Women's FA Cup

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Women's FA Cup
Women's FA Cup.png
Founded1970; 51 years ago (1970)
RegionEngland
Wales
Number of teams300 (2019–20)
Current championsManchester City (3rd title)
Most successful club(s)Arsenal (14 titles)
Television broadcastersBBC
WebsiteWomen's FA Cup
2020–21 Women's FA Cup

The Women's FA Challenge Cup Competition[1] is the top annual cup tournament for women's clubs in English football.[2][3] Founded in 1970, it has been named the WFA Cup, FA Women's Cup and now Women's FA Cup (Vitality Women's FA Cup for sponsorship reasons[4]).

Designed as an equivalent to the FA Cup in men's football, the competition began in 1970–71 as the Mitre Challenge Trophy, organised by the Women's Football Association (WFA).[5] There were 71 entrants, including teams from Scotland and Wales.[6]

The WFA ran the competition for the first 23 editions, during which time Southampton Women's won the cup eight times. The Football Association (FA) began administrating English women's football in mid-1993.[7]

Arsenal holds the record for most titles overall, having won fourteen times.[8] The current cup holders are Manchester City, who defeated Everton 3–1, after extra time, in the final at Wembley Stadium on 1 November 2020.

Name[edit]

Everton players with the FA Women's Cup trophy in 2010

The competition, founded in 1970, was sponsored as the Mitre Challenge Trophy until April 1976.[9]

As a Women's Football Association competition until 1992–93, it was known as the WFA Cup or more informally as the Women's FA Cup. After the running of the competition passed to the FA in 1993–94, the Association renamed it as the FA Women's Cup,[10][11] until 2015.[12][13] The name was officially reworded as the Women's FA Cup in June 2015,[14] prior to that year's final.[15][16] The tournament rules, as in the men's FA Cup, name it the Challenge Cup Competition.[1]

History[edit]

Previous national cup competitions included the English Ladies Football Association Challenge Cup in 1922, won by Stoke Ladies.

The first women's Mitre Challenge Trophy final was held on 9 May 1971 at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.[9] The WFA was initially named the Ladies Football Association of Great Britain,[9] and Scottish clubs were successful in reaching the first three finals of this tournament. Two of these clubs were runners-up in England while also winning the Scottish Women's Cup in the same season, Stewarton Thistle in 1971 and Westthorn United in 1973.

Southampton Women's F.C. won eight of the first 11 WFA Cup competitions.

Doncaster Belles reached nearly every final between 1982–83 and 1993–94, and won the trophy six times.

Format[edit]

The current entry points as of the 2019–20 season:

All other clubs in the fifth tier or below are drawn to either play in the Extra Preliminary Round or have a bye to the Preliminary Round. After the initial preliminary rounds, there are three qualifying rounds before the First Round Proper. All rounds until the FA WSL and Championship teams enter in the Fourth Round are played on a geographical basis (north and south regions).

Trophies[edit]

The original Mitre Challenge Trophy has "disappeared", according to the WFA History records.[9] This cup was replaced in May 1979 when the Football Association donated a new trophy for the competition's winners, to mark the WFA's tenth anniversary.[9]

1970–71 cup winner Sue Lopez said it was suspected that a player "tucked it away somewhere in a trophy cabinet", and she was trying to locate the original cup for the National Football Museum in 2015.[17]

The current Women's FA Cup trophy was one of the first prestigious trophies to be made in the Thomas Lyte silver workshop.[18]

List of finals[edit]

The following is a list of Women's FA Cup seasons and Final results.[19][20]

Finalists are primarily clubs from England, unless denoted with Scotland for Scotland.
Where a season's Final is marked in bold, it has a specific article for the match.
Season Winners Score Runners-up Scorers Venue
1970–71 Southampton 4–1 Stewarton Thistle Scotland Southampton: Davies (3), Cassell
Stewarton: Reilly
Crystal Palace National Sports Centre
1971–72 Southampton 3–2 Lee's Ladies Scotland Southampton: Judd (2), Lopez
Lee's: White, Ferries
Eton Park, Burton upon Trent
Attendance: 1,500
1972–73 Southampton 2–0 Westthorn United Scotland Kenway 70', Hale 75' Bedford Town FC
Attendance: 3,000
1973–74 Fodens 2–1 Southampton Fodens: Leatherbarrow (2)
Southampton: Davies
Bedford Town FC
Attendance: 800
1974–75 Southampton 4–2 Warminster Southampton: Chapman, Dickie, Davies, Hale
Warminster: Foreman (2; 1 pen.)
Dunstable Town FC
1975–76 Southampton 2–1 (a.e.t.) Queen's Park Rangers Southampton: M. Kirkland, Davies
QPR: McGroarty[21]
Bedford Town FC
Attendance: 1,500
1976–77 Queen's Park Rangers 1–0 Southampton Staley 25' Champion Hill, East Dulwich
Attendance: 3,000
1977–78 Southampton 8–2 Queen's Park Rangers Southampton: Davies, Lopez, Chapman (6)[21]
QPR: Choat, Staley
Wexham Park Stadium, Slough
Attendance: 200
1978–79 Southampton 1–0 Lowestoft Chapman 6' Waterlooville FC
Attendance: 1,200
1979–80 St Helens 1–0 Preston North End Holland 75' Enfield Town FC
1980–81 Southampton 4–2 St Helens Southampton: Chapman 12', 58', England 45', Carter 71'
St Helens: Leatherbarrow 26', Ja. Turner 65'
Knowsley Road, St Helens
Attendance: 1,352
1981–82 Lowestoft 2–0 Cleveland Spartans Linda Curl 26', Poppy 57' Loftus Road
Attendance: ~1,000[note 1]
1982–83 Doncaster Belles 3–2 St Helens Doncaster: Stocks (2), J. Hanson
St Helens: Leatherbarrow, Deighan
Sincil Bank, Lincoln
Attendance: 1,500
1983–84 Howbury Grange 4–2 Doncaster Belles Howbury: Baldeo (2), Springett (2)
Doncaster: L. Hanson (2)
Sincil Bank, Lincoln
1984–85 Friends of Fulham 2–0 Doncaster Belles McAdam 22', Hynes 25' Craven Cottage, Fulham
Attendance: 1,500
1985–86 Norwich 4–3 Doncaster Belles Norwich: Curl 16', Colk 40', Jackson 50', Lawrence 80+2'[22]
Doncaster: J. Hanson 26', Walker 27', 75'
Carrow Road, Norwich[22]
1986–87 Doncaster Belles 2–0 St Helens Sherrard 12', Walker 80' City Ground, Nottingham
1987–88 Doncaster Belles 3–1 Leasowe Pacific Doncaster: Walker, Coultard, Sherrard
Leasowe: Jackson (pen.)
Gresty Road, Crewe
Attendance: 800
1988–89 Leasowe Pacific 3–2 Friends of Fulham Leasowe: Murray 7', Thomas 47', McQuiggan 65'
Fulham: Powell 8', 40'
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 941
1989–90 Doncaster Belles 1–0 Friends of Fulham Coultard 61' Baseball Ground
Attendance: 3,000
1990–91 Millwall Lionesses 1–0 Doncaster Belles Baldeo 65' Prenton Park
Attendance:4,000
1991–92 Doncaster Belles 4–0 Red Star Southampton Coultard 38', Walker 47', 65' 78' Prenton Park
Attendance:250
1992–93 Arsenal 3–0 Doncaster Belles Curley 45', Ball 45', Bampton 80' Manor Ground, Oxford
Attendance: 3,547
1993–94
(Final)
Doncaster Belles 1–0 Knowsley United Walker 38' Glanford Park
Attendance: 1,674
1994–95 Arsenal 3–2 Liverpool Arsenal: Lonergan 36', 55', Spacey 81'
Liverpool: Burke 24', 41'
Prenton Park
1995–96 Croydon 1–1 (a.e.t.)
(3–2 pen.)
Liverpool Liverpool: Burke 22'
Croydon: Powell 38'
The New Den
Attendance: 2,110
1996–97
(Final)
Millwall Lionesses 1–0 Wembley Waller 51' Upton Park
Attendance: 3,015
1997–98 Arsenal 3–2 Croydon Arsenal: Spacey 17', Yankey 52', Few 90+3'
Croydon: Broadhurst (pen.) 10', Powell 55'
The New Den
1998–99 Arsenal 2–0 Southampton Saints Hayes (o.g.) 14', Wheatley 41' The Valley
Attendance: 6,450
1999–2000
(Final)
Croydon 2–1 Doncaster Belles Croydon: C.Walker 40', Hunt 67'
Doncaster: Exley 40'
Bramall Lane
Attendance: 3,434
2000–01 Arsenal 1–0 Fulham Banks 52' Selhurst Park
Attendance: 13,824
2001–02
(Final)
Fulham 2–1 Doncaster Belles Fulham: Yankey 55', Chapman 56'
Doncaster: Handley 58'
Selhurst Park
Attendance: 10,124
2002–03
(Final)
Fulham 3–0 Charlton Athletic Moore 18', Hills (o.g.) 36', Williams (o.g.) 61' Selhurst Park
Attendance: 10,389
2003–04
(Final)
Arsenal 3–0 Charlton Athletic Fleeting 23', 25', 83' Loftus Road
Attendance: 12,244
2004–05
(Final)
Charlton Athletic 1–0 Everton Aluko 58' Upton Park
Attendance: 8,567
2005–06
(Final)
Arsenal 5–0 Leeds United Ward (o.g.) 3', Fleeting 34', Yankey 35', Smith (pen.) 73', Sanderson 77' The New Den
Attendance: 13,452
2006–07
(Final)
Arsenal 4–1 Charlton Athletic Charlton: Holtham 2'
Arsenal: Smith 7', 80', Ludlow 15', 45'
City Ground
Attendance: 24,529
2007–08
(Final)
Arsenal 4–1 Leeds United Arsenal: Smith 54', 83', Ludlow 59', Sanderson 60'
Leeds: Clarke 69'
City Ground
Attendance: 24,582
2008–09
(Final)
Arsenal 2–1 Sunderland Arsenal: Chapman 32', Little 90'
Sunderland: McDougall 90'
Pride Park Stadium
Attendance: 23,291
2009–10
(Final)
Everton 3–2 (a.e.t.) Arsenal Arsenal: Little (pen.) 43', Fleeting 54'
Everton: Dowie 16', 119', White (o.g.) 45+2'
City Ground
Attendance: 17,505[23]
2010–11
(Final)
Arsenal 2–0 Bristol Academy Little 19', Fleeting 32' Ricoh Arena
Attendance: 13,885[24]
2011–12
(Final)
Birmingham City 2–2 (a.e.t.)
(3–2 pen.)
Chelsea Birmingham City: Williams 90', Carney 111'
Chelsea: Lander 69', Longhurst 101'
Ashton Gate
Attendance: 8,723
2012–13
(Final)
Arsenal 3–0 Bristol Academy Houghton 2', Nobbs 72', White 90' Keepmoat Stadium
Attendance: 4,988
2013–14
(Final)
Arsenal 2–0 Everton Smith 15', Kinga 61' Stadium MK
Attendance: 15,098
2014–15
(Final)
Chelsea 1–0 Notts County Ji So-yun 39' Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 30,710
2015–16
(Final)
Arsenal 1–0 Chelsea Carter 18' Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 32,912
2016–17
(Final)
Manchester City 4–1 Birmingham City Man City: Bronze 18', Christiansen 25', Lloyd 32', Scott 80'
Birmingham City: Wellings 73'
Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 35,271
2017–18
(Final)
Chelsea 3–1 Arsenal Chelsea: Bachmann 48', 60', Kirby 76'
Arsenal: Miedema 73'
Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 45,423
2018–19
(Final)
Manchester City 3–0 West Ham United Walsh 52', Stanway 81', Hemp 88' Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 43,264
2019–20
(Final)
Manchester City 3–1 (a.e.t.) Everton Everton: Gauvin 60'
Manchester City: Mewis 40', Stanway 111', Beckie 120+2'
Wembley Stadium
Behind closed doors (COVID-19 pandemic)
2020–21

Finalists by club[edit]

Club Winners Runners-
up
Winning seasons Runner-up
seasons
Arsenal
14
2
1992–93, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2000–01,
2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09,
2010–11, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2015–16
2009–10, 2017–18
Southampton Women's
8
2
1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76,
1977–78, 1978–79, 1980–81
1973–74, 1976–77
Doncaster Belles
6
7
1982–83, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90,
1991–92, 1993–94
1983–84, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1990–91,
1992–93, 1999–2000, 2001–02
Croydon/Charlton Athletic
3
4
1995–96, 1999–2000, 2004–05 1997–98, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2006–07
Manchester City
3
0
2016–17, 2018–19, 2019–20
Leasowe Pacific/Everton
2
4
1988–89, 2009–10 1987–88, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2019–20
Chelsea
2
2
2014–15, 2017–18 2011–12, 2015–16
Fulham
2
1
2001–02, 2002–03 2000–01
Millwall Lionesses
2
0
1990–91, 1996–97
St Helens
1
3
1979–80 1980–81, 1982–83, 1986–87
Queen's Park Rangers
1
2
1976–77 1975–76, 1977–78
Friends of Fulham
1
2
1984–85 1988–89, 1989–90
Lowestoft
1
1
1981–82 1978–79
Fodens
1
0
1973–74
Howbury Grange
1
0
1983–84
Norwich
1
0
1985–86
Birmingham City
1
1
2011–12 2016–17
Knowsley United/Liverpool
0
3
1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96
Stewarton & Thistle/
Lee's Ladies
[9] Scotland
0
2
1970–71, 1971–72
Red Star Southampton/
Southampton Saints
0
2
1991–92, 1998–99
Leeds United
0
2
2005–06, 2007–08
Bristol Academy
0
2
2010–11, 2012–13
Westthorn United Scotland
0
1
1972–73
Warminster
0
1
1974–75
Preston North End
0
1
1979–80
Cleveland Spartans
0
1
1981–82
Wembley
0
1
1996–97
Sunderland
0
1
2008–09
Notts County
0
1
2014–15
West Ham United
0
1
2018–19
Arsenal and Charlton contest the 2007 FA Women's Cup Final at the City Ground

The Cup winner competed against the FA Women's Premier League National Division champions in the annual FA Women's Community Shield match from 2000 until 2008, and against the FA WSL winners since 2020.

Media coverage[edit]

In the late 1980s[25] and early 1990s[26] television coverage of the WFA final was provided by Channel 4.

Between 2001 and 2008 the final of the tournament was covered by BBC TV, presented by Celina Hinchcliffe, Rebecca Lowe, Ray Stubbs and Jake Humphrey, the punditry team was usually current players like Sue Scott and commentary usually by Steve Wilson and Lucy Ward or Faye White and always played on May Day Bank Holiday. The final was also simulcast on BBC Radio Five Live. In 2009 the final was moved to ITV1 with commentary from Jon Champion and Lucy Ward. Sky Sports secured a three-year deal for live coverage from 2010 until 2012.[27]

Sponsorship[edit]

Sponsors of the original WFA competition (1970–1993) included Mitre,[5] Pony wines and Mycil.[26]

In the FA competition, the sponsors have been UK Living (1995–1998), AXA (1998–2002), Nationwide Building Society (2002–2006) and E.ON[28][29] (2006–2011). From 2007, Tesco obtained additional branding and advertising rights through their partnership agreement with the FA.[30]

Despite sponsorship by these major companies, entering the tournament has actually cost clubs more than they often get in prize money. In 2015 it was reported that even if Notts County had won the tournament outright the paltry £8,600 winnings would leave them out of pocket.[31] The winners of the men's FA Cup in the same year received £1.8 million, with teams not even reaching the first round proper getting more than the women's winners.[32] In September 2020, the FA announced that health and life insurance and investment company VitalityHealth have signed a deal to become the sponsor of the competition until July 2023.[33]

Notes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Title of "Rules: Women's FA Cup rules" (PDF) on "The Vitality Women's FA Cup - Women's - Competitions". The Football Association. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  2. ^ "Women's FA Cup final: 40,000 tickets sold for Wembley showpiece". BBC Sport. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Relive both Women's FA Cup semi-finals". BBC Sport. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  4. ^ Association, The Football. "The website for the English football association, the Emirates FA Cup and the England football team". www.thefa.com. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Women's FA Cup: The history". BBC Sport. 1 May 2003. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Women's Football Competitions Fact Sheet" (PDF). Football Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  7. ^ Henry Winter (26 April 1993). "Football: FA forging links to create a permanent partnership: Henry Winter reports on the interest created by the women's FA Cup final in which Arsenal defeated Doncaster Belles 3–0". The Independent. Retrieved 16 October 2010.
  8. ^ Tony Leighton (2 May 2010). "England dug-out duo become rivals in FA Women's Cup final at Nottingham". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "The WFA Cup". History of the Women's Football Association. 29 April 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  10. ^ Examples of use in 1993:
    "■ FA SUNDAY CUP". Sandwell Evening Mail. 19 November 1993. p. 69. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
    "Derby day for ladies". Hammersmith & Shepherds Bush Gazette. 3 December 1993. p. 73. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  11. ^ "The FA Women's Cup (2004)". The Football Association. Archived from the original on 2 April 2004. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  12. ^ Examples in 2011 and 2014:
    Leighton, Tony (21 May 2011). "Arsenal reclaim FA Women's Cup with win over Bristol Academy". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
    "FA Cup final (2014)". Arsenal F.C. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  13. ^ Examples in 2015:
    "The FA Women's Cup (10 April 2015)". The Football Association. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
    "Chelsea secure FA Women's Cup final Wembley date with Notts County". The Football Association. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  14. ^ "The FA and SSE agree sponsorship deal". The Football Association. 8 June 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  15. ^ "SSE Women's FA Cup Final match report (1 Aug 2015)". The Football Association. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  16. ^ "SSE Women's FA Cup Final (14 May 2016)". The Football Association. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  17. ^ "Women's FA Cup: Mystery of missing trophy from first final". BBC Sport. 29 July 2015.
  18. ^ FA Women's Cup Final comes to Wembley in August
  19. ^ "England – List of Women Cup Winners". RSSSF. Retrieved 24 July 2011.
  20. ^ Slegg, Chris; Gregory, Patricia (6 May 2021). A History of the Women's FA Cup Final. The History Press. ISBN 978-0750996594. Retrieved 6 May 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Cambuslang Hooverettes".
  22. ^ a b Norwich Evening News, May 26, 2016, page 12
  23. ^ Lavery, Glenn (3 May 2010). "Late drama as Dowie downs Arsenal – ARSENAL LFC v EVERTON LFC – 03/05/2010". TheFA.com. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  24. ^ "Arsenal complete 11th cup final win". Shekicks.net. 21 May 2011. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  25. ^ "Fact Sheet 5: Women and Football". University of Leicester. March 2002. Archived from the original on 12 September 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  26. ^ a b Joan Ruddock (29 April 1991). "MILLWALL LIONESSES FA CUP VICTORY". UK Parliament. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  27. ^ "Community Shield for Sky Sports". TheFA.com. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  28. ^ "FA announces new Cup sponsorship". BBC News. 3 February 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 August 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "Football Association Joins Forces With Tesco". Sportbusiness.com. Archived from the original on 3 July 2012. Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  31. ^ BBC article on the sponsorship situation
  32. ^ Prize money list on the FA website
  33. ^ "Vitality becomes new sponsor of Women's FA Cup for next three years". The Football Association. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.

External links[edit]