Football has a million
and one stories and just as many facts and figures. Here are a few of them
- the record-breaking, unusual and bizarre.
Did You Knows...
5 6 7
The FA Cup - The Football
Association Challenge Cup to give it its full title - is the oldest
competition in football. Fifteen clubs entered the first competition in
1871/72 - Barnes, Chequers, Civil Service, Clapham Rovers, Crystal Palace
(not the current League club), Donington School (Spalding), Great Marlow,
Hampstead Heathens, Hitchin, Maidenhead, Queens Park (Glasgow), Reigate
Priory, Royal Engineers, Upton Park and Wanderers. The first four matches
were played on Saturday November 11th 1871 -
Jarvis Kenrick of Clapham
Rovers was the first player to score an FA Cup goal. Full
results of the 1871/72 competition.
For many years the
competition was known as the 'English Cup' although only for a short time
was it an all-English competition. Welsh clubs have long been entrants,
Cardiff are the only club from outside England to win the competition (in
1927). In the 19th Century clubs from both Scotland and Ireland played in
the FA Cup. Queen's Park of Glasgow were beaten finalists in 1884 and
1885, winning a semi-final in Edinburgh in 1885, while in a tie in 1886
Partick Thistle of Scotland beat Cliftonville of Ireland 11-0. The last
Scottish side to play in the competition proper was Gretna who reached the
1st Round in 1991/92 (when in the Northern League) and 1993/94 (when in
the Northern Premier League).
Too often it is the
that make the headlines but back in 1999 'fair-play' saw an FA Cup tie
FA Cup holders Arsenal met
Division 1 side Sheffield United in the 5th Round of the FA Cup at
Highbury on Saturday 13th February 1999 in front of 38,020 fans. With some
ten minutes left an unspectacular match was looking as if it was going to
end in a 1-1 draw - but then something happened which was unique in the
history of the FA Cup.
Sheffield United goalkeeper
Alan Kelly had kicked the ball out of play to allow an injured player to
receive treatment. Ray Parlour restarted the match with a throw-in
intended for Kelly but Kanu intercepted the ball and centred for Marc
Overmars to score the winner. Kanu was making his debut for Arsenal which
was his first match in English football and later said he was unaware of
the circumstances and believed it was an attacking move. Sheffield
United's manager Steve Bruce and his players vehemently protested that the
goal be disallowed but although an unwritten rule had been ignored no
actual law had been broken so the goal stood, and Arsenal won the match.
However, immediately after the game
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and chairman David Dein offered to
play the tie again. Sheffield United accepted the offer and the FA
sanctioned the re-staging by declaring the original match void. The second
match was played at Highbury on Tuesday February 23rd in front of 37,161
fans with Arsenal again winning by 2-1.
Before the days when
penalty shoot-outs were introduced to prevent FA Cup ties going more than
two matches there were some marathon cup-ties. The longest was back in the
1971/72 season when the Alvechurch v Oxford City 4th Qualifying Round tie
took 11 hours to decide over 6 matches. Those matches being -
November 6th 1971 - FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
November 9th 1971 - replay (aet)
November 15th 1971 - 2nd replay at St Andrews, Birmingham City FC (aet)
Nov 17th 1971 - 3rd replay at the Manor Ground, Oxford Un. FC (aet)
November 20th 1971 - 4th replay at the Manor Ground, Oxford Un. FC (aet)
November 22nd 1971 - 5th replay at Villa Park, Aston Villa FC
The longest tie in the
competition proper was 9 hours 22 minutes over 5 matches in a Third Round
tie between Stoke City and Bury in the 1954/55 season (results).
In the early days of the competition it
was not unusual for clubs who fell foul of the law-book to be expelled but
in more recent years that has rarely happened. However League 2 side Bury found
themselves unwelcome visitors to the national football headlines in late
December 2006 when they had to suffer the consequences of breaking the
All seemed well at the Gigg
Lane club when they disposed of Chester City in an away FA Cup Second
Round replay to earn a home tie with Championship side Ipswich Town in the
Third Round. However Bury then realised that they had fielded on-loan
Stephen Turnbull in the replay at the Deva Stadium without the necessary
clearance and they reported the error to the Football Association.
Turnbull had joined Bury on
loan from Hartlepool United and Bury manager Chris Casper had been given
verbal permission by his Hartlepool counterpart, Danny Wilson, to play
Turnbull in the FA Cup replay. Danny Wilson told Casper that
Hartlepool would send the confirming paperwork to Bury and Casper assumed
that all was in order. However nothing was sent which meant that Bury
had selected Turnbull without receiving the required permission from
Hartlepool United and lodging that permission with The FA. Bury also
failed to comply with the required timescales for registration of players
for the FA Cup
Bury admitted the charges and
were expelled from the competition - a punishment upheld on appeal - and
Chester City were re-instated.
It was a hard lesson for the
31-year-old Bury manager - the youngest in the League at the time. Casper
had offered his resignation to the board, which they did not accept, but
was clearly upset by the FA punishment. "If that's justice, then the
FA can keep their justice" was his parting shot. 2006/07
FA Cup results.
tie decided by the rule book took place between League 2 side
Chesterfield and Blue Square North side Droylsden in the 2008/09 season.
In the first match at Saltergate the non-leaguers were leading the Second
Round tie 1-0 when it was abandoned at half time due to fog. The restaging
of the match at Saltergate ended in a 2-2 draw with the game being held up
for five minutes because of a disputed goal. Droylsden had put the ball
out of play after an injury to their striker Carl Lamb but from the
throw-in Chesterfield kept possession and took a 2-1 lead through Jack
Lester. After the arguments Chesterfield allowed Steve Halford to walk the
ball through unchallenged to give the non-leaguers a replay. That replay
ended in controversy when the floodlights failed with just 19 minutes
remaining and visitors Chesterfield winning 2-0. There were those who
thought the floodlight failure was very convenient! So to a fourth match
which was played just two days before Christmas Day. In that Droylsden
defender Sean Newton scored twice as the non-leaguers beat 10-man
Chesterfield 2-1 (Jack Lester had been sent off) to earn a Third Round tie
at Ipswich. Or so we thought!
It was discovered that Sean
Newton, Droylsden's goalscorer in the victory, should have been serving a
one-match ban on December 23rd and the FA expelled the non-leaguers from
the competition and re-instated Chesterfield. So Chesterfield progressed
to the Third Round and for the second time in two years Ipswich played a
side who had been re-instated into the FA Cup (see above).
2008/09 FA Cup
It looked as though Bradford
City would fall victim to the rule book after the Valley Parade club
were expelled from the FA Cup after fielding an ineligible player in the
drawn Second Round tie against Brentford on Friday 30th November 2012. They fielded
on-loan Newcastle United defender Curtis Good in the tie before he had been
correctly registered. The FA stated
"Bradford City did not have the
necessary written permission for Curtis Good to play in the competition,
whilst on loan from Newcastle United, by the 12pm deadline on Friday
November 30 prior to the fixture that evening."
appeal Bradford City were re-instated into the competition and were fined
just £1000 instead. The Football Association considered the original
punishment excessive saying "The Appeal Board
accepts that the failure to obtain and submit the acceptance from
Newcastle United giving approval to play the player by noon on the match
day was a genuine error and recognised that corrective action was
attempted as soon as the omission was discovered and that no attempt to
deceive was made." It proved to be a memorable 24 hours for Bradford
City as the evening before their re-instatement they had beaten Arsenal in
the Capital One Cup to reach the semi-finals of the League Cup for the
After fielding ineligible
players had seen clubs expelled from the FA Cup (Bury and Droylsden),
expelled from the FA Cup and then reinstated (Bradford City) a new ruling
was handed down by the FA during the 2014/15 season. Chesterfield fielded
Georg Margreitter in their 1-0 away victory over Milton Keynes Dons on
Saturday December 6th 2014 in a Second Round match but the Austrian
defender, on loan from Wolves, was found to be ineligible for the tie as
he did not have written permission to turn out in the FA Cup fixture. The
FA ordered the match to be replayed, the first time that had happened when
an ineligible player had been fielded, obviously to the displeasure of the
Chesterfield camp. The Spireites manager Paul Cook said "I just
think it is disgusting for everyone involved. It's a waste of time. Our
fans travelled in great numbers. If we broke the rules, then we should be
chucked out, and if we didn't, then we should be through to face
Scunthorpe. Nobody deserves to face a replay."
The FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
tie between Farnham Town and Herne Bay in the 1999/2000 was another that
turned out to be far from straightforward. The first match at Farnham was
drawn 2-2, the replay was abandoned after 66 minutes because of floodlight
failure with Herne Bay 1-0 up but Herne Bay seemed to get the better of
the re-arranged match, winning 3-2 on penalties after extra time. Then it
was discovered that in that match Herne Bay had used four substitutes
rather than the permitted three and the Kent side feared expulsion from
the competition. But an FA investigation found that the officials were at
fault for not spotting the honest mistake by the club and the match was
ordered to be replayed, which Herne Bay again won.
Later the same season Sunderland had
reason the feel aggrieved by another mistake by officials in an FA Cup tie
- but they were less happy with the outcome.
MacDougall was more fortunate with his FA Cup goals. His six
against Oxford City in a 8-1 First Round replay victory for Bournemouth in
1970/71 set a new goalscoring record for his club. That record lasted just
12 months and against Southern League Premier Division side Margate in a
First Round tie on Saturday November 20th 1971 he scored nine goals in
Bournemouth's 11-0 victory at Dean Court. Those goals were - and still are
- the highest scored by any player in the competition proper of the FA Cup. He later said 'I
was disappointed as I thought I should have got 11.' Less than a year
after that match he had been signed by Frank O'Farrell for Manchester
United. History shows that he probably wished he had stayed at Bournemouth.....
There was a time when Leeds and the
FA Cup just didn't get on, particularly when Cardiff City were their
opponents. Three seasons in a row - 1956/57, 1957/58 and 1958/59 - Leeds
draw Cardiff at home in the Third Round of the FA Cup, and each time
Cardiff won 2-1. Those results were part of a disastrous FA Cup run by
Leeds. After beating Bradford PA in a Fourth Round tie on February 2nd
1952 they didn't manage another win in the competition until March 6th
1963 when they beat Stoke in the Third Round.
It was once possible to finish 3rd
in the FA Cup although the experimental 3rd/4th place play-off match only
lasted 5 seasons - details.
Because of a combination of
Christmas holiday printing deadlines
and bad weather when Chelsea printed the programme for the FA Cup Third
Round tie in 1981/82 they weren't sure who or when they would be playing.
So - surely uniquely - they printed an undated programme with either/or
opposition. The Second Round tie between Hull and Hartlepool was
eventually played after the original date of the Third Round with
Chelsea's Third Round tie against Hull being played two weeks later, the
match ending in a draw.
Full 1981/82 FA Cup results.
In pre-floodlight days fixtures had
to kick-off early enough to ensure their was enough natural light to
complete the match (so FA Cup replays were played in midweek afternoons).
The referee at the FA Cup 5th Qualifying Round replay between Chesterfield
and North Shields Athletic on Wednesday December 17th 1913 anticipated
problems with the light so started the match early. By the time scheduled
kick-off time had arrived Chesterfield were 5-0 up, eventually winning 8-2
with Billy Egerton scoring five goals.
If you ever think the magic of the
FA Cup is fading spare a thought for the two Oldham Athletic fans who had
to be treated for hypothermia while queuing for tickets for Oldham's FA
Cup Third Round visit to Liverpool in January 2012. Fans started queuing at 4 o'clock
in the morning in driving winds and freezing rain for a chance to buy one
of the 6200 tickets for the Third Round tie at Anfield. Sadly there was
nothing in the result to warm up the Latics fans - Liverpool walloped them