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The start of the Scottish Cup
The Scottish Cup is one of the oldest cup competitions in the world. The 149 year-old trophy is second only to the the English FA Cup in terms of age and none of the UEFA nations can boast a cup competition with such longevity.
The Cup was founded in the very same year that the Scottish Football Association came into being and eight clubs were behind that move to formalise the game in Scotland. Only two of those names will be recognisable to the present day casual fan, Kilmarnock and Queen's Park.
The final has been played at Hampden Park in Glasgow continuously since 1925. Before that it had been hosted in venues including Ibrox and Celtic Park, but the move was made due to the sheer size of Scotland's national stadium. Some Scottish Cup finals had attendances of over 140,000 people. Unthinkable and impossible in the modern era of all-seater stadiums.
Not only one of the oldest competitions the Scottish Cup also lasts throughout a full season in Scotland, starting right at the very start and normally ending up as the last match of the season.
The very first Scottish Cup was won by one of the founding clubs of the Scottish Football Association, Queen's Park. They lifted that first trophy in the 1873/74 season at Hampden Park, their home ground of only a season at the time. They defeated Clydesdale 2-0 in that game and followed up their success the following year, also at Hampden Park with a 3-0 victory over Renton.
The following season was tougher for Queen's Park. This time the final had been moved to Hamilton Park, also in Glasgow but not their home facility. They were also given a much tougher game by Third Lanark who drew the first match 1-1 in front of 6,000 fans. That must have whet the appetite of the public as 10,000 came for the replay that Queen's Park won 3-0.
The first change of winner came in 1876/77 when Vale of Leven defeated Rangers in a second replay.
Vale of Leven won the next two Scottish Cups, the last of which went to a replay with Rangers. Rangers refused to play due to a goal they thought should have stood in the first match and Vale of Leven won their third straight Scottish Cup. It was also their last.
Queen's Park went on to dominate until the late 1890's when the two current giants, Rangers and Celtic got involved. All this was before clubs like Real Madrid in Spain were even established.
Best teams to perform in the Scottish Cup
Celtic have won the Scottish Cup 40 times, making them the most successful team to have competed in the tournament. Their first Cup victory came in the 1891/92 season where they defeated Queen's Park. Their last in 2020 where they defeated Heart of Midlothian in a penalty shoot-out after a 3-3 draw. They also won the Scottish Premiership the same season and every season since it started.
Rangers have won the Scottish Cup 33 times. Their first win came in 1893/94 with a win over Celtic at Hampden Park, their last in 2008/09 with a 1-0 win over Falkirk. The lean years since that win can be partly explained by the administrative turmoil the club was in for around a decade. Now back at the top table of Scottish football more trophies and Scottish Cup victories can be expected.
The dominance of the Old Firm in the Scottish Cup is evident. The top two teams in the English FA Cup are the Premier League's Arsenal (14 trophies) and Manchester United (12 trophies) way down on Celtic and Rangers' numbers.
The final of the Scottish Cup has always been held at Hampden Park. Hampden Park is Scotland's national football stadium. The capacity of the venue is 51,886 and It's located in the Mount Florida area of Glasgow.
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