Berks and Bucks Senior Cup

The Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Senior Cup was first contested in 1878-79 (as the Berks and Bucks Challenge Cup), with Reading beating Marlow 1-0 with a goal from a scrimmage in the last minute of extra time. However it was Marlow who dominated the competition in the following years, winning on eleven occasions before the end of the century. Reading managed just one further victory, in 1891-92, beating Wolverton LNWR 2-0 in the final at Maidenhead, with goals from Warburton and Hewett.

Reading continued to enter the competition until 1894-95, when they withdrew at the semi-final stage in order to play a more lucrative friendly against Walsall Town Swifts. When they turned professional in 1895, they were no longer eligible to enter the competition. The breakaway Reading Amateurs side continued to enter, and were winners in 1905 and 1906.

Reading entered a reserve team into the competition during the war years, reaching the final in 1940-41, but losing 3-2 to Windsor & Eton. In the same year, a Reading 'A' (third string) side won the lesser Berks and Bucks Benevolent Cup. In the 1980s and 1990s a Reading Reserves team again competed, winning in 1994-95 and being beaten finalists on three occasions. This corresponded with the emergence of a second league team from the two counties, namely Wycombe Wanderers, themselves winners of the competition on over twenty occasions. The third league team, Milton Keynes Dons, don't really count, being displaced South Londoners.

Wycombe were involved in one of the cup's most bizarre episodes. In 1975 they comfortably beat Thatcham Town 4-0 in the final, but due to a dispute with the Berks and Bucks FA, did not hang around to collect their medals. The cup was therefore presented to Thatcham!

Another of my favourite teams, Hungerford Town, were winners of the competition in 1982, beating Wycombe 1-0 in the final. They were beaten finalists on three occasions in the 1970s.

The winners of the early competitions were as follows:

    1878-79    READING                      1896-97    Marlow
    1879-80    Swifts/Old Philberdians      1897-98    Newbury
    1880-81    Marlow                       1898-99    Marlow
    1881-82    Swifts                       1899-00    Marlow
    1882-83    Marlow                       1900-01    Chesham Generals
    1883-84    Windsor                      1901-02    Wycombe Wanderers
    1884-85    Marlow                       1902-03    Slough
    1885-86    Marlow                       1903-04    Chesham Town
    1886-87    Windsor                      1904-05    Reading Amateurs
    1887-88    Marlow                       1905-06    Reading Amateurs
    1888-89    Marlow                       1906-07    Maidenhead Norfolkians
    1889-90    Marlow                       1907-08    Chesham Town
    1890-91    Windsor Phoenix Athletic     1908-09    Wycombe Wanderers
    1891-92    READING                      1909-10    Wycombe Wanderers
    1892-93    Wolverton LNWR               1910-11    Windsor & Eton
    1893-94    Marlow                       1911-12    Maidenhead
    1894-95    Maidenhead                   1912-13    Wycombe Wanderers
    1895-96    Maidenhead                   1913-14    Aylesbury United

Swifts and Old Philberdians were joint winners in 1880. There is a complete list of winners on the 1871.net site. Chesham Generals and Chesham Town merged to form the current Chesham United club. Maidenhead and Maidenhead Norfolkians merged to form the current Maidenhead United club.

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