PMB: Chelsea v Sheffield Wednesday - history

With the help of club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton, we recall Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday's long FA Cup past...

We Have History

Only Arsenal have been more frequent FA Cup opponents for the Blues than Wednesday. This is the 11th time Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday have been paired together in the FA Cup. Five of the 10 previous ties required at least one replay. The Blues progressed in eight of them, including the last six, and the Owls twice.

The first of those was in February 1913 at the Bridge, when the visitors were known simply as The Wednesday. A crowd of more than 36,000 saw Bob Whittingham equalise McLean’s opener for the visitors, who won the return at Owlerton 6-0.

David Calderhead was still Chelsea's secretary-manager 20 years later in February 1932 when the Pensioners obtained revenge with a 2-0 victory in west London following a 1-1 draw in Yorkshire. Harry Miller, with a stunning volley, and George Mills clipped the Owls’ wings.

Seven years later, in February 1939, the tie was only settled after two rematches. Interest in the fixture was so great several Chelsea players appeared on BBC radio’s famous show ‘In Town Tonight’ to discuss goings-on behind the scenes. Draws at the Bridge (1-1) and Hillsborough (0-0) led to a Monday afternoon fixture at a neutral venue: Highbury, where the Pensioners had lost 0-1 in the league the previous Saturday.

The outcome was rather better in the cup against Wednesday, with former Owl Harry Burgess and ‘Ten Goal’ Joe Payne setting a 2-0 half-time lead. Burgess added another before a late consolation made it 3-1. As he had also netted in the original match, he was responsible for three of the four goals against his old club.

It was 28 years before Wednesday visited again in the cup, and Tommy Baldwin was the only goalscorer – in the last minute – as the Blues continued their progress to the final. When the Owls returned for more the following season, again in a replay, it was the prolific duo Peter Osgood and Bobby Tambling who ruffled the Owls’ feathers with a 2-0 win.

Fast forward to round three in 1975 and a stellar performance from Charlie Cooke – and a rare brace from giant defender Mickey Droy – turned a 0-2 deficit into a thrilling last-gasp 3-2 victory.

It would be a further 19 years before the Yorkshire side returned to the Fulham Road in this competition, and they have not been back since. Glenn Hoddle was in charge of the Blues in February 1994 and his side took an early lead through Gavin Peacock.

The introduction of David Hirst seemed to unsettle the Blues’ defence, though, and Wednesday equalised through Graham Hyde after a cross was never properly cleared. ‘We didn’t play well, but we didn’t get beat,’ Hoddle observed afterwards.

Once again, the Owls were beaten en route to the final, but it took extra-time at Hillsborough to complete the task. See how the events unfolded here.


Division One’s first-ever Sunday match, between Stoke and Chelsea, kicked off at 2.30pm on January 27 1974 because a national energy crisis prohibited the use of floodlights.

Sheffield Wednesday’s last victory of any sort at Stamford Bridge came in January 1993 when Ian Porterfield was in charge of the Blues. Paul Warhurst and John Harkes secured a 2-0 win for Trevor Francis’ side in the inaugural Premier League season.

Chelsea v Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup

Last FA Cup meeting at Stamford Bridge
Fourth round 29 Jan 1994
Chelsea 1 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Chelsea (4-1-2-1-2): Kharine; Clarke, Sinclair, Johnsen, Myers; Spackman; Burley, Hopkin; Peacock; Stein, Shipperley (Spencer 65).
Manager: Glenn Hoddle
Scorer: Peacock 14

Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Pressman; Nilsson, Pearce, Walker, Coleman; Bart-Williams, Hyde, Palmer, Jones (Hirst 59); Jemson, Watson.
Manager: Trevor Francis 
Scorer: Hyde 62

Referee: Robert Hart
Attendance: 26,094

Other cup meetings

Biggest win at Stamford Bridge for each team

Chelsea 4-0 Sheffield Wednesday Division One 19/08/1950
Chelsea 4-0 Sheffield Wednesday Division One 26/08/1989

Chelsea 0-4 The Wednesday        Division One 16/11/1912
Chelsea 0-4 Sheffield Wednesday Division One 05/12/1959

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