THE LEAGUE CUP

 

                                     

     

The three League Cup trophies used in the competition.

(L-R: the League Cup, the Milk Cup, the Littlewoods Challenge Cup)

 

During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights. This opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter. The League Cup was introduced in the 1960–61 season specifically as a mid-week floodlit tournament, to replace the Southern Professional Floodlit Cup. In the early years of the competition, many of the top teams declined to take part. It was only when automatic entry to the UEFA Cup was promised to the winners that the full League membership took part.

 

In the last 10 years, following restructuring of European football, and the introduction of the restructured format of the UEFA Champions League, the League Cup was threatened with losing its UEFA Cup berth for its winners. It has retained it thus far, however; England and France are the only UEFA members offering a European berth to the winners of their second cup competitions. This has allowed the League Cup to retain popularity, especially with fans of clubs for whom success in cup competitions offers their only realistic chance of qualifying for Europe.

 

The competition has been sponsored since the 1982 season as follows:

PeriodSponsorName of Cup
1960 - 1982No main sponsorFootball League Cup
1982 - 1986Milk Marketing BoardMilk Cup
1986 - 1990LittlewoodsLittlewoods Challenge Cup
1990 - 1992Rumbelows Rumbelows Cup
1992 - 1998Coca-ColaCoca-Cola Cup
1998 - 2003Worthington'sWorthington Cup
2003 - 2012Molson CoorsCarling Cup
2012 - 2016Capital OneCapital One Cup
2016 - 2017No main sponsorEFL Cup
2017 - 2020CarabaoCarabao Cup

 

Entry to the competition was not mandatory for League clubs until the 1971/72 season.  1960/61 saw 87 entrants, the missing clubs being Arsenal, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion and Wolves.  These clubs had filled four of the top five places in the First Division of 1959/60.  The increase in the number of clubs entering in 1966/67 reflected the decision to play the final at Wembley and also to grant entry to winner to the European Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (later the UEFA Cup).  1969/70 was the first season when all 92 clubs entered.  Everton missed the 1970/71 season.  After entry became compulsory in 1971/72, Luton Town were disqualified in 1986/87 because of the club’s ban on away supporters entering their ground.

 

Entries have been as follows:

 

SeasonNumber of EntrantsNon-Entrants
1960-6187Arsenal, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers
1961-6282Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers
1962-6380Arsenal, Burnley, Chelsea, Everton, Ipswich Town, Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur, West Browmich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers
1963-6482Arsenal, Burnley, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur, West Browmich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers
1964-6582Arsenal, Burnley, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur, West Bromwich Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers
1965-6683Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers
1966-6790Everton, Liverpool
1967-6890Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur
1968-6991Manchester United
1970-7191Everton

 

The first games took place under floodlights on 26th September 1960.  Bristol Rovers beat Fulham 2-1 and West Ham beat Charlton Athletic 3-1.  The first goal in the competition was scored by Maurice Cook, Fulham’s centre forward, in the ninth minute.

 

Current holders:

MANCHESTER UNITED

 

 

 

Here's a full list of the League Cup winners:

 

 ClubNo. of winsSeasons in which competition won
Liverpool81980-81, 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1994-95, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2011-12
Chelsea51964-65, 1997-98, 2004-05, 2006-07, 2014-15
Aston Villa51960-61, 1974-75, 1976-77, 1993-94, 1995-96
Manchester United51991-92, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2016-17
Nottingham Forest41977-78, 1978-79, 1988-89, 1989-90
Manchester City41969-70, 1975-76, 2013-14, 2015-16
Tottenham Hotspur41970-71, 1972-73, 1998-99, 2007-08
Leicester City31963-64, 1996-97, 1999-2000
Wolverhampton Wanderers21973-74, 1979-80
Birmingham City21962-63, 2010-11
Norwich City21961-62, 1984-85
Arsenal21986-87, 1992-93
Blackburn Rovers12001-02
Oxford United11984-85
Swindon Town11968-69
Swansea City12012-13
Leeds United11967-68
Luton Town11987-88
Queen's Park Rangers11966-67
Sheffield Wednesday11990-91
Stoke City11971-72
Middlesbrough12003-04
West Bromwich Albion11965-66

 

For details of the League Cup final results click here.

For details of each season's results or your club's League Cup results click here.

For details of League Cup semi-final appearances click here.