The FA Cup, known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout association football competition in mens domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest association football competition in the world and it is organised by and named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2018 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent womens tournament is held, the FA Womens Cup. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12, the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper, in the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, as well as who wins, significant focus is given to those minnows who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely giant-killing victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have two designs and five actual cups, the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design. Winners also qualify for European football and a place in the FA Community Shield match, in 1863, the newly founded Football Association published the Laws of the Game of Association Football, unifying the various different rules in use before then. On 20 July 1871, in the offices of The Sportsman newspaper, the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, Wanderers retained the trophy the following year. The modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, and did not resume until 1919–20. The 1922–23 competition saw the first final to be played in the newly opened Wembley Stadium, due to the outbreak of World War II, the competition was not played between the 1938–39 and 1945–46 editions. Having previously featured replays, the modern day practice of ensuring the semi-final and final matches finish on the day, was introduced from 2000 onwards. Redevelopment of Wembley saw the final played outside of England for the first time, the final returned to Wembley in 2007, followed by the semi-finals from 2008. The competition is open to any club down to Level 10 of the English football league system which meets the eligibility criteria, all clubs in the top four levels are automatically eligible. Clubs in the six levels are also eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and also 2006–07, all clubs entering the competition must also have a suitable stadium
Sheffield United F.C.
Sheffield United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The team competes in League One, the tier of English football. The football club was formed in 1889 as an offshoot of Sheffield United Cricket Club, the club have played their home games at Bramall Lane since their formation in 1889. Bramall Lane is currently an all-seater ground with a capacity of 32,609, Sheffield United won the original First Division in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899,1902,1915 and 1925. They were beaten finalists in the FA Cup in 1901 and 1936 and they reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2003 and 2015. For most of the history they have played in red. Their closest rivals are Sheffield Wednesday, with whom they contest the Steel City Derby, Sheffield United formed on 22 March 1889 at the Adelphi Hotel, Sheffield by the President of the Cricket Club Sir Charles Clegg. The Wednesday had moved from Bramall Lane to their own ground at Olive Grove, Sir Charles Clegg was incidentally also the president of The Wednesday. Their darkest days came between 1975 and 1981 and they did fall back into the Third Division in 1988, but new manager Dave Bassett masterminded a quick revival which launched the Blades towards one of the most successful eras in their history. Successive promotions in the aftermath of the 1988 relegation saw them return to the First Division in 1990 after a 14-year exile and they survived at this level for four seasons and reached an FA Cup semi-final in the 1992–93 season before being relegated in 1994. Three years later, however, Warnock delivered a Premier League return as the Blades finished runners-up in the rebranded Football League Championship, Neil Warnock resigned as manager after the Blades went down. The Blades did reach the Championship playoff final in 2009 under Kevin Blackwell, in the 2011–12 season, the club finished third in League One, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, and entered the playoffs. With victory over Stevenage in the semi-final, United missed out on a return to the Championship after suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Huddersfield Town. In 2014, the Blades gained the nickname of giant-killers, having reached the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, losing 5–3 to Hull City. In 2014–15, they reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and semi-finals of the Football League Cup, the club was formed by members of the Sheffield United Cricket Club, itself formed in 1854 and the first English sports club to use United in its name. Sheffield Uniteds predominant nickname is The Blades, a reference to Sheffields status as the producer of cutlery in the United Kingdom. Because of this, the nickname would also be used in reference to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, another nickname used was The Cutlers. In 1907, Wednesday came to be referred to as The Owls, in reference to their new ground in Owlerton, within Sheffield fans of the club are also sometimes referred to as Unitedites
Their home ground since 2001 has been St Marys Stadium, before which they were based at The Dell. Southampton has a rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity. Matches between the two sides are known as the South Coast derby, the club has won the FA Cup once, in 1976, and their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005 and they returned after a seven-year absence, and have played there ever since. Southampton were founded at St. Marys Church, on 21 November 1885 by members of the St. Marys Church of England Young Mens Association. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Cricket Ground in Northlands Road or the Antelope Cricket Ground in St Marys Road. During this time, they moved to a newly built £10,000 stadium called The Dell, the club reached the first of their four FA Cup Finals in 1900. On that day, they went down 4–0 to Bury and two later they would suffer a similar fate at the hands of Sheffield United as they were beaten 2–1 in a replay of the 1902 final. After World War I, Saints joined the newly formed Football League Third Division in 1920 which split into South and North sections a year later, the 1921–22 season ended in triumph with promotion and marked the beginning of a 31-year stay in the Second Division. The 1922–23 season was a unique Even Season –14 wins,14 draws and 14 defeats for a total of 42 points, goals for and against statistics were also equal and the team finished in mid-table. In 1925 and 1927, they reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup, losing 2–0 and 2–1 to Sheffield United, in the 1948–49 and 1949–50 seasons, Charlie Wayman rattled in a total of 56 goals. Then relegation in 1953 sent Saints sliding back into Division 3 and it took until 1960 for Saints to regain Second Division status with Derek Reeves plundering 39 of the champions’106 league goals. On 27 April 1963 a crowd of 68,000 at Villa Park saw them lose 1–0 to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final. In 1966, when Ted Bates’ team were promoted to the First Division as runners-up, for the following campaign Ron Davies arrived to score 43 goals in his first season. Saints stayed among the elite for eight years, with the highest finishing position being seventh place in 1968–69 and again in 1970–71. These finishes were high enough for them to qualify for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1969–70 and its successor, the UEFA Cup in 1971–72, in December 1973, Bates stood down to be replaced by his assistant Lawrie McMenemy. The Saints were one of the first victims of the new three-down relegation system in 1974, the following season, they played in Europe again in the Cup Winners Cup, reaching Round 3 where they lost 2–3 on aggregate to Anderlecht. In 1977–78, captained by Alan Ball, Saints finished runners-up in the Second Division and they finished comfortably in 14th place in their first season back in the top flight
Eastbourne Town F.C.
Eastbourne Town Football Club are an English football club based in Eastbourne, East Sussex. The club is a FA Chartered Standard Community club affiliated to the Sussex County Football Association, the club was founded in 1881 as Devonshire Park FC and they claim to be the oldest senior football club in Sussex, though they are certainly the oldest in the town of Eastbourne. The club are members of the Southern Combination Premier Division. Founded in 1881 as Devonshire Park Football Club, named after the ground they played at. A home they have shared since with Eastbourne Cricket Club and Eastbourne Hockey Club and they changed their name to Eastbourne F. C. in 1889 as the town was being expanded after the railway arrived into the town. Although at the time they were not in a league, they competed in the Sussex Senior Cup reaching the ten times between 1889 and 1903, winning eight times in that period. They were founding members of the Southern Amateur Football League in 1907 in which remained in until 1946. They briefly left in 1920 and was one of the teams of the Sussex County Football League, in which they stayed for one season. 1946 saw them join the Corinthian League, in 1953, Eastbourne played their local rivals Hastings United in the FA Cup, although they lost 7–2 they recorded their record attendance of 7,378. In 1971, they changed their name from Eastbourne F. C. to the present name, the 1975–76 season saw Eastbourne reach the 5th round of the FA Vase. During the same season they amalgamated with league rivals Eastbourne United but opted to re-join the Sussex County League. Unable to continue in the Athenian League, due to falling attendances and their first season in the new league was successful, winning the Division 1 title. They came close to the again in the 1984/85 and 1985/86 seasons. In 2001 they were relegated into Division 2 after 25 years and they did not manage to gain an immediate promotion back in the following season, but achieved a return to Division 1 at the end of the 2002–03 season after finishing in second place. In the 2006–07 season, they became Sussex County League champions again and they secured the title on the last day of the season by defeating Oakwood 6–1 away from home to pip Whitehawk at the post, earning promotion to the Isthmian League Division One South. In 2014 they were relegated back to the Sussex County League, during the 2015-16 season they reached the 3rd qualifying round in the FA Cup, the furthest they had reached in 47 years. For the 2015-16 season the club runs two teams and a ladies team. Eastbourne Town play their games at The Saffrons, Compton Place Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex
St. Leonards F.C.
Is a semi-professional English football club based in Hastings, East Sussex. The club was founded as a team in 1971 by employees from the Sussex Turnery And Moulding Company started playing friendlies. For the 1982–83 season STAMCO joined the Southern Counties Combination, winning Division Two in their first season, within the next three seasons the club had won two Premier Division Championships and were promoted into Division Three of the Sussex County League in 1988. The gained senior status after earning promotion into Division Two by finishing Runners-Up in the League, in the 1992–93 season they won promotion into Division One as Runners-up after missing out on the Championship on the final day of the season. However before they were accepted into the Southern League, the league required that the club, the clubs two main sponsors, STAMCO and Croft Glass, were fused into the new name, the result was St. Leonards Stamcroft. The 1996–97 season saw the club finish runners up to Forest Green and won the Sussex Senior Cup, however the club were relegated in their only season in the Premier Division and struggled both on the pitch and financially the following seasons. During the 2002–03 they resigned from the Southern League and returned to the Sussex County League for the 2003–04, however mounting debts had caught up with them and they folded during the season. In 1998 the club started using the town crest of St. Leonards-on-Sea, the club moved to The Firs, from Pannel Lane, in 1993. The ground had previously used by Hastings Town until they moved into the Pilot Field next door after the demise of the old Hastings United. During the summer of 1993, the ground was redeveloped ensuring the club could play in Division One of the Sussex County League, further improvements were made to the ground in 1996, to allow the club to enter the Southern League, after initially being rejected. After the club folded the ground was used by St. For all St. Leonards players with a Wikipedia article see Category, St
Worthing Football Club are an English association football club based in Worthing, West Sussex, currently playing in the Isthmian League Premier Division. The club plays at Woodside Road, the club was formed as Worthing Association Football Club in February 1886 and played friendlies and Sussex Senior Cup ties for the first few years of their existence. In 1896 the club became founding members of the West Sussex Football League, during their time in the West Sussex league they were league champions on seven occasions. In May 1900 the club absorbed local rivals Worthing Athletic and a year moved to its current home, then known as the Sports Ground. In 1905 another rival team, Worthing Rovers, was also absorbed, the clubs intriguing nickname of The Rebels dates from when it resigned from the West Sussex League over a rule change, prior to becoming a founder member of the Sussex County League in 1920. Previously Worthing had been known as The Mackerel Men, a reference to the fish on the club crest, in 1948–49 Worthing joined the Corinthian League but met with little success. They were relegated at the end of the 2006–07 season, the club then reached the play-offs under manager Alan Pook two seasons in a row, losing both matches without scoring a goal. Unknown young manager, Simon Colbran then took the helm and soon became a favourite as the Rebels topped the league for much of Autumn. Despite several budget cuts, the Rebels finished third and narrowly missed out in the play offs at home to Godalming, former Brighton & Hove Albion player Adam Hinshelwood was appointed Worthing manager in December 2013 and lost his first game away at Burgess Hill 4–1. In January 2015 the playing budget at the club was completely cut, the future of the club looked in serious doubt until March 2015 when local football enthusiast George Dowell became the majority shareholder in the club with plans to invest in various areas. On 10 June 2015, Hinshelwood resigned from the club to take up a coaching post at Brighton & Hove Albion. He was replaced by assistant manager Jon Meeney and 29-year-old defender Gary Elphick, in 2016, Worthing were promoted to the Isthmian League Premier Division via the play-off, having finished the 2015-16 season in third place in the southern division. Player-manager Gary Elphick was on the scoresheet in the play-off final, known as the Pavilion Road Sports Ground, it occupied a 13-acre site, with a Queen Anne style pavilion giving its name to Pavilion Road along the south of the site. Worthing FC moved to the ground in 1903, in 1937 the Sports Ground closed and it is the sites northern portion which developed into the existing stadium. The southern portion of the Sports Ground became tennis courts and then in 1948 became home to Worthing Pavilion Bowls Club, at the end of 1984–85 Woodside Roads main stand burnt down. The ground has also been home to Horsham and Brighton & Hove Albions reserve team after the closure of the Goldstone Ground in 1997, June 2015 saw a 3G pitch installed to replace the turf, among a number of improvements around the ground. This included a complete re-refurbishment of the club, note, Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality, players that have played/managed in the football league or any foreign equivalent to this level
Sheffield Football Club is an English football club from Sheffield, South Yorkshire. They play in the Northern Premier League Division One South, at level 8 of the English football league system, founded in 1857, the club is the oldest club now playing association football. Sheffield F. C. initially played games under the Sheffield rules, the club competes in the Rules derby with near neighbours Hallam. On the pitch, the clubs finest hour came in 1904 when they won the FA Amateur Cup and they also finished as runners up of the FA Vase in 1977. In 1855, members of a Sheffield cricket club organised informal kick-abouts without any official rules, – subsequently two members, Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest, formed the Sheffield Football Club. The inaugural meeting of the club took place on 24 October 1857 at Parkfield House in the suburb of Highfield, initially, Sheffield FC games were played among club members themselves and took the format of Married v Singles or Professionals v the Rest. Creswick and Prest were responsible for drawing up the rules of play. They were referred to as the Sheffield Rules, and were the first official set of rules, at the time, before the formation of the Football Association, many different kinds of football were popular in England. For example, each of the public schools played football according to their own individual rules. The Sheffield Rules were later adopted by the Sheffield Football Association when it was formed in 1867, sheffields near neighbour, Hallam, was formed in 1860 and in the same year the two clubs first met each other in a local derby which is still contested today. By 1862 there were 15 clubs in the Sheffield area and they became members of The Football Association on 30 November 1863 but continued to use their own set of rules. On 2 January 1865, the club played its first fixture outside Sheffield against Nottingham, by this time the club had decided only to play teams outside Sheffield in order to seek a bigger challenge. On 31 March 1866, there was a match between a team representing the city of Sheffield and one representing London, at Battersea Park, Rules that differed only slightly from the FA rules were used. The game, played as an aside, was won by London by 2 goals. However the matter of rules remained a problem with Sheffield clubs continuing to play by their own rules, Sheffield clubs finally adopted the FA rules in 1878. They would reach the 4th Round of the competition in 1877–78 and their reluctance to play against local clubs led to the formation of Thursday Wanderers in 1876, a team of players registered to Sheffield who wished to play in the Sheffield Challenge Cup. The Wanderers operated from 1876 to 1879, winning the cup in their final year, after the legalisation of professionalism, the staunchly amateur Sheffield suggested to the FA the creation of a cup exclusively for amateur clubs. The FA Amateur Cup was inaugurated in 1893 and Sheffield themselves won the competition in 1904 and they joined their first league competition in 1889 when entering the Midland League, but left after just one season when they finished bottom of the table
Chatham Town F.C.
Chatham Town Football Club are an English Association Football club based in Chatham, Kent. They currently play in Division One South of the Isthmian League and are nicknamed The Chats, former Premier League club Portsmouth and West Ham United played their first ever league matches against Chatham. The club was formed in 1882 as Chatham United, when Rochester Invicta merged with the Royal Engineers Band football team, Chatham played their home games at the Army owned pitches called The Lines, where they were to remain until 1889 when they moved to the Maidstone Road Ground. The move to the new ground was prompted when the reached the quarter-finals of the FA cup in 1888–89. So the club moved to the Maidstone Road site which was owned by a George Winch, in 1894 Chatham became founder members of both the Southern League and the original Kent League, winning the Kent League in its inaugural season. For the first two seasons the club competed in leagues, but left the Kent league to concentrate on the Southern league in 1896. In the 1900–01 season, owing to difficulties, Chatham resigned from the Southern League. After The First World War, Chatham returned to play and in the 1919 season won the Kent Victory Cup and they rejoined the Southern League in 1920–21, but withdrew at seasons end because of the burden of travel costs on club finances. In 1927–28 they rejoined the Southern League for two seasons, again, the expenses to play proved a financial strain on the club, and returned to the Kent League. The club struggled financially and for the 1933–34 season the club took a voluntary relegation into Division Two of the Kent League, a season later they won the division but decided against promotion, and reverted to Amateur status. Having played in both the Kent League and Kent Amateur League in 1938–39, they decided to play to amateur competition the following season. After the War Chatham won the Kent Amateur League Premier Division in 1946–47, on 7 January 1947 they merged with Shorts F. C. with the amalgamated club taking the name Chatham Town at the request of the local council. They then joined Division One of the Kent League for the 1947–48 season and stayed there until 1959, for the 1959–60 season they joined as a founding member of the Aetolian League. The following year captured the League Championship and the Aetolian League Cup Final. In 1964–65 the Aetolian League merged with the London League and the moved to the Metropolitan League. Four Seasons later they returned to the Kent League when it was reformed in 1968 and they remained in the Kent league until 1983, when they joined the Southern League. During the 15-year period in the Kent league they won League 4 times and won League, the club changed its name in 1974 for 5 years to Medway F. C. at the request of the local council, returning to Chatham Town in 1979. The club stayed in the Southern League until 1988, when having failed to gain re-election they were relegated to the Kent League and they experienced crowds, as had other poorly supported clubs, in double figures, Kent League days had healthier attendance with more local competition