Category Archives: The FA Cup

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How are the odds calculated in football betting?

By | Euro 2016, Football, Premier League, The Champions League, The FA Cup | No Comments

All good punters need to have a solid grasp of odds when betting on football, or any other sport for that matter. And the more you know about odds, the more daring and elaborate you can be with your accumulators and or any type of bet.

So, just think how valuable it would be to gain a true understanding of the ways in which bookmakers calculate their odds! Here at Ladbrokes, we think it’s time we let you into the secret… Use the knowledge and test your skills on Ladbrokes’ 2018 world cup betting odds.

Bookmakers’ odds and their true value

Quite simply, all bookmakers need to make a profit to stay in business. So rather than calculating odds with true probabilities, bookmakers adjust them slightly to ensure they bring in a profit.


Let’s say that following close analysis of statistics, injuries and so on, a bookie works out the following:

  • Team 1: has a 25% chance of winning
  • Team 2: has a 55% chance of winning
  • There is a 20% chance of a draw between the two sides

As the probabilities above add up to 100%, this means that the bookmaker will neither win nor lose any money.

So to make a profit, the bookmaker adjusts the probabilities, like so:

  • Team 1: has a 32.4% chance of a win after alterations
  • Team 2: has a 54% chance of a win after alterations
  • A draw between the two clubs: 21.6% chance after alterations

The percentages above add up to 108%, which gives the bookmaker an 8% profit margin. In European decimal odds, these odds are displayed as coefficients, like so:

54% = 1.85

32.4% = 3.09

21.6% = 4.63

At the odds stated above, the bookmaker pays out the punter’s stake x 1.85, or 3.09, or 4.63 (depending on the result).

So let’s say a punter splits a £100 stake to put £50 on a win by Team 1, £30 on a win for Team 2 and the remaining £20 on a draw.

In the event that Team 1 wins the match, the bookkeeper must pay out the £50*1.85 = £92.50.

In the event that Team 2 wins, the bookkeeper must hand over 30*3.09 = 92.70

If the game ends in a draw, then the bookie needs to pay out 20*4.63 = £92.60

You see how close the resulting pay outs are? For the example above, we distributed the £100 proportionately to show you how bookies make their money. In essence, they want you to bet this way so they can carry on making a profit no matter what the outcome.

To achieve this, bookmakers balance true probability with public opinion. You rarely see odds contrasting with public opinion. This is because doing so would result in punters making a disproportionate number of wagers on one side of the bet. This would increase risk of loss for the bookmaker, as well as for the punter.

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Balancing the books

A bookie’s job is to balance the books and to make a small amount of profit consistently. For this reason, they don’t look to fleece their customers. Instead, they want to keep them coming back again and again and to reduce the chances of losing money themselves.

The best bookmakers know they can’t balance their books for every single football match. To them, it’s all about spreading risk to manage small changes in profit margins.

Here at Ladbrokes, we understand that this is exactly the way that the most successful punters manage their betting money. By sharing some secrets about the way our industry operates, we also want to show how we’ve built up relationships with our best customers through mutual trust and understanding. Learn more about how to bet on football and other sports in our online betting guide

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What is The FA Cup draw?

By | Football, The FA Cup | No Comments


The act of selecting names randomly to decide opponents in a sporting contest.

The FA Cup draw is the fair and open method used to organise the various fixtures of this fiercely-contested tournament.

Teams from the first 10 tiers of the English football pyramid are paired off against each other at random. In theory, the first team drawn in each pair has the advantage as they play at their home stadium.

How does the draw work?

Qualifying Rounds

All of the teams in the six qualifying rounds are drawn against each other on a regional basis. The FA does this to reduce travel costs for the smaller clubs in these preliminary stages.

Competition proper

From the First Round of the FA Cup, all teams are each allocated a number. The Football League teams that enter in the First Round are allocated numbers 1-48 in alphabetical order. So, for example, Bristol City will have a low number, whereas York City will be at 48.

The winners from the Fourth Qualifying Round receive a number (49 onwards) as they come through, rather than in alphabetical order.

Teams that make it through to the Quarter-Finals receive new numbers related to how they were drawn in the Fifth Round. So if Arsenal are in the Quarter-Finals and get the number 1, it’s not because the club’s name begins with the first letter of the alphabet. Instead, it’s because their old number came out of the bowl first in the previous round.

Before every ‘proper’ round, numbered balls representing each team in the competition are placed in a spinning bowl.

A celebrity (usually an ex-footballer) will take out the balls, one at a time, from the bowl. The team whose number is taken out first in each matchup plays their match at home to the team whose number is taken out second.

System of byes

None of the teams in the FA Cup are seeded, which makes for some interesting draws. Yet a system of byes ensures that teams in the top tiers don’t go into the draw before the Third Round.

The ‘magic of the FA Cup’

The fact that the FA Cup draw is random means that you will often see non-league teams with tiny grounds and hardly any supporters play huge Premier League clubs with global fan bases.

Results do usually go as expected, with the bigger teams winning and going through to the next round, but on occasion, the smaller teams beat the larger teams.

In fact, the FA Cup is well-known for the many ‘giant killings’ that have occurred in its history, and this draw system helps create these opportunities.

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What are the different types of ‘specials’ in football betting?

By | Betting Guides, Football, Premier League, The Champions League, The FA Cup | No Comments

You know the score – literally: betting in football largely revolves around predicting which team will outscore the other.

When it comes to the specials market however, you’re able to do more than pick a winner. Have your say on the potential score line, pick which manager’s next in the sack race, or who’s going to miss a penalty at the weekend; there’s everything to play for.

Winning margin

As its name suggests, this bet requires you to guess the winning margin during a particular match.

Fancy Leeds United to beat Charlton Athletic by two goals? If you place a two goal winning margin bet and either Leeds or Charlton win 2-0, 4-2, 5-3, 12-10, or by any other two goal margin, you will see a return on your stake.

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Clean sheet odds

For those of you who are not familiar with the term, a team gets a clean sheet when it manages not to concede a single goal during the course of a match. Arsenal were renowned for incredible defensive play back in the 1980s and 1990s, so the odds of a clean sheet may have been 1/6 around that time.

However these days, they’re known for lacking strength in defence, and that will mean that the odds of them getting a clean sheet are higher.

Penalty/Missed penalty

Penalties are often the cause of heated discussions between pundits and punters alike both during and after football games.

As a result, it’s perhaps no surprise that bookies allow you to bet on whether a spot kick will be awarded and whether the taker will score or miss.

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Results minute markets

If you want to be really specific, you can place a bet that applies for exact portions of a match. This means you can bet on whether there’ll be a goal or a booking between the 10 and 20th minutes, for example.

You can even bet on how many corners will be awarded during that period. In fact, there’s virtually no limit to the precise predictions on which you can place bets.

Red card

We know that some footballers are more passionate than others and get booked more often as a result.

Some get booked for over-zealous celebrations, whereas others get yellow cards for getting a bit carried away during disagreements with the referee.

The precise reasons for the double booking or straight red card don’t matter; as long as you’ve placed that winning bet, you’ll see a return.

Next manager

This is another popular special bet. With managers coming and going so frequently, there is always speculation as to who will be taking over, so punters can have a go at making predictions.

The specials market gives you the chance to add an extra flair to your football watching, allowing you to have your say on both the on- and off-field antics that surround the beautiful game.

From red cards to clean sheets, the list of specials on which you can bet is practically endless.

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England’s most glorious football moments

By | Euro 2016, Football, Premier League, The Champions League, The FA Cup | No Comments

Over the years, England has been one of the most dominant countries in shaping and developing the football world, producing some world-class players, and hosting one of the most prestigious domestic leagues around.

Both on an international and club level, England has seen some incredible football moments, and we’ve listed four of our all-time favourites.

England wins the World Cup in 1966

Back in 1966, England was widely considered to the best national team in the world.

The fact that the tournament was held in England made the national team outright favourites. Despite an uninspiring draw in the first group match, England looked almost unstoppable for the rest of the tournament.

The final itself against West Germany was held at Wembley and was a thrilling match. Finishing 2-2 after 90 minutes, the match exploded in the half an hour of extra time. A dubious second goal from Geoff Hurst – the source of controversy ever since – put the hosts 3-2 in front.

Finally, a third from Hurst in the dying seconds of the game made England world champions for the first – and as yet – only time. Hurst remains the only player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final.

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Nottingham Forest wins back-to-back European Cups

While Manchester United became the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968, Nottingham Forest remains the only club in the country to achieve the feat twice in a row (1979 and 1980).

What makes the feat even more remarkable is the fact that Nottingham Forest was a relatively small, provincial club that had only won promotion to the top tier of the domestic league in 1977.

This period of unprecedented success means that Brian Clough can lay claim to be one of the greatest English club manager of all time.

Manchester United wins the treble 1999

Manchester United have dominated English football for most of the being the Premier League winners 13 times, and the club achieved its greatest feat in 1999: the year it won the league title, FA Cup and Champions League in a single year.

The thrilling FA Cup semi-final match against then arch-rivals, Arsenal, saw Dennis Bergkamp miss a penalty. Most memorably, it was the match in which Ryan Giggs scored a wonder goal that made a mockery of one of the best defences in the game.

In the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, the Red Devils trailed 1-0 for most of the match. It wasn’t until the last few minutes that substitute Teddy Sheringham equalised at short range, before Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored the winner less than a minute later.

United were the first club to achieve this treble. Such was the scale of this feat that some pundits predict that it is one that will never be repeated.

Liverpool wins the Champions League for a fifth time

After dominating European football in the 1970s and early 1980s, Liverpool FC was a shadow of its former self by 2005.

Having not won the domestic league title since 1991, the Reds got into the Champions League by the skin of their teeth, after finishing fourth in the 2003-04 season.

Liverpool’s form in Europe in 2004-05 contrasted sharply with that in the league. But after getting to the semi-final, they managed to scrape past Premier League champions Chelsea to face AC Milan in the final.

During the final, Liverpool were trailing 3-0 at half-time and it didn’t look good for the then four-time champions. But after clawing three goals back over a thrilling six-minute period, Liverpool went on to win the match in a penalty shootout.

As this was the fifth time that Liverpool were crowned champions of Europe, they were allowed to keep the European Champion Clubs’ Cup permanently.

With one of the most respected domestic leagues in the world, there is little wonder that English football has produced some incredible moments, from underdog clubs exceeding all expectations to ultimate national success.

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What is a football accumulator and how do I place a bet?

By | Betting Guides, Football, Premier League, The FA Cup | No Comments

Football accumulator betting tips

Football accumulator betting has become increasingly popular in the UK over the last two decades. For many, it now slots right in as an essential part of the week – alongside actually watching the footy itself! But what is a football accumulator? And how do you go about placing a bet?

What is an accumulator?

Frequently known as an ‘accy’ or ‘acca’, a football accumulator is a bet that combines two or more selections into a single bet. For instance, you could fancy Real Madrid, Liverpool, PSG, and Borussia Dortmund all to win at the weekend, so you’d stick on a single bet that they all do. If you think a fixture will be a draw, you can select ‘draw’ and add that to your selection. So if you fancy wins for Real Madrid, Liverpool, and PSG but fancy Dortmund to draw at the weekend, you could stick a bet on that. It pulls together all the odds into one selection and will only give you a return when all your selections are predicted correctly.

One of the other most common examples is the ‘Both Teams To Score’ accumulator. You bet ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether you think both teams will score in each game in your selection. There’s many more complex versions though. You could also pull together selections that range from how many corners a team will get or how many goals a team will win by.

How to create an accumulator?

It really couldn’t be easier. Check out our Premier League betting page or our football page if the Prem isn’t your thing.

Now you have the Sportsbook in front of you, it’s time to select your picks. You don’t have to stick to one league and you can spread your bet over a number of days. Over the course of a weekend, there’s football from a variety of different countries for you to include in your acca. You could start it off with a Friday night game in the Championship or La Liga for example. You could then build your acca with a lunchtime Scottish game on a Saturday and round it off with a Premier League match on a Monday night. Outright win, lose, or draw accas may be popular but you could go for specific match results or scorers. As an example in a match between Crystal Palace and Liverpool. Liverpool is 21/10 to win and score Over 3.5 goals. It’s not all about the big teams though, you could even bet on the German reserve league! – but remember the more teams on the accumulator the less chance of winning!

Advanced tips!

Many may be comfortable with a BTTS or an outright accy but others like to build a bet with a few more advanced tips. A Trixie involves four bets with three selections in different events. The bet includes three doubles and one treble. A minimum of two of your selections must come in to get a return.


A Heinz consists of 57 bets involving six selections in different events. The bet includes 15 doubles, 20 trebles, a huge 15 four-folds, 6 five-fold, and a six-fold accumulator. A £1 Heinz costs conveniently £57. You can back one at £1 each way at £114. You may feel with the volume of moving parts in this bet, it’s better to go with the heavy favourites but this isn’t necessarily the case. A mix of supposed strong favourites, mid-priced selections and a pick at larger odds could be the way to go.


An Asian handicap can be used to bet on an outcome of a football match where the two teams are given a positive or negative goal-related handicap. What does this mean? Well, the handicap is a figure such as +0.5 or +2.5 or -1.0 or -2.0. This figure represents either a goal head-start or a goal deficit for either team.

For example, if Man City are 1/12 to beat Huddersfield. Thus price suggests City could run up a score. So you could put on an Asian handicap on City at -2.5. This means you are backing them win by three goals or more.

What can you win?

There are a number of ways you could win a football accumulator. More often than not all your picks must come in to claim your returns. Have a look at our Best Acca Around page for the latest accumulator offers The feature is available on all of our football leagues where your bet will be recalculated as though the pick hadn’t been selected. So your losing five-fold could become a winning four-fold for instance! Then there are Odds Boosts. Another popular feature among our acca customers. With this feature, you get the chance to instantly boost your odds on any pre-event sports bet – every day! You can do this simply by logging into your Ladbrokes account from 10:00 am (UK Time) and head straight for your ‘My Account’ section where your Odds Boost toke will be waiting for you! The difference between this and any normal price enhancement is that you have full control over when and what to use your Odds Boost on. In February 2018, a customer turned 50p into a whopping £61,482. The plucky punter correctly predicted the outcome of a 17-match European accumulator. The bettors’ dream appeared to be dashed when Crewe Alexandra struck in the 88th minute. But two stoppage-time goals from Exeter saw his dream become a reality! Many would have cashed out after that 88th-minute goal. Because sometimes you do need a safety net! The Cash Out facility allows you to settle your bet before the market/event has been completed. This can be a big money-saver or money-maker in some cases depending on how well your bet is doing. A re-calculated sum will appear at the bottom of your betting slip which you can then take home!

When an accumulator does come in, it can be a hefty win. In 2011, one lucky Ladbrokes punter won a massive £272k from a £2.50 nine-fold acca! An 85th minute Fernando Llorente strike for Athletic Bilbao salvaged a 1-1 draw against Barca and gave the mystery man a huge pay-day! Disclaimer: Tips are for information purposes only and do not guarantee a win No betting strategy should encourage you to bet more than you can afford.

All Odds and Markets correct as of the date of the publication

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Football betting tips: Advanced

By | Euro 2016, Football, Premier League, The Champions League, The FA Cup | No Comments

If you’ve mastered the basics of football betting, you may feel ready to take it to the next level.

While there is no such thing as a sure-fire system, there are a few golden rules you should follow if you want to become a truly successful punter.

Know your values

In football betting (and other betting for that matter), good value occurs when bookmakers’ odds offers a reward which outweighs any risk. To figure this out, you need to:

Estimate a side’s chance of winning

Find the best decimal price for your bet

Multiply the chance (%) of a win against the bookie’s odds

Any result of 1.00 or more means the bet has value (and may be worth a punt!)


So if you think that Swansea City have a 50% chance of winning at home, then you will only make the bet if you can find a price better than 2.00. This is because 50% = 0.50 * 2.00 = 1.00 (fair value).

If you continue to make bets with a value of less than 1.00, you will actually lose money over the course of the season.

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Home advantage rules OK

It is widely accepted that football teams tend to perform better at home than if they were away. If you look at pretty much every football league season, you’ll see that teams score more goals at home than they do away over the course of a season.


Let’s assume that in a Premier League season, the total number of wins by home sides is 179 over the course of a season. Let’s also assume there were 86 draws and 115 defeats. It’s clear from these figures alone that the home advantage is very real.

But how much is this advantage? You can work it out by taking the number of home wins and home defeats and divide them by two (179 + 115/2).

First, add up the home wins and home losses, and divide by two. So in this case: (179 + 115) / 2 = 147. This number is the expected number of wins if there was no home advantage for any team.

Now, divide the total number of home wins by the expected number of wins without home advantage (179 / 147 = 1.21). This result tells us that in the league, home teams had a 21% advantage over away teams.

Recent form

Another great way of assessing the wisdom of certain bets is to look closely at recent form (rather than that over the whole season).

The thinking here is that a team on a winning run with a totally fit squad will be full of confidence. This in turn may give them the edge over a historically better team suffering from a short run of bad results.


Injuries can have a hugely negative impact on a side, even if the absent player is part of a strong squad.

Central defenders and goalkeepers often tend to be the difference between winning and losing. If one of those players is missing, then that’s a sign that they could be due a dip in form. This is especially true if the missing player is also the captain.

As we said before, football betting isn’t an exact science. Yet keeping a close eye on these different aspects of the game can give you a better chance of guessing the match outcome correctly.

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Football betting tips: For beginners

By | Euro 2016, Football, Premier League, The Champions League, The FA Cup | No Comments

If you’re new to betting, it would be smart to learn a thing or two before you pick who you are going to stake your money on.

Fortunately, there are a few easy steps you can take to improve your chances of winning money by on the football.

Never bet what you can’t afford to lose

Here at Ladbrokes, the need to bet responsibly is something we take very seriously. So, if you want to keep having fun on your football accumulator or your handicap – don’t overstretch yourself.

Work out what you can afford to lose bet before you start and avoid betting big to counter a losing streak.

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Long shots offer long odds for a reason

We all wish we’d bet on Greece to win Euro 2004 at 250/1. However, such long shots don’t often come in, which is exactly why the odds are long in the first place!

Even at 50/1, if a bookie is willing to offer you £50 for every quid you bet, that team almost certainly won’t hit the jackpot in your lifetime.

Do your homework

Just because your mate is convinced that the only way to win big is by putting his money down on a random 12-team accumulator, it doesn’t mean you should too. Unless you follow the form of the teams you’re thinking of betting on, don’t do it!

After all, the more teams you bet on, the less likely you are to win.

When it comes to placing bets as a beginner, the old Chinese proverb ‘every journey starts with a single step’ is one to remember.

An effective (not to mention easy and cheap) way of learning about the best ways to bet, is to read up on the subject. Keep an eye on form, understand the value of your bets before you make them and you’ll be on to a winner!

Remember to have fun!

Let’s face it – gambling can be really fun. Yet the more seriously you take it, the less likely you are to enjoy the thrill of it all.

If you’re truly committed to bringing in returns on your football betting, you can in the long run. However, we recommend you master the basics first, and move onto more advanced tactics later on. Take our advices and check out world cup football tips.

By following our simple tips, you’ll be well on your way.

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The standout teams of The FA Cup

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Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool are three outstanding teams in the history of the FA Cup, having won it 30 times between them.

But which players’ individual performances for these teams stand out among all others? Let’s take a look…


With 12 FA Cups to their name, Arsenal are the most successful club in the history of the competition. With this in mind, many players have had great performances during their many different cup runs.

Perhaps the standout performance was that of Charlie George in 1971. This is year that the Gunners won the league and cup double for the first time in their history.

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder scored vital goals for Arsenal in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth rounds of the FA Cup of 1970-71. Yet it was George’s memorable goal in the Final in a 2-1 win over Liverpool for which he is best remembered.

Thierry Henry also had some great performances in the FA Cup. He was a member of the 2001-02 double-winning team and played brilliantly throughout that season.

Yet arguably his standout FA Cup performance was during a four-match return to the Emirates on loan in 2012, after five years away.

Coming on as a substitute in the 68th minute of the Third Round match against Leeds, Henry went on to score the only goal of the game 10 minutes later.

If his status as a Gunners legend was ever in doubt before, it certainly wasn’t after that.

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Manchester United

As 11-time FA Cup winners, Manchester United have also seen some great individual performances.

In the Third Round of the 1990 FA Cup, United were up against Nottingham Forest. Under Alex Ferguson, the Red Devils were struggling and many thought Forest the favourites in the match.

Yet Mark Robins came off the bench late in the match to score the only goal and put United through. Many believe this to be a pivotal in both Ferguson’s career and the history of Manchester United.

At the time, the press were speculating that Ferguson would lose his job if United didn’t win. But they did, and went on to win the FA Cup that year.

The Scotsman became the most decorated manager in English football and was given a knighthood to boot.

Other standout performances for United include Eric Cantona’s wonderful through-volley in the 1996 Final against Liverpool, and Ryan Giggs’ late goal against Arsenal in the 1999 Semi-Final.

Both of these performances were historic for United. In 1996, they became the first English team to win two league and cup doubles in their history due largely to Cantona. In 1999, Giggs’ amazing late winner against Arsenal was arguably the pivotal moment in the club’s famous treble that year.


Liverpool have won the FA Cup seven times, with their most notable tournament win coming in the 1985-86 season, where the Merseyside club completed a league and cup double.

During Liverpool’s first FA Cup win in 1965 against Leeds, Gerry Byrne played the Final with a broken collar bone, having collided with the Leeds captain after just five minutes of play!

Byrne also played an important part in Roger Hunt’s first goal for Liverpool in extra-time, and the Reds went on to win the game 2-1.

Steven Gerrard’s performance in the 2006 Final against West Ham also stands out a mile. Liverpool were 3-2 down in the dying minutes of injury time when Gerrard hit the ball on the half volley from 35 yards out and it went screaming into the goal.

Liverpool won the game after a gripping penalty shootout.

This trio of legendary FA Cup teams stand head and shoulders above the rest of the country in terms of the sheer amount of tournament wins between them.

And while football is a team game, just sometimes, a cup win can come down to the performance of one player alone. Whether it’s a Giggs, Henry, or Gerrard goal that separates the teams come the final whistle, those are the names that will be etched in the minds of fans, despite the whole team’s name on the trophy.

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The previous winners of The FA Cup

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As of March 2016, 43 there have been 43 different FA Cup winners since the tournament first began in the 1871-72 season.

Whilst no non-league team has ever emerged victorious, this high number of champions shows just how exciting and unpredictable a competition it really is.

Here are the winners of the FA Cup throughout its long history:

Arsenal (12)

1929-30, 1935-36, 1949-50, 1970-71, 1978-79, 1992-93, 1997-98, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2013-14, 2014-15

Arsenal equalled Manchester United’s record of 11 FA Cup wins in 2013-14 and broke it in 2014-15.

Manchester United (11)

1908-09, 1947-48, 1962-63, 1976-77, 1982-83, 1984-85, 1989-90, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99, 2003-04

In 1993-94 and 1995-96, Manchester United also won the Premier League as well as the FA Cup, hitting the record books as the first team to record two doubles in its history.

In 1999, United made history again by winning the historic treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in the same year.

Tottenham Hotspur (8)

1900-01, 1920-21, 1960-61, 1961-62, 1966-67, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1990-91

Tottenham Hotspur became famous for FA Cup victories in years ending in the number one – watch out for them in the 2020-21 season…

Liverpool (7)

1964-65, 1973-74, 1985-86, 1988-89, 1991-92, 2000-01, 2005-06

Liverpool is the second most successful club in English football behind Manchester United. Their 60 major honours include five UEFA Champions League titles, eight Football League Cups, three UEFA Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and 18 league titles, in addition to their seven FA Cup wins.

Chelsea (7)

1969-70, 1996-97, 1999-2000, 2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2011-12

Chelsea’s win against Leeds in 1970 is notable for two reasons: the level of brutality during the tie, and for being the first Wembley final to go to a replay.

Aston Villa (7)

1886-87, 1894-95, 1896-97, 1904-05, 1912-13, 1919-20, 1956-57

Aston Villa is the fifth most successful club in the history of English football.

Villa have won a total of 24 major titles, including their seven FA Cup wins. They are also one of just five English clubs to have won the UEFA Champions League.

Newcastle United (6)

1909-10, 1923-24, 1931-32, 1950-51, 1951-52, 1954-55

Newcastle’s most successful period was between 1904 and 1910, when they won three league titles, in addition to their first FA Cup win.

Blackburn Rovers (6)

1883-84, 1884-85, 1885-86, 1889-90, 1890-91, 1927-28

Blackburn Rovers were awarded a specially-commissioned silver shield after they were crowned FA Cup winners three years in a row.

Everton (5)

1905-06, 1932-33, 1965-66, 1983-84, 1994-95

Having won the FA Cup in 1984, Everton won the Cup Winners’ Cup the following year. The Toffees’ last trophy win to date is the FA Cup in 1995.

West Bromwich Albion (5)

1889-88, 1891-92, 1930-31, 1953-54, 1967-68

West Brom have also won the league title once (1919-20), but the FA Cup has been the club’s greatest source of success.

Manchester City (5)

1903-04, 1933-34, 1955-56, 1968-69, 2010-11

Manchester City became FA Cup winners in 1969, right in the middle of one the most successful periods in the club’s history.

City had won the league title the season before (1967-68) and the Football League Cup the year after in 1969-70. As FA Cup winners in 1969, they went on to win the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1969-70.

Wanderers (5)

1871-72, 1872-73, 1875-76, 1876-77, 1877-78

Wanderers FC was formed in 1859 by former pupils of the leading public schools in England. The club’s fortunes declined rapidly following their three straight FA Cup wins and it folded in 1884.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (4)

1892-93, 1907-08, 1948-49, 1959-60

Wolves’ last FA Cup win in 1960 marked the end of a decade of success, during which they also won the league title three times.

Bolton Wanderers (4)

1922-23, 1925-26, 1928-29, 1957-58

When Bolton Wanderers became FA Cup winners for the first time in 1923, it was their first major trophy. This match was also the very first FA Cup Final held at Wembley Stadium.

The 1923 Final is known as the White Horse Final, due to the sight of a policeman on a white horse trying to control members of a 300,000 strong crowd before the match.

Sheffield United (4)

1898-99, 1901-02, 1914-15, 1924-25

Sheffield United’s most successful period was between 1895 and 1925. The Blades were crowned FA Cup winners four times during this period, and also won their only league title to date in the 1897-98 season.

Sheffield Wednesday (3)

1895-96, 1906-07, 1934-35

Sheffield Wednesday is third oldest club in England, known as ‘The Wednesday’ at the time of their first two FA Cup wins.

West Ham United (3)

1963-64, 1974-75, 1979-80

The FA Cup is the Hammers’ only major domestic trophy. As FA Cup winners in 1964, they went on to win the Cup Winners’ Cup the following year.

Preston North End (2)

1888-89, 1937-38

By winning the FA Cup in 1889, Preston North End became the first club in history to win a league and cup double. Preston didn’t concede a single goal during their 1889 Cup run.

Old Etonians (2)

1878-79, 1881-82

Old Etonians’ two FA Cup wins shows the dominance of public schools in the early history of the modern game.

The club now plays in the Arthurian League, which is strictly for teams of ex-public school boys.

Portsmouth (2)

1938-39, 2007-08

Portsmouth’s FA Cup run in 2008 saw them overcome eventual Premier and Champions League winners, Manchester United, in the quarter final.

Sunderland (2)

1936-37, 1972-73

Sunderland were in the second tier of English football when they won the FA Cup in 1973. What’s more remarkable is that they beat reigning champions (and the major force in English football at the time), Leeds United, in the final.

Nottingham Forest (2)

1897-98, 1958-59

The 1959 FA Cup Final is notable for the Forest fans singing the theme to popular TV show, “Robin Hood”.

This is thought to be the first time that popular TV culture had made its way on to the terraces during an FA Cup Final.

Bury (2)

1899-1900, 1902-03

Bury’s 6-0 win over Derby County in 1900 remains the highest-ever winning margin in an FA Cup Final.

Huddersfield Town (1)


Huddersfield Town’s FA Cup victory in 1922 was the club’s first major trophy, and the start of a period of real success.

Over the course of the next four years, the Terriers would also win the league title three times in a row.

Southampton (1)


Southampton’s 1-0 win over Manchester United in the 1976 FA Cup Final is considered one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition.

United had finished third in the top tier, whereas Southampton had ended the season in sixth-place in the second tier.

Leeds United (1)


Under manager, Don Revie, Leeds were in the midst of the most successful period in their history when they won the FA Cup.

After two previous near misses during the Revie era, Leeds finally brought the Cup home to Elland Road in 1972. They were runners-up again the following year.

Derby County (1)


Derby beat Charlton Athletic 4-1 after extra-time. The 1946 FA Cup Final was the first since 1939, when the competition was suspended because of World War Two.

Royal Engineers (1)


As well as becoming FA Cup winners in 1875, Royal Engineers were also runners-up in four of the first eight seasons of the competition.

Oxford University (1)


Oxford University became FA Cup winners in a 2-0 win over the Royal Engineers.

Blackpool (1)


Blackpool’s FA Cup 4-3 win over Bolton Wanderers in 1953 is now known as “the Matthews Final”, for the performance of the Seasiders’ Stanley Matthews. At 38, Matthews was said to have had the “game of his life”.

Blackpool came from 3-1 down to win. The 1953 FA Cup Final remains the only one to feature a hat-trick to date.

Cardiff City (1)


Cardiff City’s 1927 FA Cup win is the only time that the trophy has left the hands of English clubs.

Burnley (1)


Burnley’s 1-0 win over Liverpool was remarkable only for being the last FA Cup Final at Crystal Palace, as well as being the Clarets’ only FA Cup victory to date.

Charlton Athletic (1)


After being runners-up the previous year, Charlton became FA Cup winners for the first and only time in 1947.

The ball burst during the Final for the second year in a row, owing to the poor quality of leather that was available during the post-war period.

Barnsley (1)


The 1912 tie between Barnsley and West Brom was the third FA Cup Final in a row to go to a replay.

Barnsley won the second match 1-0 after a goalless draw in the first.

Notts County (1)


Notts County’s 4-1 win over Bolton Wanderers in 1894 made them the first team outside of the top flight to be crowned winners of the FA Cup.

Clapham Rovers (1)


Clapham Rovers were one of 15 teams to play in the very first FA Cup during the 1871-72 season, but it took another few years to win it, with a 1-0 win over Oxford University.

The club dissolved in 1911.

Wigan Athletic (1)


Wigan’s 1-0 win over Manchester City in 2013 was bittersweet. They became the first-ever team to win the FA Cup and succumb to relegation from the top flight in the same season.

Wimbledon (1)


Dubbed “the Crazy Gang”, unfashionable Wimbledon went into the 1988 FA Cup Final as outright underdogs as they faced league champions, Liverpool.

Their 1-0 win over the Reds remains one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition.

Coventry City (1)


Coventry won their only major trophy to date with a 3-2 win over Spurs in the 1987 FA Cup Final. Spurs were strong favourites after making it to their third final in seven years.

Victory was sealed for Coventry by an own goal from Gary Mabbutt in extra time.

Ipswich Town (1)


Bobby Robson’s Ipswich Town went into the 1978 FA Cup Final as underdogs against Arsenal. Despite this, they dominated the match and duly won it 1-0.

Bradford City (1)


The 1911 FA Cup is Bradford City’s only major trophy to date. Bradford were the first team to lift the then new trophy, which was the first to incorporate the familiar design still in use today.

Blackburn Olympic (1)


Blackburn Olympic’s 2-1 win over Old Etonians in 1883 is seen as a watershed moment in football history.

This is because it was the first time that a working class team overcame a team derived from public schools in an FA Cup Final.

Old Carthusians (1)


This was Old Carthusians’ first time in an FA Cup Final and Old Etonians’ fourth. The latter were expected to win with some ease. Despite this, Old Carthusians won the match by a convincing three goals to nil.

Football has seen many changes, not least the shift from being the preserve of public school boys, to being dominated by the working classes in later years.

This has been demonstrated perfectly by the hugely varied roster of champions in the FA Cup.

While some successful clubs have disappeared, the top five most successful in the FA Cup’s long history remain at the top of English football today. These modern clubs are clearly here to stay and will no doubt add to their impressive array of trophies in the future.

However, the FA Cup has had its fair of shocks along the way, and there are no doubt many more to come.

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A history of ‘giant killings’

By | Football, The FA Cup | No Comments

The FA Cup gives smaller teams the opportunity to face up against the more well-established teams in the country.

Over the years, this has led to huge upsets and shock results, establishing the FA Cup as one of the most exciting football competitions around.

Let’s take a look at some of the best ‘giant killings’ in The FA Cup’s history…

Oxford United 3-1 Blackburn Rovers

1964 FA Cup Fifth Round

In February 1964, Oxford United were in their second season as a Football League club, having achieved promotion from the Southern League in 1962.

After making their way to the Fifth Round, they played host to Blackburn Rovers, who were then in the First Division (the top tier).

A then-record 21,700 people crammed in at the tiny Manor Ground to watch their minnows play the giants of Blackburn. The Rovers team included England international, Ronnie Clayton, as well as Mike England and Ireland’s Mick McGrath.

United didn’t disappoint, as they did the unthinkable and won the match after two goals from Tony Jones and one from Billy Calder in the dying minutes.

Hereford United 2-1 Newcastle United

1972 FA Cup Third Round (replay)

When non-league Hereford United were drawn against Newcastle, not even the savviest punters gave them a chance of winning.

Amazingly, Hereford pulled off a 2-2 draw at St James’ Park to force a home replay at Edgar Street. Bad weather caused the replay to be postponed three times, and the match finally took place on February 5th, on a pitch that had seen better days.

Newcastle striker and top scorer, Malcom MacDonald, spent the week leading up to the rematch boasting of his desire to score 10 goals against the Bulls and beat the record for number of goals in an FA Cup tie.

The match went without a goal until MacDonald did finally put the Magpies ahead in the 82th minute. Just three minutes later, Hereford’s Ronnie Radford scored what has to be one of the greatest goals in FA Cup history to bring the scores level.

The match went into extra time and Ricky George scored the winner for Hereford in the 103rd minute of the match. Many consider Hereford’s win over Newcastle to be the biggest shock in FA Cup history.

Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal

1992 FA Cup Third Round

In January 1992, Arsenal were league champions, whereas Wrexham were in the fourth tier and had finished at the very foot of the league.

The Welsh club had only avoided relegation to the Conference because Aldershot FC had gone out of business. This meant that there wasn’t any relegation out of the Football League in 1991-92.

During the match, Alan Smith put the Gunners ahead in the 43rd minute. But a stunning free-kick from 37-year-old former Welsh international, Mickey Thomas, put the hosts level in the 82nd minute.

Just two minutes later, Tony Adams missed a chance to clear, and Wrexham’s Steve Watkin fired past David Seaman to give the Dragons a historic giant-killing FA Cup win.

For many, shock results are what makes the FA Cup such a special competition.

Over the years, there have been many giant killings in the FA Cup, yet the three described above arguably stand out from the rest.

With a host of surprise results in the 2014-15 season, it seems that this trend is here to stay, and we can expect more shocks in years to come.