We're starting the 2018 FA Cup 3rd round weekend by looking back at 20 gloriously retro photographs on one of the most traditional weekends on the sporting calendar. Back when it was all makeshift merchandise, strong squads, full terraces, and bare pitches. A time that most of us missed entirely, but a time of a serious cup fever pandemic.

As top flight teams prepare to ring the changes across their squads this weekend, we revisit an era when the FA Cup was the ultimate prize. Entire towns followed their team nationwide, no matter the round, no matter the opposition. As much as we're seeing arguably the most finely tuned players of all time, there's always part of you that dreams of squeezing onto a terrace in a flat cap to see 22 players battle it out on a grassless pitch. All in the name of pride. 


January 21st 1982: Chelsea's John Bumstead (left) and Colin Lee on the Chelsea team coach to take on Hull City in an FA Cup Third Round Replay. Feet up, VHS on.


January 3rd 1939: Three Tottenham players check out their newly numbered football shirts for the third round FA cup tie against Watford at White Hart Lane, London. Sewn on style.


January 11th 1936: Arsenal supporters at Paddington Station, London, on their way to Bristol to watch their team beat Bristol City 5-1 in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. Bring back the rattle.


February 14th 1972: Fans pack the roof of a tower block overlooking the fourth round (yeah, soz) FA Cup match between West Ham United and Hereford. Non-league Hereford had beaten Newcastle in the third round, and hype around the game was clearly sky high.


Left: January 22nd 1930: Fulham's Temple, Rosier, Henderson, and McNab enjoy bath in Southend, in preparation for their FA Cup tie with Nottingham Forest. Right: January 19th 1929: West Ham's Vic Watson, Earle, Collins, Cadwell, and Ruffle bath after training ahead of their FA Cup tie with Brighton.


January 8th 1975: Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough celebrates with his team in the dressing room after their 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup Third Round Replay at White Hart Lane. Cloughie's first game in charge of Forest.


January 13th 1928: Chelsea's Andy Wilson, Thompson, and Brown leave Euston Station, London, by train en route to their match against Wolves in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. Pre-game ciggie to settle the nerves.


February 14th 1972: West Ham's Geoff Hurst and Billy Bonds watch a free kick fly past them in the FA Cup fourth round against non-league Hereford.


Left: January 8th 1938: Fans try to sneak a view of the third round FA Cup game between Millwall and Manchester City at the Den. Right: January 26th 1957: Fans climb a floodlight as Millwall host Newcastle, at the Den.


January 22nd 1938: A policeman chases a goose that a fan had let loose on the pitch at Molineux during the 4th Round FA Cup tie between Wolves and Arsenal, 22nd January 1938. Doesn't happen enough any more, that.


January 10th 1938: Millwall players train at the Den for an FA Cup replay against Manchester City. Sports science at its finest.


February 14th 1972: Ronnie Radford of Hereford kisses his boots in the changing room after their FA Cup match against West Ham at Hereford's Edgar Street.


January 8th 1938: Supporters queue at Highbury for the 3rd round FA Cup tie between Arsenal and Bolton Wanderers. Not wearing shoes? Not coming in mate.


January 19th 1939: Favourites for the 1939 FA Cup Wolverhampton Wanderers shoe off their clean boots. No Mercurials and Predators here.


January 12th 1938: Scarborough goalkeeper Robinson can only watch as Luton striker Jack Vinall scores in the FA Cup third round replay at Luton. That lucky mascot not giving him much.


March 3rd 1928: Stoke City captain, McGrory, leads his team out for an FA cup tie against Arsenal at Highbury. How much for a Dairy Milk, pal?


January 11th 1939: Ipswich Town players participate in a bit of team bonding at Portman Road after their third round replay defeat against with Aston Villa.


January 15th 1954: Tottenham and Leeds battle it out in the 3rd round on a White Hart Lane swamp. Pitch inspection? Nah, same for both teams. Game on.

It's FA Cup Third Round weekend. Keep it magic folks...