Thursday, December 08, 2011

Peter Croker RIP

Peter Croker, the last surviving member of Charlton's victorious 1947 FA Cup winning side passed away today and with him a small part of the club died too.

Football historians are well-aware that the advent of the Second World War explains why Charlton are relative 'also-rans' in domestic football.

However back-to-back FA Cup final appearances straight after the end of war did maintain some of the previous momentum, before a long period of mediocrity set in.

That single 1947 triumph however has at least ensure that Charlton won a major domestic trophy, a feat that has escaped a surprisingly high number of other medium-sized clubs.

For example of clubs currently occupying the top two divisions, the following have not won either an FA Cup, League Cup or League Championship: Fulham, Wigan, Swansea, Hull, Brighton, Reading, Crystal Palace (obviously), Peterborough, Millwall (obviously), Watford, Bristol City and Doncaster .

If you strip out those whose only triumph was the relatively flaky League Cup(s), then you can add the following too: Middlesbrough, QPR, Stoke, Norwich, Birmingham, and Leicester.

Sadly very few Charlton fans alive today will recall the 1947 final, but thanks to the likes of Peter Croker, we do at least have bragging rights over some supposedly 'bigger' clubs.

Something worth remembering when we visit Fulham in the FA Cup next month.

**In the interests of completeness, the following (still in existence) clubs have also registered just one FA Cup win: Cardiff, Barnsley, Blackpool, Bradford, Coventry, Notts County, Southampton, Wimbledon.