The FA Celebrates 150 Years of the Emirates FA Cup

04 Nov 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

Ahead of the of this season’s Emirates FA Cup, The FA has launched a campaign to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the world’s longest-running knockout football competition.

The FA Challenge Cup was established 150 years ago, with the first matches taking place on 11 November 1871 following a proposal by the then Secretary of the Association, Charles W. Alcock, with a vision to bring hope, opportunity and equality to football.

To kick-off the season-long campaign celebrating the competition’s 150th anniversary, the FA has unveiled a film which features two-time winner Ian Wright and showcases how Alcock’s founding values are just as relevant and important today.

The film, which was produced by sports marketing agency The Space Between, has been released across the FA’s digital channels and brings to life the rich history and traditions of the competition, while highlighting the impact that it continues to provide at all levels of the football pyramid. No other competition offers amateur or semi-professional players a chance to take on the world’s best and provide a financial and emotional lift to clubs and communities in the process.

Supporting the film will be a series of large-scale image projections up and down the country. Key figures and moments through the years have been displayed on landmarks that best depict the competition’s values alongside scripted lines from the film. These projection sites are:

●  The Oval, London – Charles W. Alcock features on the playing surface at the venue of the very first Final which was contested by Wanderers and Royal Engineers on 16 March 1872.

● Trulife Factory, Sheffield – Jamie Vardy became the first person to play in every possible round when he lifted the trophy with Leicester City last season and is celebrated at his place of work when he appeared in it for the first time with Stocksbridge Park Steels in 2007.

●  Coventry Transport Museum  – Cyrille Regis, a pioneer for players of black heritage, lights up the home of the open-top trophy tour bus which transported him and his Coventry City teammates through the streets of the city after they won the competition in 1987.

●  LNER Stadium, Lincoln – the home of Lincoln City, who became the first non-league team in 103 years to make the Quarter Finals when they faced Arsenal in 2017, securing their financial future and funding a new training ground complex.

●  Marine Travel Arena, Merseyside – the 3,000 capacity ground ‘hosted’ 32,000 virtual ticket holders due to the Coronavirus pandemic when Marine AFC faced Tottenham Hotspur in the Third Round of last season’s competition. The fixture represented the biggest gap in league places [161] between teams facing each other in competition’s history.

The Emirates FA Cup continues this weekend with the lowest-ranked side left in the competition, AFC Sudbury, kicking-off the first round against their local rivals Colchester United on Friday 5 November 2021.

The 150th anniversary of the competition will continue to be recognised and celebrated by the FA throughout the season, culminating in the Final at Wembley on Saturday 14 May 2022.