Earlier this year, Southampton Football Club revealed plans to make a home-only Northam end - meaning away supporters will be moved. This and a new safe-standing section spell big changes at St Mary’s Stadium.

But this certainly isn’t the first time that tickets and seating changed completely.

A significant event took place at The Dell on February 28, 1948, when Tottenham Hotspur visited to compete in an FA Cup sixth-round match against the Saints.

Saints had found themselves playing at home in the sixth round of the cup for the very first time.

In fact, they had got to this stage only once before – in 1927 – when they had beaten Millwall, after being drawn away.

Daily Echo: Southampton Football Club (Saints FC) V Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs) cuptie. February 28, 1948.

Since then, they had never progressed beyond the fourth round.

“The first 700 Tottenham supporters arrived by train before mid-day, and they were joined by three more trainloads of people from London,” read an Echo report from the time.

The event was met with such excitement, the club decided to make it their first all-ticket match. Even though a notice specified that tickets would only be available to individuals applying in person, Mary Bates, the assistant secretary, found herself with a staggering 15,000 applications waiting in the mailbox.

A large number of individuals who received the communication braved the chilly night, waiting in line for hours in the bitter snow, some of them lighting braziers to keep warm.

Daily Echo: Saints FC (Southampton Football Club) prepare for the cuptie against Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs). February 28, 1948.

The report continued: “The fact that the match was an all-ticket affair did not prevent queues from forming early, and people without reserved seats started lining up in Archers-road and Milton-road about 8am. Earliest arrival was Mr R Wheeler, of South-East-road, Sholing, who was outside the Milton-road entrance at 7.45am

“When the gates opened at 12:15pm it was estimated that 5,000 people were already waiting for admittance. The nosiest section was the boy’s queue in Archers-road, where rattles were whirring and the ‘two-four-six-eight’ war cry was sustained.

“There appeared to be a small but active black market in tickets, and the standard price for the few stand seats which were available by this means was £2.”

Disappointment overshadowed the match as 28,425 spectators witnessed a lacklustre performance.

Daily Echo: Advert selling tickets appeared in the Daily Echo.

Saints’ first-half efforts consisted mainly of headers – from Wilf Grant, George Curtis and Charlie Wayman early on and then, just before the break, from Ted Bates.

The inside-left defied expectations with his exceptional aerial abilities, standing at a height of only 5ft 9ins.

And his header that day was no different as he outjumped the goalkeeper of Spurs, Ted Ditchburn, to direct the ball towards the goal.

The ball brushed the keeper’s hand and hit the top of the post before going over for a corner.

Daily Echo: Southampton Football Club (Saints FC) V Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs) cuptie. February 28, 1948.

As the second half unfolded, the corners kept flowing steadily without resulting in any goals. Curtis had a shot cleared off the line and Bates tested Ditchburn with another header near the end.

As the clock struck 70 minutes, Les Bennett broke the tie with a powerful shot from 20 yards. Center-half Eric Webber couldn’t shake off the feeling of frustration seeing the Spurs inside-forward strike the ball with his left foot.

Bennett was a proven goalscorer but Webber doubted whether he had ‘ever scored a goal with his left foot in his life’.

Left-half Joe Mallett agreed: Bennett ‘couldn’t kick a ball with his left foot.’ The Tottenham players couldn’t believe it, either.

Daily Echo: Southampton Football Club (Saints FC) V Tottenham Hotspurs (Spurs) cuptie. February 28, 1948.

Ernie Jones, the outside-left for the opposing team, joined Saints in an exchange deal for Alf Ramsey 15 months later. In the visitors’ dressing room, it was a running joke that Bennett had scored with the wrong foot.

In a moment that was far from humorous, Mary Bates found herself deeply disheartened. Tears rolled down her face - the only ever time during a football match - as she mourned the outcome

It would be a long wait of 15 years before the Saints advanced to the sixth round once more. This time, it was her husband, Ted, who guided them to the semi-finals, facing Forest away in the quarter-finals.

And so it would continue – semifinals reached in 1976, 1984 and 1986, each time after being drawn away. A home draw in round six continued to be of no use to them – until 2003, when Southampton, at last, progressed after coming out of the sixth round bag first.

As the final whistle blew on the match 2-0 victory against Wolves, a poignant moment enveloped the Bates household. It was the last game Ted ever saw.