About FA Cup
The FA Cup, or Football Association Challenge Cup, is a men's knockout football competition, held annually in the UK from 1871 onwards. An unseeded competition, FA Cup matches are played over some fourteen rounds, beginning with amateur non-league teams in August, before the FA Cup Final itself the following May.
The FA Cup format means that the amateur teams play through several preliminary rounds before football clubs from the lower professional leagues enter at what is called the First Round Proper in mid-November. The top tiers of professional clubs are involved from the Third Round Proper. There have been many shock results in the FA Cup rounds, with professional clubs losing to teams that are little more than Sunday league amateurs, several divisions below them over the years.
The FA Cup Final is watched by a huge global audience on television, and the occasion produces a wealth of memorabilia which is eagerly sought after by football supporters, regardless of how far their team progressed in the competition. Replicas of the FA Cup trophy are available, along with many other reproduced photographs of teams who have reached the Final, and of individual players as well.
The shirts worn by the players are specially produced, embroidered with each player's name, the date, and their opponents, and command huge prices if offered for auction afterwards. Shirts signed by the players become very valuable collectors' items, along with match programmes, tickets, and other genuine mementos of the occasion. FA Cup winner's medals are treasured items, and still fetch high prices years after they were won. Souvenirs produced for the day, such as scarves, badges, hats and rosettes are popular items for collectors and supporters alike.