- FA Trophy
The Football Association Challenge Trophy is an English football competition for clubs playing in levels 5-8 of the
English football league system"(steps 1-4 of the National League System)", which currently covers the three divisions of the Football Conferencealong with the Southern League, Isthmian League, and Northern Premier League. Clubs in lower levels of the National League Systemplay in the FA Vase.
It was created by
the Football Associationin 1969 for semi-professionalteams, to complement the existing FA Amateur Cup. When the latter was abolished in 1974, the leading amateurteams joined the Trophy. The final was traditionally held at the old Wembley Stadium, but was moved to Villa Parkduring Wembley's redevelopment. The 2005-06 final was held at Upton Park, London.
The FA Challenge Trophy attendance record was set in 2007, when Kidderminster Harriers played
Stevenage Boroughin the first final to be held at the new Wembley Stadium, in front of 53,262 fans.
Scarborough (1973, 1976, 1977), Telford United (1971, 1983, 1989), and Woking (1994, 1995, 1997) share the record for the most victories (three) in the final.
Mark Stimsonholds the record for being the first manager to win the trophy for three consecutive seasons (albeit at two different clubs) in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The most successful manager in the history of the Trophy is Geoff Chapple who won the Trophy an incredible 5 times in 7 seasons with Woking and Kingstonian. In 1985 Wealdstone became the first team to win the "Non-League Double" of F.A. Trophy and Football Conferencechampionship (although in the pre-Conference era both Macclesfield Town and Stafford Rangers had done the double of Northern Premier Leaguechampionship and F.A. Trophy in 1970 and 1972 respectively).
The trophy itself was presented to the FA in 1905 by Ernest Cochrane, a barrister, to be used in an international competition between England, the US and Canada to promote football in
North America. This competition was never instigated.
[http://www.thefa.com/TheFACup/TheFATrophy/ FA Trophy at the FA website]
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