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A-Z OF THE FA CUP

9 January 2018

Brighton & Hove Albion advanced to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Monday evening with a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium.

Chris Hughton's men will face Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium in the next stage of the competition - and taken from Monday evening's matchday programme, we take you through the alphabet of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition. 

A is for Adam Morgan. Last season the Curzon Ashton forward was joint top-scorer in the competition with Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur – the pair both netting six goals apiece, with Morgan’s National League North side bowing out of the tournament to AFC Wimbledon in the second round.

B is for Bolton Wanderers, the winners of the first FA Cup to be played at Wembley in 1923. Beating West Ham United 2-0, a white horse named Billie became the defining image of the day, as it was needed to clear the pitch of the estimated 300,000 fans present.

C is for Cup. The original FA Cup, known as ‘Little Tin Idol’ but was stolen in 1895 and never recovered. There have been two designs of the trophy in use, but five physical trophies presented. In order to preserve the original design we know today, from 1992 it was replaced by an exact replica, although we are now on to the third replica, in use since 2014.

D is for Debut. Albion made their FA Cup Final debut in 1983 against Manchester United at the old Wembley Stadium. The game, of course, ended in a 2-2 draw, which resulted in a replay five days later that the Red Devils would comfortable win 4-0.

E is for Emirates. The tournament is named the Emirates FA Cup until at least 2021 after a new sponsorship deal was agreed this summer. Emirates became the title partner in 2015.

F is for Foster, as in Steve. He was unfortunately suspended for Albion's FA Cup Final appearance against Manchester United in 1983 and Tony Grealish led the teams out instead. As a tribute he emerged from the tunnel sporting Fozzie's famous headband. 

G is for Gerrard. The Liverpool captain scored twice, including an injury-time equaliser, as the Merseysiders drew 3-3 with West Ham United before winning on penalties in 2006. It has emerged as a modern-day FA Cup Final classic, dubbed ‘The Gerrard Final’.

H is for Hosts. The Seagulls will host the fourth round draw of the competition live on national television here at the Amex Stadium at 7pm for the first time in the club’s history.

I is for Israel. Albion’s Israeli duo Baram Kayal and Tomer Hemed were on the scoresheet in the side’s 2016/17 third round 2-0 win at home to MK Dons. The Seagulls bowed out of the competition in the next round at Lincoln City.

J is for Jimmy Ross. The Preston North End player scored 19 goals in the competition in 1887-88, making him the highest scoring player in an FA Cup season. Preston outscored opponents by 50 goals over their seven matches. 

K is for Kanu. The well-travelled Nigerian forward fired Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth side to FA Cup glory in 2008 as he scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Championship outfit Cardiff City in 2008. 

L is for Ljungberg, as in Freddie. The prolific Arsenal winger became the first player to score in consecutive FA Cup finals for 40 years when he notched in 2001, in the side’s loss to Liverpool, as well as scoring in the 2-0 win over Chelsea, which helped the Gunners to the Double that year. 

M is for Millennium Stadium. The venue in Cardiff hosted six finals from 2001 to 2006 while Wembley was being redeveloped. The first, in 2001, saw Liverpool beat Arsenal 2-1, while the final game witnessed Liverpool’s epic win against West Ham. The first game back at the new Wembley saw Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0.

N is for Non-League. Following the advent of professionalism, only one club has won the FA Cup while still a non-league club, and that was Tottenham Hotspur, then of the Southern League, who defeated Sheffield United in 1901. 

O is for Old Etonians. The side contested the first final to go to both extra-time and a replay when they faced Royal Engineers in the 1875 competition – the first fixture ended all square at 1-1 before Royal Engineers ran out 2-0 winners in the replay.

P is for Portsmouth. The south-coast side are the longest holders of the trophy having been victorious in 1939 before the outbreak of the Second World War. Captained by Jimmy Guthrie, the side defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-1 in the final that year.

Q is for Queen Park – the Scottish side who were invited to compete in the 1883-84 FA Cup competition. They beat Manchester FC 15-0 in the second round and it was the first time an English FA Cup match had been played in Scotland. They would go on to lose 2-1 to Blackburn Rovers in the final. 

R is for Record. Arsenal lead the way with FA Cup trophy wins having won the historic competition 13 times in total when they defeated Chelsea at Wembley Stadium last May. Manchester United are closest behind in second with 11 trophies. The Gunners have also appeared in the most finals – 20. 

S is for Saha, as in Louis. The French international scored the fastest goal in FA Cup Final history when he netted for Everton against Chelsea in 2009. It took the striker just 25 seconds to open the scoring – surpassing the record of 42 seconds set by Roberto Di Matteo for Chelsea against Middlesbrough in 1997.

T is for Trautmann, as in Bert. Manchester City’s German goalkeeper broke several vertebrae in his neck when dived at the feet of Birmingham City’s Peter Murphy in the 1956 final. He played on for the rest of the game, with a noticeably crooked neck, as his side won 3-1. 

V is for VAR technology. Albion v Crystal Palace at the Amex was the first time that Video Assistant Referee technology had been used in a competitive club match in England. VAR technology is used in three ‘game-changing’ situations: goals, penalties and straight red cards, and can also flag up cases of mistaken identity by the referee.

U is for University. Oxford University are the only university side to win the competition – in 1874 when they beat Royal Engineers 2-0 in front of 2,000 spectators at Upton Park.

W is for Winners. Each club in the Final receives 40 winners or runners-up medals to be distributed among players, staff, and officials. In 1914 Burnley won the Cup and received unique medals incorrectly struck as ‘English Cup Winners’. 

X is for X Factor. Contestant from the popular ITV show, Karen Harding, sang the national anthem prior to the 2016 Final between Manchester United and tonight’s visitors Crystal Palace. Unfortunately she missed her cue and only sang the last few lines of God Save The Queen.

Y is for Youngest. Step forward ex-Portsmouth favourite Andy Awford, who was just 15 years and 88 days when he turned out in the competition for Worcester City against  Boreham Wood in a third qualifying round game in October 1987. 

Z is for Zeppelin. The 1930 Final between Arsenal and Huddersfield is remembered for a huge Graf Zeppelin passing over the stadium at the start of the second half. At the time, it was the largest ever airship, at 776ft in length. It was also the first Final which saw the teams come out side by side.


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