Empire Exhibition Trophy – Part 9 – 1st June 1938

On this day in 1938, a Wednesday evening, the fourth first-round tie in the Empire Exhibition Trophy was played, as usual, at Ibrox, where the competing sides were Hearts and Brentford.

Hearts had always been regarded as one of the top teams in Scotland, although their record in terms of winning trophies was far from impressive. They had not won the First Division title, for instance, since 1896/97; and it had been 1906 when the Scottish Cup had last been paraded down Gorgie Road. Their league record in the 1930s was 5th, 8th, 3rd, 6th, 5th, 5th, 5th and 2nd. That second-place, in that season of 1937/38, had been behind Celtic and only three points behind at that.

Their opponents, Brentford, had begun the decade of the 1930s in the Second Division, winning promotion as champions in 1934/35, then finishing 5th, 6th and 6th in the years following. Manager Harry Curtis had also taken his side to the 6th Round of the FA Cup in season 1937/38, so there was certainly some promise there and Englishman Frank Moss, in charge at Tynecastle, knew that his team would receive a real test of their ability to rise to the occasion.

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Changed Days?

A short report in the sports pages of the Glasgow Herald on this day in 1938 gives us an idea of just how different football was back then in terms of money;-

‘St Mirren’s balance sheet shows a loss for the year ended 30th April of £858, due it is stated largely to the expenditure of £1472 on signing new players. Players’ wages and travelling expenses amounted to £5,810.

Gate money realised £11,703, of which £3791 was paid to other clubs. Season tickets and stand drawings produced £1663, while during the year debentures amounting to £700 were redeemed, leaving outstanding £1680.

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