For all the chatter and speculation about the FA Cup, the competition’s Third Round weekend remains one of the biggest days in the English football season.

After a cluttered Christmas schedule, league football is put on hold for a few days while the nation turns to the oldest cup competition in the world for a weekend of fairy-tale stories and mismatches.

Bettors are scrambling for FA Cup tips, hunting for the upset to back. The football betting markets try to evaluate where a slip up could be coming or where a Goliath could be shuffling their pack.

As is tradition on Third Round weekend, we’re taking a look back at some of the most famous upsets in the tournament’s history, because there’s no competition that loves nostalgia as much as the FA Cup…


Bournemouth 2-0 Manchester United (1984)

An inexperienced Harry Redknapp was leading a third-tier Bournemouth into a tie with FA Cup holders Manchester United in 1984.

Few in the sports betting world gave the Cherries a fighting chance, but the hosts held United for an hour before taking a two-goal lead through goals from Ian Thompson and Milton Graham.

Thompson described the game as an ‘outer body experience’ and it’s worth noting this wasn’t some Manchester United youth team – they were near full strength with stars like Bryan Robson playing in the match.


Stevenage 3-1 Newcastle United (2011)

Stevenage were in their first ever Football League campaign when they were drawn against Newcastle. Alan Pardew’s Newcastle put in a dire display and were played off the park by the League Two minnows.

The loss, following goals from Stacey Long, Michael Bostwick and Peter Winn, made Newcastle just the fourth team in FA Cup history to get knocked out by a fourth tier side. In an up and down spell in the northeast, this was obviously a lowlight.

Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Everton (2003)

Former Evertonian Kevin Radcliffe was Shrewsbury manager in 2003 for a reunion with the club where he ascended to legend status.

Shrewsbury weren’t exactly fancied for an upset against David Moyes’ Toffees, who were just a season and a half away from a top four finish and with a teenage Wayne Rooney in their ranks.

Nigel Jemson wrote his place in FA Cup folklore, scoring a gem of a free-kick and a header to book his side’s place in the Fourth Round.


Hereford United 2-1 Newcastle United (1972)

Non-league Hereford had earned themselves a replay with a draw in the first meeting between the two.

When Newcastle took a late lead through Malcolm McDonald, the tie was seemingly over. Hereford had other ideas, with a 35-yard screamer from Ronnie Radford forcing extra time.

Ricky George scored the winner for Hereford in extra time to complete arguably the greatest upset in FA Cup history - though a major shock could be coming unless Premier League clubs take the FA Cup more seriously in the near future.


Worcester 2-1 Liverpool (1959)

Worcester were meant to be a walkover tie for Phil Taylor’s Liverpool in 1959. It didn’t turn out quite like that, however, with the match becoming an FA Cup betting upset unlike any seen in recent memory.

It was a turning point in the history of Liverpool. Taylor was under pressure after his side were so notably rattled (they went 2-0 down before a late consolation), and was fired later in the year. Bill Shankly was his replacement.

Havant and Waterlooville 4-2 Swansea (2008)

Garry Monk, now known for his turbulent managerial career, diverted the ball into his own net in 2008, setting up an historic afternoon for Blue Square South side Havant and Waterlooville.

It was a thriller of a match, with the hosts going three up before a Swansea fightback. Swansea legend Leon Britton missed a penalty that could have made it 3-0.

Havant and Waterlooville almost added to the run when they faced Liverpool in the next round, taking the lead twice on their way to a 5-2 loss.


Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal (1992)

Arsenal were a few months removed from winning the First Division under George Graham, but their loss to Wrexham in 1992 will be remembered by just as many as that title. Wrexham were languishing in the fourth tier and desperately out of form.

The Gunners even took the lead in the first half with Alan Smith and Paul Merson linking up. Mickey Thomas thrashed a free-kick past David Seaman to give Wrexham the lead before Steve Watkin pounced on a Tony Adams mistake to steal the win.


Manchester United 0-1 Leeds United (2010)

One of the greatest rivalries in British football took on a different look in 2010 with Leeds down in League One and Manchester United playing like one of the best teams in the world.

Jermaine Beckford scored in the 19th minute and a resolute rearguard from the Yorkshire club held off their more talented hosts for an improbable away victory.


*Credit for the main photo belongs to Matt Dunham / AP Photo*

Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.