I’m not normally one for facts and figures but if you’re looking to try and salvage happiness from the gloom of Tuesday night, why not have a read below. It might just make you realise what a huge event Saturday was. Just in case you were in any doubt….
The 2013 FA Cup Final was the 132nd competition
During that time only 43 teams have ever won it
Of those 43 clubs, 7 are no longer in existence, or they are at the very least well hidden
Those 7 clubs all won the FA Cup in the 19th Century and they are: Wanderers, Old Etonians, Royal Engineers, Oxford University, Clapham Rovers, Blackburn Olympic, Old Carthusians
So exclude those 7 clubs and we are one of 36 out of the 92 League clubs who have won the FA Cup.
6 of our fellow (former) Premier League clubs have never won the FA Cup
Stoke have never won it, their crowning glory being their 1972 League Cup. Nor have Swansea, or surprisingly Fulham.
Norwich City have never won the FA Cup which might explain some of the poisonous bile aimed in Wigan Athletic’s direction from that horrible Mick Dennis of the Daily Express this week
Our fellow parachute payment receivers Reading and QPR have never won it either.
So 14 Premier League clubs have won it but only 7 clubs have won it in the last 20 years apart from ourselves – it is little coincidence that those 7 also happen to be the top 7 clubs in the Premier League of recent times (Predictably – United, City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton and Liverpool)
Of the remaining 6 clubs you have to go back 30-40 years since Southampton and West Ham last picked up the trophy. The only time for Southampton in 1976, and 1973 the last time in Sunderland’s case
West Brom, Newcastle and Villa have won it 5, 6, 7 times each but it was 58 years ago since the Geordies won it, 56 since Villa had their name on it although the Baggies picked up their 5th FA Cup a mere 45 years ago!
14 sleeping giants of the Championship have had their name on the famous trophy however none of the Top 6 have ever won it, with the exception of Cardiff who famously took the trophy home to the valleys in 1927 and despite their understandable jubiliation at being in the Premier League have still been waiting 86 years to win another one
You may not know it but Huddersfield Town are former winners (1922) and also that Barnsley won it a mere 101 years ago and next year’s trophy will be the 100th anniversary of Burnley’s one and only FA Cup victory.
I could be picky at this point and mention that there was a war on when the last two happened and it was probably easier back then but you try telling their fans that next season. It would have meant the world to them, except hardly any of them were alive when it happened.
Blackburn Rovers can rightly lord it over their East Lancashire cousins as they’ve won it 6 times, however the last of those victories came back in 1928. Bolton have also managed 4 victories yet nothing but a 5-0 semi final defeat since 1958, which if you’re counting is a mere 55 years ago.
Sheffield Wednesday – last trophy 1935
Nottingham Forest – 1959
Leeds and Ipswich have won it the same number of times as Wigan Athletic during the Seventies when they were dead good for a period of time
Blackpool – once in 1953
Charlton – one in 1947
Meanwhile, Wolves & Sheffield United fans must take some heart down there in League One with their 4 FA Cup wins but they’ll need long memories to remember even the last of them
They are after all only two of nine teams out of the bottom 46 clubs who have ever won the trophy, PNE and Pompey being the obvious ones and of course Wimbledon and Coventry with solitary victories in the modern era.
Maybe you didn’t know that Bury won it twice in 1900 & again in 1903 or Notts County, the oldest professional club have also had their name on the trophy, a mere ONE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN YEARS AGO in 1894 that is!!
And finally, at least Bradford fans only have to be a mere 102 years ago to say they were there when the Bantams lifted the FA Cup!
The rest of the clubs, at least 56 of the current football clubs in the league by my reckoning have never seen their team lift the FA Cup and without sounding harsh many of them probably never will.
And many of the fans of those teams who have won the FA Cup will not have seen it in their lifetime, though they will cherish the history associated with it just as we should do.
They will all have watched our beloved Wigan Athletic on Saturday and dreamed that it was their team lifting that trophy, whether for the first time or again. And as a football club we have shown them that you don’t need magic to make your dreams come true.
And that is all this little piece is about – not to lord it over any other clubs in particular but to point out just what an exceptional feat our football club has just achieved.
It wasn’t a miracle though, we watched it happen – it was totally deserved but it was a once in a lifetime moment that Wigan Athletic fans, indeed fans of many clubs bigger and older than ourselves will never, ever witness – nor will they ever expect to witness it.
So don’t get down about us going down. We did something that will last forever and even more remarkably we did it in the modern era of the game.
The FA Cup means nothing? It means the world for all of the above!!
Let’s hope we get a good draw in December 2013, we only need another three to catch Bolton up!
Keep the Faith!!
Stats and that nicked from here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fa_cup_winners
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