List of FA Cup finals
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football, organised by and named after The Football Association (the FA). It is the oldest existing football competition in the world, having commenced in the 1871–72 season. The tournament is open to all clubs in the top ten levels of the English football league system, although a club's home stadium must meet certain requirements before the club can enter the tournament. The competition culminates in May with the FA Cup Final, which has traditionally been regarded as the showpiece finale of the English football season.
The final was played at the original Wembley Stadium from 1923 until the stadium closed in 2000, and at the new stadium of the same name since 2007. Other venues used for the final include Kennington Oval, Crystal Palace, Stamford Bridge and the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, which hosted the final while the new Wembley was being built. As of 2012, the record for the most wins is held by Manchester United with 11 victories, followed by Arsenal with 10 and Tottenham Hotspur with 8. The cup has been won by the same team in two or more consecutive years on eight occasions, and three teams have won consecutive finals more than once: Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur. The cup has been won by a non-English team once. The cup is currently held by Wigan Athletic, who defeated Manchester City in the 2013 final.
The winners of the first tournament were Wanderers, a team of former public schoolboys based in London, who went on to win the competition five times in its first seven seasons. The early winners of the competition were all teams of wealthy amateurs from the south of England, but in 1883, Blackburn Olympic became the first team from the north to win the cup, defeating Old Etonians. Upon his team's return to Blackburn, Olympic captain Albert Warburton proclaimed: "The Cup is very welcome to Lancashire. It'll have a good home and it'll never go back to London."
With the advent of professionalism at around the same time, the amateur teams quickly faded from prominence in the competition. The leading professional clubs formed The Football League in 1888. Since then, one non-league team has won the cup. Tottenham Hotspur, then of the Southern League, defeated Sheffield United of The Football League to win the 1901 final. A year later Sheffield United returned to the final and won the cup, which then remained in the hands of northern clubs until Tottenham won it again in 1921. In 1927, Cardiff City, a team which plays in the English Football League despite being based in Wales, won the cup, the only non-English club to do so. Scottish club Queens Park reached the final twice in the early years of the competition.
Newcastle United enjoyed a brief spell of FA Cup dominance in the 1950s, winning the trophy three times in five years, and in the 1960s, Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed a similar spell of success, with three wins in seven seasons. This marked the start of a successful period for London-based clubs, with 11 wins in 22 seasons. Teams from the second tier of English football, at the time called the Second Division, experienced an unprecedented run of cup success between 1973 and 1980. Sunderland won the cup in 1973, Southampton repeated the feat in 1976, and West Ham United won in 1980, the most recent victory by a team from outside the top division. Since Wimbledon's surprise win in 1988, the so-called "Big Four" clubs of English football, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea, have between them won the cup 19 times in 22 seasons. Of the last ten finals played at Wembley, the last four finals at the old stadium and the first six at the new stadium, Chelsea have won six.
Until 1999, a draw in the final would result in the match being replayed at a later date; since then the final has always been decided on the day, with a penalty shootout as required. So far, a penalty shoot-out has been required on only two occasions, in the 2005 and 2006 finals. The competition did not take place during the First and Second World Wars, other than in the 1914–15 season, when it was completed, and the 1939–40 season, when it was abandoned during the qualifying rounds.
|*||Match went to extra time|
|Match decided by a penalty shootout after extra time|
|Winning team won the Double|
|Italics||Team from outside the top level of English football
(since the formation of the Football League in 1888)
Results by team
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