Definitions

FA_Vase

FA Vase

The Football Association Challenge Vase is an annual football competition for teams playing in the lower regional leagues of England. Currently over 400 teams compete each season, with two qualifying rounds preceding the six proper rounds, semi-finals and final.

History

Until 1974, football players were either professionals or amateurs. Professionals were paid to play by their clubs, and the only cup competitions such clubs were allowed to enter were the FA Cup and, for clubs outside The Football League, the FA Trophy. Amateurs, on the other hand, did not get paid by their clubs, and such clubs had their own cup competition, the FA Amateur Cup.

In 1974, with many of the top amateur players receiving payment for playing, The Football Association abolished the distinction, scrapped the Amateur Cup and introduced the FA Vase for the majority of clubs who had previously played in the Amateur Cup. Well over 200 clubs entered in the first season, 1974-75 and Hoddesdon Town of the Spartan League beat Epsom & Ewell of the Surrey Senior League 2-1 in the final at Wembley Stadium before a crowd of 9,000.

Eligibility

In recent years, entry to the FA Vase has been restricted to clubs in the eighth and lower tiers of the English football league system, (those in the three levels above that qualified for the FA Trophy.) Reorganization of the National League System for 2004 onwards moved the dividing line down to the new "Step 5" (ninth tier overall). Clubs from the Channel Islands (First Tower United and Vale Recreation) and the Isle of Man (Douglas HSOB) also entered the Vase in the past, though none have done so in recent years.

Notable winners

Only four teams have managed to win the FA Vase more than once. Two FA Vase winners, Forest Green Rovers and Tamworth, have gone on to play in the Football Conference at the top level of the non-league pyramid. No FA Vase winner has yet reached the Football League, however.

The record attendance for an FA Vase match was set on Sunday 13 May 2007, when 36,232 spectators watched Truro City come from behind to beat AFC Totton 3-1 at Wembley in the final.

List of finals

Season Winner Runner-up Score Venue Attendance
1974-75 Hoddesdon Town Epsom and Ewell 2-1 Wembley 9,000
1975-76 Billericay Town Stamford 1-0 (aet) Wembley 11,848
1976-77 Billericay Town Sheffield 1-1 (aet)
replay
2-1 (aet)
Wembley
replay at City Ground
14,000
3,482
1977-78 Newcastle Blue Star Barton Rovers 2-1 Wembley 16,858
1978-79 Billericay Town Almondsbury Greenway 4-1 Wembley 17,500
1979-80 Stamford Guisborough Town 2-0 (aet) Wembley 11,500
1980-81 Whickham Willenhall Town 3-2 Wembley 12,000
1981-82 Forest Green Rovers Rainworth Miners Welfare 3-0 Wembley 12,500
1982-83 VS Rugby Halesowen Town 1-0 Wembley 13,700
1983-84 Stansted Stamford 3-2 Wembley 8,125
1984-85 Halesowen Town Fleetwood Town 3-1 (aet) Wembley 16,715
1985-86 Halesowen Town Southall 3-0 Wembley 18,340
1986-87 St Helens Town Warrington Town 3-2 Wembley 4,254
1987-88 Colne Dynamoes Emley 1-0 Wembley 15,000
1988-89 Tamworth Sudbury Town 1-1 (aet)
replay
3-0
Wembley
replay at London Road
26,487
11,201
1989-90 Yeading Bridlington Town 0-0 (aet)
replay
1-0
Wembley
replay at Elland Road
7,932
5,000
1990-91 Guiseley Gresley Rovers 4-4 (aet)
replay
3-1
Wembley
replay at Bramall Lane
11,314
7,585
1991-92 Wimborne Town Guiseley 5-3 Wembley 10,772
1992-93 Bridlington Town Tiverton Town 1-0 Wembley 9,061
1993-94 Diss Town Taunton Town 2-1 (aet) Wembley 13,450
1994-95 Arlesey Town Oxford City 2-1 Wembley 13,670
1995-96 Brigg Town Clitheroe 3-0 Wembley 7,340
1996-97 Whitby Town North Ferriby United 3-0 Wembley 11,098
1997-98 Tiverton Town Tow Law Town 1-0 Wembley 13,139
1998-99 Tiverton Town Bedlington Terriers 1-0 Wembley 13,878
1999-00 Deal Town Chippenham Town 1-0 Wembley 20,083
2000-01 Taunton Town Berkhamsted Town 2-1 Villa Park 8,439
2001-02 Whitley Bay Tiptree United 1-0 (aet) Villa Park 4,742
2002-03 Brigg Town A.F.C. Sudbury 2-1 Boleyn Ground 6,634
2003-04 Winchester City A.F.C. Sudbury 2-0 St Andrews 5,080
2004-05 Didcot Town A.F.C. Sudbury 3-2 White Hart Lane 8,862
2005-06 Nantwich Town Hillingdon Borough 3-1 St Andrews 3,286
2006-07 Truro City A.F.C. Totton 3-1 Wembley 36,232
2007-08 Kirkham and Wesham Lowestoft Town 2-1 Wembley 19,537

References

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