London War Cup

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London War Cup
Founded 1940
Region England
Current champions Brentford FC
Most successful club(s) No club won the cup more than once, although Brentford FC reached the final twice.

The London War Cup was an English football competition held with the aim of helping to fill the gaping hole left in English football by the FA Cup's cancellation. It was one of several competitions held to provide football matches to entertain the public while the major competitions were suspended; others included the Football League War Cup and the Football League North Cup. Although called the London War Cup, teams from across the south of England took part.

Background[edit]

Throughout the latter 1930s it was becoming inevitable that a second World War with Germany was coming. On 3 September 1939 following Germany's invasion of Poland, Neville Chamberlain announced war on Nazi Germany. Shortly after war was declared, most competitions were abandoned as the country's attention turned to the war effort. Over 780 footballers signed up to fight in the war and as a result many of England's best teams were depleted – for example, Liverpool saw 76 players sign up, Wolves saw 91 sign up and Huddersfield, Leicester and Charlton all saw over 60 players sign up for the war. Because of this many teams fielded guest players instead. The FA Cup Extra-Preliminary Round was played, but with hostilities declared before replays took place, and a 50-mile travelling limit, that competition too was abandoned.

The cup ended after its second season, and was replaced by the Football League War Cup. The trophy, originally used for the London War Cup, was reused for the Football League War Cup, which currently resides in the trophy cabinet at the Chelsea FC Museum, as they were the last winners of the Football League War Cup in 1945 at Wembley.

Finals[edit]

Season Winner Runners-up
1940/1941 Reading Brentford
1941/1942 Brentford Portsmouth