You’ve heard of the F.A. Cup, but you may not know much about it. Other than it’s the oldest domestic football cup competition in the world. You may not know that Arsenal currently holds the record for most F.A. Cup titles at 13 or that Wembley Stadium has hosted more F.A. Cup finals than any other ground, with 18 final appearances. You might not even know what an F.A. Cup final is really like!
Aside from the amazing atmosphere and high-intensity games, prominent brands like Nike and Adidas usually supply all F.A. Cup team kits. For die-hard fans, its therefore easy to get their hands on the kit themselves! Our top tip? Find an exclusive Nike 15% Discount Code to shave a few pounds off the purchase!
For those who have never experienced the F.A. Cup themselves, here are some of the curiosities to help you get more familiar with this prestigious tournament.
How the First, Second, Third and Fourth Rounds Work
The first round is composed of 512 teams divided geographically into north/south sections. Each section is paired up with another, with teams competing to secure their place in round two. It is repeated for rounds three and four before the eight teams left in round five progress to play each other over single-leg fixtures until there’s just one winner.
That winning team is met with one of the 38 teams who are automatically entered into Round Five due to being part of England’s top football leagues (including 19 Premier League clubs). Interestingly, every non-league team started as an amateur side, but if they make it through all five rounds, they may be rewarded by facing off against one of these established squads. For example, Sutton United took on Arsenal at Gander Green Lane in 2017. So who knows what will happen?
The Most Famous Winners of the F.A. Cup
Let’s look at some outstanding winners of English football’s oldest cup competition:
- Manchester United won on 10 occasions
- Arsenal have been champions 13 times
- Liverpool are close behind with 11 titles
Manchester United is one of three teams who have never lost an F.A. Cup final, alongside Arsenal and Bristol City, which is impressive given how much turnover there has been in football over recent decades.
Manchester United’s record is even more remarkable when considering that they didn’t win their first title until 1956. The club was founded in 1878, but it took them 58 years to finally capture their first trophy.
Last year’s winner…
If you don’t know, Leicester City F.C. (the Foxes) were the winners of last year’s F.A. Cup. They were up against Arsenal and some pretty high stakes were at play, but who doesn’t love seeing a Cinderella story come to life?
A few years ago, Leicester City was on its way out… The Foxes have been around since 1884, but it wasn’t until two years ago that they finally made it into The Football Association Challenge Cup Final. The club has had several ups and downs over its history. Most recently, during financial struggles in 2009, there were rumours that the club might be sold off or moved to another city. So what happened? When Leicester City joined The Football League back in 1928, it did so as a Third Division side—meaning it didn’t belong to one of Britain’s most elite football clubs. Despite rising through different divisions over the decades, only twice before last season, Leicester made it into one of these big-time tournaments: once in 1949 and again in 1963.
The F.A. Cup is the oldest domestic football cup competition in the world, with massive fanfare worldwide cheering for their favourite teams to win. Fans cheer in stadiums and from home, all while getting dressed in their team’s colours, and it’s certainly a sight to see!