On this week’s main listening report we preview the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Liverpool by taking a look at the oldest competition in the world through numbers. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link below, while vocabulary support (in bold) appears at the foot of the report. There is also a worksheet (see right) for learners who wish to improve their English.

The FA Cup In Numbers


1872 is the year of the first ever Cup final which took place at the Oval in Kennington in South London in front of 2.000 fans. Wanderers beat the Royal Engineers 1-0 to become the first ever winners of a competition that had invited all 15 members of the Football Association. The Wanderers went on to win the trophy on four more occasions. Other major cup competition founding years include the Scottish Cup which was inaugurated in 1874, the Spanish Cup – Copa del Rey – was first played for in 1902, while the Coppa Italia was started in 1922.


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This is the number of times that Manchester United have won the competition and though they last won it in 2004, this is a record. They also hold the record of most appearances in the final: 18, while poor old Leicester City have appeared most times in a final without ever winning on four occasions. Arsenal are second on the list with 10 victories and their North-London rivals, Tottenham are in third place with nine wins – though they have not won the FA Cup since 1991. United are way behind the teams with most domestic cup titles: Linfield have 41 Northern Irish cup wins, while Celtic have 35 Scottish victories.


Ashley Cole has won the FA Cup on seven occasions – three times with his former club Arsenal and 4 times with his current club Chelsea, though he does not hold the record of Cup final appearances – that belongs to Arthur Kinnaird of the Wanderes with nine visits to the final. Cole’s Chelsea colleague Didier Drogba holds the record for scoring in most finals – four matches, though he does not have the record for most goals in finals; that belongs to Liverpool legend Ian rush with 5 final goals.


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This was the year that the final first took place at Wembley Stadium after nine other venues had been used to host the final. These included Kennington and Stamford Bridge in London as well as Goodison Park in Liverpool, Bramall Lane in Sheffield and Burnden Park in Bolton. Bolton beat West Ham in that first Wembley final – 2-0 – in front of 127.000 fans though some suggest there may have been closer to 200.000 inside the new stadium. When Wembley was being re-built in the early part of the millenium (2001-06) the finals were played at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff; Manchester United and Chelsea playing the first final at the ‘new’ Wembley in 2007, with Chelsea winning 1-0.

Don’t forget that there’s a transcript to this podcast and lots of vocabulary support which you can access by coming along to our site. We also have a football language forum where fans of the beautiful game can ask and answer questions on all kinds of football language – come along and join in the football language discussion. OK, enjoy all the football this week and we’ll see you again soon. Bye bye.


  • founding: Starting, beginning
  • was inaugurated: Began first
  • are way behind: A long way from
  • the millenium: Here it refers to the 2000s
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Listening Practice: Short Reports (2006-2016)Episode 14