1949 cartoon

Links With The Past: Celebratory FA Cup Cartoon

An original copy of a 73 year-old cartoon is the latest entry into Club Historian John Hutchinson's Links With The Past heritage series.
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There has been a long tradition, stretching back to the 19th century, of cartoons and caricatures referencing significant events and players in Leicester City’s history. The Club’s archives contain hundreds of examples. 

These include cartoons featured on the covers of matchday programmes produced by teams like Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur over 100 years ago, for their games against Leicester Fosse. 

Leicester City-related cartoons in the Club’s archives can be also be found in newspapers, fans’ scrapbooks, football magazines, fanzines and trade cards. 

In addition, we have sets of original cartoonists’ drawings from the 1950s, 1960s and 1990s, as well as individual original copies of cartoons like the one illustrated above, which is 73 years-old.

It was drawn by ‘Finch’, immediately after City, struggling against relegation from the old Second Division, and against all the odds, defeated league champions Portsmouth 3-1 in the 1949 FA Cup Semi-Final. The match was played in front of a 62,000 crowd at Highbury.

Expand photo
LCFC vs. Portsmouth
LCFC vs. Portsmouth

A rare photograph from the 1949 clash with Portsmouth.

Future England star Don Revie scored two of the goals. In the cartoon, a figure representing Leicester City, carrying a suitcase labelled ‘Leicester to Wembley’ passes a Portsmouth fan singing ‘Those Far Away Places’.

This was a very popular song at the time, sung by Margaret Whiting, about dreaming of going to unattainable faraway places, in this case Wembley. Pitying him, standing in front of the Highbury Tavern with his placard, ‘Pity Poor Pompey’, the Leicester fan puts some money in the singer’s hat.

This cartoon captured the triumphalist mood of the citizens of Leicester, who were thrilled that the Club had reached their first-ever FA Cup Final. A huge welcome ‘which would have done justice to a king’ awaited the players when they returned to the city from Highbury.

Despite being depicted as a downtrodden and deflated figure, the Portsmouth fan later that season would have celebrated Pompey being crowned league champions, a feat they also repeated the following year.

As for Leicester City, they were defeated 3-1 at Wembley by Wolverhampton Wanderers, but they did avoid relegation to the Third Division a week later when they gained a point at Cardiff City in the last match of the season. 

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