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Press Release
Montagu Cup 125th Anniversary Book

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Mike Bayley

The Mexborough Montagu Cup, thought to be the oldest football competition still played at its original venue, is releasing a book to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

As well as a record of every Cup Final result since the first one in 1897, the book will tell the fascinating stories of some of the players who have competed in this traditional Easter Monday fixture. Such as…

- The player who scored in the 1944 Montagu Cup final and went on to get the winning goal in the 1952 FA Cup final.

- The highest-attended Montagu Cup final was in 1944 when 5,704 came to watch many professionals who were allowed to ‘guest’ for amateur teams during the war years.

- One of those professionals managed to star in the evening ‘Mont’ final, despite completing a 2am shift as a fireman on a steam train AND playing in the afternoon for Rotherham United.

- The 1945 final was settled by the bizarre “next corner wins” rule.

- The family connections. The 1969 final had 7 players from the Whitehouse family – split between the two teams.

- The Bennetts featured in an early Montagu Cup final. This Mexborough family had 4 brothers who all went on to play elite football, amassing 4 FA Cup final medals and a League title between them.

The clubs that have played in the Montagu Cup reflect the history of the area. Wombwell Main were the first of the winners linked to the coal mines. Mexborough Grand Central Loco were the first railway-based finalists in 1915. Winners soon after World War I were the Swinton Discharged Soldiers and Sailors and after World War II, Jump Home Guard. Since then, there have been victorious teams representing a variety of organisations such as churches, chemical works, steelworks, collieries, car manufacturers, clubs and pubs.

The venue for that first Montagu Cup final was the Hampden Road ground – now the home of Mexborough Athletic. The very first final was played there on Easter Monday 1897, as was the 125th anniversary final in 2022, watched by a bumper crowd of approximately 1500.

Established football author Steve Penny, helped by the research of Chris Brook, has pulled all this together in an A4 publication due out at the end of the year.

The book will be priced at £15, although those who pre-order can get it for £10.

The book can be ordered online at or at Pettits in Mexborough

A collection of photographs is available for use if credit is given to the photographer where mentioned at ...


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