Ahead of the First Round of this season’s Emirates FA Cup, The FA has launched a campaign to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the world’s longest-running knockout football competition – including a projection on the outfield of The Kia Oval.
The host ground of the competition’s first ever final, which was contested by Wanderers and Royal Engineers on 16 March 1872, our ground has played a major role in its history.
The FA Challenge Cup was established 150 years ago, with the first matches taking place on 11 November 1871 following a proposal by the then Secretary of the Association, Charles W. Alcock, with a vision to bring hope, opportunity and equality to football.
Alcock was also Secretary of Surrey between 1872 and 1907. As well as bringing The FA Cup final to The Oval, he also administered rugby internationals between England and Scotland, the first Test match between England and Australia and oversaw the first golden era of Surrey’s cricket side.
To kick-off the season-long campaign celebrating the Emirates FA Cup’s 150th anniversary, The FA has unveiled a film which features two-time winner Ian Wright and showcases how Alcock’s founding values are just as relevant and important today.
The film has been released across The Emirates FA Cup’s digital channels and brings to life the rich history and traditions of the competition, while highlighting the impact that it continues to provide at all levels of the football pyramid.
As well as Alcock at The Kia Oval, key figures and moments through the years have been displayed on landmarks that best depict the competition’s values alongside scripted lines from the film. These projection sites are:
• Trulife Factory, Sheffield – Jamie Vardy became the first person to play in every possible round when he lifted the trophy with Leicester City last season and is celebrated at his place of work when he appeared in it for the first time with Stocksbridge Park Steels in 2007.
• Coventry Transport Museum – Cyrille Regis, a pioneer for players of black heritage, lights up the home of the open-top trophy tour bus which transported him and his Coventry City teammates through the streets of the city after they won the competition in 1987.
• LNER Stadium, Lincoln – the home of Lincoln City, who became the first non-league team in 103 years to make the Quarter Finals when they faced Arsenal in 2017, securing their financial future and funding a new training ground complex.
• Marine Travel Arena, Merseyside – the 3,000 capacity ground ‘hosted’ 32,000 virtual ticket holders due to the Coronavirus pandemic when Marine AFC faced Tottenham Hotspur in the Third Round of last season’s competition. The fixture represented the biggest gap in league places  between teams facing each other in competition’s history and created a lasting legacy for both the club and local community.