1901 FA Cup Final
The 1901 FA Cup Final was played at Crystal Palace between Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United—and the first FA Cup Final to be filmed by Pathé News. As the match ended in a 2–2 tie, a new match had to be played seven days after, with the Spurs winning 3–1; the win was the first in a trend of Tottenham winning major trophies in years ending in "1". Tottenham Hotspur remain the only non-League club to win the trophy after the advent of the Football League in 1888. 110,820 supporters attended the match to see the two sides clash. Fred Priest opened the scoring for Sheffield United after about 20 minutes. Sandy Brown headed an equalising goal shortly afterwards and half time arrived with the score 1–1. Brown put Spurs ahead early in the second half, not to be denied, Sheffield United pressed and Walter Bennett headed an equaliser for the draw. In the replay, Spurs became the last non-league side to win the FA Cup when they beat Sheffield United 3–1 before an attendance of 20,470 at Burnden Park, Bolton.
John Cameron opened the scoring before centre forward Sandy Brown became the first player to score in every round. He netted both goals in the final as well as one in the replay for a total of 15 in the season's competition. 90 minutes. 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary. Replay if scores still level. No substitutes Player's Cigarette Cards Association Cup Winners No 22.23 Soccerbase summary - Final Soccerbase summary - Replay Line-ups Match report at www.fa-cupfinals.co.uk Match reports Cup final video
Scotland national football team
The Scotland national football team represents Scotland in international football and is controlled by the Scottish Football Association. It competes in the three major professional tournaments, the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Nations League and the UEFA European Championship. Scotland, as a constituent country of the United Kingdom, is not a member of the International Olympic Committee and therefore the national team does not compete in the Olympic Games; the majority of Scotland's home matches are played at Hampden Park. Scotland is the joint oldest national football team in the world, alongside England, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872. Scotland has a long-standing rivalry with England, whom they played annually from 1872 until 1989; the teams have met only seven times since most in June 2017. Scotland have qualified for the FIFA World Cup on eight occasions and the UEFA European Championship twice, but have never progressed beyond the first group stage of a finals tournament.
The last major tournament they qualified for was the 1998 World Cup. The team have achieved some noteworthy results, such as beating the 1966 FIFA World Cup winners England 3–2 at Wembley Stadium in 1967. Archie Gemmill scored what has been described as one of the greatest World Cup goals in a 3–2 win during the 1978 World Cup against the Netherlands, who reached the final of the tournament. In their qualifying group for UEFA Euro 2008, Scotland defeated 2006 World Cup runners-up France 1–0 in both fixtures. Scotland supporters are collectively known as the Tartan Army; the Scottish Football Association operates a roll of honour for every player who has made more than 50 appearances for Scotland. Kenny Dalglish holds the record for Scotland appearances, having played 102 times between 1971 and 1986. Dalglish scored shares the record for most goals scored with Denis Law. Scotland and England are the oldest national football teams in the world. Teams representing the two sides first competed at the Oval in five matches between 1870 and 1872.
The two countries contested the first official international football match, at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Scotland, on 30 November 1872. The match ended in a goalless draw. All eleven players who represented Scotland that day played for Glasgow amateur club Queen's Park. Over the next forty years, Scotland played matches against the other three Home Nations—England and Ireland; the British Home Championship began in 1883. The encounters against England were fierce and a rivalry developed. Scotland lost just two of their first 43 international matches, it was not until a 2–0 home defeat by Ireland in 1903 that Scotland lost a match to a team other than England. This run of success meant that Scotland would have topped the Elo ratings, which were calculated in 1998, between 1876 and 1904. Scotland won the British Home Championship outright on 24 occasions, shared the title 17 times with at least one other team. A noteworthy victory for Scotland before the Second World War was the 5–1 victory over England in 1928, which led to that Scotland side being known as the "Wembley Wizards".
Scotland played their first match outside the British Isles in 1929. Scotland continued to contest regular friendly matches against European opposition and enjoyed wins against Germany and France before losing to the Austrian "Wunderteam" and Italy in 1931. Scotland, like the other Home Nations, did not enter the three FIFA World Cups held during the 1930s; this was because the four associations had been excluded from FIFA due to a disagreement regarding the status of amateur players. The four associations, including Scotland, returned to the FIFA fold after the Second World War. A match between a United Kingdom team and a "Rest of the World" team was played at Hampden Park in 1947 to celebrate this reconciliation; the readmission of the Scottish Football Association to FIFA meant that Scotland were now eligible to enter the 1950 FIFA World Cup. FIFA advised that places would be awarded to the top two teams in the 1950 British Home Championship, but the SFA announced that Scotland would only attend the finals if Scotland won the competition.
Scotland won their first two matches, but a 1–0 home defeat by England meant that the Scots finished as runners-up. This meant that the Scots had qualified by right for the World Cup, but had not met the demand of the SFA to win the Championship; the SFA stood by this proclamation, despite pleas to the contrary by the Scotland players, supported by England captain Billy Wright and the other England players. The SFA instead sent the Scots on a tour of North America; the same qualification rules were in place for the 1954 FIFA World Cup, with the 1954 British Home Championship acting as a qualifying group. Scotland again finished second, but this time the SFA allowed a team to participate in the Finals, held in Switzerland. To quote the SFA website, "The preparation was atrocious"; the SFA only sent 13 players to the finals though FIFA allowed 22-man squads. Despite this self-imposed hardship in terms of players, the SFA dignitaries travelled in numbers, accompanied by their wives. Scotland lost 1–0 against Austria in their first game in the finals, which prompted the team manager Andy Beattie to resign hours before the game against Uruguay.
Uruguay were reigning champions and had never before lost a game at the World Cup finals, they defeated Scotland 7–0. The 1958 FIFA World Cup finals saw Scotland draw their first game against Yugoslavia 1–1, but they lost to Paraguay and France and went out at the first stage. Matt Busby had been due to manage the team at the World Cup, but the severe injuries he suffered in the Munich air disaster
Sheffield United F.C.
Sheffield United Football Club is a professional association football club based in the city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. The team competes in the second tier of English football; the football club was formed in 1889 as an offshoot of Sheffield United Cricket Club, are nicknamed The Blades due to Sheffield's history of steel production. The club have played their home games at Bramall Lane since their formation in 1889. Bramall Lane is an all-seater ground with a capacity of 32,702. Sheffield United won the original Football League in 1898 and the FA Cup in 1899, 1902, 1915 and 1925, they were beaten finalists in the FA Cup in 1901 and 1936, reached the semi-finals in 1961, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2014. They reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2003 and 2015. For most of the club's history they have played in white striped shirts with black shorts, their closest rivals are Sheffield Wednesday. 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 after a dispute over gate receipts and the tenants of Bramall Lane needed to create a new team to generate income. Sir Charles Clegg was incidentally the president of The Wednesday. Undoubtedly United's heyday was the 30-year period from 1895–1925, when they were champions of England in 1897–98 and runners up in 1896–97 and 1899–00, FA Cup winners in 1899, 1902, 1915 and 1925, finishing runners up in 1901, eleven years after their cup final win in 1936. United have not won a trophy since 1925, bar those associated with promotion from lower-leagues, their best performances in the cup competitions being several semi-final appearances in the FA Cup and Football League Cup, their darkest days came between 1975 and 1981. After finishing sixth in the First Division at the end of the 1974–75 season, they were relegated to the Second Division the following season and three years after that setback they fell into the Third Division.
They reached an absolute low in 1981 when they were relegated to the Fourth Division, but were champions in their first season in the league's basement division and two years afterwards they won promotion to the Second Division. 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, 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. They would remain outside the top flight for the next 12 years, although they did qualify for the play-offs under Bassett's successor Howard Kendall in 1997 and caretaker manager Steve Thompson in 1998, they were struggling at the wrong end of Division One when Neil Warnock was appointed manager in December 1999, a financial crisis was preventing the club from being able to boost their squad, but in 2002–03 they enjoyed their most successful season for a decade, reaching the semi-finals of both domestic cups and reaching the Division One play-off final, where they were beaten 3–0 by Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Three years however, Warnock delivered a Premier League return as the Blades finished runners-up in the rebranded Championship. They lasted just one season back amongst the elite, before being relegated from the Premier League amidst the controversy surrounding Carlos Tevez, the player, controversially signed by West Ham United and whose performances played a big part in their remarkable escape from relegation. Neil Warnock resigned as manager; the club struggled to come to terms with life back in the Championship, with a spiralling wage bill not being matched by the quality of the players brought in, a succession of managers within a short period of time. The Blades did reach the Championship playoff final in 2009 under Kevin Blackwell, but a period of decline set in; the 2010–11 season proved disastrous, with the club employing three different managers in the space of a season, which ended in relegation to League One under Micky Adams, meaning they would play in the third tier of English football for the first time since 1989, only five years after gaining promotion to the Premiership.
In the 2011–12 season, the club finished third in League One, narrowly missing out on automatic promotion to rivals Sheffield Wednesday, entered the playoffs. With victory over Stevenage in the semi-final, United missed out on an immediate return to the Championship after suffering a penalty shootout defeat to Huddersfield Town; the Blades again made it to the League One playoffs in 2012–13 after a fifth-place finish, but were knocked out by eventual promotion winners Yeovil Town on an 85th-minute goal in the second leg of the semi-finals. On 3 September 2013 it was confirmed that Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Musa'ed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of the royal House of Saud had bought a 50% stake in United's parent company'Blades Leisure Ltd' for the fee of £1 with the promise of providing "substantial new capital" with the aim of returning the Blades to the Premier League as "quickly as possible". In 2014 the Blades began to be described by areas of the media as "giant-killers", having reached the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley, losing 5–3 to Hull City.
In 2014–15 the team reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and semi-finals of the Football League Cup, desp
Portsmouth Football Club is an English professional association football club in Portsmouth, which plays in EFL League One, the third tier of English football. The club was founded on 5 April 1898 and home matches are played at Fratton Park in Milton, Portsmouth. Portsmouth have been the top tier Football League Champions of England twice consecutively in 1949 and 1950. Portsmouth have won the FA Cup twice in 1939 and 2008, the FA Charity Shield once in 1949 and the EFL Trophy once in 2019. Portsmouth have won the second tier division title once in 2002–03, the third tier division title three times in 1923–24, 1961–62, 1982–83 and the fourth tier division title once in 2016–17. In the early twentieth century, Portsmouth were champions of the Southern Football League in 1901–02 and 1919–20. Portsmouth were champions of the Western Football League in 1900–01, 1901–02 and 1902–03. These, their more recent wins, make Portsmouth southern England’s most successful club outside of London. Portsmouth have played in European competition for only one season in their history, the 2008–09 UEFA Cup, a result of winning the 2008 FA Cup Final.
In this period, the club had international footballers including England players Glen Johnson, Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, David James and Sol Campbell. Between 2003 and 2010 the club spent seven consecutive seasons in the Premier League; the club's fortunes declined in 2010–13 when the club entered administration twice and were relegated three times, reaching the fourth tier and their lowest point since the 1979–80 season. The club were saved from liquidation after being bought out by the fan-owned Pompey Supporters Trust; this made Portsmouth the largest fan-owned football club in England until 3 August 2017, when the PST sold it to The Tornante Company, an investment company owned by former Disney CEO Michael Eisner. During the last few months of the PST's ownership, Portsmouth were promoted to EFL League One after winning the fourth tier EFL League Two divisional championship title on 6 May 2017 in the final league game of the 2016–17 season. Portsmouth became only the fifth English football club to win all four tiers of current English professional football.
In addition, Portsmouth are one of only two English football clubs to have been champions of five professional divisions including the former regional Football League Third Division South championship in the 1923–24 season. Wolverhampton Wanderers share this distinction, having won all four divisions, plus a Football League Third Division North title win, coincidentally in the same 1923–24 season as Portsmouth won the respective South division. 1883–1896 – Portsmouth A. F. C. – Amateur club formed by Portsmouth architect Arthur Cogswell. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle played as goalkeeper under the under the pseudonym, "A. C. Smith".?-1891-?? – Portsmouth Town F. C. – An amateur team who became Portsmouth's first professional club, but whose efforts failed and led to their disbandment. 1894–1899 – Royal Artillery F. C. – A popular amateur army team based at the United Services Recreation Ground complex at Burnaby Road, Portsmouth. Their supporters were the originators of the "Town Hall Chimes" and the team were nicknamed "Pompey" before the professional Portsmouth F.
C. were formed in 1898. A "professionalism" scandal in 1899 led to their "retirement" and a rise in interest of the new Portsmouth F. C.. Royal Artillery F. C. reformed for one more season in 1900–1901. The club was first founded on 5 April 1898 at 12 High Street, Old Portsmouth as "The Portsmouth Football and Athletic Company", with John Brickwood as chairman, The company directors were: John Brickwood Alfred H. Bone George Lewin Oliver John Peters Alderman John Edward Pink. William Wiggington A Blue Plaque on the wall of 12 High Street Portsmouth commemorates the founding on 5 April 1898. In 1899, work began on developing a plot of former agricultural land near Goldsmith Avenue, Portsmouth into a new football ground, bought in 1898 from the local Goldsmith farming family; the new football ground was to be named Fratton Park after the nearby and convenient Fratton railway station. Frank Brettell was announced as Portsmouth Football Club's first manager-secretary in February 1899, he had been secretary-player with the St Domingo Club in Liverpool and helped ‘create the organisation which became Everton’.
Brettell joined Portsmouth F. C. in May 1899 and his first Portsmouth signings were Irish goalkeeper Matt Reilly and Harry Turner both from the "retired" Royal Artillery F. C. Joining Portsmouth as a new director was Regimental Sergeant-Major Frederick Windrum, the treasurer-trainer from Royal Artillery. Brettell, with his valuable northern contacts signed Scottish footballer Tom Wilkie, the former Heart Of Midlothian and Liverpool player. Bob Blyth and Alex "Sandy" Brown were both signed from Preston North End. Edward Turner, Harold Clarke and Harold Stringfellow all came from Everton. Dan Cunliffe, Thomas "Tommy" Cleghorn and Robert "Bobby" Marshall were all signed from Liver
Beith is a small town situated in the Garnock Valley, North Ayrshire, Scotland 20 miles south-west of Glasgow. The town is situated on the crest of a hill and was known as the "Hill o' Beith" after its Court Hill. Beith's name is thought to emanate from Ogham, sometimes referred to as the "Celtic Tree Alphabet", ascribing names of trees to individual letters. Beithe in Old Irish means Birch-tree. There is reason to believe; the town of Beith itself was once known as'Hill of Beith' as this was the name of the feudal barony and was itself derived from the Court Hill near Hill of Beith Castle. Alternatively, Beith may be derived from Cumbric *baɣeδ,'boar'; the local pronunciation of the name would favour this theory. The Wood of Beit, now the'Moor of Beith', has been identified as an Arthurian site where according to Taliessin in a poem under the name of'Canowan' it was the site of a battle in the wood of Beit at the close of the day. Beith is said to have been the occasional residence of Saint Inan, a confessor of some celebrity, whose principal place of abode was Irvine.
He flourished about 839. Although he is said to have been a hermit, according to tradition Saint Inan visited Beith, frequenting Cuff Hill with its Rocking Stone and various other prehistoric monuments. A cleft in the west-front of Lochlands Hill is still known as "St. Inan's Chair" and said to have been used by the saint as a pulpit. An unsuccessful search for the saint's writings which were said to be preserved in the library of Bonci, Archbishop of Pisa, was made by Colonel Mure of Caldwell in the 19th century. Saint Inan is said to have preached to the assembled people from the chair on the hill. There was not a great population in the area at that time and the people were located not in Beith, but up on the top of the Bigholm near to the old Beith water dams; the first settlements were in the wooded areas around the dams where people were safe from attack and could get food from the land, fish in the lochs. The Saints of old went where the people were, they tended to go where there had been worship of heathen Gods.
It has been suggested that High Bogside Farm, which used to be called Bellsgrove, was "Baalsgrove", which fits in with the story of Saint Inan going to where the pagan gods were. There is an annual civic fete held in the town bearing Saint Inan's name; the sixteenth century poet Alexander Montgomerie was born in Hazelhead Castle, on the outskirts of Beith, beyond Gateside. Montgomerie is regarded as one of the finest of Middle Scots poets, the greatest Scottish exponent of the sonnet form. Beith has a historical connection to smuggling and built a reputation during the 18th century as being a town which harboured those whose intentions were not always lawful. In 1733 forty or fifty Beith smugglers sacked the Irvine Customs House, escaping with a rich booty of confiscated contraband goods and by 1789 a company of 76 soldiers were quartered in the town dealing with the continuing illicit trade in tea and spirits; this caused great inconvenience to the law-abiding citizens on. The town was policed in this fashion for some time thereafter.
Hence, the Main Street's popular public house is still called the Smugglers Tavern, recalling the days when Beith's location between the coast and Paisley and Glasgow, made it a convenient stopping off point for those involved in nefarious activities. A possible relic of the smuggling days of Beith is the ley tunnel, said to run from Eglinton Street to Kilbirnie Loch. Now a small housing estate, the house and land of Morrishill stood a short distance south of Beith, it was well sheltered with trees. Owned by Robert Shedden, who purchased the land in 1748, it is notoriously linked to the case of James Montgomery. James Montgomery, an enslaved African, was brought from Virginia to Beith by Shedden, he wanted Montgomery called "Shanker", apprenticed to a joiner so that he would learn a skill and could be sold for a large profit back in Virginia. James was trained in carpentry by husband of Shedden's sister Elizabeth Montgomery; when Shanker was baptised in Beith Parish Church with the name James Montgomery in April 1756, Shedden objected.
Montgomery was dragged nearly 30 miles to Port Glasgow behind horses to be taken back to Virginia but escaped to Edinburgh before the ship sailed. Montgomery sought justice but before a decision could be made by judges he died in Tolbooth Gaol. One of Beith's various claims to fame is that a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence, the Rev. John Witherspoon, was a former minister of one its Church of Scotland parishes between 1745–1757. In 1745 he led the men of Beith to Glasgow to defend King George III against the Young Pretender in the'45 rebellion. Despite receiving orders to return to Beith, Witherspoon carried on, was captured at the Battle of Falkirk and imprisoned for a time in Doune Castle, he emigrated and became a member of the US congress and in July 1776 he voted for the Resolution for Independence. In answer to an objection that the country was not yet ready for independence, according to tradition, he replied that it "was not only ripe for the measure, but in danger of rotting for the want of it."
Witherspoon was the sixth president of Princeton University and showed great commitment to liberal education and republican government. He died in 1794 on his farm "Tusculum," just outside Princeton, is buried in the Princeton Cemetery. –His direct descendants include actress Reese Witherspoon, he is c
England national football team
The England national football team represents England in senior men's international football and is controlled by The Football Association, the governing body for football in England. England is one of the two oldest national teams in football, alongside Scotland, whom they played in the world's first international football match in 1872. England's home ground is Wembley Stadium and their headquarters are at St George's Park, Burton upon Trent; the team's manager is Gareth Southgate. Although part of the United Kingdom, England's representative side plays in major professional tournaments, but not the Olympic Games. Since first entering the tournament in 1950, England has qualified for the FIFA World Cup 15 times, they won the 1966 World Cup, when they hosted the finals, finished fourth in 1990 and 2018. Since first entering in 1964, England have never won the UEFA European Championship, with their best performances being a third-place finish in 1968 and 1996, the latter as hosts; the England national football team is the joint-oldest in the world.
A representative match between England and Scotland was played on 5 March 1870, having been organised by the Football Association. A return fixture was organised by representatives of Scottish football teams on 30 November 1872; this match, played at Hamilton Crescent in Scotland, is viewed as the first official international football match, because the two teams were independently selected and operated, rather than being the work of a single football association. Over the next 40 years, England played with the other three Home Nations—Scotland and Ireland—in the British Home Championship. At first, England had no permanent home stadium, they joined FIFA in 1906 and played their first games against countries other than the Home Nations on a tour of Central Europe in 1908. Wembley Stadium became their home ground; the relationship between England and FIFA became strained, this resulted in their departure from FIFA in 1928, before they rejoined in 1946. As a result, they did not compete in a World Cup until 1950, in which they were beaten in a 1–0 defeat by the United States, failing to get past the first round in one of the most embarrassing defeats in the team's history.
Their first defeat on home soil to a foreign team was a 0–2 loss to the Republic of Ireland, on 21 September 1949 at Goodison Park. A 6–3 loss in 1953 to Hungary, was their second defeat by a foreign team at Wembley. In the return match in Budapest, Hungary won 7–1; this stands as England's largest defeat. After the game, a bewildered Syd Owen said, "it was like playing men from outer space". In the 1954 FIFA World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals for the first time, lost 4–2 to reigning champions Uruguay. England got to the semi final in 2018. Although Walter Winterbottom was appointed as England's first full-time manager in 1946, the team was still picked by a committee until Alf Ramsey took over in 1963; the 1966 FIFA World Cup was hosted in England and Ramsey guided England to victory with a 4–2 win against West Germany after extra time in the final, during which Geoff Hurst famously scored a hat-trick. In UEFA Euro 1968, the team reached the semi-finals for the first time, being eliminated by Yugoslavia.
England qualified for the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico as reigning champions, reached the quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by West Germany. England had been 2–0 up, but were beaten 3–2 after extra time, they failed in qualification for the 1974, leading to Ramsey's dismissal, 1978 FIFA World Cups. Under Ron Greenwood, they managed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain; the team under Bobby Robson fared better as England reached the quarter-finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup, losing 2–1 to Argentina in a game made famous by two goals by Maradona for contrasting reasons, before losing every match in UEFA Euro 1988. They next went on to achieve their second best result in the 1990 FIFA World Cup by finishing fourth – losing again to West Germany in a semi-final finishing 1–1 after extra time 3–4 in England's first penalty shoot-out. Despite losing to Italy in the third place play-off, the members of the England team were given bronze medals identical to the Italians'; the England team of 1990 were welcomed home as heroes and thousands of people lined the streets, for a spectacular open-top bus parade.
However, the team did not win any matches in UEFA Euro 1992, drawing with tournament winners Denmark, with France, before being eliminated by host nation Sweden. The 1990s saw four England managers, each in the role for a brief period. Graham Taylor was Robson's successor, but resigned after England failed to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup after losing a controversial game against the Netherlands in Rotterdam. At UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, Terry Venables led England, equalling their best performance at a European Championship, reaching the semi-finals as they did in 1968, before exiting via a penalty shoot-out loss to Germany, he resigned following investigations into his financial activities. His successor, Glenn Hoddle left the job for non-footballing reasons after just one international tournament – the 1998 FIFA World Cup — in which England were eliminated in the second round again by Argentina and again on penalties. Following Hoddle's departure, Kevin Keegan took England to UEFA Euro 2000, but performances were disappointing and he resigned shortly afterwards.
Sven-Göran Eriksson took charge between 2001 and 2006, was the team's first non-English manager. He guided England to the quarter-finals of the 2002 FIFA World C
The FA Cup known as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competition in the world, it is named after The Football Association. For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2019 it is known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent women's tournament is held, the FA Women's Cup; the competition is open to any eligible club down to Level 10 of the English football league system – all 92 professional clubs in the Premier League and the English Football League, several hundred "non-league" teams in Steps 1 to 6 of the National League System. A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12; the tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the final. Entrants are not seeded, although a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in rounds – the minimum number of games needed to win, depending on which round a team enters the competition, ranges from six to fourteen.
The first six rounds are the Qualifying Competition, from which 32 teams progress to the first round of the Competition Proper, meeting the first of the 48 professional teams from Leagues One and Two. 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 reached the quarter-finals, teams below Level 2 have never reached the final; as a result, significant focus is given to those "minnows" who progress furthest if they achieve an unlikely "giant-killing" victory. Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have been five actual cups. Winners qualify for the Europa League and a place in the FA Community Shield match. Chelsea are the current holders. Arsenal are the most successful club with 13 titles. Arsène Wenger is the most successful manager in the history of the competition, having won seven finals as manager of Arsenal. 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 FA Secretary C. W. Alcock proposed to the FA committee that "it is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete"; the inaugural FA Cup tournament kicked off in November 1871. After thirteen games in all, Wanderers were crowned the winners in the final, on 16 March 1872. Wanderers retained the trophy the following year; the modern cup was beginning to be established by the 1888–89 season, when qualifying rounds were introduced. Following the 1914–15 edition, the competition was suspended due to the First World War, 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. Due to the wartime breaks, the competition did not celebrate its centenary year until 1980–81.
Having 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 2001–2006 finals being played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff; 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 next six levels are eligible provided they have played in either the FA Cup, FA Trophy or FA Vase competitions in the previous season. Newly formed clubs, such as F. C. United of Manchester in 2005–06 and 2006–07, may not therefore play in the FA Cup in their first season. All clubs entering the competition must have a suitable stadium, it is rare for top clubs to miss the competition, although it can happen in exceptional circumstances.
Manchester United did not defend their title in 1999–2000, as they were in the inaugural Club World Championship. The club stated that entering both tournaments would overload their fixture schedule and make it more difficult to defend their Champions League and Premier League titles; the club claimed. The move benefited United as they received a two-week break and won the 1999–2000 league title by an 18-point margin, although they did not progress past the group stage of the Club World Championship; the withdrawal from the FA Cup, drew considerable criticism as this weakened the tournament's prestige and Sir Alex Ferguson admitted his regret regarding their handling of the situation. Welsh sides that play in English leagues are eligible, although since the creation of the League of Wales there are only six clubs remaining: Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County, Merthyr Town and Colwyn Bay. In the early years other teams from Wales, Ireland a