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The FA Cup is the longest running and largest domestic competition for English football clubs. Each year the Premiership teams battle it out in countless games all in the hope of winning the coveted FA Cup. There have been many nail biters and emotional endings, year after year the FA cup final proves to be one of the most exciting and well followed sporting events world wide.

The FA Cup is the longest running domestic football competition in England. It was created in 1871 and the offices of the Sportsman in London. The FA honorary secretary, Mr. Charles Allcock felt there was a need for a competition for the various football clubs around England. The clubs had to belong to the association, but that was the only requirement at the time to compete for the FA Cup. It was also felt that some kind of challenge cup competition would help act as a unifying force among the many clubs that were in existence. The idea was accepted and approval was granted a mere 3 months later.

The very first FA Cup competition had only 15 entrees. That is small compared to today's standards but for the time it seemed staggering. The wanderers won the first FA Cup by defeating the Royal Engineers. The score was 1-0 and it was played at the Kensington Oval. There were 2000 people in attendance and the price of a ticket was 1 shilling. The ticket price and crowd size has increased exponentially since those days, but the turn out was considered quite respectable for it being the first challenge.

The FA Cup final continued to grow in size, interest and shape. In 1922, the Duke of York later to become King George the 6th, in a special ceremony, cut the first turf which was to become Wembly stadium. This was also going to be the new home for the FA Cup final for the next several decades. The project was completed for under 750,000 and took less than a year to build. Today, every FA Cup final has been played in Wembley stadium up until 2000, when plans for the new stadium got underway. The only exception was the war years.

Today the FA Cup is hardly recognisable when compared to its origins. Crowds at least 20 times the size of the first final attend. The FA Cup final is watched world wide leaving audiences in nearly every foreign country on the edge of there seats. There have been some great games played for the FA Cup final and the most recent, 2006 was no exception. The FA Cup has been pleasing sports fans worldwide and gives the sporting tradition of England one of its greatest achievements to be proud of. Watch FA Cup Live here.

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