With Manchester giants City and United about to contest the 143rd FA Cup final this weekend, a fitting tribute to the early days is about to start a national tour.

As featured by Alyson Rudd in The Sunday Times this week, a play called "The Giant Killers’’ tells the story of how in 1870s Lancashire, Darwen FC came to the public’s attention to proclaim football as a people’s game and not just the preserve of the upper classes.

And the good news is the story of Darwen’s FA Cup battles with the toffs of the Old Etonians is making an appearance at the Milton Rooms in Malton in July.

The Sunday Times recounts how the mill workers team in Darwen took on the amateur gentleman’s club of the Old Etonians in the quarter-final in 1879. The Old Etonians were winning 5-1 but Darwen pulled it back to 5-5 to force a replay.

One replay turned into three, with one abandoned through bad light. Forced to travel to London a very expensive three times and with team members losing a day’s work, Darwen eventually succumbed 6-2, but their story of working class men inspiring a nation enabled the top hats in football crowds to turn into ‘’a sea of flat caps’’.

The Long Lane Theatre Club present their story of how Darwen FC rose up against prevailing social prejudice and the might of the Football Association, to earn a place in history as the first real ‘‘giant killers’’ in English football, at the Milton Rooms on Thursday, July 4 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £15 (£12 concessions) from www.themiltonrooms.com/whats-on