Have a drink to Wednesday’s 1896 Cup winners

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You can toast the 120th anniversary of Sheffield Wednesday’s first FA Cup success, when two-goal Fred Spiksley was the hero, at a celebration on Sunday, April 17.

Mark Metcalfe, the most published author of pre WW1 football books, and Clive Nicholson, have written a biography of Spiksley - Flying Over an Olive Grove - due to be published in September by False 9 Media.

The authors have amassed a consierable amount of research on the final, in which Wednesday beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 at Crystal Palace on April 18, 1896, ahead of the celebration at the Kelham Island Tavern, Russell Street, Sheffield on Sunday, April 15 (5-8pm).

They have unearthed four action pictures of the final - believed to be the earliest known action photographs of any final. Previously unseen photographs of Wednesday’s Olive Grove ground will also be projected digitally on the evening.

Metcalfe and Nicholson, himself a descendant of the Spiksley family, are hoping to unite five of the families descended from the 11 players.

They are the Spiksley, Crawshaw, Massey, Langley and Davis families. Roy Massey, the grandson of James Massey the 1896 goalkeeper, will relive tales about the team told to him by his grandad.

James went on to be a pro footballer before being head of Arsenal Youth Academy for over a decade, a role he left less than two years ago.

The authores will give talks about football in the 1890s, the 1896 team, the cup run and final, including what it was like to play at the Crystal Palace.

They are hoping to get a photograph of the families at the location of Olive Grove earlier in the afternoon.

The first 50 through the door will receive a free booklet containing a preview chapter from the book, Flying Over Olive Grove, which now has a release date of 5th September. The free chapter will be the 1896 FA Cup Final chapter, to link in with the event. They will also receive a beautiful photograph print of Sheffield Wednesday pictured in 1896 with the FA Cup.

Two specially-brewed beers will be on sale.