When Liverpool and Chelsea square off the Emirates FA Cup final on May 14 at London’s Wembley Stadium, they’ll have 150 years of history at their feet.
On Wednesday — just days after both clubs punched their tickets to Wembley over the weekend — sports equipment manufacturer Mitre unveiled the new ball that will be used for the final of this year’s edition of the oldest club football competition in the world.
The new ball is a version of Mitre’s Delta Max model that has been used throughout this year’s competition, but with grey markings, red chevrons, and the names of every team to hoist the FA Cup over the past 150 years.
Although it’s the 150th anniversary of the competition, the ball only has 141 club names on it. The FA Cup was not awarded between 1916 and 1919 nor between 1940 and 1945 due to the First and Second World Wars.
Arsenal will appear the most times on the ball, as they have a record 14 FA Cup wins under their belts. They are followed by Manchester United (12), Chelsea (8), Tottenham Hotspur (8), Liverpool (7) and Aston Villa (7). The most recent FA Cup winners are Leicester City, who defeated Chelsea 1-0 in the 2021 final.
Mitre is only releasing 150 of the FA Cup final balls for sale to the general public. The company signed a new three-year deal with the FA in November 2021, and also produces balls for the FA Women’s Super League, the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, the Community Shield, the Buildbase FA Trophy and the Buildbase FA Vase.
Delta Max balls are “engineered with Hyperseam technology, ensuring the seams are bonded and stitched for almost zero water uptake. The debossed surface texture manipulates airflow around the ball for pin-point accuracy and speed.”
Feature photo courtesy @mitresports / Instagram