At a recent trip to the Chelsea Museum at Stamford Bridge – no don’t ask – I bumped into an old friend of ours, The London War Cup! It’s a lovely thing but clearly there was something not quite right. What was it? Something didn’t seem to add up. I wandered around with a strange empty feeling nagging away at my brain. What was it? I just couldn’t put my finger on it then…BANG! My mind lit up with the realisation: Why the hell is it in the Chelsea Museum and not at Griffin Park? We won it, it should be ours.
After a little investigation – actually asking someone – I found out that Chelsea claim they were the last winners of the cup in 1945. Hold on! Just because Hitler decided to shoot himself, Chelsea get to keep the cup forever. How is that fair? Clearly it’s not, so what can we do about it?
My initial reaction was to start another war so the cup can be reintroduced and we would have another chance to play for it. On a practical level this is harder than I initially thought. Recent wars against Argentina, Iraq etc have failed to reignite the passion for a War Cup, so clearly it will have to be a fully fledged World War. But, as Germany seem to have everything they need, Japan are in the doldrums, North Korea and Pakistan with few friends to kick off a full scale World War we’ll have to think of something else.
I suppose we could sneak in and steal it but as I reckon that’s how they got it in the first place, I think we should take the high moral ground on this one and ask for a winner takes all rematch. As recent history shows we would probably lose that encounter [over two legs], so maybe that’s not the answer and it’s probably not fair on other winners of the War Cup.
So, who were the other winners of the London War Cup? Er, Reading in 1941. Eh? Yes, just Reading NOT Chelsea! The London War Cup ran for two seasons only. We lost to Reading in ’41 and beat Portsmouth in ’42. Therefore the current champions are Brentford NOT Chelsea!
Throughout the war period there was also a Football League War Cup. West Ham won it in 1940 and Preston beat Arsenal after a replay in 1941. 1942 saw Wolves beat Sunderland over two legs. The final three seasons saw a regional competition with the southern finalists playing the northern finalists in a winner takes all battle. Blackpool beat Arsenal in ’43, Charlton and Villa shared the cup in ’44 and Chelsea LOST to Bolton Wanderers in ’45.
Chelsea’s meagre claim to the cup is that they won the southern area final in ’45 but that was simply a semi-final against Millwall to see who would play Bolton in the Final of the Football League War Cup.
Brentford are the rightful owners of the London War Cup as current champions. It’s the only cup we have ever won and it should take pride of place in any new Brentford Museum that might be built at Lionel Road.
Seriously, I want it back! Should Beesotted start a campaign?