Over the years FA Cup Finals have been played at famous grounds like Wembley, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.
One of them, a long time ago, was played at Lillie Bridge. Where on earth is Lillie Bridge?!
Well, it was in London. The "Lillie Bridge Grounds" used to be more or less next to New Brompton tube station on the District line. They weren't far from where Stamford Bridge is today.
It was an athletic facility with a running track round it and served at various times as the headquarters of the Amateur Athletic Club, the London Athletic Club and the Civil Service Athletic Club. In 1876 a chap called Marshall Brooks set a new world record for the high jump with a leap of 6' 2.5" and 12,000 spectators were there to see him do it.
Lillie Bridge hosted athletics, bicycle racing, cricket…and football.
After winning the first FA Cup competition in 1872, Wanderers went through to the next Final without having to play anyone. It was The FA Challenge Cup and that was the rule then. They were also allowed to choose the venue and, without a home ground of their own, they plumped for Lillie Bridge. It had a scheduled kick-off time of 11am, so that people could go on to watch the Boat Race afterwards.
Actually the Final started at about 11.30 due to the late arrival of some of the players. A 3,000 crowd saw Wanderers beat Oxford University 2-0.
Lillie Bridge fell into disuse after Stamford Bridge had opened and was closed altogether following a riot in 1887 involving a "mob" and the police. Both the track and grandstand were destroyed.