Irish Cup

Last updated
Irish Cup
Organising body Irish Football Association
Founded1881
Region Ulster Banner.svg Northern Ireland
Number of teams126 (2018–19)
International cup(s) UEFA Europa Conference League
Current champions Glentoran (2019–20)
Most successful club(s)Linfield (43 titles)
Television broadcasters BBC Sport  (highlights & 3 live games including final)
Website Irish Cup
Soccerball current event.svg 2019–20

The Irish Football Association Challenge Cup, [1] commonly referred to as the Irish Cup [2] (currently known as the Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup for sponsorship purposes) is the primary football knock-out cup competition in Northern Ireland. Inaugurated in 1881, it is the fourth-oldest national cup competition in the world. Prior to the break-away from the Irish Football Association by clubs from what would become the Irish Free State in 1921, the Irish Cup was the national cup competition for the whole of Ireland.

Contents

Since December 2019, the cup has been sponsored by Sadler's Peaky Blinder Lager. [3] It was previously sponsored by Nationwide Building Society, Bass Ireland Ltd, JJB Sports [4] and Tennent's Lager. [5] 126 clubs entered the 2018–19 competition.

Glentoran are the current holders.

Format

During the cup's history, different formats and rules have been used in respect of eligibility to enter the competition, the number of teams and rounds, replays, extra time, penalties, etc. The competition is open to all clubs in Northern Ireland with intermediate or senior status. Clubs obtain such status by meeting minimum criteria laid down by the Irish Football Association in respect of facilities, etc. Each club, for example, must have its own enclosed ground. The competition begins in August or September with the first round, and ends with the final in May of the following year. Clubs from level 3 (the NIFL Premier Intermediate League) and all regional league entrants from level 4 and below enter in the first round, sometimes necessitating byes into the second round, depending on the number of entrants. The 24 senior clubs from levels 1 and 2 of the Northern Ireland Football League are exempt until the fifth round, which consists of 32 clubs and is played in January. [1]

The competition has always been played in a randomly drawn knock-out format. Teams are drawn against each other randomly. The team who is drawn first from each tie is the home team, except in the case of an intermediate team from outside the Championship drawn first against a senior team, when the tie is played at the ground of the senior team. If the match finishes in a draw after 90 minutes, extra time is played and (if necessary) penalties are used to decide the winner. [1] Both semi-finals and the final are played at Windsor Park.

The Cup winners qualify to represent Northern Ireland in the following season’s UEFA Europa League, subject to the club attaining a UEFA licence. However, if they have already qualified for a UEFA competition by finishing as champions or runners-up of the NIFL Premiership, or if they do not attain a UEFA licence, the Irish Cup's Europa League berth is redistributed to the third-placed Premiership club, and the 4th–7th placed clubs participate in the Premiership's Europa League play-offs. [6]

History

The Irish Cup was inaugurated in the 1880–81 season, with seven clubs taking part. The draw for the first round took place on 10 January 1881, with the first round (and first ever Irish Cup matches) being played on 5 February 1881. The trophy was first awarded to Moyola Park (from Castledawson in County Londonderry) when they beat Cliftonville (from Belfast) 1–0 in the final at Cliftonville Cricket Ground, Belfast on 9 April 1881. Since its inception, the Irish Cup has always been, and continues to be, considered the most important such competition in Northern Ireland (and, prior to 1921, Ireland), second only to the NIFL Premiership. The cup final is the climax of the domestic season in Northern Ireland and usually attracts the biggest attendance of any club match.

Since the inception of the Irish Football League in 1890–91 (and excluding the First and Second World War years when the League was suspended), the Cup has been won by Irish League clubs on every occasion except three famous ‘giant-killing’ occasions when "junior" clubs beat senior opponents in the final: in 1928, Willowfield beat Larne 1–0; in 1955, Dundela beat Glenavon 3–0; and in 1976, Carrick Rangers beat Linfield 2–1. In the early years, Army regiments stationed in Ireland entered teams such as King's Own Rifles (Cork), three of which reached the final: the Gordon Highlanders in 1890, the Black Watch (Limerick) in 1892 and the Sherwood Foresters (Curragh, County Kildare) in 1897. The Gordon Highlanders were the only Army team to win the Cup.

Between 1881 and 1921 when the Irish Cup was an all-Ireland competition, southern clubs (from what would become the Irish Free State and later the Republic of Ireland) only won the competition four times out of a possible 41: Shelbourne (from Dublin) won three times (in 1906, 1911 and 1920); and Bohemians (also from Dublin) won it in 1908. There were two all-southern finals: Bohemians defeating Shelbourne in 1908, and Shelbourne defeating Bohemians in 1911 (both ties required replays). Shelbourne, Bohemians and Derry City are the only clubs to win both the Irish Cup and the FAI Cup. Other Dublin clubs to compete in the Irish Cup were Dublin University, St. James's Gate, Dublin Association, Tritonville and Richmond Rovers.

In the second competition in 1881–82, Queen's Island became the first Belfast club to win the Cup and it did not leave Belfast again for another 24 years, when in 1905–06, Shelbourne became the first club from Dublin to win it. Of the 140 competitions played to date, Belfast clubs have won the cup 103 times; 73.6% of all competitions. The last time a club from outside Belfast won the cup was in 2018, when Coleraine beat Cliftonville 3–1 to win the cup for the sixth time. The cup's most successful club from outside Belfast is Glenavon, with seven wins. [n 1]

In the early years of the competition the final was played at several different venues in Belfast, including the Oval, Solitude, Grosvenor Park and Celtic Park, as well as Dalymount Park in Dublin. Since 1996, the final has been played exclusively at Windsor Park, except for the 2015 final. The final had to be switched to the Oval, following the discovery of damage to a stand at the usual Windsor Park venue. [7] The first final ever played outside Belfast took place in 1903, when Distillery won their 7th Irish Cup with a 3–1 victory over Bohemians at Dalymount Park, Dublin. The last final to be played outside Belfast was in 1975; Coleraine winning the Cup with a 1–0 victory over Linfield in the second replay, after 1–1 and 0–0 draws in the first two games. Since then the final has been played at The Oval or Windsor Park.

All six counties in Northern Ireland have been represented in the final. Moyola Park from County Londonderry were inaugural winners in 1881. In 1921, Glenavon became the first club from County Armagh to reach the final, but no club from Armagh won the Cup until Glenavon in 1957. County Down's first Cup finalists and winners were Ards in 1927; and County Antrim's were Ballymena in 1929. In 2007, Dungannon Swifts became the first club from County Tyrone to reach the final, and in 2019, Ballinamallard United became the first team from County Fermanagh to reach the final, completing the set.

Prior to replays being abolished in the final, a replay was required to decide the winner of 21 finals, the first in 1890 after Cliftonville and the Gordon Highlanders drew 2–2. Of the 21 finals to be replayed, eight of them required a second replay to separate the two finalists. The last time this occurred, and the last final replay ever played before they were abolished was in 1993, when Bangor defeated Ards 1–0 after two 1–1 draws. It was decided after this that there should only be one replay in which penalties would be used to determine the winner if necessary, and eventually the rules were changed to remove final replays altogether, with penalties being used if necessary after extra time in the first match. The first (and to date, only) final to be won on penalties took place in 2007, when Linfield beat Dungannon Swifts 3–2 on penalties following a 2–2 draw after extra time. In 2014, the rules were changed to abolish replays from the entire competition. All ties level after 90 minutes now use 30 minutes of extra time, and if necessary, a penalty shoot-out to determine the winner.

The final was not played on three occasions:

A total of 24 different clubs have won the Cup, but only 13 clubs have done so more than once. 34 different clubs have reached the final, with 12 of them appearing only once. Of those 12 clubs, five of them have won the Cup in their sole final appearance. On five occasions the same two clubs have reached the final in consecutive years: in 1885 and 1886, Distillery and Alexander; in 1913 and 1914, Glentoran and Linfield; in 1930 and 1931, Ballymena United and Linfield; Coleraine and Glentoran in 2003 and 2004; and in 2011 and 2012 Linfield and Crusaders. The most common final has been between Glentoran and Linfield, which has occurred 15 times. Linfield have won eight of the meetings, with Glentoran winning seven. The last time both clubs reached the final was in 2006, when Linfield won 2–1.

In 2001, the final was broadcast live on television for the first time on BBC Northern Ireland and has been on every occasion since

Windsor Park has hosted the most finals (74, including replays), followed by The Oval with 25, and Solitude with 23.

Records

Most wins: 43, Linfield

Most consecutive wins: 4, Glentoran (1985, 1986, 1987 & 1988)

Most appearances in a final: 63, Linfield [n 2]

Most consecutive appearances in a final: 5, Linfield (1891, 1892, 1893, 1894 & 1895)

Most defeats in a final: 21, Linfield

Most consecutive defeats in a final: 3, Linfield (1975, 1976 & 1977)

Biggest win in a final: Linfield 10–1 Bohemians (1895)

Longest gap between wins in a final: 70 years, Cliftonville (1909 and 1979)

Longest gap between appearances in a final: 55 years, Bangor (1938 and 1993)

Most appearances in a final without winning: 5, Larne (1928, 1935, 1987, 1989 & 2005)

Most common pair of finalists: Glentoran v Linfield – 15 times (1899, 1913, 1914, 1916, 1919, 1923, 1932, 1942, 1945, 1966, 1973, 1983, 1985, 2001 & 2006)

Final results

Key:

Scores level after 90 minutes. A replay was required.
( a.e.t. )Scores level after extra time. A replay was required.
( a.e.t. )Scores level after 90 minutes. Winner was decided in extra time with no penalty shootout required.
pens.Scores level after extra time. A penalty shootout was required to determine the winner.


EditionSeasonDateWinner
(number of titles)
ScoreRunner-upVenueAttendance
1 1880–81 9 April 1881 Moyola Park (1)1 0 Cliftonville Cliftonville Cricket Ground, Belfast 1,500
2 1881–82 13 May 1882 Queen's Island (1881) (1)1 0 Cliftonville Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast 2,000
31882–835 May 1883 Cliftonville (1)5 0 Ulster Bloomfield Ground, Knock, Belfast 2,000
41883–8419 April 1884 Distillery (1)5 0 Wellington Park Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast 2,000
51884–8521 March 1885 Distillery (2)3 0 Limavady 2,000
61885–8627 March 1886 Distillery (3)1 0 Limavady 1,000
71886–8712 February 1887 Ulster (1)3 0 Cliftonville Broadway Ground, Belfast 4,000
81887–8817 March 1888 Cliftonville (2)2 1 Distillery Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast 3,000
91888–8916 March 1889 Distillery (4)5 4 YMCA 3,500
101889–908 March 1890Gordon Highlanders (1)2 2 Cliftonville 4,500
Replay12 March 18903 1Ulsterville, Belfast 3,500
111890–9114 March 1891 Linfield (1)4 2 Ulster Solitude, Belfast 5,000
121891–9212 March 1892 Linfield (2)7 0 The Black Watch 5,500
131892–9311 March 1893 Linfield (3)5 1 Cliftonville Ulsterville, Belfast
141893–9417 March 1894 Distillery (5)2 2 Linfield Solitude, Belfast 5,500
Replay18 April 18943 2
151894–9523 March 1895 Linfield (4)10 1 Bohemians 2,000
161895–9614 March 1896 Distillery (6)3 1 Glentoran 6,000
171896–9720 March 1897 Cliftonville (3)3 1Sherwood Foresters Grosvenor Park, Belfast 5,000
181897–9819 March 1898 Linfield (5)2 0 St Columb's Hall Celtic The Oval, Belfast 3,000
191898–9918 March 1899 Linfield (6)2 1 Glentoran Solitude, Belfast 7,000
201899–0024 March 1900 Cliftonville (4)2 1 Bohemians Grosvenor Park, Belfast 5,500
211900–0113 April 1901 Cliftonville (5)1 0 Freebooters Grosvenor Park, Belfast [8] [9] 5,500
221901–0215 March 1902 Linfield (7)5 1 Distillery Solitude, Belfast 8,000
231902–0314 March 1903 Distillery (7)3 1 Bohemians Dalymount Park, Dublin 6,000
241903–0417 March 1904 Linfield (8)5 1 Derry Celtic Grosvenor Park, Belfast 6,000
251904–0511 March 1905 Distillery (8)3 0 Shelbourne Solitude, Belfast 12,000
261905–0628 April 1906 Shelbourne (1)2 0 Belfast Celtic Dalymount Park, Dublin 8,000
271906–0723 March 1907 Cliftonville (6)0 0 Shelbourne Celtic Park, Belfast 12,900
Replay20 April 19071 0 Dalymount Park, Dublin 10,000
281907–0821 March 1908 Bohemians (1)1 1 Shelbourne 8,000
Replay28 March 19083 19,000
291908–093 April 1909 Cliftonville (7)0 0 Bohemians Windsor Park, Belfast 3,000
Replay10 April 19092 1 Dalymount Park, Dublin 15,000
301909–1026 March 1910 Distillery (9)1 0 Cliftonville The Oval, Belfast 10,000
311910–1125 March 1911 Shelbourne (2)0 0 Bohemians Dalymount Park, Dublin 16,000 [10]
Replay15 April 19112 1
321911–12 Linfield (9)Final not played. [n 3]
331912–1329 March 1913 Linfield (10)2 0 Glentoran Celtic Park, Belfast 20,000
341913–1428 March 1914 Glentoran (1)3 1 Linfield Grosvenor Park, Belfast 20,000
351914–1527 March 1915 Linfield (11)1 0 Belfast Celtic Solitude, Belfast 20,000 [11]
361915–1625 March 1916 Linfield (12)1 1 Glentoran Celtic Park, Belfast
Replay1 April 19161 0 Grosvenor Park, Belfast
371916–1731 March 1917 Glentoran (2)2 0 Belfast Celtic Windsor Park, Belfast 20,000
381917–1830 March 1918 Belfast Celtic (1)0 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast
Replay13 April 19180 0 Solitude, Belfast
2nd replay24 April 19182 0 Grosvenor Park, Belfast
391918–1929 March 1919 Linfield (13)1 1 Glentoran Celtic Park, Belfast 18,000
Replay5 April 19190 0 Grosvenor Park, Belfast
2nd replay7 April 19192 1 Solitude, Belfast
401919–20 Shelbourne (3)Final not played. [n 4]
411920–2126 March 1921 Glentoran (3)2 0 Glenavon Windsor Park, Belfast
421921–2225 March 1922 Linfield (14)2 0 Glenavon Solitude, Belfast
431922–2331 March 1923 Linfield (15)2 0 Glentoran
441923–2429 March 1924 Queen's Island (1920) (1)1 0 Willowfield Windsor Park, Belfast
451924–2521 March 1925 Distillery (10)2 1 Glentoran Solitude, Belfast 20,000
461925–2627 March 1926 Belfast Celtic (2)3 2 Linfield
471926–2726 March 1927 Ards (1)3 2 Cliftonville The Oval, Belfast
481927–2825 April 1928 Willowfield (1)1 0 Larne Windsor Park, Belfast
491928–2930 May 1929 Ballymena (1)2 1 Belfast Celtic Solitude, Belfast
501929–3029 March 1930 Linfield (16)4 3 Ballymena Celtic Park, Belfast
511930–3128 March 1931 Linfield (17)3 0 Ballymena The Oval, Belfast
521931–3226 March 1932 Glentoran (4)2 1 Linfield Celtic Park, Belfast
531932–338 April 1933 Glentoran (5)1 1 Distillery Windsor Park, Belfast 33,000
Replay12 April 19331 125,000
2nd replay28 April 19333 1
541933–3414 April 1934 Linfield (18)5 0 Cliftonville The Oval, Belfast 18,500
551934–356 April 1935 Glentoran (6)0 0 Larne Windsor Park, Belfast 15,000
Replay10 April 19350 0
2nd replay30 April 19351 010,545
561935–364 April 1936 Linfield (19)0 0 Derry City Celtic Park, Belfast
Replay8 April 19362 0
571936–3710 April 1937 Belfast Celtic (3)3 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast
581937–389 April 1938 Belfast Celtic (4)0 0 Bangor Solitude, Belfast
Replay7 May 19382 0
591938–3929 April 1939 Linfield (20)2 0 Ballymena United
601939–4020 April 1940 Ballymena United (1)2 0 Glenavon Windsor Park, Belfast
611940–4126 April 1941 Belfast Celtic (5)1 0 Linfield 12,000
621941–4218 April 1942 Linfield (21)3 1 Glentoran Celtic Park, Belfast
631942–4317 April 1943 Belfast Celtic (6)1 0 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast
641943–4417 April 1944 Belfast Celtic (7)3 1 Linfield 25,240
651944–4514 April 1945 Linfield (22)4 2 Glentoran Celtic Park, Belfast 20,000
661945–4613 April 1946 Linfield (23)3 0 Distillery 20,137
671946–4726 April 1947 Belfast Celtic (8)1 0 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 25,000
681947–4810 April 1948 Linfield (24)3 0 Coleraine Celtic Park, Belfast 31,000
69 1948–49 16 April 1949 Derry City (1)3 1 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 27,000
701949–5022 April 1950 Linfield (25)2 1 Distillery 17,000
711950–5128 April 1951 Glentoran (7)3 1 Ballymena United 25,000
721951–5226 April 1952 Ards (2)1 0 Glentoran 20,000
731952–5325 April 1953 Linfield (26)5 0 Coleraine Solitude, Belfast 21,000
741953–5424 April 1954 Derry City (2)2 2 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 35,000
Replay29 April 19540 028,000
2nd replay10 May 19541 028,000
75 1954–55 23 April 1955 Dundela (1)3 0 Glenavon 10,000
761955–5621 April 1956 Distillery (11)2 2 Glentoran 16,000
Replay26 April 19560 0
2nd replay30 April 19561 020,000
771956–5713 April 1957 Glenavon (1)2 0 Derry City 23,000
781957–5826 April 1958 Ballymena United (2)2 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 24,000
791958–5918 April 1959 Glenavon (2)1 1 Ballymena United Windsor Park, Belfast 18,000
Replay29 April 19592 0
801959–6030 April 1960 Linfield (27)5 1 Ards The Oval, Belfast 20,000
811960–6122 April 1961 Glenavon (3)5 1 Linfield Solitude, Belfast 22,000
821961–6214 April 1962 Linfield (28)4 0 Portadown The Oval, Belfast 20,000
831962–6320 April 1963 Linfield (29)2 1 Distillery 20,000
84 1963–64 25 April 1964 Derry City (3)2 0 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 19,000
851964–6524 April 1965 Coleraine (1)2 1 Glenavon 18,000
861965–6623 April 1966 Glentoran (8)2 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 20,000
871966–6722 April 1967 Crusaders (1)3 1 Glentoran Windsor Park, Belfast 20,000
88 1967–68 27 April 1968 Crusaders (2)2 0 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 18,000
891968–6919 April 1969 Ards (3)0 0 Distillery Windsor Park, Belfast 17,000
Replay23 April 19694 216,000
901969–704 April 1970 Linfield (30)2 1 Ballymena United Solitude, Belfast 12,000
911970–713 April 1971 Distillery (12)3 0 Derry City Windsor Park, Belfast 6,000
921971–7222 April 1972 Coleraine (2)2 1 Portadown 8,000
931972–7328 April 1973 Glentoran (9)3 2 Linfield 12,000
941973–7427 April 1974 Ards (4)2 1 Ballymena United 7,000
951974–7519 April 1975 Coleraine (3)1 1 Linfield The Showgrounds, Ballymena 5,600
Replay23 April 19750 05,400
2nd replay29 April 19751 05,200
961975–7610 April 1976 Carrick Rangers (1)2 1 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 9,500
97 1976–77 23 April 1977 Coleraine (4)4 1 Linfield 10,000
98 1977–78 29 April 1978 Linfield (31)3 1 Ballymena United 12,000
99 1978–79 28 April 1979 Cliftonville (8)3 2 Portadown Windsor Park, Belfast 18,000
100 1979–80 26 April 1980 Linfield (32)2 0 Crusaders The Oval, Belfast 12,000
101 1980–81 2 May 1981 Ballymena United (3)1 0 Glenavon Windsor Park, Belfast 6,000
102 1981–82 24 April 1982 Linfield (33)2 1 Coleraine The Oval, Belfast 12,000
103 1982–83 30 April 1983 Glentoran (10)1 1 Linfield Windsor Park, Belfast 12,000
Replay7 May 19832 1 The Oval, Belfast 8,000
104 1983–84 5 May 1984 Ballymena United (4)4 1 Carrick Rangers Windsor Park, Belfast 5,000
105 1984–85 4 May 1985 Glentoran (11)1 1 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 12,000
Replay11 May 19851 0 Windsor Park, Belfast 12,000
106 1985–86 3 May 1986 Glentoran (12)2 1 Coleraine 8,000
107 1986–87 2 May 1987 Glentoran (13)1 0 Larne 8,000
108 1987–88 30 April 1988 Glentoran (14)1 0 Glenavon 10,000
109 1988–89 6 May 1989 Ballymena United (5)1 0 Larne The Oval, Belfast 5,000
110 1989–90 5 May 1990 Glentoran (15)3 0 Portadown Windsor Park, Belfast 12,000
111 1990–91 4 May 1991 Portadown (1)2 1 Glenavon 12,000
112 1991–92 2 May 1992 Glenavon (4)2 1 Linfield The Oval, Belfast 12,000
113 1992–93 1 May 1993 Bangor (1)1 1 ( a.e.t. ) Ards Windsor Park, Belfast 8,500
Replay8 May 19931 1 ( a.e.t. )6,000
2nd replay11 May 19931 05,000
114 1993–94 7 May 1994 Linfield (34)2 0 Bangor The Oval, Belfast 10,000
115 1994–95 6 May 1995 Linfield (35)3 1 Carrick Rangers 6,800
116 1995–96 4 May 1996 Glentoran (16)1 0 Glenavon Windsor Park, Belfast 10,000
117 1996–97 3 May 1997 Glenavon (5)1 0 Cliftonville 8,222
118 1997–98 2 May 1998 Glentoran (17)1 0 ( a.e.t. ) Glenavon 8,250
119 1998–99 Portadown (2)Final not played. [n 5]
120 1999–00 6 May 2000 Glentoran (18)1 0 Portadown Windsor Park, Belfast 8,355
121 2000–01 5 May 2001 Glentoran (19)1 0 ( a.e.t. ) Linfield 14,190
122 2001–02 11 May 2002 Linfield (36)2 1 Portadown 11,129
123 2002–03 3 May 2003 Coleraine (5)1 0 Glentoran 9,000
124 2003–04 1 May 2004 Glentoran (20)1 0 Coleraine 8,300
125 2004–05 7 May 2005 Portadown (3)5 1 Larne 5,431
126 2005–06 6 May 2006 Linfield (37)2 1 Glentoran 12,500
127 2006–07 5 May 2007 Linfield (38)2 2 ( a.e.t. )(3 – 2 pens.) Dungannon Swifts 7,600
128 2007–08 3 May 2008 Linfield (39)2 1 Coleraine 8,452
129 2008–09 9 May 2009 Crusaders (3)1 0 Cliftonville 8,820
130 2009–10 8 May 2010 Linfield (40)2 1 Portadown 7,940
131 2010–11 7 May 2011 Linfield (41)2 1 Crusaders 8,200
132 2011–12 5 May 2012 Linfield (42)4 1 Crusaders 7,325
133 2012–13 4 May 2013 Glentoran (21)3 1 ( a.e.t. ) Cliftonville 9,825
134 2013–14 3 May 2014 Glenavon (6)2 1 Ballymena United 7,282
135 2014–15 2 May 2015 Glentoran (22)1 0 Portadown The Oval, Belfast 8,072
136 2015–16 7 May 2016 Glenavon (7)2 0 Linfield Windsor Park, Belfast 11,500
137 2016–17 6 May 2017 Linfield (43)3 0 Coleraine 12,551
138 2017–18 5 May 2018 Coleraine (6)3 1 Cliftonville 12,012
139 2018–19 4 May 2019 Crusaders (4)3 0 Ballinamallard United 5,744
140 2019–20 31 July 2020 [n 6] Glentoran (23)2 1 ( a.e.t. ) Ballymena United 500 [n 6]
141 2020–21 21 May 2021 Mourneview Park, Lurgan

Statistics

Performance By Club

ClubWinnersRunners-upWinning YearsTotal final appearances
Linfield 43211890–91, 1891–92, 1892–93, 1894–95, 1897–98, 1898–99, 1901–02, 1903–04, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1914–15, 1915–16, 1918–19, 1921–22, 1922–23, 1929–30, 1930–31, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1938–39, 1941–42, 1944–45, 1945–46, 1947–48, 1949–50, 1952–53, 1959–60, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1969–70, 1977–78, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2016–17 63 [n 2]
Glentoran 23191913–14, 1916–17, 1920–21, 1931–32, 1932–33, 1934–35, 1950–51, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1982–83, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1995–96, 1997–98, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2019–20 42
Distillery 1271883–84, 1884–85, 1885–86, 1888–89, 1893–94, 1895–96, 1902–03, 1904–05, 1909–10, 1924–25, 1955–56, 1970–7119
Cliftonville 8121882–83, 1887–88, 1896–97, 1899–00, 1900–01, 1906–07, 1908–09, 1978–79 20
Belfast Celtic 841917–18, 1925–26, 1936–37, 1937–38, 1940–41, 1942–43, 1943–44, 1946–4712
Glenavon 7101956–57, 1958–59, 1960–61, 1991–92, 1996–97, 2013–14, 2015–16 17
Coleraine 671964–65, 1971–72, 1974–75, 1976–77, 2002–03, 2017–18 13
Ballymena United [n 7] 581939–40, 1957–58, 1980–81, 1983–84, 1988–89 13
Crusaders 431966–67, 1967–68, 2008–09, 2018–19 7
Ards 421926–27, 1951–52, 1968–69, 1973–746
Portadown 38 1990–91, 1998–99, 2004–05 10 [n 8]
Derry City 33 1948–49, 1953–54, 1963–64 6
Shelbourne 331905–06, 1910–11, 1919–205 [n 9]
Bohemians 151907–086
Ballymena [n 7] 121928–293
Bangor 12 1992–93 3
Carrick Rangers 121975–763
Ulster 121886–873
Willowfield 111927–282
Dundela 10 1954–55 1
Gordon Highlanders 101889–901
Moyola Park 10 1880–81 1
Queen's Island (1881) 101881–821
Queen's Island (1920) 101923–241
Larne 05-5
Derry Celtic [n 10] 02-2
Limavady United 02-2
Ballinamallard United 01-1
Dungannon Swifts 01-1
Freebooters 01-1
Sherwood Foresters 01-1
The Black Watch 01-1
Wellington Park 01-1
YMCA 01-1

Total cups won by town or city

24 different clubs have won the cup, with the overwhelming majority of winners being clubs from Belfast.

Town or cityNumber of cups wonClubs
Belfast 103 Linfield (43), Glentoran (23), Distillery [n 1] (12), Cliftonville (8), Belfast Celtic (8), Crusaders (4), Ulster (1), Willowfield (1), Dundela (1), Queen's Island (1881) (1), Queen's Island (1920) (1)
Lurgan 7 Glenavon (7)
Coleraine 6 Coleraine (6)
Ballymena 6 Ballymena United (5), Ballymena (1) [n 7]
Dublin 4 Shelbourne (3), Bohemians (1)
Newtownards 4 Ards (4)
Derry 3 Derry City (3)
Portadown 3 Portadown (3)
Bangor 1 Bangor (1)
Carrickfergus 1 Carrick Rangers (1)
Castledawson 1 Moyola Park (1)
British Army 1 Gordon Highlanders (1)

Final venues

There have been 137 Irish Cup finals contested during the 140 competitions completed thus far, as the final was not played on three occasions. In addition, 29 final replays have been contested, for a total of 166 matches played at twelve different grounds. Windsor Park has been the most common venue, having hosted 75 finals including replays.

VenueNumber of finals
(including replays)
First finalLast final
Windsor Park 751908–09 2019–20
The Oval 251897–98 2014–15
Solitude 231890–911969–70
Celtic Park 121906–071947–48
Dalymount Park 81902–031910–11 replay
Grosvenor Park 81896–971918–19 replay
Ulster Cricket Ground 71881–821889–90
Ballymena Showgrounds 31974–751974–75 second replay
Ulsterville21889–90 replay1892–93
Bloomfield11882–831882–83
Broadway Ground11886–871886–87
Cliftonville Cricket Ground 1 1880–81 1880–81

Notes

  1. 1 2 Distillery, now based outside Belfast (in Ballyskeagh) and known as Lisburn Distillery, won the Cup 12 times while still based in Belfast.
  2. 1 2 Linfield have won the Cup 43 times and been runners-up 21 times. However, as the final was not played in 1911–12 they have only appeared in 63 finals.
  3. Linfield were awarded the Cup after the other three semi-finalists (Cliftonville, Glentoran and Shelbourne) resigned from the IFA in a dispute over referee's wages.
  4. Shelbourne, who had beaten Glenavon in one semi-final, were awarded the Cup after the other semi-final was declared null and void as both of the teams involved were ejected from the competition: Belfast Celtic after their fans fired shots at Glentoran supporters during a riot, and Glentoran for fielding an unlisted player.
  5. Portadown were awarded the Cup when the other finalists, Cliftonville, were ejected from the competition after it was discovered that they had fielded an ineligible player during the earlier rounds.
  6. 1 2 Final was delayed until 31 July 2020, and attendance was restricted to 500 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Ireland.
  7. 1 2 3 Ballymena United F.C. were formed immediately after Ballymena F.C. dissolved in 1934, following expulsion from the league. Generally, Ballymena United assume the history of the previous club, however technically they were two different entities.
  8. Portadown have won the Cup 3 times and been runners-up 8 times. However, as the final was not played in 1998–99 they have only appeared in 10 finals.
  9. Shelbourne have won the Cup 3 times and been runners-up 3 times. However, as the final was not played in 1919–20 they have only appeared in 5 finals.
  10. Including one final as St Columb's Hall Celtic.

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References

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