Friday, 14 May 2010

The FA Cup Final 2010 Chelsea v Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium, London

A crowd of up to 90,000 will watch Chelsea and Portsmouth contest the FA Cup Final of 2010 at Wembley Stadium in London this Saturday (15 May, kick-off 3pm). The Football Association Challenge Cup, established in 1872, is the oldest football competition in the world.

Chelsea Football Club, based in West London, was founded on 10 March, 1905 at The Rising Sun public house on Fulham Road, opposite the club's current Stamford Bridge stadium. The club's original crest showed an image of a Chelsea Pensioner, the name given to former British Army soldiers living out their retirement at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. 'Modernisation' removed this image from the crest in the 1950s and replaced it with the current lion.

Football had been very popular amongst sailors and dockers in the south-coast city of Portsmouth since the 1850s. Portsmouth FC was founded on 5 April, 1898 in the back garden of 12 High Street, Old Portsmouth by John Brickwood, owner of the local brewery. The club has played at its Fratton Park ground ever since its foundation. The origins of the club crest go back to 1191 when King Richard I rewarded the city's people for their part in capturing Cyprus. 

Chelsea have won the FA Cup five times; in 1970, 1997, 2000, 2007 and 2009, and have been runners-up on four occasions - 1915, 1967, 1994 and 2002. Chelsea are the current holders of the trophy after beating Everton 2-1 in the 2009 final.

Portsmouth first won the FA Cup (right) in 1939. Portsmouth fans often boast their club held the trophy longer than any other. Of course, this was due to the suspension of the FA Cup tournament between 1940-45 during World War II.

Portsmouth waited until 2008 for the club's next FA Cup Final victory when its strong team that season beat Cardiff City 1-0 at Wembley. Portsmouth were also FA Cup runners-up in 1929 and 1934. 

Portsmouth's 2-0 win over north London club Tottenham Hotspur in their semi-final on 11 April ended hopes for a sixth final in the FA Cup's history to be contested by two London teams.

Photos (top): Chelsea and Portsmouth flags on the south side of England's national stadium at Wembley, north London. 
(middle): Images in players' tunnel of Chelsea coach and players outside the 'home' (England's) dressing room; images of Portsmouth coach and players outside the 'away' (visiting country's) dressing room.

To book a tour of Wembley Stadium call 0844 800 2755 
or visit

Paul Coleman, London, May 2010.

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