Chelsea v Liverpool
The FA Cup with Budweiser 2012 Final
5.15pm, Saturday 5 May 2012
Winning club to receive £1.8m, Runners-up to receive £900,000 from The FA's Prize Fund
Match Programme - Pre-Order/Buy Online - priced at £10 (plus P&P) - The FA will donate £1 from every FA Cup Final match programme sold to Cardiac Risk in the Young
Download the digital version to your tablet device, via Zinio, here priced at £4.99.
The return of The Final to Wembley in 2007 after a seven-year hiatus also re-established the long tradition of the military marching band.
Musicians from the Royal Engineers band, stationed in Afghanistan, were among those entertaining the crowds before Manchester United took on Chelsea – a fitting choice for the Wembley rebirth, as the Royal Engineers were the competition’s first Finalists in 1872 (and won the trophy in 1875).
In the intervening years, up to 200 musicians from the Royal Marines or Guards – or (before 1926’s Bolton v Manchester City meeting), those of Chatham Naval Dockyard – would play rousing, patriotic numbers including the National Anthem, often watching the game from the tunnel with a well-earned cuppa.
Cup Final bands in recent times include the Royal Welsh Regiment, the King’s Division Waterloo Band (2005), the Band of the Prince of Wales’s Division and Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps (2009).
For this year's Cup Final, the Band of The Blues and Royals (RHG/D) will perform on the pitch prior to kick-off.
The Royal Horse Guards (Blues) formed in 1661 from members of the disbanded cavalry of Cromwell’s New Model Army. They were given the nickname of the Oxford Blues in reference to the first Colonel, the Earl of Oxford, and to their blue uniforms. It is recorded that in 1805 King George III personally presented a pair of solid silver Kettledrums to the Royal Horse Guards, which continue to be used today.
In 1969 The Royal Horse Guards (Blues) amalgamated with 1st The Royal Dragoons (The Royals) to become The Blues and Royals (RHG/D).
The Band is led by Warrant Office Class Two (Band Corporal Major) Stuart Marsh, and is under the musical direction of Captain Jason Griffiths BA(Mus) LRS M CAMUS. The Band of The Blues and Royals appears by kind permission of Colonel Stuart H Cowen, Colonel Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps.
Other military from the RAF, Army and Navy will be involved in The FA Cup Final ceremony. Carrying the Cup pre-match will be Warrant Officer Tony Reeves MBE, who will have served in the RAF exactly 37 years on the day. Runners-up medals will be carried by Sergeant Dyfan Pierce (RAF) and the winners' medals by Leading Physical Trainer Matt Short (Navy). The Cup Base Carrier is Staff Sergeant Glen Davidson (Army) and carrying The Cup will be Sergeant Juliette Brown (Army)
To find out more visit the website of the Blues and Royals or follow on Twitter @RHGDBand