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Blades remember Khaki Cup Final heroes

20 April 2015

The centenary of the iconic Khaki Cup Final is being remembered by United.

The Blades beat Chelsea 3-0 at Old Trafford on 24th April 1915 in the only FA Cup Final played during a World War.

The final, switched from its usual location of Crystal Palace because it was being used as a troop recruitment camp, is one of the few finals to be known by a name. It was tagged the Khaki Cup Final due to the large number of uniformed soldiers in the 50,000 crowd.

Many had said that, as a mark of respect, the Cup should have been suspended in the same way as the Football League would be for the following season. History showed that it proved a great diversion from the harsh reality of the events that took place a short distance over the channel. The Cup went on and the Blades lifted it for the third time, up to that point.

The celebrations were muted. Following police advice, the trophy was brought back to Sheffield under the cover of darkness to Sheffield Midland station. Anyone who turned up to cheer their heroes was moved on. The players were ushered into waiting taxis and taken home. There was no victory parade, no celebration dinner. That took place five years later in 1920.

To mark the centenary, at the home league game against Bradford City, the Blades invited two daughters of two of the players from the cup-winning team to be special guests and visit a Khaki Cup Final display of exhibits from the match at the Club's Legends of the Lane museum.

Dora Winter, daughter of Bill Cook, two time FA Cup winner with the Blades, and Margaret Ellis MBE ,daughter of Jimmy Simmons, scorer of the first goal in the Khaki Cup Final, were shown medals, the ball from the final, international caps awarded to the United players, the programme and rare photos taken at the final.

United historian John Garrett said: "The ladies were fascinated by the memorabilia and it was great opportunity for them to share memories of their fathers from a different era of football to what we know today."

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