150 years of Emirates FA Cup ‘firsts’ celebrated ahead of the first round qualifying

Friday 03 Sep 2021
The Emirates FA Cup first round qualifying takes place this weekend

The Emirates FA Cup’s 2021-22 season is a special one, with the world’s longest-running knockout football competition celebrating 150 years since its inception.

From the birth of the competition on 20 July 1871, a rich lineage of history and tradition have been forged.

The majority of fans have a particular cup moment they hold dear to them, however to this day the Emirates FA Cup is still breaking ground by creating ‘firsts’ for clubs and their supporters up and down the country.

The Emirates FA Cup
  • First round qualifying
  • 3-5 September 2021
  • Winning clubs receive £2250
  • Losing clubs receive £750

From the early stages of the Emirates FA Cup through to its Final, the magic of the competition cannot be underestimated. New ‘firsts’ are still arising each year, from the elite level sides all the way through to non-league and amateur teams.

Ahead of this weekend’s first round qualifying, four non-League teams will be making their first appearance at this stage of the competition.

From the supporters to the coaches, players to the volunteers and everyone else involved at Kennington, Mulbarton Wanderers, Sherwood Colliery and Stone Old Alleynians, this occasion is truly momentous and represents how the Emirates FA Cup is producing ‘firsts’ even after 150 years.

Kent-based Kennington were formed in 1888 and will play at home to Isthmian Premier Division side, Carshalton Athletic.

Formed over 100 years later in 1993, Norfolk-based Mulbarton Wanderers will also contest the first round qualifying at home to Southern League Division One side Central Welwyn Garden City.

Nottinghamshire’s Sherwood Colliery are the most infant club of the four, formed in 2008, and will host Northern Premier League Premier Division Buxton.

Stone Old Alleynians, formed in 1962 by Dave Bonnet, an ex-pupil from a local Staffordshire grammar school, will travel to Anstey Nomads in Leicestershire with a team still made up of ex-pupils.

Phil Johnson of Stone Old Alleynians said: “For our club to have made some progress this season in the Emirates FA Cup is a fantastic achievement. When Dave Bonnet formed the team nearly 60 years ago, he could never have imagined that one day his team of ex-pupils would be playing in the same competition as all those famous clubs who take part in it every year.”

Every team who has made it to the first round qualifying stage will be hoping to continue their journey and progress to the second round qualifying draw which will be announced on Monday 6 September.

To support your local team this weekend, and potentially be part of creating even more ‘firsts’, the full list of first round qualifying fixtures can be seen here.

By Communications department