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Has a non-Premier league team ever won the FA cup?

A non-Premier League has never won the FA Cup, but teams from outside of the English top-flight have won the competition before the rebrand of the Premier League in 1992.

Arkya Mitra
Last updated: 24.01.2022
Has a non-Premier league team ever won the FA cup

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A team's status as a favorite or underdog is stripped away during an FA Cup run, so has a team outside of the top-flight ever won the competition?

 

The beauty of cup competitions such as the FA Cup and League Cup lies in the truth that pretty much anyone can win.

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There is already little room for predictability in football, but unlike points-based competitions such as the Premier League, everything is left to play for during a single cup competition.

 

A non-Premier League has never won the FA Cup, but teams from outside of the English top-flight have won the competition before the rebrand of the Premier League in 1992.


Notts County (1894); Tottenham Hotspur (1901); Wolverhampton Wanderers (1908); Barnsley (1912); West Bromwich Albion (1931); Sunderland (1973), Southampton (1976) and West Ham United (1980) have all lifted the FA Cup as non-First Division teams (every team except for Tottenham were playing in the Second Division, while Tottenham were playing in the Southern League as they were only elected to the Football League in 1908).


Tottenham, then, are the only non-League winners of the FA Cup since the inception of the League.


In the history of the FA Cup, just 24 teams in the final have hailed from outside the top-flight of English football.

 

West Ham's 1-0 FA Cup final win over Arsenal in 1980 is the last time a team from outside of the top division won the competition.


They beat the Gunners in a massive upset, as the north Londoners were the reigning cup holders and had placed fourth in the First Division. West Ham, meanwhile, finished the campaign seventh in the Second Division.


Sunderland's 1973 FA Cup final win over First Division side Leeds, who had finished third in the top-flight, was considered another upset.

Wigan are the only side to have won the FA Cup and been relegated from the Premier League in the same season (after beating Manchester City in another "giant-killing" in 2013).

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