The Magic of the FA Cup returns on Sunday

On July 20th, 1871 at a Football Association meeting a discussion was held about “breathing life” into its Challenge Cup. After the formal business was concluded,

  1. W. Alcock proposed: “That it is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association, for which all clubs belonging to the Association be, invited to compete.” The idea was received at once with general favour, and at a subsequent meeting held on October 16th 1871 the rules were drafted, the entries were received and history took a deep breath and prepared for the plunge.

That was the day that the FA Cup was born and 146 years later the magic remains.

The first FA Cup semi finals were held in 1872:

The two fixtures were:

Crystal Palace v Royal Engineers & Queens Park v Wanderers with both games ending in 0-0 draws. Royal Engineers won their replay 3-0, but it was a different story for Queens Park; public donations had been used for their long trip down from Glasgow for the first semi final at Kennington Oval but unfortunately they were unable to arrange the funding for the journey back for the replay and were forced to withdraw from the competition. However the lack of funds had a silver lining as it allowed the Scottish pioneers to hold their heads high and retain their dignity as they returned to Scotland unbeaten.

Shirt numbers were not even imagined back then and knickerbockered players were distinguished by the colour of either their caps or stockings. The crossbar was a length of tape or rope. Inside the touchlines the field was unmarked, chuck ins were taken with one hand and the teams changed ends after every goal was scored. There was little or no heading of the ball and defence was rarely considered. The game was based on dribbling with most of the team backing up the man in possession, somewhat like a standing scrum.

A few Semi Final facts-

Most used stadium: Villa Park 55 occasions.

Highest attendance: 88,141 Everton v Manchester United in 2009

Biggest win: 6-0 Newcastle over Fulham in 1908

Biggest post war victory: 5-0 Stoke over Bolton in 2011

Most games needed for a result: 4 – Arsenal vs. Liverpool in 1980

Highest scoring game: 5-3 Hull over Sheffield United in 2014

Most semi final appearances: Arsenal 29

The semi final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest in 1989 at Hillsborough ended in tragedy when 96 spectators were killed in a crowd surge due to overcrowding. The cause of this tragedy was studied and the conclusions reached have helped in the design of new stadiums.

Our first semi final was in 1906 when we lost 2-0 to Newcastle United.

Arsenal are now appearing in their all time record 29th semi final, 11 of them under the management of Arsène Wenger. Arsène has also won the cup on a record 6 occasions along with George Ramsay who was the club secretary of Aston Villa from 1874 to 1926.

This season the semi final draw pits four of the Premier League’s best teams against each other.

Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur on April 22nd.

Arsenal vs. Manchester City on April 23rd.

At this point I cannot think of a better ending to the season than Arsenal beating Tottenham in the final.


125 Responses to The Magic of the FA Cup returns on Sunday

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    Great stuff GN5, thank you.

    “There was little or no heading of the ball and defence was rarely considered”…ahhhh, sigh. Purists delight 🙂

    Ok, without looking it up, does anyone know where Wellington Road, Perry Barr is? (Semi, 1890 in GN5’s chart)

  2. chas mobile says:

    Perry Barr is Birmingham

  3. chas says:

    Cracking post, GN5.

    I’ve been to Semi-Finals at
    Villa Park
    Old Trafford
    Stamford Bridge
    Old Wembley
    and New Wembley.

    Oh, and the Kennington Oval. 🙂

  4. chas says:

    Didn’t go to Arsenal v Blackburn at the Millenium in 2005, I’m ashamed to say. I think we were assuming the Final was a banker!

  5. chas says:

  6. mickydidit89 says:

    After asking, I looked up Perry Barr and immediately knew you’d come sprinting out of the blocks first 🙂

    I can’t remember how many semi finals I’ve to 🙂

    Oh god, just remembered I was at the Gazza one 😦

  7. chas mobile says:

    I’m so predictable.
    Ant went to college in Walsall, so I’m reasonably familiar with Brum. ☺

  8. Rasp says:

    Magnificent work GN5 .. thank you.

    The magic of the cup lives on …. by far the greatest cup competition in the world. Let’s hope the semi finals won column for Arsenal rises to 20 after Sunday.

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Rasp

    What is that makes The FAC the “greatest cup competition in the world”?

    I reckon, firstly, football is the peoples game, in that it’s worldwide and you can still make it to the top all the way from the ghettos, unlike say golf or tennis.

    Then I guess because we’re the home of football and therefore it’s probably the first knock out football competition.

    Finally, and maybe most importantly, in the spirit of the people’s game, your local team gets to enter as well as the big boys

  10. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey, how good would it be for Arsenal to beat Spurs in the final.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    Morning all.

    Thanks for your work in getting the post ready Chas, I’m really appreciative. (;

    I won’t be around for a good part of the day as I’m scheduled to meet with our tax accountant, Canadian taxes have to be filed by the end of April. ):

    Regardless of the form we have been in over the last little while and whatever caused it we now have everything to play.

    Two wins and we are FA Cup holders for a record 13th time and Arsene Wenger will hold the record of most wins (7) by a manager.

  12. mickydidit89 says:

    brilliant footage

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    The FA Cup has always been the competition of the people with every single club affiliated to the FA getting their opportunity to participate – I’m a huge fan and always have been.

    Which team has the most FA Cup final appearances without a win?

    No cheating allowed…………..

  14. GunnerN5 says:

    Just love Pathe News it stirs so many memories.

  15. VP of Oz says:

    awesome footage

  16. GunnerN5 says:

    Which team has won the most FA Cup without losing a final and how many did they win ?

    No cheating allowed……………

  17. chas says:

    Bolton and Preston?

  18. GunnerN5 says:

    Good choices Chas but – No and No.

  19. chas says:

  20. GunnerN5 says:

    I’m off out to the taxman –

  21. chas says:

  22. chas says:

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    Chas 1:31 🙂

    It’s along time since I heard that tune, great lyrics.

    Our taxman cried off sick today so we have to wait on his recovery.

  24. GunnerN5 says:

    April 21st 2009 at Anfield.

    Liverpool 4 Arshavin 4

  25. GunnerN5 says:

    I’ll take all the help we can get…………………..

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to miss the rest of Manchester United’s season, according to Sky sources.

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh, that is a shame, isn’t it GN5 🙂

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    Oh yea Micky I feel for those poor Manc’s and my feelings for Moaniho are even stronger 🙂 🙂

  28. mickydidit89 says:


    Must go. Enjoy your weekend beginnings all

  29. Big Raddy says:

    Great read GN5.

    My semi’s

    Wembley (old)
    Highbury (a few)

    But given my drug-alcohol addled memory, there could be more

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Hillsborough in the first double season.

  31. chas says:

    Which WHL and Highbury, BR?

    That Hillsborough must have been mad.

  32. Ant says:

    I wanna hear more about Micky’s friend, Wiff Waff?
    I worked in a bingo club in Perry Barr and got two Mark 1 Cortinas stolen from outside it!

  33. mickydidit89 says:

    If is was Somebody v Chavs, or even Somebody v Spurs I might watch it
    But those 2 together? Nah

  34. mickydidit89 says:

    Oh Ant
    Keep up. Old news. Well, no news really. I started a Wiff Waff Club. My mate Sam was in it. We know someone else called Sam. He became WWS. Sorry, boring but true.

  35. chas says:


  36. mickydidit89 says:

    Didn’t see one of these last night sadly

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    wiff waff sam

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Habsburg or Hapsburg
    Always been Hapsburg for me 🙂

  39. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,


    Just realised they were not the FAC SF’s Just other SF’s 😀 And we always won and it was sunny and warm and the team played well and the fans were united and the pound was strong

  40. Big Raddy says:

    micky. Had you seen one of those magnificent beasts, you or one of your county-set mates would have shot it.

    Which when considering how tasty a venison steak is may be a good thing

  41. chas says:

  42. chas says:

  43. Top class GN5

    The history of the FA Cup reminds of great by gone days. An era were a bloke married the first Bird he spoke to and anyone with a suntan was mistaken for a Char Wallah.

    I really hope we beat City tomorrow. If we can pull of winning the Cup it will put our recent gnashing of teeth in perspective

    That photo is a bit harsh chas. I know the other 4 are all Bastards, but lumping them with Alan Brazil is out of order

  44. chas says:

    So what have you got against Chewbacca, Terence?

  45. chas says:

  46. fatgingergooner says:

    Hate to say it but Spurs have a great chance to get to the FA Cup Final looking at the Chelsea line up. No Cahill, Hazard or Costa!

  47. fatgingergooner says:

    I feel dirty cheering for Chelsea, but GET IN!

  48. Rasp says:

    Hahaaaaa the scum are 1 down already 🙂 Akderwereld should have been sent off as last man

  49. Big Raddy says:

    It’s not often I want Chelsea to win but just for once ……

  50. Rasp says:

    Danny Murphy’s commentary sums up his spurz bias

  51. fatgingergooner says:

    If Chelsea stay in front then Hazard coming on could be lethal on the break.

  52. fatgingergooner says:

    United have confirmed ‘significant ligament damage’ to Zlatan and Rojo. More tests needed to determine timescales.

    Oh dear!

  53. mickydidit89 says:

    Afternoon all
    Join you for 2nd half
    Who I want to win this depends on whether we win tomorrow. Tricky.
    ie I’d rather beat Spurs in the final 🙂

  54. fatgingergooner says:

    What a ball!

  55. Aaron says:

    chavs playing D with 35 to go. cOnte whinging all day…Erickson with a great pass…

  56. I tell you why chas. About 15 year ago I went to a fancy dress party wearing a wolf man costume exactly like the one portrayed by the great Lon Chaney Jnr in the classic universal production “The Wolf Man”

    Rather than get praise and start a deserved conversation on the brilliant emotional turmoil portrayed in Chaney Jnr’s performance, all I got was “Has Chewbacca had a ruck with a lawnmower”

    No one even knew who Lon Chaney Jnr was? It then dawned on me that people prefer a mute geezer dressed in a furry costume to a genuinely great actor

    If the likes of Chewbacca get there way, all of Shakespeare’s plays would have been about a Morris dancer dressed as a horse.

  57. mickydidit89 says:

    Transplant. Despite not knowing who Chaney or Chewbacca are 🙂

    Is it replay or penalties?

    Watching Spurs lose on pens would be fabulous

  58. Can’t stand Totnumb. Every time the camera pans into there riff raff supporters I get this feeling of working class fools who vote conservative.

    Nothing wrong with voting Conservative but do it like me for the money, not because your a bit thick.

  59. mickydidit89 says:

    Oooo now we could see some blubbing Spuds 🙂

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    Wow! Postage stamp!

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Super game, topped off by Chavs being outplayed yet scoring 4 (so far)

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Chaney was a genius and as a child I had nightmares about him. Now I will have nightmares about Terry at a party.

    Wonder if he pulled?

  63. I didn’t Raddy

    Another thing I learned at that party. When your an ugly bastard like me the initial reaction from women is a sense of revulsion but once you start entertaining them they gain an attraction for a man who can overcome his circus like looks.

    Conversely however, if you start chatting up a bird whilst wearing a mask and it’s going well , then upon removing it expect “Urgghhh, can you put it back on”

    For all you ugly youngsters out there, wear a mask after you have the women, not before

  64. Big Raddy says:

    Terry. You have reminded me of the dreaded two bagger. An extra bag in case the first one breaks.

    I have been fortunate in always punching above my weight. Must have been the illusion of wealth that I engender.

  65. Big Raddy says:

    Happy for the Chavs. Will write more about that in the PM.

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Spurs. 7th successive semi-final defeat. Big club, my arse.

  67. chas says:

    I’ve got the matchday fanny gallops.

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Designer stubble, reflecting aviators, message received and understood 🙂

    That’s the third day on the trot you’ve done a homosexually gentleman. Legs wide open, Spud and now one of our own.

  69. mickydidit89 says:

    Out of interest, was Conte taking the piss out of Positichiano or whatever the little gits name is

    I mean, starting with three of your best players on the bench

  70. mickydidit89 says:

    Well, here we are on St George’s Day
    I think there ought to be national feast day and I’d recommend a 70’s style prawn cocktail as the must-have starter

  71. mickydidit89 says:

    Can you say something that might get Eddie on here

  72. Come on Arsenal

    Morning, still under the duvet but needing some coffee. Conte was definitely taking the piss 😁

    Did you watch the post match chat with Jermaine Jenas almost in tears at the injustice of spuds playing well and losing hahahaha

    Good thing I have no boys at the moment

  73. Edddddiiiiieeeee

    I’ve waved my magic wand 😉

  74. Who was the female MP that had a go at white van man for hanging a flag of St George out of their window?

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    It could be a really bad week for Spuds
    What with yesterday, then with league games’ midweek, Chelsea could easily have a 10 point lead before our game with Spurs next Sunday, and even a draw for us at The Lane would see us effectively end their 56 year dream 🙂

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    My money would be on Abbot or Sturgeon

  77. chas mobile says:

    In the car on M1, so the journey has started.

    I’m not sure Matt, my nephew, in the aviators would appreciate being referred to as “homosexually gentleman”.

  78. chas mobile says:

    Not that there’s anything wrong with being a little light in the loafers.

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    Ooops and massive Oh Shit

    Why not train? There’s that great B line rail track that stops just west of Wembley?

  80. mickydidit89 says:

    ha ha ha…..such a fine expression

  81. chas mobile says:

    Car to Beaconsfield for overnight budget hotel car park, then overground to that lovely Wembley Stadium station.

  82. This guy couldn’t wait to get back to a Wembley station

  83. Eddie says:

    i am here peaches 🙂

  84. Eddie says:

    I really enjoyed the game yesterday, top football. I hate chavs more than spurs and therefore am disappointed with the result, it did not reflect the game. Spurs were very good

    Danny Murphy sounds so much better than he looks. I close my eyes listening to him and fall in love…he knows about footy all right

  85. chas mobile says:

  86. Eddie says:

    fattie – you should be a doctor, you were the only one to diagnose Ibra’s injury properly 🙂

    Spurs had most possession yesterday and chavs were not bothered about it, they just fecked about waiting like hyenas. They are scarely good.

  87. Eddie says:

    happy ST George’s my English friends!!!

    out of curiosily – how many of you are REALLY English, like say 4 generations back? Probably just Rasp 🙂

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahem, cough splutter, Eddie
    Only 4 gens?!?!
    Barely local 🙂

  89. Eddie says:

    micky – really?? I thought you had Scottish roots

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Eddie. We beat them 3-0.

    Happy ST George’s Day- I like the idea of a feast.

    So a Prawn Cocktail starter

    Chicken Tikka Marsala for Main Course?

  91. mickydidit89 says:

    How dare you 🙂

    Nope, been on this damp island for a good 1000 years

  92. mickydidit89 says:

    Reckon the Vines are pretty damn english

  93. Eddie says:

    Coronation chicken 🙂

    Raddy – I tell you what, if we played yesterday instead of Spurs the result would have been worse for us, I am certain of it. How can they play so well, what did that Conte did in just a few months??

  94. mickydidit89 says:

    Ahoy Erik
    Feast is a fine word and fits well with your penchant for debauchery and indulgence

  95. Eddie says:

    sorry micky, your mad uncle is Scottish, isn’t he?
    Amazing, you are a rare bread of an animal

    Noooo, the Vines are catholics, probably half Irish or something.

  96. chas mobile says:

    Jon traced some family history back to a soldier responsible for guarding Cetshwayo, King of the Zulus.

    I’d imagine we have at least 6 generations.

  97. Big Raddy says:

    I am third generation.

    The next generation of my family could not be more English. Red haired, freckles, ignorant Brexiteers …. the whole kit and caboodle

  98. mickydidit89 says:

    Ah, the loathsome Ernest. No, he is not. He was sent there.

    Not true Eddie, some of the very oldest English families are Catholic. They simply switched sides to stay in favour. Weak 🙂

  99. fatgingergooner says:


    Did you see Ibra’s injury? It looked pretty bad on tv. I was surprised when he managed to hobble off.

    You mention Spurs doing nothing with possession, for all our defensive issues, that’s been our biggest problem in the last few months. Arsenal are the definition of ‘attack is the best form of defence’ and our attack has been pretty limp for the last few months. We’ve had games with 70%+ possession and created nothing. It’s not our defence that worries me today, it’s our attack. If we attack we’ll, move the ball quickly and sustain pressure, then our defence is able to be in the right place when needed, but if we give cheap ball away in our own half and struggle to put 3 passes together then we will get hammered.

  100. Eddie says:

    Raddy 🙂 my son is very English, including tattoos and pants falling off his arse 🙂

    chas – oh wow, tell us!!! King of Zulus!! Was he catholic 🙂

  101. Big Raddy says:

    FGG. Your argument almost holds water except we have already scored 100 goals this season, though I agree that an attacker (Sanchez) who loses the ball on the break can have disastrous results

    IMO the fault lies in lack of defensive cohesion, especially in midfield. Steve Bould should be the first to walk.

  102. Big Raddy says:

    Oh …. there is a PM to write 😦

  103. mickydidit89 says:

    Blimey Eddie, haven’t you heard that before? Vincent Vines, King of Zulus. Legend.

  104. chas mobile says:

    Charles Edward Vines (third from the right)

  105. Not me, I’m only 2nd generation, my children are third generation and my grandchildren are fourth generation on my side but only 2nd generation on their father’s side. Oooh complicated stuff 🙂

  106. Eddie says:

    good point Raddy – the decline started with the departure of Pat. Bouldie is not doing a great job, that’s for sure

  107. mickydidit89 says:

    Bouldie is doing ok. He got a free ipad which he plays on during games when things get a bit sticky

  108. Eddie says:

    chas – that is awesome!!! I want to know more

    peaches – your grandchildren on the paternal side are polish with half Tartar roots. Fascinating stuff and proof that people can get over religious nonsense and leave in peace, and produce gorgeous babies

  109. Big Raddy says:

    My Great- Grandfather supplied Cigars to the Russian Czar

    And my grandfather played oboe with the Berlin Philharmonic

    which is rubbish compared to guarding a Zulu.

  110. Rasp says:

    Morning all ….. Happy St George’s Day …. not in a jingoistic way 🙂

    Yes, my family all hail from Suffolk … Constable country

  111. Rasp says:

    We should call it St Charlie George’s Day ….

  112. fatgingergooner says:

    Can’t argue with the numbers BR, but they have been inflated by big results in CL group and early FA Cup rounds. I can only comment on what I see and at the moment everyone is concentrating on our poor defence when our attack is not playing much better. They will need to improve today if we are to have a chance.

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    Join for the game
    Have a great time all that are going

  114. chas mobile says:

    Matchday with Benny Hillock!

  115. Big Raddy says:

    Benny Hillock 🙂 😀

    There is a New Post

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: