The FA Cup final has been synonymous with Wembley since 1923. However, 10 venues have staged finals over the tournament’s 140 year history. Another three have staged replays.
Although the overwhelming majority of Finals have been played in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff have hosted finals while Derby, Bolton and Sheffield have had the honour of hosting replays.
As with 4/5/6 Nations rugby venues, the sporting heritage of several started with cricket: The Oval, Racecourse Ground and Bramall Lane, while Lillie Bridge and Stamford Bridge were important in the early development of athletics as an organised sport.
The Oval’s role as venue for 20 out of the first 21 finals had a lot to do with Charles W Alcock being simultaneously secretary of both the Football Association and Surrey County Cricket club. As the principal co-ordinator of fixtures for visiting cricket teams from Australia, his cricketing contacts probably had something to do with the 1886 replay being taken to Derby’s Racecourse Ground.
Three of the venues are, sadly, no longer sporting landmarks. Their approximate outlines are plotted on the map below. (Zoom in to find them in West London, Greater Manchester and Bolton.)
View FA Cup Final venues in a larger map
The full list of FA Cup final winners can be found here.