same manner as the first, with Bradford attacking. Matthews got in front after some pretty play by Thompson, and shooting quickly Menzies turned and leathered into the net amid deafening cheers from the Bradford spectators. Play was more even afterwards, Smith and Wells getting in some strong work in front of goal. Featherstone, however, were not to be denied, and after some more good combined play, Poltinghorne charged Lemoine over whilst Helliwell put the ball through. This was followed immediately afterwards by another goal from Thompson. Time was then called, Bradford being returned the winners of a somewhat one-sided game by four goals to one.

After the conclusion of the game, the cup was presented to Mr Shepherd, the captain of the winning team, by Miss Kent, the daughter of the president of the Hunslet club. The gate was £16 5s 6d.

Teams: Bradford: Goal, Lemoine; backs, Wells and Smith; half backs, N. Thorne, H. Collinson and R. Thorne; forwards, Matthews, Ingham, Dell, Menzies and Thompson. Featherstone: Goal, Thompson; backs, Hayward and Mossley; half backs, Holmes, Helliwell and Turner; forwards, Jones, Stafford, Deeley, Slater and Poltinghorne.

On their return to Bradford, the victorious team were met at the station by a large crowd of football enthusiasts, who cheered the victors lustily.