Friday, August 17, 2018


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Owls vs Blades Voted Greatest Ever Cup Semi

- Fans’ all-time FA Cup moments identified following season-long poll
- Results to be featured on ESPN’s live TV FA Cup Final build up on 11 May
- Sheffield Derby in 1993 voted greatest FA Cup Semi-Final




ESPN, in conjunction with Budweiser, the official sponsor of the FA Cup, today announces the results of a special poll to establish fans’ all-time favourite moments from the world’s oldest domestic football competition.


Voting categories have been initiated round by round at – starting ahead of the Third Round in January with a vote for the Greatest FA Cup Giant-Killing of all time. Fans were given a shortlist of five moments to vote on per category, chosen by the editorial team from ESPN Classic’s extensive archive of FA Cup moments.


Full discussion around the results will feature on ESPN TV on FA Cup Final Day as part of the special show, Access All Areas from 8.30am. ESPN football presenters James Richardson and Kelly Cates will debate the final listings, and, exclusively reveal the winner of the Greatest FA Cup Final category.


Fans’ all-time favourite FA Cup moments, revealed today for the first time, are as follows:

  • Greatest FA Cup Giant-Killings: Wrexham’s 2-1 Third Round victory over then league champions, Arsenal, back in the 1991/92 season, received 48% of the votes. Lying bottom of the Football League, the Welsh team stunned George Graham’s side by overturning a one goal deficit thanks to a thunderous free kick from former Chelsea and Manchester United midfielder, Mickey Thomas. Wrexham completed the victory courtesy of an 88th minute winner from Steve Watkin.
  • Greatest FA Cup Goals: Dennis Bergkamp’s strike from 1997 during Arsenal’s Third Round Replay against Sunderland topped the Greatest FA Cup Goal category with 39% of the votes. In what was a tight game, two minutes into the second half saw Bergkamp pick up the ball just outside the box before ghosting past several defenders and placing his shot past keeper Lionel Perez into the top right hand corner of the goal.
  • Greatest FA Cup Comebacks: The Greatest FA Cup Comeback category was topped by Blackpool’s 4-3 triumph over Bolton Wanderers in the 1953 Final, which received 42% of the votes. After 55 minutes, the Seasiders found themselves 3-1 down. However, an inspired Stanley Matthews and a hat-trick from Stan Mortensen levelled the tie at 3-3 on 89 minutes, before a Bill Perry goal in injury time saw Blackpool claim the FA Cup trophy for their first and only time.
  • FA Cup Matches that Changed History: The 1923 FA Cup Final, the first to be held at Wembley, was voted by 66% of fans. Bolton Wanderers’ 2-0 win over West Ham United saw more than 250,000 people clamour to get inside the Empire Stadium, Wembley, to see its debut as the new home of English football. With only 100,000 expected, the authorities were unprepared for the largest crowd ever witnessed for a cup tie
  • Greatest FA Cup Semi-Finals: The Steel City derby from 1993 was overwhelmingly voted as the Greatest FA Cup Semi Final. After ticket demand forced the fixture to be moved to Wembley, 76,000 fans packed in the national stadium to witness a thrilling match which was only settled in extra time. Chris Waddle’s 20 yard free kick saw The Owls take the lead, before the Blades hit back thanks to an equaliser from bearded veteran Alan Cork. However, it wasn’t to be Sheffield United’s day as Mark Bright’s header in the 107th minute saw Wednesday book their place in the final.


Charles Classen, Senior Director Commercial, Digital and Marketing, ESPN: “The FA Cup remains one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. Through our ongoing collaboration with Budweiser, we were keen to engage with fans to discover what have been their favourite FA Cup moments from its illustrious history. Given the tremendous response to our poll, it’s clear to see that the FA Cup continues to hold a special connection with football supporters as we head into the 142nd year of the competition.”


ESPN will bring fans the 2013 FA Cup Final between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City on Saturday 11th May commercial free, as part of a full day of live FA Cup programming from Wembley Stadium that continues the tradition of broadcasting all day around the final of the world’s oldest domestic cup competition. This will be the third consecutive year that ESPN has brought fans a full day of live programming around the FA Cup Final.

Beginning at 8am on Saturday 11th May, ESPN’s special FA Cup Final coverage will include:

  • All Day:  A host of dedicated programmes – including Breakfast at Wembley and FA Cup Final Memoriesplus special live editions of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption and Talk of The Terrace.
  • Commercial Free:  ESPN will bring fans the FA Cup Final commercial free from 4.45pm through to the trophy presentation, giving viewers uninterrupted coverage, including uninterrupted half time coverage.
  • On-Site: All live shows will come from Wembley Stadium, from dedicated studio sets and ESPN’s pitch-side set, as well as special positions around the ground including Wembley Way.
  • HD:  ESPN HD will feature complete high-definition coverage of the entire day of FA Cup programming

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