FA Cup Final 2016: Stats & Facts


It’s the most wonderful time of the year for football fanatics and no, we’re not talking about Christmas.


We are, of course, talking about the FA Cup Final 2016 which is now just around the corner, hitting our screens on Saturday 21st May. Dedicated football fans across the country are clearing schedules to ensure they have prime positioning in front of a television screen so they won’t miss a second of the highly-anticipated match. After all, football is the most beautiful game in the world, right?


Ahead of Manchester United’s FA Cup on TV against Crystal Palace, we’ve rounded up some facts and stats about both clubs’ pasts. For those who consider themselves football experts, take them as a refresher course, for those who don’t have a clue, use them as basic general knowledge – you never know when you might need it. No one wants to get caught out not knowing about the key parts of both FA Club Final teams’ histories.


Jog your memory with our need-to-know facts below...


15 Facts About Manchester United


- Manchester United have won the FA Cup 11 times, the first in 1909


- The first and only time Man U and Crystal Palace played each other in the FA Cup Final was in 1990. The match ended in a 3-3 draw before United won the replay a week later, 1-0


- The only goal in the replay, that actually won Man U the FA Cup, was scored by Lee Martin. That was one of only two goals he’d ever score for the team in his career at the club


- Bryan Robson is United's leading scorer in FA Cup semi-finals with five goals to his name, spanning five separate games including replays. Sir Bobby Charlton is next best with four strikes


- Sir Alex Ferguson is United’s longest-serving manager, having clocked up 26 years and 194 days in charge


- When Man U were managed by Sir Matt Busby, the team took the nickname, the ‘Red Devils’, from Salford Rugby Club, who toured France under the same name whilst also wearing red shirts


- The team made history in 1999 by becoming the second – and only British – team to pull off the feat of winning the treble (after Celtic in 1967)


- Current Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is the first non-British manager of the Red Devils


- The club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and have been crowned champions of England a record 20 times


- Sir Alex Ferguson went on to achieve exceptional success with United, winning 13 Premier League titles and four more FA Cups during a trophy-laden career before retiring in 2013


- Two United players have scored hat-tricks in FA Cup semi-finalsStan Pearson in a 3-1 victory over Derby County in 1948 and Alex Dawson in the 5-3 replay triumph against Fulham at Highbury a decade later


- Wayne Rooney is the highest-scoring Englishman in Champions League history, with 29, while ex-United midfielder, Paul Scholes, is the second highest with 24


- Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane and Peter Schmeichel are the only players in the history of English football to have won three doubles, with Manchester United in 1994, 1996 and 1999


- The club’s 9-0 triumph over Ipswich Town at Old Trafford on 4th March 1995 remains Man U’s biggest ever Premier League success


- Juan Mata is the club’s record signing, having cost £37.1m


15 Facts About Crystal Palace


- Current Eagles manager Alan Pardew played in the first and only match between Man U and Crystal Palace in 1990, 26 years ago


- Ian Wright scored twice – the second goal giving the Eagles the lead in extra-time – in the first match


- Palace have been FA Cup finalists twice – in 1990 and 2016 


- Crystal Palace actually used to play their home games within the grounds of The Crystal Palace, which also hosted FA Cup finals until 1914


- Owing to their original home ground, the club went under the nicknames of the Glaziers and the Crystals before they became commonly known as the Eagles in the early 1970s


- Malcolm Allison, the team’s flamboyant, fedora-wearing, cigar-smoking manager, scrapped the Glaziers nickname and, upon becoming the team’s manager in 1973, changed the nickname to the Eagles as well as changing the team colours


- Palace’s first home shirts were claret and blue. E.F. Goodman was the club’s first secretary-manager and, as a former Aston Villa employee, brought some Villa shirts down with him to kit out his new club


- One of Palace’s most renowned victories was when they beat Newcastle United at St. James's Park 1-0 in the FA Cup. A Horace Astley goal separated the sides and the defeat was the Magpies’s first at home since November 1905


- The team presently has the greatest number of relegations from the Premier League. They went down in 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2005


- The club have had seven permanent managers in five years. During that time, one of those bosses, Neil Warnock, has had two spells in the Eagles’s hot seat


- The Eagles are the only team in Premier League history to have been relegated after finishing fourth bottom. This came about towards the end of the 1994/95 season, when the number of teams battling in the division was scaled down from 22 to 20


- Peter Simpson scored the most goals (46) in the 1930-31 Division Three (South) season


- Ian Wright scored 89 League goals for the club, a total of 117 goals in all competitions, and made a total of 277 appearances between 1985-91


- Top scorers for Crystal Palace over the last five seasons include Dwight Gayle (2014/15), who scored a total of 10 goals (5 League, 5 Cup); Dwight Gayle (2013/14), 8 (7,1); Glenn Murray (2012/13) 8 (7,1); Darren Ambrose (2011/12) 10 (7, 3) and James Vaughan (2010/11) 9 (9,0)


- Scott Dann is the current player of the year (2014 – present)