1871–72 in English football

The 1871–72 season was the first season of competitive football in England.


The first national football competition, and the oldest still running, the Football Association Challenge Cup (now better known as the FA Cup), was played for the first time in 1871–72. At that time, with no other football associations operating, the FA Cup attracted entrants from all over the UK. It was not for many years that both the FA and the FA Cup came to be solely English institutions (and even now there are still clubs from outside England that are members of the FA and compete in the FA Cup).

The first FA Cup final was won 1–0 by Wanderers over Royal Engineers[1] at Kennington Oval, London. Under the original rules of the competition, Wanderers automatically qualified for the following year's final to defend their trophy.

During the course of the season, two matches were played between teams representing England and Scotland. Although now not recognized as full internationals, these games were forerunners to later international matches, [2] the first of which took place the following season.


FA CupWanderersRoyal Engineers


  1. Cup Final Statistics: Find out the result of every each and every Cup Final, as well as venue records, most wins and most appearances.... TheFA.com. The Football Association (2008). Retrieved 18 June 2013
  2. Glasgow Herald on 13 February 1872
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