It has been known down the years as “The Khaki Final”, owing to the vast number of soldiers in military uniform watching the game. While the event is well known, the outcome of the match has been largely overlooked in history. Many people will struggle to name the two finalists: Sheffield United and Chelsea. But this game, coming at the end of the 1914-15 season, has more than a hint of poignancy about it, if only for the sight of wounded soldiers in their great coats watching the game in the Manchester rain. The Great War was supposed to be “over by Christmas”, but just a few days after this final, the second battle of Ypres took place and the German army used, for the first time, poison gas. There would be three more Christmases before fighting would cease.
With Britain at war since the autumn of 1914, there was…
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