Pitchside

Sportsmanship, baggy shorts and a giant Zeppelin: The AMAZING 1930 FA Cup final

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Arsenal's 1930 FA Cup-winning side

As Arsenal prepare to try and win their 11th FA Cup trophy, it seems as good a time as any to take a look back at their very first.

That came back in 1930, when legendary manager Herbert Chapman guided the Gunners to the final at Wembley for the second time in four seasons.

The 1927 final ended in defeat for Arsenal - at the hands of Cardiff City - but in 1930 they earned victory to claim what the Pathe newsreel at the time referred to as "football's most most coveted honour".

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Arsenal took to the pitch against Huddersfield in what was dubbed the North v South final - though we're not quite sure why it earned that moniker considering that equally-far-north Bolton had played even-further-south Portsmouth in the previous year's Wembley showdown.

But there's no doubt that the match had an extra frisson given that Chapman had been Huddersfield manager before moving to Arsenal, and built the Terriers team which won three First Division titles in a row between 1924 and 1926 (Chapman jumped ship to north London after the second of those two titles).

As a mark of respect for their former boss, Huddersfield suggested that the two sides walked out onto the pitch shoulder-to-shoulder - the first time it had ever been done in the game.

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Arsenal won the 2-0, with one of the goals coming from Alex James - who wore long johns beneath his extra baggy shorts to combat his chronic rheumatism - and the other from Jack Lambert. After the match, the two teams sat down for a post-match dinner together - something which, unlike the walking out together, has not happened since.

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Craziest of all, however, was the appearance of the Graf Zeppelin, then the world's largest airship, above Wembley early in the second half of the match. At nearly 775ft long - the length of eight blue whales - and with its engines drowning out the cheers of the 92,000 people in the crowd, the craft dipped its nose in salute to King George V, who was present at the game.

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Arsenal's win was their first - as well as only the third by a London club - and marked the start of a run of success for the side that they have never since equalled, with five league titles and two FA Cups between 1930 and 1936.

(Hat tip to Brooks Peck, Yahoo!)

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