With a derby-fuelled FA Cup semi-final weekend upon us, we can bring you closer than ever to football's most famous and greatest domestic cup trophy. The FA Cup is special. Magical moments from the Stanley Mathews final to Bob Stokoe's famous jig, the FA Cup's rich history is second to none.
Lifted most recently by Manchester City, the FA Cup pre-dates every domestic cup competition in the history of the game. The iconic trophy has been a part of English football since 1872 when the original, much smaller design, was made by Messrs Martin, Hall & Co and cost around £20. The present day model remains one of the most sought after trophy cabinet additions to any club...big or small!
The very first trophy was awarded from 1872 to 1895. The last winners of that first cup were Aston Villa in 1895 who beat local rivals West Bromwich Albion. Five months after Villa's FA Cup triumph, the trophy was stolen from the William Shillcock football outfitters shop in Birmingham where it was on display. Despite putting a colossal £10 reward on the trophy’s recovery...it was never found!
Sheffield Wednesday took the honour of becoming the first side to lift the replacement trophy in 1896, while Newcastle United were the last side in 1910. The first winners of this current trophy were Liverpool in 1992 after they beat Sunderland 2-0 at Wembley Stadium. Ten years later, The Reds – who face Merseyside rivals Everton in the semi-final - could add FA Cup triumph number eight to their record books.
Today's trophy has been played for since 1992 and is the competitions fourth and an exact replica of the third. The FA Cup's third trophy was 19 inches high and weighed 175 ounces, striking a far more imposing figure than the first two. After 80 years of changing room wear and tear it was replaced after the 1991 final between Tottenham and Nottingham Forest by an exact replica (pictured above).
Who are you backing to become the latest side to lift English football's most famous trophy? Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea and Tottenham are all in semi-final action this weekend and just one step away from the final. Let us know who you're routing for! Join the conversation online, on Twitter and on Facebook.