2004 FA Cup Final

The 2004 FA Cup Final took place on 22 May 2004 and was the fourth to be played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium. It was contested between Manchester United who had finished 3rd in the Premier League that season and Millwall who had finished 10th in Division One. The 27 league places separating the two teams was evident as Manchester United secured their eleventh FA Cup victory with a headed goal from Cristiano Ronaldo and a brace from Ruud van Nistelrooy, including a penalty.

At the trophy presentation all the Manchester United players wore shirts saying "Davis 36" after the death of young midfielder Jimmy Davis who died in car crash on his way to a Watford match, who he had joined on loan. The club have since retired the number in his memory.

The match took place for the fourth consecutive year at the Millennium Stadium, due to the ongoing reconstruction of Wembley Stadium, the final's usual venue. The match was refereed by Jeff Winter and he was aided by assistant referees Roger Green, Tony East and fourth official Matt Messias.


Manchester United were appearing in their 16th FA Cup Final and had won the FA Cup on eleven of their previous fifteen appearances. Two of these victories had yielded a League / FA Cup "double" (in 1994 and 1996) and in 1999 they had won the FA Cup 1998-99 as part of a unique Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. For Millwall it was their first ever appearance in an FA Cup Final, however they had reached the semi-finals on three separate occasions (1900, 1903 and 1937). Their appearance in the 1937 semi final was notable as Millwall were the first team in the old Division 3 to reach the last four. They also became only the second team from outside the top flight of English football to reach the final since 1982, and the first team from outside the Premier League since its foundation in 1992, before Cardiff City became the second in 2008.


Team news

Manchester United started with the eleven that they had relied on for most of the season, with Tim Howard playing in goal, a back four of Gary Neville, Brown, Silvestre and O'Shea; Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs giving the width as widemen in a 4-4-1-1 formation with Roy Keane and Darren Fletcher sitting in central midfield and Ruud van Nistelrooy supported by Paul Scholes. Roy Carroll would later become only the second goalkeeper to be brought on as a substitute in an FA Cup final.

Millwall employed a familiar 4-4-2 formation which included player-manager Dennis Wise playing in midfield for the last time before retiring. It also turned out to be the last competitive game in a Millwall shirt for Australian midfielder Tim Cahill, who would move to Everton during the summer. Despite being injured and unable to keep goal for Millwall in the Final, Millwall manager Dennis Wise insisted that Tony Warner, the club's first-choice goalkeeper, be presented with a runners-up medal because if he had been fit he would have played in the final.

Curtis Weston beat the 125-year record held by James F. M. Prinsep of Clapham Rovers after coming on as a 89th minute substitute replacing Dennis Wise. Weston holds the record of being the youngest ever player to appear in an FA Cup Final. Weston's age was 17 years 119 days, beating Prinsep's age of 17 years and 245 days by 126 days.

Match details

GK 14 Tim Howard
RB 2 Gary Neville
CB 6 Wes Brown
CB 27 Mikaël Silvestre
LB 22 John O'Shea
RM 7 Cristiano Ronaldo
CM 24 Darren Fletcher
CM 16 Roy Keane (c)
LM 11 Ryan Giggs
SS 18 Paul Scholes
CF 10 Ruud van Nistelrooy
GK 13 Roy Carroll
DF 3 Phil Neville
MF 8 Nicky Butt
MF 19 Eric Djemba-Djemba
FW 20 Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Alex Ferguson
GK 33 Andy Marshall
RB 25 Marvin Elliott
CB 2 Matthew Lawrence (c)
CB 12 Darren Ward
LB 3 Robbie Ryan
DM 19 Dennis Wise
DM 8 David Livermore
RM 7 Paul Ifill
LM 26 Peter Sweeney
AM 4 Tim Cahill
CF 9 Neil Harris
GK 13 Willy Guéret
DF 27 Alan Dunne
MF 37 Barry Cogan
MF 11 Curtis Weston
FW 23 Mark McCammon
Dennis Wise


  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shootout if scores still level.
  • Five named substitutes
  • Maximum of 3 substitutions.

Road to Cardiff

Manchester United

Home teams listed first.

Round 3: Aston Villa 1–2 Manchester United

Round 4: Northampton Town 0–3 Manchester United

Round 5: Manchester United 4–2 Manchester City

Round 6: Manchester United 2–1 Fulham


Semi-final: Arsenal 0–1 Manchester United

(at Villa Park)


Home teams listed first.

Round 3: Millwall 2–1 Walsall

Round 4: Telford United 0–2 Millwall

Round 5: Millwall 1–0 Burnley

Round 6: Millwall 0–0 Tranmere Rovers

Replay:Tranmere Rovers 1–2 Millwall

Semi-final: Sunderland 0–1 Millwall

(at Old Trafford)


External links

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