Pompey's amazing FA Cup Final brothers

WHO would have thought a small village in South Tyneside would have played such a big part the last time Portsmouth reached the FA Cup Final 75 years ago.

There will be a host of foreign stars on show at today's final between Portsmouth and Cardiff at Wembley Stadium.

But on April 28, 1934, three men from Whitburn walked out for Pompey at Wembley to play against Manchester City in football's famous cup competition.

For the first time in FA Cup history, two brothers Jack and Bill Smith, from Whitburn, played for the same team in a final, along with Jack Weddle, also from Whitburn.

And if that wasn't enough, Jack and Bill's youngest brother Sep, played for Leicester City against Portsmouth in the semi-final, where Pompey ran out 4-1 winners.

Unfortunately for the South Tyneside brothers, who both played for South Shields FC, Portsmouth were beaten 2-1 in the final by Manchester City, who boasted star player Matt Busby among their ranks.

Out of the seven Smith brothers, four went on to play top-flight professional football, and two, Jack and Sep, played for England – Jack three times and Sep once.

Bill's son Eric Smith, 68, from Newark Drive, Whitburn, a retired salesman, said: "When you think that two brothers from Whitburn played in the final, and four of the brothers, in total, played professional football, it's a bit special. It's an amazing achievement.

"I doubt it has been done before and I doubt it'll be done again.

"Football was different back then. Instead of getting paid thousands of pounds, my dad and uncle both got a tea set for reaching the final,"

Tom Smith, the second oldest after Jack, known as Tosher, played for Manchester United.

"They were just fabulous people, nothing like today's top sportsmen," Mr Smith added. "I remember once asking my Uncle Jack where his caps were, and finding them under the bed – all fluff and feathers and all sorts.

"If my mam hadn't been proud and talked about it, we'd never have heard the stories at all. They just gave everything away. If Uncle Jack had an England shirt, he'd probably have worn it down the pit."