FA Cup

The FA Cup (Football Association Challenge Cup) is the oldest existing football competition. It is the oldest among all tournaments as well as all leagues that still exist today. The first edition was played in the 1871-1872 season and the FA Cup has been held once a year since then (with exception for interruptions during the first and the second World War). In the beginning, the FA Cup also included Scottish and Welsh clubs. A Welsh club, Cardiff City won the Cup in 1927. No Scottish clubs have won the tournament with Queen's Park, reaching the final twice, nearest a victory. The competition should not be confused with semi-professional competition FA Trophy.

Winners and runners-up

All the winners and runners-up trough the years of the FA Cup.

Season Winner Runner-up
2021-2022 Liverpool Chelsea
2020-2021 Leicester Chelsea
2019-2020 Arsenal Chelsea
2018-2019 Manchester City Watford
2017-2018 Chelsea Manchester United
2016-2017 Arsenal Chelsea
2015-2016 Manchester United Crystal Palace
2014-2015 Arsenal Aston Villa
2013-2014 Arsenal Hull City
2012-2013 Wigan Athletic Manchester City
2011-2012 Chelsea Liverpool
2010-2011 Manchester City Stoke City
2009-2010 Chelsea Portsmouth
2008-2009 Chelsea Everton
2007-2008 Portsmouth Cardiff City
2006-2007 Chelsea Manchester United
2005-2006 Liverpool West Ham
2004-2005 Arsenal Manchester United
2003-2004 Manchester United Millwall
2002-2003 Arsenal Southampton
2001-2002 Arsenal Chelsea
2000-2001 Liverpool Arsenal
1999-2000 Chelsea Aston Villa
1998-1999 Manchester United Newcastle United
1997-1998 Arsenal Newcastle United
1996-1997 Chelsea Middlesbrough
1995-1996 Manchester United Liverpool
1994-1995 Everton Manchester United
1993-1994 Manchester United Chelsea
1992-1993 Arsenal Sheffield Wednesday
1991-1992 Liverpool Sunderland
1990-1991 Tottenham Hotspur Nottingham Forest
1989-1990 Manchester United Crystal Palace
1988-1989 Liverpool Everton
1987-1988 Wimbledon Liverpool
1986-1987 Coventry City Tottenham Hotspur
1985-1986 Liverpool Everton
1984-1985 Manchester United Everton
1983-1984 Everton Watford
1982-1983 Manchester United Brighton & Hove Albion
1981-1982 Tottenham Hotspur Queens Park Rangers
1980-1981 Tottenham Hotspur Manchester City
1979-1980 West Ham United Arsenal
1978-1979 Arsenal Manchester United
1977-1978 Ipswich Town Arsenal
1976-1977 Manchester United Liverpool
1975-1976 Southampton Manchester United
1974-1975 West Ham United Fulham
1973-1974 Liverpool Newcastle United
1972-1973 Sunderland Leeds United
1971-1972 Leeds United Arsenal
1970-1971 Arsenal Liverpool
1969-1970 Chelsea Leeds United
1968-1969 Manchester City Leicester City
1967-1968 West Bromwich Albion Everton
1966-1967 Tottenham Hotspur Chelsea
1965-1966 Everton Sheffield Wednesday
1964-1965 Liverpool Leeds United
1963-1964 West Ham United Preston North End
1962-1963 Manchester United Leicester City
1961-1962 Tottenham Hotspur Burnley
1960-1961 Tottenham Hotspur Leicester City
1959-1960 Wolverhampton Wanderers Blackburn Rovers
1958-1959 Nottingham Forest Luton Town
1957-1958 Bolton Wanderers Manchetsr United
1956-1957 Aston Villa Manchester United
1955-1956 Manchester City Birmingham City
1954-1955 Newcastle United Manchester City
1953-1954 West Bromwich Albion Preston North End
1952-1953 Blackpool Bolton Wanderers
1951-1952 Newcastle United Arsenal
1950-1951 Newcastle United Blackpool
1949-1950 Arsenal Liverpool
1948-1949 Wolverhampton Wanderers Leicester City
1947-1948 Manchester United Blackpool
1946-1947 Charlton Athletic Burnley
1945-1946 Derby County Charlton Athletic
1938-1939 Portsmouth Wolverhampton Wanderers
1937-1938 Preston North End Huddersfield Town
1936-1937 Sunderland Preston North End
1935-1936 Arsenal Sheffield United
1934-1935 Sheffield Wednesday West Bromwich Albion
1933-1934 Manchester City Portsmouth
1932-1933 Everton Manchester City
1931-1932 Newcastle United Arsenal
1930-1931 West Bromwich Albion Birmingham
1929-1930 Arsenal Huddersfield Town
1928-1929 Bolton Wanderers Portsmouth
1927-1928 Blackburn Rovers Huddersfield Town
1926-1927 Cardiff City Arsenal
1925-1926 Bolton Wanderers Manchester City
1924-1925 Sheffield United Cardiff City
1923-1924 Newcastle United Aston Villa
1922-1923 Bolton Wanderers West Ham
1921-1922 Huddersfield Town Preston North End
1920-1921 Tottenham Hotspur Wolverhampton Wanderers
1919-1920 Aston Villa Huddersfield Town
1914-1915 Sheffield United Chelsea
1913-1914 Burnley Liverpool
1912-1913 Aston Villa Sunderland
1911-1912 Barnsley West Bromwich Albion
1910-1911 Bradford City Newcastle
1909-1910 Newcastle United Barnsley
1908-1909 Manchester United Bristol City
1907-1908 Wolverhampton Wanderers Newcastle United
1906-1907 The Wednesday Everton
1905-1906 Everton Newcastle United
1904-1905 Aston Villa Newcastle United
1903-1904 Manchester City Bolton Wanderers
1902-1903 Bury Derby County
1901-1902 Sheffield United Southampton
1900-1901 Tottenham Hotspur Sheffield United
1899-1900 Bury Southampton
1898-1899 Sheffield United Derby County
1897-1898 Nottingham Forest Derby County
1896-1897 Aston Villa Everton
1895-1896 The Wednesday Wolverhampton Wanderers
1894-1895 Aston Villa West Bromwich Albion
1893-1894 Notts County Bolton Wanderers
1892-1893 Wolverhampton Wanderers Everton
1891-1892 West Bromwich Albion Aston Villa
1890-1891 Blackburn Rovers Notts County
1889-1890 Blackburn Rovers The Wednesday
1888-1889 Preston North End Wolverhampton Wanderers
1887-1888 West Bromwich Albion Preston North End
1886-1887 Aston Villa West Bromwich Albion
1885-1886 Blackburn Rovers West Bromwich Albion
1884-1885 Blackburn Rovers Queen's Park
1883-1884 Blackburn Rovers Queen's Park
1882-1883 Blackburn Olympic Old Etonians
1881-1882 Old Etonians Blackburn Rovers
1880-1881 Old Carthusians Old Etonians
1879-1880 Clapham Rovers Oxford University
1878-1879 Old Etonians Clapham Rovers
1877-1878 Wanderers Old Etonians
1876-1877 Wanderers Old Etonians
1875-1876 Wanderers Old Etonians
1874-1875 Royal Engineers Old Etonians
1873-1874 Oxford University Royal Engineers
1872-1873 Wanderers Oxford University
1871-1872 Wanderers Royal Engineers


The first edition of Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) was held in the 1871-1872 season and was contested by twelve British teams (several teams would refrain by the cause of travelling costs). The first FA Cup matches ever, four on the same day, were played on 11 November 1871. The first final was played the following spring at the Kennington Oval, in which Wanderers defeated Royal Engineers 1-0.

Wanderers would also win the following edition, but they were helped in the second season by the rule that stipulated that the current champions were directly qualified for the final (the rule was abandoned after that tournament).

More and more teams participated every year – over 40 teams entered the competition in 1877 and over 50 in 1879. The 1879-1880 edition also involved several clubs known by the modern audience, such as Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest. In the 1883-1884 season, the tournament reached 100 registered teams. By this time, the professional era began and the amateur teams would soon be outpaced. A shift that would lead to the creation of the FA Amateur Cup in 1893.

The FA Cup was once upon a time the biggest sport event in the world. The final that was played at Crystal Palace in 1913 gathered 121,000 people. The attendance was a world record. In these days the stadiums were not build to hold that amount of people; therefore, many stood in rows at the field between the stands with bad overview of the action.

In 1923, when the final was played at Wembley for the first time, the attendance was even bigger. There is no official figure, but it has been estimated to around 200,000!


The competition has been dominated by English teams, but other British countries have been represented as well. The Scottish Queen's Park was playing in the first editions and Rangers reached the semi-finals in 1886-1887. A few other Scottish sides has been part of the competition through its history.

Several teams from Wales have been part of the FA Cup, including Cardiff City who became the first Welch side to win the tournament in 1927. Another Welch team that have performed great in the FA Cup is Swansea City.

A few teams from Northern Ireland also participated in the 19th century. Among these, Cliftonville performed best by reaching the third round once.

Venue for the final

The FA Cup final is for many football fans associated with Wembley Stadium. This is an old tradition: Wembley has been the venue for the final since 1924 (with exceptions for interruption between 2001 and 2006 when the stadium was renovated and Millenium Stadium served as venue for the final). Before Wembley came to be the choice for the final, Crystal Palace was for many years (1895-1914) the venue for the final. And before that it was Kennington Oval (with one exception in 1873 when the final took place at Lillie Bridge).



Teams with most titles

A list of clubs that have won the FA Cup most times, concerning the period 1872-2022.

Table 2. Clubs and FA Cup titles
Club Titles
Arsenal 14
Manchester United 12
Tottenham Hotspur 9
Liverpool 8
Aston Villa 7
Chelsea 7
Blackburn Rovers 6
Newcastle United 6
Manchester City 6
Wanderers 5
West Bromwich Albion 5
Everton 5

In total, 44 different clubs have won the cup through its history. Manchester United become the first club claming ten titles after winning in 1999.

Teams with most finals

List of clubs that have played in the FA Cup final most times, concerning the period 1872-2022.

Table 3. Clubs and FA Cup finals
Club Finals
Arsenal 21
Manchester United 19
Chelsea 15
Liverpool 15
Newcastle United 13
Everton 13
Aston Villa 11
Manchester City 11
West Bromwich Albion 10

Arsenal become the first club to reach 20 finals in 2017.

Teams and first participation

List of selected clubs with the year of first participation.

Table 4. First FA Cup participations
Club Season Note
Queen's Park 1871-72  
Wanderers 1871-72 Winner of the 1st FA Cup
Sheffield FC 1873-74  
Old Etonians 1874-75  
Reading 1877-78  
Notts County 1879-80  
Nottingham Forest 1879-80  
Blackburn Rovers 1879-80  
Aston Villa 1879-80  
Tottenham Hotspur 1881-82 as Hotspur
Birmingham City 1881-82 as Small Heath Alliance
Bolton Wanderers FC 1881-82  
Grimsby Town 1882-83  
Hull Town 1883-84  
Middlesbrough 1883-84  
Preston North End 1883-84  
Stoke City 1883-84 as Stoke
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1883-84  
Sunderland 1884-85  
West Bromwich Albion 1884-85  
Rangers 1885-86  
Everton 1886-87  
Swindon Town 1886-87  
Watford 1886-87 as Watford Rovers
Manchester United 1889-90 as Newton Heath
Arsenal 1890-91 as Royal Arsenal
Newcastle United 1892-93  
Liverpool 1893-94  

FA Cup timeline

1871 The competition is established as Football Association Challenge Cup.
1872 The first final is played between Wanderers and Royal Engineers.
1890 William Townley become the first player to score a hat-trick in an FA Cup final.
1923 The final is for the first time played at Wembley Stadium.
1927 The FA Cup final is for the first time broadcast by BBC.
1938 The FA Cup final is for the first time broadcast live on television.
1972 For the first time a penalty shootout decide the outcome in an FA Cup final.
1989 In the semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham at the Hillsborough stadium, 96 died in a crush of people.
2012 Ashley Cole become the first player to win the FA Cup seven times (3 times with Arsenal, 4 times with Chelsea).