The Origin Of The Oldest English Cup Competition
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The Origin Of The Oldest English Cup Competition
Date : September 06,2019
Author : Jake Woodward Categories :

Origin Of The Oldest English Cup Competition


Ancient Football

People have been playing football, or at least a primitive form of it since the Han Dynasty, where a leather ball filled with feathers was kicked around. The ancient Greeks and Romans had their versions of the game as well. It is speculated that the Romans brought these rudimentary versions of the game to the British Islands when they invaded them, and this essentially, was how football was brought to English soil. It would take centuries to take what the invaders had brought to develop into football. Sources say that in medieval England, an inflated pig's bladder was used as the ball.

Matches were often violent and unorganized, and sometimes entire villages took part. By the mid 17th century, football had more or less evolved into the refined modern game we know and love today. The sport was trendy in public schools, and on the evening of October 26th, 1863, the Football Association was founded. This was also when football and rugby were established as two separate games. The FA would act as a regulatory body, laying down the rules of the game.


First FA Cup

Where there is an organized sport, there is bound to be some competition. The first ever football competition ever held was the Youdan Cup. It was held four years before the first ever FA cup and was played between February and March 1867, in Sheffield, England. It was the first ever knockout football tournament.

The tournament got its name from Thomas Youdan, a local theater owner who sponsored the competition. Twelve teams took part, and the game was played in compliance to Sheffield Rules, rather than The Laws Of The Game, which was established by the FA. The finals were held on the 5th of March, 1967, Shrove Tuesday - a holiday for working-class men. It took place between Hallam FC, the second oldest football club in the world and Norfolk FC. Hallam won by two rouge goals. A playoff was later held on the 9th, which Norfolk won. To pay homage to its legacy, since 2015, youth academy teams compete in The Youdan Trophy.


The Longest Running Cup Competition

The longest running club competition, the Football Association Challenge Cup, contemporarily known as the FA Cup, took place four years later, in November 1971. Ever since then, the tournament has been played every single year, except during the two World Wars. There were a total of fifteen teams, all of which mostly comprised of former public school students. The finals took place on the 16th of March where the Wanderers beat Royal Engineers 1-0. This year's FA Cup would be its 148th season.


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