As Cardiff City celebrates the 80th anniversary of the greatest moment in the club’s history – the FA Cup win of 1927 – a special programme on S4C, Cwpan Caerdydd (Cardiff’s Cup) looks at the prospects of a return to football’s top flight for the Bluebirds.
It lists the similarities between the club’s position then and now. In 1927, the team was made up of a mixture of Scottish, English and Welsh players, it was developing its new stadium, it had a highly capable manager in charge and was ambitious – all of which could also be said of Cardiff City today.
But, unlike the current season when Cardiff have been riding high in the Championship, the 1926-27 season had gone badly in the league. Football supporters were not as affluent as they are today with South Wales still recovering from the effects of the General Strike but the City’s loyal supporters were gradually returning to Ninian Park.
In the mid-20s, Cardiff had featured strongly in the FA Cup more than once. In 1925 they reached the Final in Wembley and only lost 1-0 to Sheffield United. Two years later, the dream came true and the programme relives the day – 23 April, 1927 – when Cardiff became the first team outside England to lift the ‘English Cup,’ as the FA Cup was then called, beating Arsenal 1-0.
The narrator, played by actor, Dafydd Hywel, tells the story of how that famous Cardiff goal in the 73rd minute gave City a victory still talked about with pride today.
It was a goal that resulted from a dreadful error by the Arsenal keeper, the Rhondda-bred Welshman, Dan Lewis who appeared to have it covered. However, with Len Davies challenging, the ball twisted on Lewis’ chest and trickled slowly over the line.
Captain Fred Keenor and his men went on to take the cup and the trophy went out of England for the first - and only - time. There were suggestions that Dan Lewis had let the ball trickle past him into the goal intentionally and the programme looks carefully at this sensational allegation.
A crowd of 150,000 lined the streets of Cardiff to welcome the Wembley heroes back home and, says the narrator played by Dafydd Hywel on the programme, the feat of 1927 still fires the hopes of today’s supporters. “The potential is there today to bring back the days when it was a major club. Will history repeat itself?” he asks.
Monday, 16 April, 9.00pm, S4C
English subtitles available
Also available on broadband – s4c.co.uk/watch
A Green Bay production for S4C