What is the earliest existing film footage of a football match, shot for the entire duration of the game, not just fragments and highlights ?

  • Are you asking about when a game was first fully broadcasted (live)? Or when a game was completely filmed for the first time?
    – Don_Biglia
    Sep 26, 2016 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


Regarding oldest footage:

"Blackburn and West Brom feature in oldest footage of a football match dating from 1898"

But there's no mention whether Arthur Cheetham filmed the whole match or just parts of it.

Source: The Daily Mail

Live broadcasting:

"In October 1946, the first live televised football match was broadcast by the BBC from Underhill. Twenty minutes of the game against Wealdstone were televised in the first half and thirty five minutes of the second half before it became too dark."

Source: Wikipedia

During the World Cup 1954 the first international match was broadcasted (Austria - Scotland, with Austria winning 1:0).
The final match between Germany and Hungary was broadcasted as well (Germany winning 3:2), but not much of the footage is still in existence today.

Other than that, it's really hard to find anything about when the first whole match has been recorded on tape. I also doubt that the footage still exists.

  • 1
    And what is the earliest known surviving complete film footage ? Sep 26, 2016 at 11:07
  • @SprotzRobert: That I don't know and I haven't found any sources to this. My best guess would be the WC final of 1958, heh.
    – waka
    Sep 26, 2016 at 13:43

Glentoran vs Cliftonville, 1897 is the earliest recorded match of all time, but it was only a few seconds.

As far as I am aware, the earliest footage of a complete football match is the 1952-53 (May 2, 1953) FA Cup final between Blackpool and Bolton, also known as the "Matthew's final", you can watch the full match on the website Footballia.

I have been trying to find any other full match before 1953, but I have had no luck so far, the best I can find is seconds of recording.

  • 1
    Hi! Welcome to the site. Do you have links or other confirmation of the details you supply here?
    – Joe
    Jan 17 at 1:21

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