Oldest Soccer Tournament Crowned First Champ 152 Years Ago

We just had Pi Day on the 14th, the Ides of March on the 15th, and will have St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th. What about poor old March 16th? 

I felt I had to pay tribute to this date. There are some obscure observances (not sure if some are holidays) on this date. But I didn’t feel like researching them too much. It is a Saturday, after all!

But being a huge soccer fan (aka football in some strange places), I learned that Wanderers F.C. won the first FA Cup by defeating Royal Engineers A.F.C. 1-0 in London.

The Football Association (FA) Challenge Cup, aka FA Cup, is a tournament open to all English and Welsh teams from the top level Premiere League down to the 9th level.

That’s 750 soccer clubs! This also includes a few “offshore” associations not a part of England or Wales. This includes the Isle of Man, and the islands of Guernsey and Jersey.

Sadly, Wanderers F.C. no longer exits. But the Royal Engineers A.F.C. is still a team! They made three of the first four FA Cup finals. 

Royal Engineers A.F.C. represents the Corps of Royal Engineers of the British Army. Who knew nerdy engineers could be so good at sports?!?

I’m obsessed with soccer uniforms(some strange places call them football kits). So what was worn in the first FA Cup final? 

The best I could tell, Wanderers F.C. had black socks, white shorts, and alternating horizontal stripes of the following colors (they would spell it “colours”): orange, purple, and black.

Royal Engineers A.F.C. have worn the same “kit” since their founding in 1863. They wear navy blue shorts and their socks and shirt are alternating horizontal stripes of navy blue and red.

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P.S. The Corps of Royal Engineers are nicknamed “The Sappers”. This comes from the French word “sappe” which means “spadework” or “trench”. 

Military engineers would attack enemy forts by digging trenches under enemy fort walls to cause them to collapse.P.P.S. If you’d like to follow my journeys via email and get a free gift, click this link.