Percy Main, Northumberland born winger Septimus “Sep” Rutherford played for Blyth Spartans in 1926 from where he joined First Division Portsmouth, making his Football League debut against Everton in October 1927, his only appearance in his debut season at Fratton Park. Things barely improved over the next three seasons as he made only 9 further first team appearances, but he broke into the first team in the summer of 1932 and scored 14 League goals in the 1932-33 campaign leaving him as the club’s second top goalscorer behind Jack Weddle.
The following season he played 5 FA Cup ties, scoring 4 times including once in their FA Cup semi final 4-1 win over Leicester City at St Andrew’s, and then famously in the FA Cup Final at Wembley itself, netting in the 28th minute to put Pompey in the lead against Manchester City. However two Fred Tilson goals late in the second half broke Pompey hearts and took the Cup to Maine Road.
In the summer of 1936 Rutherford joined Blackburn Rovers after 9 years at Fratton Park, during which time he scored 37 goals in 131 appearances. However he only stayed a single season at Ewood Park, scoring once in 14 appearances, before retiring from the game.
He was the younger brother of Jock Rutherford, who played for Newcastle United, Arsenal and England over more than 20 years and Bob Rutherford, who played once for Newcastle United in April 1906 (who was 29 years his senior). His nephew John Rutherford also played once for Arsenal in November 1925, before Sep had made his League debut.
This is a remarkable photo of Sep Rutherford’s goal in the 28th minute of the 1934 FA Cup Final to give Portsmouth the lead. The referee points to the centre circle, Rutherford wheels away from the penalty spot and team mates jump a jig of delight, while City goalkeeper, the great Frank Swift, in his debut season of 15 at Manchester City, lies in a crumpled beaten heap… I love the loudspeaker in the foreground, I assume for crowd announcements!! However two Fred Tilson goals in the last 16 minutes would give Manchester City a 2-1 victory.