Sunday sees us head to Wembley in an attempt to capture the Community Shield in the traditional curtain raiser of the 2023/24 English football campaign.
It is a competition we have a lot of history in, stemming back to 1930 when we made our first appearance and got our hands on the silverware.
Ahead of our meeting with Manchester City, we’ve poured through the record books to dig out some interesting facts about our time in the competition, as well as its history:
- The game evolved from the “Sheriff of London Shield” fixture that had been played annually since 1898 between the leading professional and amateur club that year to raise money for hospitals and other charities.
- The first Charity Shield fixture was back in 1908, when the professional Football League champions Manchester United beat the amateur Southern League champions Queens Park Rangers. The first time it was tweaked to be league champions v FA winners was in 1921.
- The 124 clubs who competed in the FA Cup the previous season (from the first round onwards) all get a cut of the ticket and programme sales from each fixture, and other revenue generated on the day goes to the FA's charity partners.
- The name was changed in 2002 to the Community Shield to reflect that the funds raised are distributed to community initiatives and charities across the UK. We were the first winners of the newly named competition when we beat Liverpool 1-0.
- This will be our 24th appearance in the Charity/Community Shield, and only Manchester United have featured in the game more often on 30 occasions.
- Our 16 wins are tied for second place with Liverpool, meaning we can move into outright second behind United should we beat their city rivals on Sunday. The Red Devils are the most successful team in the competition’s history, winning it 21 times.
- One of our wins was actually a “shared” Shield, which ironically came against Tottenham Hotspur back in 1991 in a goalless game, and is the only all-north London derby final to date. In the days before penalty shootouts determined a winner, if the game ended in a draw then the teams kept the trophy for six months each.
- We are looking for our fifth victory in the competition at the rebuilt Wembley Stadium. That would make it the venue where we have won the Shield more often than any other, having won it four times at Highbury, three times at the old Wembley, twice at the Millennium Stadium, and also at Villa Park, Goodison Park and Stamford Bridge. No team has won the trophy in more different locations than the seven stadiums we have tasted success in.
- In 1971, as double winners, we turned down the opportunity to play in the Shield having previously agreed to play some European friendlies. After a number of other teams did the same in the preceding years, in 1974 the game was given more prestige by moving to Wembley, and the current format was created.
- Of the eight times the Premier League runners-up have been invited due to the champions doing the Double, they have only prevailed twice. One of these was us in 1999, with Manchester United in 2010 the last to succeed.
- Since the establishment of the Premier League in 1992, only eight clubs that won the Shield proceeded to become league champions in the same season, the last being Manchester City in 2018/19.
- We appeared in seven of the nine times the competition was held in the 1930s, winning five times during the decade.
- We have faced Manchester City twice before in the final, and boast a 7-0 aggregate scoreline spanning the 80-year gap between games. We ran out 4-0 victors in 1934 at Highbury when Birkett, Drake and Bastin all found the net, while eight decades later strikes from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud saw us beat City at Wembley.
- Our top scorers in Shield matches are Ralph Birkett and Ted Drake with three goals each. Cliff Bastin, Reg Lewis and Doug Lishman all netted twice, while In more recent times, Gilberto Silva is the last player to have scored more than once in the competition.
Our full record in the Community Shield
1930/31: beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1
1931/32: beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0
1933/34: beat Everton 3-0
1934/35: beat Manchester City 4-0
1935/36: beaten by Sheffield Wednesday 1-0
1936/37: beaten by Sunderland 1-2
1938/39: beat Preston North End 2-1
1948/49: beat Manchester United 4-3
1953/54: beat Blackpool 3-1
1979/80: beaten by Liverpool 1-3
1989/90: beaten by Liverpool 0-1
1991/92: drew with Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 (shared)
1993/94: beaten by Manchester United on pens (aet: after 1-1)
1998/99: beat Manchester United 3-0
1999/00: beat Manchester United 2-1
2002/03: beat Liverpool 1-0
2003/04: beaten by Manchester United on pens (aet: after 1-1)
2004/05: beat Manchester United 3-1
2005/06: beaten by Chelsea 1-2
2014/15: beat Manchester City 3-0
2015/16: beat Chelsea 1-0
2017/18: beat Chelsea 4-1 on pens (aet: after 1-1)
2020/21: beat Liverpool 5-4 on pens (after 1-1)
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