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The announcement of the birth of ‘The Football Association Challenge Cup’ ran to just 29 words: “That it is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete”. Charles Alcock, then 29, had been The FA’s secretary for just over a year when he had his vision of a national knockout tournament.He had remembered playing in an inter-house ‘sudden death’ competition during his schooldays at Harrow and his proposal was swiftly agreed.
The move which probably did most to broaden the outlook of The FA and spread its influence over a wider field was made at a meeting at the office of The Sportsman newspaper on 20 July 1871.
The FA was formed there on 26 October 1863, a Monday evening.