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Golden era of the FA Cup

 

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Ancient Wolf
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Golden era of the FA Cup Can't Post or Reply Privately

With so much discussion here about the decline and death of the FA Cup I started thinking abut when the competition had its heyday.
I believe it ran from about 1970 to 1992.
Colchester beating Leeds as this was one of the first shocks on colour television.
The last great giant-killing was Wrexham beating Arsenal. Team who had been bottom of the League beating the champions who didn't field a side weakened by rotation. The fact that it happened in 1991/2 the last season before the Premiership is aposite.
Any thoughts?


Isaac
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I'd go along with that, Colchester v Leeds and Ronnie Radford's screamer for Hereford against Newcastle always come to mind then in the 80's York City beating Arsenal, Bournemouth beating Man Utd and Sutton Utd beating Coventry City.

We still get a few upsets in the early rounds like Dorchester v Plymouth and Chelmsford v Colchester but sadly the FA Cup is a pale shadow of what it once was.


kirby knitters
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Was at Harlow Town in jan 80 to watch leicester lose in a replay 1_0.City fans all standing on a slippery grass bank at there old sports centre ground.The authorities would never allow that now!!


cope1
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As an Arsenal fan I'd stretch it to 1993 and ther replayed final between the Arse and Sheff Weds. Partly because, having only started following in 1986 (I lived in the US for a few years as a kid) it was the first time I'd seen Arsenal win the FA Cup. In fact I think that apart from the 1991 semi-final, it was about the only time they got past the fourth round up to that point!


jrev61
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For me the FA Cup started to go downhill in the 1880's when professional clubs were allowed to compete, even if they were from the north.
Before that the competition was quite rightly dominated by southern teams of ex-public schoolboys,
Bring back Clapham Rovers,Harrow Chequers and the Wanderers.Smile



jrev61


cope1
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In Reply To
For me the FA Cup started to go downhill in the 1880's when professional clubs were allowed to compete, even if they were from the north.
Before that the competition was quite rightly dominated by southern teams of ex-public schoolboys,
Bring back Clapham Rovers,Harrow Chequers and the Wanderers.Smile


Well, one down...

That aside, I would like to see an Amateur Cup again. With real amateurs. The closest we come is the Inter-League Cup. I'd like to see something for clubs though.


oxpete
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In Reply To
For me the FA Cup started to go downhill in the 1880's when professional clubs were allowed to compete, even if they were from the north.
Before that the competition was quite rightly dominated by southern teams of ex-public schoolboys,
Bring back Clapham Rovers,Harrow Chequers and the Wanderers.Smile


There are still people connected with Oxford University who (without irony) would state 1880 as the start of the rot. OUAFC reached the final that year for the fourth time in eight years, lost 1-0 to Clapham Rovers, and never entered again because of the rise of 'those dastardly professional northern chappies'!

Personally, it began to lose its sparkle for me when Pompey lost the 1992 semi-final on penalties to Liverpool. I've still not properly got over that.


Ancient Wolf
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Re: [oxpete] Golden era of the FA Cup [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

The early 90s does seem to be a turning point.

Two important factors being deciding games on penalties and playing semi-finals at Wembley.


VP
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There are still people connected with Oxford University who (without irony) would state 1880 as the start of the rot.


While I was doing some research in The Times archive I came across a couple of reports slating the cup, saying the play wasn't as flowing as the golden era ten or so years earlier. I can't remember the exact years, sometime between 1890 and 1900 I think.
The reports could have quite possibly been written by old boys of the Universities though so possibly a touch biased?


(This post was edited by VP on Nov 6, 2012, 7:55 PM)


UKPunk
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For me the FA Cup started to go downhill in the 1880's when professional clubs were allowed to compete, even if they were from the north.
Before that the competition was quite rightly dominated by southern teams of ex-public schoolboys,
Bring back Clapham Rovers,Harrow Chequers and the Wanderers.Smile

Any activity indulged in by ex-public schoolboys is at best to be looked on with suspicion. Tongue



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paulh66
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The early 90s does seem to be a turning point.

Two important factors being deciding games on penalties and playing semi-finals at Wembley.


Two more being the creation of the Premier League and the Champions League.


Isaac
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In Reply To

In Reply To
The early 90s does seem to be a turning point.

Two important factors being deciding games on penalties and playing semi-finals at Wembley.


Two more being the creation of the Premier League and the Champions League.



Also play off finals being held at Wembley and the fact that the play off final for a Prem place is now a far bigger game than the FA Cup final.


cope1
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Re: [Isaac] Golden era of the FA Cup [In reply to] Can't Post or Reply Privately

I do miss the magic of the cup but I also used to wonder - before it disappeared - why the cup was so important in the first place when it's such a hit and miss format.

You could argue that the formation of the Football League saw the first steps away from the 'golden age' as it saw clubs creating a competition which gave them regular income, as opposed to the potential of only one competitive match. If you look at football nowadays it tends to be only in amateur football that cup competitions are held in high esteem. Anywhere that money is generated by the playing of football you find leagues are far more important.


garethwrexy
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best era for fa cup for me 1996-2005.



wrexham fc fa trophy winners 2013 !


Matty
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Was at Harlow Town in jan 80 to watch leicester lose in a replay 1_0.City fans all standing on a slippery grass bank at there old sports centre ground.The authorities would never allow that now!!



especially good as 1st year pupil at a Derby Secondary school with a Foxes fan as a RE teacher - of course when he came in to teach us we all went 'Harlow Sir'


Andrelux
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I'd put the death knell of the FA Cup at the quite precise date when Manchester United were excused from competing one year. So 1999.

Back in the 70s, Bees played Addlestone & Weybridge (Southern League), at home, in the cup first round. Brentford average attendance was 5,000 (it's always 5,000, year in, year out......). The attendance (from memory) was 7,600... so highest attendance of the season, 50% over average, and Addlestone contributed the odd few hundred. Play the same game today, and there'd probably only be 2,000 to 2,500 at the game.

I'll leave it to someone else to do the maths, but 1999 is the point at which I feel it went from being an important to a subsidiary competition. Hell, everyone thought, if even the FA think the holders don't need to compete, but instead play in some new competition on the off chance that England might get to host the 2006 World Cup, then this clearly doesn't matter.

Time was, the FA cup games (whoever you were playing) drew one of the highest attendances of the season. Nowadays, it's only if a team draws a higher ranked one at home that there's a chance of a higher than average attendance. And if it's a Premiership team, you'll probably be up against their reserves.


yorkieexile
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I am no fan of Manchester United, but, AFAIK, they wanted to play in the FA Cup, and offered a variety of solutions to enable them to do this, none of which were acceptable.

UEFA wanted them to play in the World Club Championships, which happened to clash with the date of the 3rd Round

What solution would you have come up with?


UKPunk
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I am no fan of Manchester United, but, AFAIK, they wanted to play in the FA Cup, and offered a variety of solutions to enable them to do this, none of which were acceptable.

UEFA wanted them to play in the World Club Championships, which happened to clash with the date of the 3rd Round

What solution would you have come up with?

Why didn't they just tell the FA they'd put out their reserves as usual? Unsure



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kirby knitters
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The FA cup was totally devalued that year,who won it?chelsea!!
Was that the year Darlo got a lucky losers card?


leohoenig
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Nov 18, 2012, 9:05 AM

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They should have played third round as usual (it had a very early date that season, with replays before Christmas)
The fouth round clashed with the World Club competition.
Assuming United qualified for the fourth round, it should have been played on either the third round or fourth round replay date.



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Whiskey Coates
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In Reply To

In Reply To
I am no fan of Manchester United, but, AFAIK, they wanted to play in the FA Cup, and offered a variety of solutions to enable them to do this, none of which were acceptable.

UEFA wanted them to play in the World Club Championships, which happened to clash with the date of the 3rd Round

What solution would you have come up with?


To be fair to Man United Mad there was pressure on them from both The FA and the government to take part in the World Club Championship as they thought it would help England's (failed) bid to host the 2006 World Cup. The fear was that had United not taken part then Bayern Munich would've taken their place and scored political point within FIFA.

So much for that theory!


Why didn't they just tell the FA they'd put out their reserves as usual? Unsure


The FA said at the time "Crucially the club, for totally understandable reasons, has not wanted to devalue the FA Cup as they see it, by entering a team other than their strongest."

Obviously that rule doesn't apply nowadays!


MistaFozzII
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The FA cup was totally devalued that year,who won it?chelsea!!
Was that the year Darlo got a lucky losers card?


Yes, we played Villa away in the 3rd Round



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cope1
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Nov 24, 2012, 9:22 AM

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The 'funny' thing is, I don't think the Man Utd omission had much effect. It was already on its knees and it continued in the same vein. When Arsenal won the double in 1998 I, as a Gooner, was happier because we'd won the double than because it was the FA Cup. And I'd only seen them win the cup once before that (too young to register in 1979).

Thinking about it some more, I wonder if the fact that the double was completed 4 times between 1994 and 1999 didn't reduce its status somewhat. The FA Cup became almost a bonus prize for the league champions as the double was being won as often as not. More times in those 6 seasons than in the whole of the 20th century up to that point.


(This post was edited by cope1 on Nov 24, 2012, 9:24 AM)


eesti7
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As an Arsenal fan I'd stretch it to 1993 and ther replayed final between the Arse and Sheff Weds. Partly because, having only started following in 1986 (I lived in the US for a few years as a kid) it was the first time I'd seen Arsenal win the FA Cup. In fact I think that apart from the 1991 semi-final, it was about the only time they got past the fourth round up to that point!

Arguably that replay was the first sign that the FA Cup had lost something. I think it was the first time an FA Cup final didn't sell out. I remember watching South East news the night before and the FA stating that there would be no pay on the day despite the unsold tickets.

There's a big difference between an individual's golden era and what actually represents a golden era for the FA Cup. Anything after 2000 wouldn't stand up to scrutiny with anything from 1946-85. There was time when an FA Cup tie would guarantee the home side a better than average attendance regardless of the opposition. Nowadays clubs have to reduce their admission pricess in an attempt to get an average gate.

Personally I think the distorted football landscape plays a big part in this. There are always too many top flight clubs that aren't genuinely big sides (Wigan the best example) so fewer chances of a proper David v Goliath third round tie. Meanwhile over half the clubs in League Two have played in the Conference and vice versa so it's difficult to define a giant-killing in the early rounds.

Chelsmford beating Colchester would have been a massive shock 25 years ago but no-one really paid too much attention. Meanwhile a Chelmsford player falls on his backside taking a free-kick at Hayes a week later and becomes an overnight sensation on Youtube. The world's changed but the FA Cup has remained the same. I still love it and it will always be around, but no child today will ever be able to get the buzz that many on this forum got when the final was novel simply bcause it was a live game on TV. This season they'll probably be three Premier League games on Sky that weekend plus a play-off match.


cope1
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I agree with you on the TV point. We are too spoilt for choice these days so watching a game isn't that big a deal. I disagree that it's down to the type of clubs in the top flight though. For every Wigan in 2012 there was a Wimbledon in 1985. There have always been clubs at the top who you don't think of as being top clubs. I often find myself absent mindedly noticing a 'shock' if Wigan beat Sheffield United before I remember that the former are higher up the leagues than the latter.
I think that all comes from what your set idea of football clubs and their level is which comes from what you grew up with. Every year is a smaller increment as you get older, so whatever happened in your life until you were about 15-18 is the 'real' thing. After that the changes seem to come thick and fast. Certainly for me everything is fixed in 1986-87 season which is the first season I paid attention and knew all the 92 clubs, where they played, their colours and probably all their sponsors and who made their kit. Anything which has changed since then is a 'change' while any changes which happened before then don't count. Scunthorpe, for example, have always played at Glandford Park even though they only moved there in 1988 (I guess I hadn't reached 'S' during the 86-87 season).

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