Early FA Cup Winners

Wanderers: 1872, 1873, 1876, 1877, 1878
The London-based Wanderers was one of the founding clubs of the Football Association, as well as the first winner of the FA Cup Final. Its name was derived from the fact that players had no access to a permanent home ground.

After claiming the first FA Cup title in 1872, the Wanderers set up a solid run of FA Cup final appearances and victories. Between 1872 and 1878, the club relinquished the FA Cup only twice.

Despite the fact that Wanderers dominated the earliest period of FA Cup history, the club was short-lived. The Wanderers was officially disbanded in 1883, only five years after claiming its final FA Cup title.

Blackburn Rovers: 1884,1885,1886,1890,1891,1928
Early FA Cup winners, the Lancashire-based Blackburn played in the FA Cup for the first time in 1879. During these early years, the Rovers played their home games at the 700-capacity Leamington Street ground.

The club made its first appearance in an FA Cup Final in 1882, and was the first team from outside of London to accomplish this feat. Its first visit to the Kennington Oval ended in a 1-0 defeat to Old Etonians. Two years later, the Rovers were back at the Oval, and on this occasion defeated Queen’s Park 2-1. This win ignited a period of dominance for the Rovers, who went on to win the FA Cup four times in the next decade, holding the Cup from 1884 to 1886.

Aston Villa: 1887, 1895, 1897, 1905, 1913, 1920, 1957
One of the oldest, and most successful clubs in English football history, Aston Villa became FA Cup winners for the first time in 1887. Although Aston Villa never managed to hold the FA Cup for extended periods, it was undoubtedly the most successful club during the first years of professional football in England.

Aston Villa won the FA Cup six times between 1887 and 1920. Its 1897 FA Cup title made it the second team in English football history to claim a Double (an FA Cup and League title in the same year). Aston Villa was also the first team to produce a football star, with captain Archie Hunter’s on-pitch performances assuring him celebrity status.

Preston North End: 1888, 1889, 1937, 1938
The Lancashire-based Preston North End was a significant force during the early years of English football. Apart from being early FA Cup winners four times between 1872 and 1939, the club is famous for achieving the first domestic Double in 1889.

The 1888/1889 Double paralleled another impressive feat in which the Lilywhites went an entire season without conceding defeat in either the League or the FA Cup – an achievement that has not been replicated to date.