From Forgotten Entry Forms to University Teams: The Emirates FA Cup’s strangest facts

Who doesn’t love the oldest competition in world football? Well, it’s finally back and the third round draw commences this evening on BBC One at 7:10pm.

We’ve reached the stage where the Premier League and Championship clubs enter the competition and they could potentially face non-league sides such as Marine, Chorley and Canvey Island.

The iconic tournament has whipped up some exciting moments throughout its history and produced some strange statistics along the way. With this in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the strangest records that the FA Cup has to offer.

The Shortest FA Cup Run – Birmingham City 1921/22

A countless number of clubs have produced miraculous runs in this tournament in recent years, most notably Lincoln City and Newport County in 2016/17 and 2018/19 respectively.

However, Birmingham City set the record for the shortest cup run in the competition’s history in 1921.

How did they achieve this? Well, they simply forgot to send in their entry form on time.

Club secretary-manager Frank Richards was the man in charge of this duty and the Football Association refused to bend the rules in their favour.

The FA Cup and Welsh Cup double – Cardiff City 1926/27

In 1927, Welsh club Cardiff City became the first side to take the FA Cup outside of England.

The Bluebirds completed an unusual but astounding cup double this season when they won both the Welsh Cup and the FA Cup. Consequently, they became the first ever club to achieve a transnational cup double.

The Welsh capital club played the likes of Ebbw Vale, Rhyl and Wrexham in their country’s cup before seeing off the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Aston Villa to win England’s domestic trophy.

The Longest Tie in Cup History – Oxford City vs Alvechurch 1971/72

FA Cup replays are almost a thing of the past these days, but in 1971 it was was the talk of the town as non-league sides Oxford City and Alvechurch set a Guinness World Record for the longest tie in the cup’s history.

A total of 660 minutes were played between the two sides after six games as Alvechurch progressed thanks to a 1-0 win at Villa Park in the fifth replay.

At the end of the game, Aston Villa chairman Doug Ellis poured champagne for all the players when it was announced that they had set a new record.

Since extra-time and penalties have come into the competition, this record will never be broken.

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University Team Making It To The Big Stage – Team Bath 2002/04

In 2002, Team Bath from the University of Bath became the first university side to reach the first round proper since Oxford in 1880.

The university students took on Football League’s Mansfield Town and lost 4-2 at Twerton Park. The students were 4-0 down at half-time but showed grit and desire to grab two goals late on for a commendable scoreline.

Team Bath’s unique history was an interesting but short one as the side soon dissolved in 2009 after a total of only 10 years as a football cub.

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