FA Cup Final
The FA Cup Final, commonly referred to in England as just the Cup Final, is the last match in the Football Association Challenge Cup. With an official attendance of 89,826 at the 2007 FA Cup Final, it is the fourth best attended domestic club championship event in the world and the second most attended domestic football event. It is the culmination of a knockout competition among clubs belonging to The Football Association in England, although Scottish and Irish teams competed in the early years and Welsh teams regularly compete, with Cardiff City winning the Cup in 1927 and reaching the final in 2008.
Early FA Cup Finals were held at various venues including Fallowfield Stadium but were mainly in London. In the period from 1923 until 2000, the final was held at Wembley Stadium, English football's national stadium. From 2001–2005, the final was moved to Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, during the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium. Millennium Stadium was used again in 2006 due to construction delays in opening the new Wembley Stadium.
Until 1993, if the final could not be decided in a single match, the match would be replayed, which occurred a total of six times. In 1993, the Football Association then decided that all future finals would be decided 'on the day', putting an end to FA Cup Final replays. This meant that a draw at the end of normal time would be followed by 30 minutes of extra time (two 15-minute halves); if scores were still level there would be a penalty shootout to determine the winner of the competition. Only two FA Cup Finals have been decided by a penalty shootout; those of 2005 and 2006. Note that the Football League War Cup is not considered part of the official FA Cup competition.
Stan Mortensen's hat-trick for Blackpool in 1953 remains the only hat trick ever scored at Wembley in the competition's final. Everton's Louis Saha scored a goal after 27.9 seconds in the 2009 FA Cup Final. It is currently the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history. Bury's 6–0 victory over Derby County in 1903 FA Cup Final is the largest winning margin. With his goal in the 2012 Final, Chelsea's Didier Drogba became the first man to score a goal in four different Finals.
The FA Cup Final is one of ten events reserved for live broadcast on UK terrestrial television under the Ofcom Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events.
For a full list of FA Cup winners and runners-up, see List of FA Cup finals
- Full results history at rsssf.com
- Archive of almost every result at SoccerBase.com
- Post-war finals at sporting-heroes.net
- The 10 greatest FA Cup Final goals at midfield dynamo classic football website