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History of the FA Cup

| 10.05.2019
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The 2019 FA Cup final will be the 138th edition of the oldest national football tournament in the world. This year’s final will see Manchester City play Watford at Wembley on Saturday 18th May.

The Hornets will be looking to win their first FA Cup trophy, while the Cityzens will be hoping they can claim their sixth. Check out the latest FA Cup Final odds on Coral.

Who won the FA Cup in 2018?

Chelsea are the reigning FA Cup holders after the beat Manchester United 1-0 in the 2018 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, thanks to an Eden Hazard penalty.

FA Cup Competition History

The FA Cup is the oldest national football competition in the world. The first edition of the Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, was held in the 1871/72 season. It was contested between only 12 British teams, with Wanderers FC beating Royal Engineers A.F.C in the first final 1-0 at the Kennington Oval.

The FA Cup gets underway in early August at the Extra-Preliminary Qualifying Round, with a further five qualifying rounds following before the First-Round proper gets underway in November. The competition ends in a showpiece final at Wembley Stadium in May.

The FA Cup is a knockout tournament where games are contested over one leg per round. If a match ends in a draw, it goes to a replay up until the Fourth Round Proper. After the Fourth Round, the match result will be resolved by extra time and penalties. This was a new addition for the 2018/19 FA Cup.

FA Cup History - Watford

The winners of the FA Cup now enter the UEFA Europa League at the Group Stage. Previously, if the winners of the FA Cup had already qualified for a European tournament through the league or a European cup win, then the runners-up of the FA Cup would clinch a place in the Europa League. But this ended due to a change in the UEFA regulations in 2015. The place will now go to the next highest-place team in the league that have not yet qualified for a European spot. In the Premier League, that currently goes to the seventh-place team.

As well as a European spot, the winners of the FA Cup get £3.6million in prize money, with the runners-up getting £1.8million.

How does the FA Cup work?

The FA Cup has six qualifying rounds, starting with the Extra-Preliminary round in August, which is played between clubs from level’s nine and 10 of the English football league system. These are regional Premier divisions, and the Football Association do this to reduce travel costs for smaller clubs in the preliminary stages.

Between the Extra-Preliminary round and Fourth qualifying round, clubs from levels five to 10 of the English football pyramid, including the National League Premier, enter the competition, before the Competition Proper gets underway.

Once the First Round Proper of the FA Cup begins, those that enter at this stage and those who have qualified get allocated a number. The third and fourth tier of the Football League enter at this stage, and those clubs will be assigned numbers 1 through to 48 for the draw, with those who have made it through the qualifying rounds being allocated numbers 49 to 80. These are assigned in the order they make it through rather than in an alphabetical assignment.

Neil Harris Millwall

Premier League and Championship clubs always enter at the Third Round in January. At the Quarter-Final stage of the FA Cup, the numbers of the teams drawn change. Rather than being assigned by an alphabetical system, they are allocated on the order of where they were drawn in the last round. For example, if Liverpool makes it through to the Quarter-Finals and get assigned the number one ball, it’s because they were drawn first in the Fifth-round.

The FA Cup Final is normally held at Wembley Stadium the Saturday after the Premier League season finishes in May. It is on rare occasions that this isn’t the case, with the 2012/13 FA Cup Final being played before the Premier League season had finished allowing the Wembley Stadium pitch to recover in time to host the Champions League Final.

The FA Cup draw takes place on the conclusion of every round to determine who will face who in the next round.

The FA Cup draw is usually televised to enable fans to see who their teams will be facing in the next stage of the competition. It is done as a random draw system, where the balls are placed from a bag into a clear pot before two former players or celebrities pull numbers from the pot at random to decide who plays who.

The first number that is pulled from each pair of balls in the FA Cup draw will play their match at their home stadium.

Where is the FA Cup Final played?

Since it reopened in 2007 following its multi-million-pound renovation, the FA Cup final is played at Wembley Stadium. This years` final will be the 13th consecutive final at the new Wembley.

During the rebuild of Wembley between 2001 and 2006, the FA Cup final was played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Prior to that, the old Wembley Stadium had hosted the FA Cup final every year since 1923, until its last FA Cup final in 2000 where Chelsea beat Aston Villa.

The Kennington Oval was the first FA Cup final venue in 1872, before Lillie Bridge in London hosted the 1873 showpiece. The FA Cup final returned to the Kennington Oval between 1874 and 1892, before whistle-stop tours of Fallowfield in Manchester in 1893 and Goodison Park in 1894.

Crystal Palace hosted the FA Cup final between 1895 and 1914, before Old Trafford had the 1915 FA Cup final before World War 1. Stamford Bridge hosted the FA Cup finals from 1920 to 1922 after the war, before handing over to Wembley.

Who has the most FA Cup wins?

Arsenal lead the way with 13 FA Cup wins, but Manchester United are only one behind with 12 FA Cup wins to their name.

Arsenal most recently won the FA Cup 2017, beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final at Wembley Stadium. Manchester United most recently won the FA Cup in 2016 after beating Crystal Palace 2-1 in extra time.

Aaron Ramsey - Arsenal

Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are close behind the two most successful with eight FA Cup final wins. Chelsea won the 2018 FA Cup final, beating Manchester United 1-0 thanks to Eden Hazard.

Tottenham Hotspur last won the FA Cup at the old Wembley Stadium in 1991, beating Nottingham Forest 2-1 after extra time.

Teams FA Cup Final Wins
  Arsenal
  
  13
  
  Manchester United
  
  12
  
  Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur
  
  8
  
  Aston Villa, Liverpool
  
  7
  
  Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United
  
  6
  
  Everton, Wanderers FC, West Bromwich Albion, Manchester City
  
  5
  
  Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield United, Wolverhampton Wanderers
  
  4
  
  Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham United
  
  3
  
  Bury, Nottingham Forest, Old Etonians, Portsmouth, Preston North End,
  Sunderland
  
  2
  
  Barnsley, Blackburn Olympic, Blackpool, Bradford City, Burnley,
  Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic, Clapham Rovers, Coventry City, Derby County,
  Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Notts County, Old Carthusians,
  Oxford University, Royal Engineers A.F.C, Southampton, Wimbledon, Wigan
  Athletic
  
  1
  
  Derby County, Leeds United, Leicester City, Oxford University, Royal
  Engineers A.F.C, Southampton, Sunderland
  
  4
  
  Blackpool, Burnley, Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest
  
  3
  
  Barnsley, Birmingham City, Bury, Charlton Athletic, Clapham Rovers,
  Crystal Palace, Notts County, Queen’s Park (Glasgow), Watford
  
  2
  
  Blackburn Olympic, Bradford City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bristol
  City, Coventry City, Fulham, Hull City, Ipswich Town, Luton Town,
  Middlesbrough, Millwall, Old Carthusians, Queen’s Park Rangers, Stoke City,
  Wimbledon, Wigan Athletic
  
  1
  

Who won the first FA Cup?

The first FA Cup was won by London-based Wanderers FC in the 1871-72 football season. They beat Royal Engineers A.F.C 1-0 in the final at the Kennington Oval in London.

Morton Betts scored the only goal of the game to ensure that Wanderers FC became the first FA Cup winners.

Most FA Cup Final appearances?

As well as being the two most successful clubs in FA Cup history, Arsenal and Manchester United are joint at the top on the FA Cup final appearance chart, with the two Premier League giants featuring in 20 FA Cup finals.

Liverpool are next up on the FA Cup final appearance list with 14 to their name, though they’ve only won seven of those. Their last win came at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff in 2006, beating West Ham United 3-1 on penalties after the game finished 3-3.

Chelsea, Newcastle United and Everton each have 13 FA Cup final appearances, with Chelsea being the most successful out of the three, winning eight of their finals.

Teams FA Cup Final Appearances
  Arsenal, Manchester United
  
  20
  
  Liverpool
  
  14
  
  Chelsea, Newcastle United, Everton
  
  13
  
  Manchester City
  
  11
  
  Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion
  
  10
  
  Tottenham Hotspur
  
  9
  
  Blackburn Rovers, Wolverhampton Wanderers
  
  8
  
  Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End
  
  7
  
  Old Etonians, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday
  
  6
  
  Huddersfield Town, Portsmouth, Wanderers FC, West Ham United
  
  5
  
  Derby County, Leeds United, Leicester City, Oxford University, Royal
  Engineers A.F.C, Southampton, Sunderland
  
  4
  
  Blackpool, Burnley, Cardiff City, Nottingham Forest
  
  3
  
  Barnsley, Birmingham City, Bury, Charlton Athletic, Clapham Rovers,
  Crystal Palace, Notts County, Queen’s Park (Glasgow), Watford
  
  2
  
  Blackburn Olympic, Bradford City, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bristol
  City, Coventry City, Fulham, Hull City, Ipswich Town, Luton Town,
  Middlesbrough, Millwall, Old Carthusians, Queen’s Park Rangers, Stoke City,
  Wimbledon, Wigan Athletic
  
  1
  

 

 

Premier League Tips
Hertha to beat Hoffenheim
23/20
Schalke to beat Dortmund
11/5
Dusseldorf to win at Paderborn
9/5
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Author

Drew Goodsell

Drew is a journalism graduate who closely follows American sports, focussing on the NBA and NFL. He also has a keen interest in all things football, paying regular attention to the Premier League, Bundesliga and Ligue 1.