English FA Cup Finalists 1890 - 1899
In the 1890s, the FA Cup came of age as the premier knock-out competition in the country and the professional teams from the Football League took a stranglehold on the competition. By 1893, the Oval was no longer big enough to accommodate the final and the cricket authorities became concerned about damage to their pitch. After two seasons in the north-west, the final took up a new home at the Crystal Palace, home of the Great Exhibition. In September the original FA Cup was stolen from the shop window of William Shillcock, a shoemaker in Birmingham where it was on display. The holders, Aston Villa were fined £25 which paid for a new trophy made by Messrs Vaughtons Ltd of Birmingham, copied from a miniature replica awarded by the club chairman to the winning Wolves side of 1893. The original cup was never recovered.