Welsh Cup
Founded1877; 145 years ago (1877)
Region Wales
Number of teams253
Qualifier forUEFA Europa Conference League
Current championsThe New Saints
(8 titles)
Most successful club(s)Wrexham
(23 titles)
2022–23 Welsh Cup

The FAW Welsh Cup (Welsh: Cwpan Cymdeithas Pêl-droed Cymru), currently known as the JD Welsh Cup for sponsorship reasons, is a knock-out football competition contested annually by teams in the Welsh football league system. It is considered the most prestigious of the cup competitions in domestic Welsh association football.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) is the organising body of this competition, which has been run (except during the two World Wars and the COVID-19 pandemic) every year since its inception in 1877–78.[1]

In the early years of organised football in Wales, football was very much the sport of north Wales rather than the rugby union playing south – the FAW was founded in Wrexham in 1876, and Wrexham remained the site of the FAW's head office until 1986; it was not until 1912 that a southern team, Cardiff City, won the Welsh Cup for the first time.

The winning team qualifies to play in the following season's UEFA Europa Conference League (previously teams qualified for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, which was discontinued in 1999, and until 2021, qualified for the UEFA Europa League). Currently, the full sponsored name of the competition is the JD Welsh Cup.

Participants

Until 1995, Welsh clubs playing in the Welsh or English leagues were invited to play in the Welsh Cup. On occasion some English clubs, mostly teams from border areas (for example, Chester City, Crewe Alexandra, Hereford United and Shrewsbury Town), were also invited to participate. However, in the event of an English club winning the Welsh Cup, they were not allowed to progress to the European Cup Winners' Cup. Instead, the best placed Welsh club in the Welsh Cup competition would take the European place.

From 1996 to 2011, only clubs playing in the Welsh football league system were allowed to enter the Welsh Cup. This rule excluded the six Welsh clubs who played in the English football league system: Cardiff City, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Town, Newport County, Swansea City and Wrexham. On 20 April 2011, the Football Association of Wales invited these six clubs to rejoin the Welsh Cup for the 2011–12 season, but only Merthyr Town, Newport County and Wrexham accepted.[2] In March 2012, UEFA stated that Welsh clubs playing in the English football league system could not qualify for European competitions via the Welsh Cup but they could qualify via the English league and cup competitions,[3] hence they were subsequently again excluded from the Welsh Cup.[4] Colwyn Bay joined the Welsh league system in 2019, thus becoming eligible to compete in the Welsh Cup again.

History

Between the 1961–62 and 1984–85 seasons, the final was played as a two-leg match, originally on a points basis rather than aggregate score. In the 1985–86 season, it reverted back to a one game format (though a replay was required in the first two seasons), then changed to have a single game decided by extra time and penalties as necessary.[1]

Shrewsbury Town hold the record for the most times an English team has won the Cup, a record that will remain unbroken because English teams have not been allowed to compete in the cup since 1995. The last English winner of the Welsh Cup was Hereford United in 1990.

Welsh Cup Final results

For a list of Welsh Cup finals, including venue and attendance information, see List of Welsh Cup finals.

Performance

Performance by club

Club Winners Runners-up Final appearances Last final
Wrexham[w 1] 23 22 45 1995
Cardiff City[w 1] 22 10 32 1995
Swansea City[w 1][w 2] 10 8 18 1991
Bangor City 8 10 18 2013
Cefn Druids 8 6 14 2012
The New Saints[w 3] 8 4 12 2022
Shrewsbury Town England 6 3 9 1985
Barry Town 6 1 7 2003
Chirk A.A.A. 5 1 6 1894
Rhyl [w 4] 4 4 8 2006
Chester City[w 4] England 3 10 13 1970
Merthyr Tydfil[w 1] 3 2 5 1987
Wellington Town[w 4] England 3 3 1940
Newtown 2 4 6 2015
Oswestry United[w 4] England 2 2 1901
Crewe Alexandra England 2 2 1937
Hereford United England 1 3 4 1990
Aberystwyth Town 1 3 4 2018
Connah's Quay & Shotton[w 4] 1 2 3 1929
Newport County[w 1] 1 2 3 1987
Carmarthen Town 1 2 3 2007
Llanelli 1 2 3 2011
Oswestry White Stars[w 4] England 1 1 2 1885
Tranmere Rovers England 1 1 2 1935
Lovell's Athletic[w 4] 1 1 2 1959
Connah's Quay Nomads 1 2 3 2019
Ebbw Vale[w 4] 1 1 1926
Bristol City England 1 1 1934
South Liverpool England 1 1 1939
Flint Town United 1 1 1954
Borough United[w 4] 1 1 1963
Inter Cardiff 1 1 1999
Prestatyn Town 1 1 2013
Bala Town 1 1 2017
Aberdare Athletic[w 1] 4 4 1923
Pontypridd 3 3 1921
Cwmbran Town 3 3 2002
Westminster Rovers[w 4] 2 2 1892
Whitchurch England[w 4] 2 2 1906
Northwich Victoria England 2 2 1910
Kidderminster Harriers England 2 2 1989
Ruthin 1 1 1880
Davenham[w 4] 1 1 1887
Aberaman 1 1 1903
Ton Pentre 1 1 1922
Merthyr Town[w 1] 1 1 1924
Flint Town[w 4] 1 1 1925
Stourbridge England 1 1 1974
Hednesford Town England 1 1 1992
Afan Lido 1 1 2007
Port Talbot Town 1 1 2010
Penybont 1 1 2022

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Indicates a Welsh club that plays or has played in the English system.
  2. ^ Have played in the final as Swansea Town and Swansea City.
  3. ^ Have played in the final as Llansantffraid and Total Network Solutions.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Italics indicates the club no longer exists.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Welsh Cup Notes". Welsh Football Data Archive. Archived from the original on 15 March 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  2. ^ "Welsh cup exile over". South Wales Argus. 9 July 2011.
  3. ^ "Uefa give Swansea and Cardiff European assurance". BBC Sport. 21 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Welsh clubs excluded from Welsh cup". BBC Sport. 20 June 2012.