The FA Cup is English football’s biggest cup competition and one of the most important in football. It is also the oldest cup competition in the world, having first started in 1871, with 736 teams taking part in the 2015/16 edition of the tournament. FA Cup final history is vast with many dramatic clashes taking place across its 145 year history.
Manchester United and Crystal Palace will play in the 2016 FA Cup final on May 21st at the Wembley in London, with the match a repeat of the 1990 FA Cup final in which United triumphed 1-0 in a replay after the final ended in a dramatic 3-3 draw.
United are the second most successful team in the history of the FA Cup, having won eleven titles, with the club just one title away from Arsenal, who became the most decorated FA Cup side ever after winning the last two editions of the competition. Palace are searching for their maiden FA Cup triumph, with this their first final since their loss in 1990.
Check out our guide to FA Cup final history below:
FA Cup Final Winners
Since 1988, the FA Cup has been won by the traditional ‘Big Four’ in English football – Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool – 22 times in 27 seasons. The FA Cup has been won by 43 different teams throughout history, with West Ham’s victory in 1980 the last time a team from outside English football’s top division has been crowned champions.
Of the teams to have won more than one FA Cup, fans will not be familiar with two. Wanderers, who last won the competition in 1878, are an amateur club who had great success in the early years of organised football in England. Old Etonians were also an amateur club in the 1800’s, winning the trophy twice.
Arsenal – Titles: 12 – Last final win: 2015
Manchester United – Titles: 11 – Last final win: 2004
Tottenham Hotspur – Titles: 8 – Last final win: 1991
Liverpool – Titles: 7 – Last final win: 2006
Chelsea – Titles: 7 – Last final win: 2012
Aston Villa – Titles: 7 – Last final win: 1957
Newcastle United – Titles: 6 – Last final win: 1955
Blackburn Rovers – Titles: 6 – Last final win: 1928
Everton – Titles: 5 – Last final win: 1995
West Brom – Titles: 5 – Last final win: 1968
Manchester City – Titles: 5 – Last final win: 2011
Wanderers – Titles: 5 – Last final win: 1878
Wolves – Titles: 4 – Last final win: 1960
Bolton – Titles: 4 – Last final win: 1958
Sheffield United – Titles: 4 – Last final win: 1925
Sheffield Wednesday – Titles: 3 – Last final win: 1935
West Ham – Titles: 3 – Last final win: 1980
Preston – Titles: 2 – Last final win: 1938
Old Etonians – Titles: 2 – Last final win: 1882
Portsmouth – Titles: 2 – Last final win: 2008
Sunderland – Titles: 2 – Last final win: 1973
Nottingham Forest – Titles: 2 – Last final win: 1959
Bury – Titles: 2 – Last title win: 1903
+ 20 teams on one FA Cup win
FA Cup: Individual Records
Some of the greatest players have graced the competition, with many having outstanding scoring records. Being such an long-running competition, stretching back to 1871, it is impossible to accurately compile a list of top goalscorers from all rounds across history. However, Liverpool’s Ian Rush has the most goals in FA Cup final history with five, with his goals helping the club to win three FA Cups in the late 80’s/early 90’s.
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba holds the record for highest number of FA Cup finals scored in with four. The Ivorian was known for turning up in the big games, scoring an incredible 10 goals in 10 finals and winning 10 trophies with the club over nine years and two spells at the London club.
Ashley Cole played with Drogba in West London for six years, with the English defender holding the record for most FA Cup winners medals. Cole won seven across his career in England with both Chelsea and Arsenal.
The little known Arthur Kinnaird has, to this day, taken part in the most FA Cup finals with nine. He played for both Wanderers and Old Etonians and won five finals.
The youngest ever FA Cup final player is Barnet’s Curtis Weston. The midfielder was part of the Milwall side that lost to Manchester United in the 2004 final and came on as an 89th minute substitute, replacing then player-manager Dennis Wise, when he was just 17 years and 119 days old.
Billy Hampson, who played for Newcastle in the around the time of the First World War, remains the oldest ever player in an FA Cup final after appearing in the 1924 final against Aston Villa aged 41 years and eight months old.
FA Cup Final History: The New Wembley Winners
Below are the previous nine FA Cup final results since the rebuilding of Wembley stadium, the home of the English football. The original Wembley stadium was demolished from 2002-03, with the FA Cup final being played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for six years from the year 2000.
The new Wembley is the second largest stadium in Europe, behind the Camp Nou in Barcelona, and the largest stadium in the UK.
Arsenal 4-0 Aston Villa, 30th May 2015, Wembley (89,283 crowd)
Arsenal 3-2 Hull City, 17th May 2014, Wembley (89,345)
Wigan 1-0 Manchester City, 11th May 2013, Wembley (86,254)
Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool, 5th May 2012, Wembley (89,041)
Manchester City 1-0 Stoke, 14th May 2011, Wembley (88,643)
Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth, 15th May 2010, Wembley (88,335)
Chelsea 2-1 Everton, 30th May 2009, Wembley (89,391)
Portsmouth 1-0 Cardiff, 17th May 2008, Wembley (89,874)
Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United, 19th May 2007, Wembley (89,826)