To many around the world, the FA Cup is the most prestigious domestic tournament on the globe – a tournament that all teams take seriously and that there is still a massive desire to win. Some of the greatest moments in English football history have come in the competition, from giant-killings through to high-scoring games, and this tradition looks set to continue well into the future…
History of the FA Cup
Of all the club competitions in the world, the FA Cup perhaps has the longest and proudest tradition. It was started in 1871 – making it over 140 years old – and the first competition was won by Wanderers. They were presented with a relatively low-key trophy – a more regal replacement was not found until 1911. Since the first ever final, the most successful team in the competition has been Manchester United, who have notched up 11 titles, with the majority coming in recent memory.
Sponsorship of the FA Cup has always been something that has caused arguments, but unlike the Carling Cup the name has never been changed to incorporate the sponsor’s own name. Instead, it is generally referred to as “the FA Cup sponsored by…” The current sponsor is Budweiser, but it has previously been sponsored by Littlewoods, AXA and E.ON as well.
One of the biggest traditions of the FA Cup are the so-called giant-killings, where lower ranked teams take the scalp of more prestigious ones. They are usually publicized more heavily than those occurring in the Carling Cup, as larger teams field strong squads in the FA Cup. Good examples include Chasetown beating Cardiff in 2007-08 and Arsenal losing to Wrexham in 1992. Yeovil is currently the most successful club when it comes to knocking out league teams when they were still non-league competitors.
Interesting Facts about the FA Cup
- The only non-league team to win the competition is Tottenham Hotspur, who did so in 1901.
- The highest score in an FA Cup final is 6-0, and this occurred when Derby County were defeated by Bury in 1903.
- Norman Whiteside is the youngest scorer in an FA Cup final. He is also the youngest scorer in a Carling Cup final as well.
- Dave Beasant was the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in a Wembley FA Cup final, when playing for Wimbledon against Liverpool in 1988.
- Tottenham were the first team to complete a league cup double, in 1961.
- The first foreign manager to win the FA Cup was Ruud Gullit, while managing Chelsea in 1997.
- The 2005 final between Manchester United and Arsenal was the first final to ever be decided by a penalty shootout. Arsenal won the shootout 5-4.
Current Holders of the FA Cup
The current holders of the FA Cup in 2012 are Chelsea FC.
Past Winners of the FA Cup
|2011/2012||Chelsea vs Liverpool||Chelsea||2–1||No|
|2010/11||Manchester City vs Stoke City||Manchester City||1–0||No|
|2009/10||Chelsea vs Portsmouth||Chelsea||1–0||No|
|2008/09||Chelsea vs Everton||Chelsea||2–1||No|
|2007/08||Portsmouth vs Cardiff City||Portsmouth||1–0||No|
|2006/07||Chelsea vs Manchester United||Chelsea||1–0||No|
|2005/06||Liverpool vs West Ham United||Liverpool||3-1||Yes|
|2004/05||Arsenal vs Manchester United||Arsenal||5-4||Yes|
|2003/04||Manchester United vs Millwall||Manchester United||3–0||No|