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Hendon 0 : 2 Bishop Auckland Amateur Cup Final

16th April 1955 

Attendance 100,000

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Hendon FC 1955.


Standing (left to right): Dexter Adams, Bill Fisher, Eric Beardsley, Laurie Topp, Erwin Bahler, Reg Ivey, Graeme Cunningham, Eric Parker, Gerry Saffery, Pat Austin, Rajnar Hvidsten.


This Hendon team were not short on international experience and had become known as the “United Nations” team.


Their attack included Swiss international Erwin Bahler who had flown in from Berne for both the semi final and the final, Norwegian international Rajnar Hvidsten and Scottish international Graeme Cunningham.


England regulars Dexter Adams and Laurie Topp completed Hendon’s international contingent. 

Hendon were making their first Amateur Cup final appearance and could not have faced tougher opposition. 


The Bishop Auckland team contained eight international players and they were the giants of Amateur Cup football. They had already appeared in fifteen finals and had won the trophy a record seven times. They also had a point to prove, in four post war finals, three of them at Wembley, they had failed to register a win.


For Hendon, Laurie Topp and Bill  Fisher had previous Wembley experience, having played here for the club in a wartime Middlesex Red Cross Cup Final ten years earlier while goalkeeper Reg Ivey been a runner up with Romford in 1949 in the first ever Amateur Cup Final played at Wembley.

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Field Marshall Viscount Montgomery of Alamein is introduced to the Hendon players before the game.

Match referee R.H. Mann with team captains Tommy Stewart of Bishop Auckland and Dexter Adams of Hendon.

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The Amateur Cup was attracting great interest at the time and this was the fifth year running that a capacity 100,000 crowd had watched the final at Wembley. 

Hendon started the game well and Erwin Bahler nearly scored with a fierce drive with only three minutes gone.  

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Hendon goalkeeper Reg Ivey gathers the ball watched by team mate Eric Beardsley 

Bishop Auckland legend Bob Hardisty in action in front of the capacity Wembley crowd.

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Midway through the first half, Hendon goalkeeper Reg Ivey was slow to react to a Seamus O'Connell through ball allowing Bishop's Derek Lewin to lob the ball over him to score the first goal. Hendon's Dexter Adams made a desperate attempt at a goal line clearance but could only hook the ball into the roof of the net.

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Reg Ivey in the Hendon goal under increasing pressure. 

Hendon winger Gerry Saffery takes on Tommy Stewart of Bishop Auckland. 

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The goal seemed to dishearten Hendon and Bishop’s began to get the upper hand. At the back, Laurie Topp was putting in an outstanding performance but Hendon’s international attack was failing to combine. After twenty minutes of the second half, Bishop's Seamus O'Connell put in a shot which Reg Ivey did well to hold, but when subsequently harassed by burly lifeboatman Ray Oliver, Ivey dropped the ball and Derek Lewin turned and swept the ball into the net for his second goal of the game. The Amateur Cup was returning to mighty Bishop Auckland once again.

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The Bishop Auckland team celebrate with the Amateur Cup.

Bob Hardisty had a last secured a Wembley winner's medal at his fourth attempt.

Bishop Auckland would retain the Amateur Cup in 1956 and 1957 beating Corinthian Casuals 4 - 1 in a replay and Wycombe Wanderers 3 - 1 to increase their all time record of Cup wins to ten.

Hendon would have the consolation of returning to Wembley later in the year. On 27th September 1955 Sir Stanley Rous and other members of the FA were present when Hendon became the first club to play under floodlighting at Wembley stadium. The first team and reserves played a trial match to test out two different sets of floodlights installed at an estimated cost of £46,000. The players were asked their views and the infomation gained was used to determine which set of lights would be installed permanently. The honour of scoring the first goal under floodlights at Wembley went to Gordon Holden as the senior team, with coach Laurie Scott at left back, enjoyed a 1 - 0 win over the reserves.

Pathe News Coverage of the 1955 Amateur Cup Final.

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