1927; Hughie Ferguson's Strike May Have Passed into Legend, but There's a Lot That's Still Not Known about Cardiff City's 1927 Triumph. Darren Devine Looks Back at That Year and at 10 Less Well-Known Aspects of the Famous Wembley Win

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), May 16, 2008 | Go to article overview

1927; Hughie Ferguson's Strike May Have Passed into Legend, but There's a Lot That's Still Not Known about Cardiff City's 1927 Triumph. Darren Devine Looks Back at That Year and at 10 Less Well-Known Aspects of the Famous Wembley Win


Byline: Darren Devine

IT MIGHT seem an age ago, but today's world is not so different from how it was when Cardiff City last lifted the FA Cup in 1927.

So in the interests of giving Cardiff City's players a lucky send-off as they head to London ahead of tomorrow's cup final, we've come up with a few - admittedly slightly contrived - omens to prove they're destined for success.

On the technology front, 1927 saw the Bell Telephone Company transmit the first long-range television image, while this year sees a similarly groundbreaking innovation with the first steps in the switchover from analogue to digital TV.

And then there's the news events dominating the headlines. The continuing debate about when British troops will be pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan, had its own equivalent in 1927, with a series of debates in the Commons about the rights and wrongs of sending British soldiers to China.

Also in the world of foreign affairs was a deteriorating relationship between Britain and the USSR. While Putin-era Russia might not be in the same league as the burgeoning Soviet empire, 2008 has seen more than its fair share of cracks in Anglo-Russian relations, culminating most significantly in the arrest of Stephen Kinnock, head of the British Council.

In1927, though, it was much worse. On May 24, Britain, under Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, severed diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union over allegations of espionage and underground political activity. But, made-up omens aside, the life in 1927 was a thoroughly different world to modern times. City's appearance in tomorrow's showpiece match will be seen by nearly 500 million around the world, in all manner of media formats.

But back in1927, Teddy Wakelam gave the first sports commentary on BBC radio, beginning an art that would come into its own when City triumphed 1-0 over Arsenal at Wembley.

And while fans will flock to Wembley from all over the world to support the Bluebirds, air travel itself was a novelty in the 1920s.

In June, Charles Lindbergh completed the first lone non-stop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. He was later greeted by a ticker-tape parade on 5th Avenue, New York.

These days, computer animation is all over our cinema screens in big-budget blockbusters, but 81 years ago, simple sound was the big innovation.

In October 1927, the Jazz Singer was first screened to global acclaim, heralding the end of silent cinema and the beginning of "talkies".

While the international focus was on China, closer to home the country was re-named the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland", following the founding of the Irish Republic.

But the international news agenda was dominated by natural disasters.

In an eerie precursor of current events, 200,000 were killed in a huge earthquake in Xining, China, in May 1927, while America experienced its greatest catastrophe to date when the Mississippi flooded, affecting 700,000 people.

In Wales one of the year's biggest stories was a total solar eclipse here as well as in the north of England on November 24.

Across the globe the population count continued to grow with the human race topping two billion.

In terms of personal habits the Welsh diet was very different in 1927, with a far greater reliance on fresh local foods and a high intake of meat and vegetables with very little sugar. But it wasn't all wholesome and healthy. It was high in saturated fats, with dairy food, and fatty meat and everything cooked in lard in a pan.

Towards the end of the Roaring Twenties "fashionable flappers" were all the rage - maybe there were one or two among the City players' wives and girlfriends.

These had short sleek hair, wore a shorter-than-average shapeless dress, were very flat-chested, put their make-up on in public, smoked with long cigarette holders and showed a bit of leg.

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