New Customer Opening Account Offers

18+, Ts & Cs Apply. New Customers Only.

FA Cup Facts: 143 Facts for the 143rd Anniversary

The F.A. Cup has entered its 143rd year now and stands as one of the leading competitions in club football, running alongside the Premier League. The FA Cup final is the full-stop on the end of another English football season and marks the beginning of European tournaments.

Quizmasters of the UK – put your feet up! To celebrate 143 years of this English Footballing tradition we have found 143 of the most interesting facts about the competition:

1) The FA cup is officially the world’s oldest football competition at 143 years old.

2) It was created as an idea by C.W. Alcock at The Sportsman Newspaper in 1871.

3) The FA Cup is organised by the Football Association which is now 151 years old, making it one of the longest standing football organisations today.

4) The first FA Cup final was played at the Kennington Oval.

5) The first Cup goal was scored for Clapham Rovers by Jarvis Kenrick against Upton Park.

6) Winners of the FA Cup are awarded the opportunity to participate in the Europa League.

7) In total 42 teams have won the FA Cup.

8) In 1963 the ‘Big Freeze’ meant it took the third round of the competition 66 days to be completed due to games being postponed for the extreme weather conditions.

9) Replays used to happen a lot more often than seen today; in 1890 Bury drew 0-0 at Stockton, yet at the replay three days later they won 12-1.

10) On average about 381 matches are played per FA Cup year

11) The first final went to replay at Wembley in 1970 between Chelsea and Leeds Utd.

12) The BBC broadcasted the FA Cup final for the first time in 1927.

13) But the first live broadcast of the games occurred in 1938.

14) The longest Cup tie was seen in 1971 when Oxford City and Alvechurch replayed to a total of 6 games and 660 minutes of football to gain a place in the first round proper.

15) The only time a game has ever been played on Christmas Day in the FA Cup was Linfield Athletic v. Cliftonville in 1888.

16) The Khaki Cup Final took place in 1915 as the last final before the First World War cancelled the competition, the name came from the amount of uniformed soldiers who attended to see Sheffield United beat Chelsea.

17) The White Horse Final was seen in 1932 when a crowd rushed the gates and a policeman on his White horse had to herd crowds back into the spectator areas.

18) The first side to attach their ribbons to the trophy as seen today were Tottenham Hotspur where this then became tradition.

Successful Clubs:

19) The title for the Most FA Cup victories belongs to Manchester Utd with a total of 11 triumphs over their competitors.

successful clubs in the fa cup

20) Manchester United were also the only team to win the FA Cup after only facing top-division teams in 1948.

21) The Wanderers, Bury, Blackburn Olympic, Coventry City, Ipswich Town, Old Carthusians and Wimbledon are the only squads to have a 100% victory record for all the FA Cup finals they have played in (even if this is only 1!).

22) Portsmouth hold the record for keeping the trophy for the longest, totalling 7 years after the competition was postponed from 1939 until after World War II.

23) Cardiff City are the only non-English-based side to have ever won the trophy with their victory over Arsenal in 1927.

24) Tottenham Hotspur have a high success rate in finals of 88.8% making them one of the most feared contemporary threats to face in the final; despite the number of victories Manchester United only has a 61.% victory rate.

25) Bigger clubs are often criticised for fielding weaker teams in the earlier rounds of the competition in order to save their best squads strength for more important league matches, e.g. Arsenal in 2004 who put out a second-team in the semi-finals.

26) The biggest victory in an FA Cup match was seen in 1888 when Preston North End knocked Hyde out of the first round of the competition with a score of 26-0.

27) The highest score for an FA Cup Final was in 1903 where Bury scored 6 goal against Derby County.

28) Everton have won the most FA Cup matches out of all competing clubs.

29) In 1873 Sheffield’s victory over Shropshire was determined by the toss of a coin to settle their tied score.

30) The only time a team has ever won the cup and been relegated in the same season was Wigan in 2013.

31) Tottenham Hotspur were the first team outside the Football League to win the FA Cup in 1901.

32) Newcastle United managed to win the cup three times within a 5 year period in the 1950s.

33) It was believed that Derby County suffered under a gypsies’ curse after building the ground on their site, therefore it was thought they would never win the FA Cup after losing the final in 1898, 1899 and 1903. However a group of Derby players visited the gypsies and begged for the curse to be lifted in 1946, one shot of Derby County’s led to the ball bursting before the goalkeeper at which point those superstitious ones believe the curse was then lifted.

34) Birmingham have the shortest FA Cup run as in 1921 they forgot to send in their entry form.

Development of the Game:

35) There have been 4 versions on the FA Cup trophy used since the beginning of the competition.

the fa cup

36) The first ever trophy was stolen in 1895 from its display in a football outfitters store, a £10 reward (adjusted for inflation that would be worth just over £1,000) was offered for it but it was never recovered.

37) Numbers were first used on the back of shirts in an FA Cup final in 1933.

38) In the 1898 team photos before the game, Nottingham Forest had to borrow Derby shirts as the contrast of colour looked better in the black and white photo.

39) Before 1882 football posts did not have a crossbar; so goals were accepted if they passed between the two posts at a reasonable height.

40) It was not until 1890 that nets were introduced to football posts to prevent a loss of time from goalkeepers chasing after the ball.

41) In 1967 the first substitutes were allowed to play in order to prevent unfair advantages if opponents had injured squads.

42) Before this players suffered with broken bones in the finals of 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1965 which was branded poor sportsmanship for the other team to have more men.


43) The first penalty shootout in an FA Cup match occurred in 1972.

gateshead vs stockport county fa cup 1951

44) The last game with multiple replays was seen in the 1997 qualifying round between Morecambe and Lancaster City.

45) The first player to miss a penalty in the final was Charlie Wallace (Aston Villa) in the 1913 final against Sunderland.

46) In the 138th FA Cup final matches that have been played there have only been 15 penalties awarded.

Impressive Players through Time:

47) Norman Whiteside was the youngest scorer in an FA Cup final at just 18 years and 19 days old, playing for Man Utd against Brighton in 1983.

48) In the 1956 Cup Final the amazing Bert Trautmann was in goal, 15 minutes before the final whistle Bert made an incredible diving save only to find out after the match that this was the moment he broke his neck, yet he played on through the pain to lead Man City to victory.

49) Stan Mortensen scored in every single round of the FA Cup in 1948.

50) Mortensen also held the title as the only player to score a hat-trick in an FA Cup Final since 1953.

51) The first ever hat-trick in an FA Cup final was scored in 1890 by William Townley.

52) Stanley Matthews was the first player to be knighted for his skills; playing in 3 FA Cup finals for Blackpool.

53) Ted MacDougall was a goal-scoring machine when he played for Manchester United; scoring 6 in their first round draw against Oxford City in 1970 and then 9 against Margate in 1971.

54) The Hon Arthur Kinnaird played in a total of 9 FA Cup Finals for the Wanderers and Old Etonians in the 1870′s and 80′s.

55) Curtis Weston is the youngest player to have ever played in an FA Cup final at the age of 17 year and 119 days old in 2004.

56) Bert Turner for Charlton Athletic managed to score for both sides in the 1946 final, trying to regain some honour from his own goal mistake with a free kick just minutes after.

57) In 2001 Tony Roberts was the second goalkeeper ever to score in an FA Cup game with a goal against Basingstoke Town.

58) However Tony Roberts is also the only goalkeeper to be sent off in an FA Cup match whilst in an opponent’s penalty box in 2008.

59) Henry ‘Harry’ Cusham is the top goal scorer ever during The Cup, scoring a massive 49 goals in total between 1877 and 1887.

60) Alex Ferguson is the most successful FA Cup manager, holding five cup victories throughout his time at Man Utd.

61) Tim Howard was the first American Player to win an FA Cup winner’s medal in 2004.

62) Ian Rush holds the title as the player to have scored the most FA Cup Final goals.

63) Roberto Di Matteo holds the record for the fastest goal scored in an FA Cup final in just 42 seconds.

64) Didier Drogba was the first player to ever score in four different FA Cup Finals, with his fourth goal scored in the 2012 final.

65) If you’re in a cup final, Ashely Cole is the man you want on your team, with him taking home in total 6 winner’s medals for his time at Arsenal and Chelsea out of the 7 finals he played in.

Keeping it in the Family:

66) In 1876 a total of three pairs of brothers played in the final; Francis and Hubert Heron for the Wanderers whilst the Old Etonians’ had Edward and Alfred Lyttelton, and Albert and Charles Thompson.

67) The Wanderers also had a pair of almost brother-in-law’s as Francis Birley married the sister of his team-mate Jarvis Kenrick later that year.

68) More recently Phil and Gary Neville appeared together in the 1996 FA Cup Final for Manchester United.

69) But the Neville’s weren’t the first pair of brothers to help United claim a cup victory as the first time this happened had been in 1977 with Jimmy and Brian Greenhoff.

70) Jimmy Dunn Snr. and Jimmy Dunn Jnr. kept the FA Cup in the family with this father & son duo taking home the cup in 1933 with Dunn Senior playing for Everton and then again in 1949 with Dunn Junior for Wolves.

All about the Money:

71) This year the winner of the FA Cup will receive £1,800,000 prize money, whilst runners-up will still take £900,000 home.

72) The 185 clubs that won the extra preliminary rounds (the first games of the competition) will still win £1,500.

73) The FA Cup has had 4 sponsors; Littlewoods, AXA, E.ON and Budweiser.

74) The total prize money awarded over the entire competition in 2014 amounts to £15,133,500.

Budweiser proudly sponsors the fa cup

75) The sponsors of the FA Cup, Budweiser, also award a £100,000 ‘Super Grant’ to a non-league club voted for by fans to help them build a sustainable team.

76) The 8 clubs nominated for the Super Grant also receive a bonus £50,000 for their participation to spend on facilities and club progression.


77) In the first televised FA Cup just 10,000 people tuned in to watch.

78) A massive contrast to the 11.7million people who watched the game in 2012.

79) On Facebook a staggering 441,964 people like ‘The FA Cup’.

80) Meanwhile on Twitter The FA has 757,000 followers on its official twitter page where it tweets regular updates about English football and the FA Cup.

81) The number of fan attending games on average throughout the FA cup rounds has remained roughly the same since 1980.

Shocking Results:

82) Although this is not in line with the current trend of increasing football crowds, it does not mean that interest in the FA Cup has fallen as some criticise.

83) In 9 out of the 11 past years the FA Cup has been won by a side that is top three at the start of January.

84) The past 17 years has seen the cup won by a team who was in the top 10 of the Premier league by the day of the third round.

85) No top-flight side has lost to a non-league competitor since 1989 in Coventry vs Sutton United.

86) However shock results are still common with there being 62 loses of top-flight clubs to a lower-league opponent between 2000 and 2009.

87) In the Third Round Woking from the Diadora League in 1991 managed a 4-2 victory over West Brom, mainly thanks to a hat-trick from Tim Buzaglo (a Gibraltan international cricketer).

88) The 1990 semi-final saw a shock victory for Crystal Palace over Liverpool in a close 4-3 final score, especially as the start of that season saw a 9-0 defeat of Palace at Anfield.

89) Burnley were defeated 1-0 by Wimbledon in 1975, a shock as the first ever home defeat of a top side at their home ground.

90) Yeovil managed to squeeze a 2-1 victory over Sunderland in extra time of the 1949 fourth round, impressive considering they had a replacement goalkeeper in their squad as well.

91) Barnsley’s entire 2008 campaign was pretty unexpected with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool and then a quarter-final defeat of Chelsea to follow; an embarrassing defeat for both these footballing giants.

92) Wrexham managed to pull back 2 goals in their third round draw against Arsenal in 1992, scoring themselves a 2-1 victory in the last 8 minutes of the game. With Arsenal in the top division and Wrexham finishing bottom of the fourth division the season before this was completely unexpected.

93) In a Blue Square Premier League Poll the third round result of 1959 of Worcester v. Liverpool was voted the greatest FA Cup upset ever; the 2-1 victory to Worcester led to the sacking of Liverpool’s manager Phil Taylor after the game.

94) In the Third Round Replay of 1972 we saw Hereford face Newcastle and triumph with a 2-1 victory, the last goal scored in the 103rd minute of extra time following a huge pitch invasion after Hereford’s equalising goal.


Fa cup referee Howard Webb sends off Steven Gerrard

95) An individual may only referee an FA Cup Final once, and they are appointed by the Football Association.

96) The first player to be sent off in an FA Cup final was Man Utd’s Kevin Moran in 1985 against Everton for a professional foul.

97) Mike Dean pulled out from refereeing the Cup Final under impartiality controversy as the media criticised the fairness as Liverpool were playing in the final and Dean originally came from just outside the city.

98) It is convention for the referees to stay at the White’s Hotel the night before the game, and the FA strongly recommend that they should not leave the grounds.

99) The “Eve of the Final” rally takes place the night before where the Referee’s Association host a dinner for the officials and other serving referees.

100) Arthur Kingscott was the final referee to be allowed to oversee more than one final in 1900 and 1901, his son then went on to referee the final in 1931.

101) The only players ever to be given a red card during an FA Cup final are; Kevin Moran, Jose Antonio Reyes, Tony Roberts and Pablo Zabaleta.

Wembley Stadium:

102) Wembley stadium can hold a massive crowd of 90,000 people with no obstructed views, spread over three tiers of seats.

103) Trains travel to the three Wembley stations 100 times an hour.

104) If all the seating in the stadium was placed end to end they would cover 54 kilometres.

105) The famous arch above the North Stand of the stadium prevents the need for any pillars blocking the views of fans as it holds the weight of the North roof and most of the Southern side too.

106) Wembley stadium has a sliding roof which protects fans from the elements, without stopping ventilation or sunlight reaching the pitch.

107) The arch of the roof has a span of 315 metres which is the longest single span roof structure in the world.

108) The stadium has the capacity to serve around 40,000 pints of beer during half time of a game.

109) The winners of the FA Cup will have to climb the 107 steps of the trophy presentation route.

110) Wembley covers 4,000,000 m3 of ground which is the equivalent of 7 billion pints of milk.

111) The pitch the final will be played on is maintained expertly; enhanced by desso technology to combine synthetic and natural grass for a stronger surface.

112) There are two giant screens on which you’ll be able to see a close-up of all the exciting events in the match, these are each the size of approximately 600 standard domestic television sets.

113) David Beckham said “Every young child wants to play at Wembley and, for me, it’s the ultimate stadium. I think we can all be proud of the fantastic stadium – it’s an unbelievable place.”

114) Jose Mourinho will be keen to get his squad there this year after saying that “Wembley is the dream of every professional footballer – a very special place.”

115) Even older football legends appreciate the magic of Wembley with Sir Bobby Robson saying that “every spectator gets an excellent view. Somehow the noise stays within the stadium, it sent a shiver down my spine.”

The 2013-2014 Competition so far:

116) The anthem of the FA Cup 2013-1014 will be announced on Monday the 6th of May; shortlisted songs include Lethal Bizzle – Not a Saint, Devlin – Sun Goes Down, Pigeon Detectives – Animal, The Twang – We’re a Crowd and Reverend and the Makers – Shine a Light.

117) The first round qualifying player of the round was Russ Dunkley from AFC Rushden & Diamonds.

118) The Second Round Qualifying Player of the Round was voted Elliott Durrell from Hednesford Town.

119) The Third Round Qualifying Player of the Round was Joe Parker of Gloucester City.

120) The Fourth Round Qualifying Player of the Round was Rob Ogleby for Wrexham.

121) From the First Round Proper, Sam Clucas of Mansfield Town won player of the round.

122) The Second Round Proper saw Michael Gash from Kidderminster Harriers claim the title.

123) The Third Round Proper’s player of the round was taken by Jamie Paterson on behalf of Nottingham Forest.

124) The FA Cup fifth round starting February 15th is predicted to be one of the most exciting rounds seen in previous cups with Man City vs Chelsea and Arsenal vs Liverpool.

125) All eyes are on Man City for the fifth round being undefeated in all games since November 10th, winning 17 out of 19 of their previous games.

126) Meanwhile pundits also are keeping a close watch on Arsenal who have scored in 26 of their last 28 home games in the FA Cup.

127) Arsenal also currently hold the best defensive record at present in the Premier League, meaning their draw against Liverpool is set to be a close one.

128) If you’re looking to support the underdog then back Hull City with a favourable fifth round draw against Brighton & Hove Albion and a strong defence, conceding just 28 goals in their 22 Premier League Matches this season.

129) Everton manager Roberto Martinez will be returning to familiar ground as they face Swansea in their fifth round draw.

130) The lowest ranked teams that participated in the qualifying rounds of the FA Cup this year were in the 10th division.

131) A total of 124 clubs were remaining by the time the First Round Proper kicked off.

132) It is the Third Round that commenced on January 4th that is the entry for Premier and Championship clubs, which is an increase of 44 clubs into the competition.

133) Whilst the rights to broadcast all the games is split between ITV and BT Sport (and Welsh Channel S4C) the final must be broadcast live on terrestrial TV under OFCOM’s regulations on code of protected sporting events.

134) The only non-league team remaining, Kidderminster Harriers, was eliminated in the Fourth Round by Sunderland in a 1-0 defeat.

135) To date the 2013-2014 FA Cup has seen 27 replays through the Proper rounds.

136) This year the FA Cup Final is scheduled to be played on May the 17th 2014, following the semi-finals on 12th & 13th April.

137) The qualifying rounds of the competition this year saw 32 non-league teams triumph to participate in the first round proper.

138) Defending champions, Wigan Athletic, are among the lowest ranking squads still remaining in the competition.

139) In the fourth round weekend a total of 39 goals were scored in 16 games.

140) When Liverpool played Oldham on the 5th January 2014, it was a battle of father and son as Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers saw his son Anton Rogers playing for Oldham.

141) The fourth round draw of Arsenal vs Coventry saw Coventry’s defender Aaron Phillips following in his father’s footsteps in helping the clubs cup campaign.

142) In the third round Wigan were so keen to get fans to attend their game that the most expensive ticket was priced at just £10.

143) It is possible the FA Cup has saved the existence of Macclesfield Town and Sheffield Wednesday also facing financial woes the prize money from their few victories has kept the clubs afloat for the next few months.

We’d like to finish remembering the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy which happened on the 15th of April 1989, during the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. A special mention to the charity – Hillsborough Family Support Group – is also deserved which recently received a kind donation of £96,000 from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. We decided not to add the events of Hillsborough to our list of 143 FA Cup facts, however, with that said, we also think it doesn’t deserve to go unnoticed?

Posted in | 0 comments

October 18th, 2018 by Simon A

Back to Top