Garry Clarke takes a look at the unique history of the latest side to block Warrington Rylands’ path to Wembley Stadium in the FA Vase…

INSTEAD of playing North Ferriby on Saturday in the Buildbase FA Vase, Warrington Rylands 1906 will now face West Auckland Town after the Humberside club was removed from the competition having been found guilty of fielding an ineligible player in last weekend’s fourth round tie.

Reinstated after suffering a 4-0 defeat at North Ferriby, West Auckland will be aiming to reach to reach the Wembley final for the third time in 10 years having graced the big stage in 2012 and 2014, returning home with nothing but memories each time.

Having reached the fourth, sixth and fifth rounds in the past three seasons, West Auckland were given an exemption until the second round of this season’s running.

> Details of how you can cheer Warrington Rylands from home while at the same time helping out St Rocco's Hospice here

On their entry into the competition, they defeated Rylands’ NWCFL neighbours 1874 Northwich 4-1 with a very impressive performance while in the third round, they won 2-1 at fellow Northern Leaguers Consett, who have a Wembley date of their own on May 3 when they face Hebburn Town in the delayed final from the 2019-20 Vase campaign.

Warrington Guardian:

West Auckland dumped Rylands' league rivals 1874 Northwich out of the competition earlier this season. Picture by Karl Brooks Photography

Hebburn are a possible opponent for the winner of Saturday’s Gorsey Lane game as the draw for the quarter finals pits the winner of Rylands-West Auckland against the winner of Hebburn’s game against Congleton Town on Saturday, May 1.

Originally formed in 1893, West Auckland joined the Northern League in 1934 having become world famous in 1909 when they won the inaugural “World Cup.”

The competition was organized by British Industrialist Sir Thomas Lipton, who also presented the trophy. Held in Torino, Italy, it involved teams from Italy, England, Switzerland and Germany.

The original invitation was offered to the Football Association, who declined to nominate a team for entry but Sir Thomas insisted Great Britain be represented.

As to how West Auckland were chosen is open to speculation – one story says the club’s initials were mistaken for those of Woolwich Arsenal.

The team, predominantly made up of miners, struggled to raise the money necessary to travel to Italy – some even pawned their own possessions to pay their way.

Their determination paid off as they beat Stuttgart of Germany 2-0 on their way to beating FC Winterhouse of Switzerland 2-0 in the final at the Turin Stadium.

They returned to Italy two years later to defend their trophy, beating Red Star of Switzerland 2-0 to qualify for the final where they beat Italian side Juventus 6-1 to retain the title.

So if Warrington Rylands are to progress along the road to Wembley, they will have to overcome former World Cup winners.