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
Bury Football Club is a professional association football club based in Bury, Greater Manchester, England. The team compete in League One, the tier of the English football league system. Bury have been members of the Football League since 1894 and have won the FA Cup twice, Gigg Lane has been their home ground since 1885. The club was formed in 1885 by Aiden Arrowsmith following a meeting at the White Horse Hotel, Gigg Lanes first ever game took place on 12 September 1885 when Bury played a friendly match against Wigan and won 4–3. In 1887 the first shed was built at Gigg Lane at a cost of £50, also in the same year Bury recorded their record defeat, Burys first ever floodlit game took place on 5 November 1889, when Bury were defeated 4–5 by Heywood Central. In 1892 Bury were Lancashire Challenge Cup Winners, before joining the Football League Second Division in 1894, Burys membership of the Football League from 1894 is now the 3rd longest ongoing run. Bury won the FA Cup on 21 April 1900 they beat Southampton 4–0 in the FA Cup final at Crystal Palace, in 1906 the South Stand was built at Gigg Lane. By 1922, the ground was finally handed over to the club from the Earl of Derby as a gift, in 1924 the Main Stand was built, during this period Burys ground was one of the best in the Football League. In 1923 Bury were promoted again, and in 1926 they achieved their highest League position ever, Two years later they were relegated and have never played top-flight football again. Steady decline following this relegation and by 1971, they had reached the Fourth Division, the clubs greatest benefactor was Hugh Eaves, a local benefactor under the stewardship of whom Bury were promoted to the second tier of English football following back to back promotions. In 1998–99, Bury were relegated from the second tier on goals scored, in 2001–02, the club was relegated to League Two following a spell in administration for financial irregularities. In May 2005, Bury became the first football club to score a thousand goals in each of the top four tiers of the English football league, in 2006, Bury became the first team to ever be thrown out of the FA Cup after fielding an ineligible player. After the FA Cup debacle, Bury failed to win in 16 games and they survived the relegation battle of the 2006–07 season, where a 0–0 draw with Stockport County ensured they would stay up to play another season in League Two. It was announced on 14 January 2008 that co-managers Chris Casper and Keith Alexander had been sacked, a club statement said the pair had lost the confidence of a large majority of the fans. Chris Brass, formerly the manager of the clubs Centre of Excellence, was given the vacant managers post on a caretaker basis and his first match in charge resulted in a cup upset, the Shakers knocking Norwich City out of the FA Cup in the third round. Despite this early success, results remained inconsistent, and a more full-time solution was sought by the board after Brass led Bury to a humiliating 5–1 home defeat to MK Dons, on 4 February 2008, Bury appointed Alan Knill as manager. In the play-off semi-final they were beaten on penalties by Shrewsbury Town, Bury finished the following season 9th, and partway through 2011–12 Knill and Assistant Manager Chris Brass left the club to take over at Scunthorpe United. Youth Team Manager Richie Barker took over as manager and lead the Shakers to promotion
Derby County F.C.
Derby County Football Club is a professional association football club based in Derby, Derbyshire, England. Their home matches are played at Pride Park Stadium, where the club moved in 1997. Derby County F. C. was founded in 1884, by William Morley, as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club, it has spent all, additionally, the club was a strong force in the interwar years and won the 1945–46 FA Cup. Derby County F. C. was formed in 1884 as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club in an attempt to give players and supporters a winter interest as well as secure the cricket club extra revenue. The original intention was to name the club Derbyshire County F. C. The opening day of the first ever season was 8 September 1888. They absorbed another Derby club, Derby Midland F. C. who had members of the Midland League, in 1891. Steve Bloomer, generally considered to be Derby Countys best-ever player, in 1895 the club moved to a new stadium, the Baseball Ground, which became their home for the next 102 years and adopted their traditional colours of black and white. Although Derby were inconsistent in the league, they did finish runners-up to Aston Villa in 1896 as well as achieving a number of third-place finishes. They were a force in the FA Cup, appearing in three finals in six years around the turn of the 20th century, though lost all three, in 1898,1899 and 1903. In 1914 they were relegated again, but instantly won the Second Division to get promoted, after two seasons, they were relegated yet again in 1921. Derby were one of clubs to close down after the outbreak of World War II but restarted in the early 1940s, in part due to the persistence of Jack Nicholas. In 1967, Brian Clough and Peter Taylor took over and led them to their greatest glory, though Derby did not retain their title the following season, they did reach the semi-finals of the European Cup, where they lost to Juventus. Cloughs frequent outspoken comments against footballs establishment eventually led to him falling out with the board of directors at the club, and Clough and Taylor left in October 1973. Such was their impact on the club that,37 years later, though they challenged well in their first season, Derby were soon hit hard by rising debts, falling attendances and dismal performances. However, Derby did manage to avoid going out of business, after relegation to the Third Division in May 1984, the club appointed Arthur Cox as manager. A lack of any investment from Maxwell quickly led to a decline. At this time, local newspaper businessman Lionel Pickering became the majority shareholder of the club, in 1992, Derby County paid £2
Padiham Football Club are an English football team based in Padiham, Lancashire. As of 2015–16, they play in the North West Counties League Premier Division, when the club was formed in 1878 it was among the first football clubs in Lancashire and was well supported, attracting an attendance of 9,000 for a match against neighbours Burnley in 1884. At this time Padihams ground was on the banks of the River Calder, hence the nickname, Padiham was one of the first clubs to support the legalisation of professional football. However, this backfired as they were unable to compete with clubs in towns such as Blackburn. The club lost their ground during World War I and lay dormant until after the end of the Second World War, then in 1949 the club was resurrected with the opening of the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground. A crowd of 1,777 turned up to see their opening fixture of the season in the Lancashire Combination Football League and they became founder members of the North West Counties Football League in 1982 but left the league in 1990. They returned in 2000 after spending £500,000 on upgrading the Arbories Memorial Sports Ground, united of Manchester v Padiham,20 August 2005 Padiham F. C. ^ This is the record attendance. They attracted an attendance of 1777 for their first match after reforming, against Chorley Reserves in August 1949, but have not recorded a higher attendance since then at the Arbories
Leyton Football Club was an English association football club based in Leyton, in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. The team withdrew from the Isthmian League Division One North in January 2011, the Lillies were unrelated to their Football League neighbours Leyton Orient. The club was founded in 1868, and disbanded several times in its history, in 1975 the club merged with Wingate F. C. to become Leyton-Wingate F. C. until 1992 when the two clubs parted company and the name reverted to Leyton. Costas Sophocleous, the chairman, was once the manager. Having managed the team for the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons, Sophocleous decided to back from management to concentrate on his role as chairman. Following a bad start to the season, however, two managers were sacked in quick succession and the took over the managerial role again. Leyton F. C then appointed Troy Townsend as manager for the English 2005/06 season and he continued to manage the first team squad, the reserves side and the Eastern Junior Alliance U18s squad. In 2006/07 Leyton completed the season in 15th position and this led Troy Townsend to step aside as manager of the first team to concentrate on the reserves and U18s sides. The following season, under manager Rowley Cray, the club suffered an 11–1 home defeat to Hendon, steve Newing and Del Deanus were appointed as joint managers for the 2008/09 season, but resigned in November citing financial difficulties at the club. Tony Ievoli then took the reins but he resigned at the start of September 2009, before being replaced by former Grays Athletic manager, in November 2009 Edwards was replaced by Ivan Persaud. In October 2009, following an investigation by HMRC, chairman Costas Sophocleous, in January 2010 Sophocleous was sentenced to 8 years 3 months and Foster to 5 years 3 months. Sophocleous son, former Leyton player Mark, and his wife, accountant Stewart Collins was found guilty and sentenced to 6 years. Sophocleous stood down as chairman and was replaced by former vice-chairman Tony Hardy, following Costas Sophocleous conviction, Ivan Persaud left the club and was replaced as manager by former player Malcolm Dannie for the beginning of February 2010. However, because several clubs higher in the pyramid were dissolved or demoted, Leyton were awarded a reprieve, in January 2011, and after a short suspension from the league for not paying its subscription, the club was forced to withdraw from the league due to debt. Following this, the chairman, secretary, management and players all left the club, Leyton F. C. played at the Leyton Stadium. The club had ten teams, ranging in age from under nines to under eighteens. Players that have played/managed in the Football League or any equivalent to this level. Players that hold a record or have captained the club
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
Maidstone United F.C.
Maidstone United Football Club is a semi-professional English football club based in Maidstone, Kent. They currently compete in the National League, the tier of English football. The current club filled the void left by the old Maidstone United and that club was forced out of the league through bankruptcy but the nucleus of a new club was built around the youth squad. They changed their name to Maidstone United in 1995, Maidstone were without a stadium of their own from their creation until 2012 when the Gallagher Stadium, located near Maidstone town centre, was opened at the start of the 2012–13 season. Maidstone Invicta were originally a club and were taken over within days of the Football League side folding. The clubs home games took place on the original Maidstones reserve and training pitch, initially Jim Thompson ran the club, but was banned from football for his part in the demise of Maidstone and Dartford and Paul Bowden-Brown took over as Chairman – a position he retained until 2010. They also managed to win the West Kent Challenge Shield and the Tunbridge Wells Charity Cup, during the close season of 1994 the club managed to gain promotion to Division 2 of the league after restructuring. The club went on to win Division 2, picking up the Kent Junior Cup on the way, the 1999–2000 season saw Maidstones début season in the Premier Division, with the team finishing in a respectable third place. The next season saw the club, which was now managed by another former Maidstonian in Matt Toms, successfully apply to become a senior club and these factors now left the door open to seek elevation to the Kent League. The clubs application was accepted and the Stones started the 2001–2002 season in the Kent League, in its first Kent League season since reformation, Maidstone won the Kent League and Cup double under the management of Jim Ward. However, the club could not gain promotion to the Southern League Eastern Division because of problems with the lease on Central Park. The 2002–03 season saw Maidstone enter the FA Cup for the first time since reformation, the years 2003 till 2005 contained two indifferent seasons for the Stones, on the pitch at least. Both campaigns saw the club finish 4th in the league, although this disappointment was offset somewhat by reaching the third qualifying round of the FA Cup in successive years. Off the pitch, the took a huge step forward when in November 2004 it successfully applied for planning permission to build a new stadium at James Whatman Way. However, construction of the stadium could not begin until a lease for the site was agreed with its owners, the 2005–06 season saw Maidstone, now managed by Lloyd Hume after a spell in charge from Mal Watkins, win the Kent League title. They spent the season toe-to-toe with Beckenham Town before securing the championship on the day of the season. The title win meant the club gained promotion to Step 4 of the non league pyramid. However the overwhelming success on the pitch was overshadowed by little visible progress being made in the building of the stadium at James Whatman Way