The FA Cup Final, commonly referred to in England as just The Cup Final is the last match in the Football Association Challenge Cup. With an official attendance of 89,826 at the 2007 FA Cup Final, it is the second best attended domestic club championship event in the world and the best attended domestic football event. It is the culmination of a knockout competition among clubs belonging to The Football Association in England, although Scottish and Irish teams competed in the early years and Welsh teams regularly compete, with Cardiff City winning the Cup in 1927 and reaching the final in 2008.
Early FA Cup Finals were held at various venues including Fallowfield Stadium but were mainly in London. In the period from 1923 until 2000, the final was held at Wembley Stadium, English football's national stadium. From 2001-2005, the final was moved to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, during the rebuilding of Wembley Stadium. The Millennium Stadium was used again in 2006 due to construction delays in opening the new Wembley Stadium.
Until 1993, if the final could not be decided in a single match, the match would be replayed. After only six replays since 1923, The Football Association then decided that all future finals would be decided 'on the day', putting an end to FA Cup Final replays. This meant that a draw at the end of normal time would be followed by thirty minutes of extra time (two fifteen minute halves); if scores were still level there would be a penalty shootout to determine the winner of the competition. Only two FA Cup Finals have been decided by a penalty shootout; those of 2005 and 2006. Note that the Football League War Cup is not considered part of the official FA Cup competition.
Stan Mortensen's hat-trick for Blackpool in 1953 remains the only hat trick ever scored at Wembley in the competition's final. Everton's Louis Saha scored a goal after 27.9 seconds in the 2009 FA Cup Final. It is currently the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history.
The FA Cup Final is one of ten events reserved for live broadcast on UK terrestrial television under the ITC Code on Sports and Other Listed Events.
For a full list of FA Cup winners and runners-up, see List of FA Cup winners
- Full results history at rsssf.com
- Archive of almost every result at SoccerBase.com
- Post-war finals at sporting-heroes.net
- The 10 greatest FA Cup Final goals at midfield dynamo classic football website