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FA CUP PICTURE SPECIAL: Glorious photos look back at the history of the competition

PICTURE SPECIAL: West Brom’s victorious players posing in 1931, Bobby Moore relaxing with a beer and scoring goals behind closed doors… on the 150th anniversary of the FA Cup, these photos trace the history of the longest knockout competition ancient of the world

  • The FA Cup was born from humble roots in 1872, and this year the competition will mark its 150th anniversary.
  • These days, 90,000 fans pack Wembley for the final of the world’s oldest knockout competition.
  • Chelsea and Liverpool will meet this weekend, with the Reds aiming for a sensational Quadruple
  • At the head of the game sports mail has taken a look at the cup through a series of the most impressive images

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Adapted from The Cup: A Pictorial Celebration Of The World's Greatest Football Tournament by Richard Whitehead, published by Pitch at £25.  To order a copy for £22.50 (offer valid until 21/05/22; free UK postage on orders over £20), visit www.mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.

Adapted from The Cup: A Pictorial Celebration Of The World’s Greatest Football Tournament by Richard Whitehead, published by Pitch at £25. To order a copy for £22.50 (offer valid until 21/05/22; free UK P&P on orders over £20), visit www.mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.

The FA Cup was born from humble roots: a clash between Wanderers and Royal Engineers in the first ever final on 16 March 1872 at London’s Kennington Oval. 150 years later, it is a global institution.

Today, 90,000 fans will pack Wembley to watch their teams battle it out for the prestigious trophy in what is the biggest knockout competition in history.

It has become increasingly popular, with just 15 teams entering the first edition compared to the 729 who took part this season in the hope of creating memories.

This campaign, Chelsea and Liverpool will renew their fierce rivalry.

For the Blues, it is their second consecutive appearance in the final, while the latter are looking for a sensational quadruple under Jurgen Klopp.

But before the game sports mail has combed through the best FA Cup footage over the years, from grainy footage from 1883.

Next, the construction of Wembley, the surprises and Bobby Moore relaxing with a beer will delight and enthrall in the build-up to the biggest cup game of all.

1883: Blackburn's Olympic team that won the FA Cup is shown;  they were the first norteño club to win the trophy

1883: Blackburn’s Olympic team that won the FA Cup is shown; they were the first norteño club to win the trophy

1915: Wounded soldiers watch the FA Cup Final between Sheffield United and Chelsea at Old Trafford, Manchester.

1915: Wounded soldiers watch the FA Cup Final between Sheffield United and Chelsea at Old Trafford, Manchester.

Construction of Wembley was underway in 1923 (pictured)

Pictured is a policeman on horseback before the FA Cup Final in 1923

1923: Wembley construction was underway (L) in the same year that Bolton and West Ham met in the final (R)

1931: The victorious West Bromwich Albion players return home with the trophy, photographed in front of a train at Paddington Station.

1931: The victorious West Bromwich Albion players return home with the trophy, photographed in front of a train at Paddington Station.

1939: George Formby holds the trophy at the start of a Portsmouth match, shortly after they won the FA Cup by beating Wolves.

1939: George Formby holds the trophy at the start of a Portsmouth match, shortly after they won the FA Cup by beating Wolves.

1946 – Derby County captain Jack Nicholas and team return with the trophy after beating Charlton Athletic in the final.

1946 – Derby County captain Jack Nicholas and team return with the trophy after beating Charlton Athletic in the final.

1949: Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Billy Wright and the FA Cup remain high after beating Leicester City in the final.

1949: Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Billy Wright and the FA Cup remain high after beating Leicester City in the final.

1956: Manchester City's Don Revie (right) and Bert Trautmann (left) celebrate with the FA Cup after their team beat Birmingham

1956: Manchester City’s Don Revie (right) and Bert Trautmann (left) celebrate with the FA Cup after their team beat Birmingham

1958: Manchester United captain Bill Foulkes participates in a coin toss in his first game after the Munich air disaster.

1958: Manchester United captain Bill Foulkes participates in a coin toss in his first game after the Munich air disaster.

1963: West Ham captain Bobby Moore spends a few quiet minutes with a beer after his team reached the FA Cup final.

1963: West Ham captain Bobby Moore spends a few quiet minutes with a beer after his team reached the FA Cup final.

1967: Young Huddersfield supporters invaded the pitch after their team opened the scoring against Chelsea in the third round

1967: Young Huddersfield supporters invaded the pitch after their team opened the scoring against Chelsea in the third round

1972: Over 40,000 people turned up to see West Ham play Hereford, but those without tickets watched from a building.

1972: Over 40,000 people turned up to see West Ham play Hereford, but those without tickets watched from a building.

1973: Sunderland goalkeeper Jim Montgomery is pictured making his famous and superb double save against Leeds United.

1973: Sunderland goalkeeper Jim Montgomery is pictured making his famous and superb double save against Leeds United.

1974: Liverpool manager Bill Shankly is seen with the FA Cup at his feet on the train back from their 3-0 win over Newcastle.

1974: Liverpool manager Bill Shankly is seen with the FA Cup at his feet on the train back from their 3-0 win over Newcastle.

1976: Southampton players celebrate with the FA Cup trophy during a street parade after beating Manchester United.

1976: Southampton players celebrate with the FA Cup trophy during a street parade after beating Manchester United.

1985: Manchester United's Kevin Moran is sent off by referee Peter Willis in their 1–0 loss to Everton in the FA Cup Final

1985: Manchester United’s Kevin Moran is sent off by referee Peter Willis in their 1–0 loss to Everton in the FA Cup Final

1989: Liverpool and Nottingham Forest players are seen lining up for their new game after the Hillsborough Tragedy.

1989: Liverpool and Nottingham Forest players are seen lining up for their new game after the Hillsborough Tragedy.

1991: Paul Gascoigne celebrates with Tottenham team-mate Gary Lineker after scoring his second goal against Oxford United.

1991: Paul Gascoigne celebrates with Tottenham team-mate Gary Lineker after scoring his second goal against Oxford United.

1999: Manchester United great Ryan Giggs is harassed by his teammates after scoring his infamous goal against Arsenal.

1999: Manchester United great Ryan Giggs is harassed by his teammates after scoring his infamous goal against Arsenal.

2012: Chelsea defender Ashley Cole celebrates with the FA Cup trophy after his team beat Liverpool in the final at Wembley

2012: Chelsea defender Ashley Cole celebrates with the FA Cup trophy after his team beat Liverpool in the final at Wembley

2020: Christian Pulisic leaves after scoring Chelsea's goal against Arsenal in the final behind closed doors in the capital

2020: Christian Pulisic leaves after scoring Chelsea’s goal against Arsenal in the final behind closed doors in the capital

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