Long, long ago, there was a time when football wasn't rubbish, played by prima donnas and cost the GDP of a small country to support. A time when players wore wool shirts, passing was considered to be unsporting and teams played with eight up-top. This was the beginning of Association Football – the beautiful game.
To mark the 140th anniversary of the first ever FA Cup final, the same two teams (well not the same actual teams, but players from the same clubs) who contested that famous game are set to meet once again to raise money for charity.
The Royal Engineers will take on Wanderers – one of the founder members of the Football League – on Wednesday 7 November in The Oval cricket ground in Kennington, home of Surrey Cricket Club. The ground used to be the national sports stadium and actually hosted 19 of the first 21 FA Cup finals – a piece of knowledge sure to come in handy in a pub quiz sometime in the future.
The teams will be joined by guest professionals and former Cup winners with proceeds going towards Haig Housing Trust, the Royal British Legion and local football charities.
Tickets, which are expected to sell out, are priced at £10 for adults and just £1 for children. Military personnel who turn up in uniform with armed forces ID have free entry. Bargain.
The game kicks off at 7pm; however, gates open at 2.30pm for a schools tournament. For more information and to buy tickets, visit http://www.kiaoval.com/1872-fa-challenge-cup/