Battle lines drawn for the game's ultimate mismatch

Manchester United have Old Trafford, Bobby Charlton and Angus Deayton. Millwall have the New Den, Barry Kitchener and Mo from EastEnders. Nick Harris assesses today's final opponents in Cardiff

Manchester United have Old Trafford, Bobby Charlton and Angus Deayton. Millwall have the New Den, Barry Kitchener and Mo from EastEnders. Nick Harris assesses today's final opponents in Cardiff

HERITAGE

Man Utd

Formed in 1902 after predecessors Newton Heath (formed in 1878) went bankrupt. Have spent only one season outside the top division since 1938. League champions 15 times (eight times in the Premiership). European champions twice.

Millwall

Formed in 1885 as Millwall Rovers by Scottish employees of a jam and marmalade factory on the Isle of Dogs. Won East End Cup in 1887. Have only ever spent two seasons in the top division, 1988-90. European debut next season.

FA CUP PEDIGREE

Man Utd

Winners 10 times (a record). This year's final will be their 16th (a record, shared with Arsenal). The only holders ever to refuse to defend their trophy (in 1999-2000).

Millwall

First final this year. Have reached semis four times, in 1900 and 1903 as non-league team, in 1937 as Third Division team (first team from that division to make the semis) and now.

FA CUP RECORDS

Man Utd

No FA Cup single this year, but there have been 33 previous records either by United or dedicated to them. These included official FA Cup tunes in 1976, 1979, 1983, 1985, 1990 and 1994. The 1995 offering was "We're Gonna Do It Again". They didn't, losing to Everton.

Millwall

Have released their first ever FA Cup song this year. "Oh Millwall", sung to the tune of "Volare", is described as "unique in being the first official FA Cup song by any club to include both players and fans singing". Sample lyrics: "Oh Millwall, wo oh, la la la la, from the Den right down the M4, Oi, Oi, We'll see our Lions score."

SENIOR SUPPORTERS

Man Utd

Alice Saxe, aged 99, is United's oldest season ticket holder. She was a toddler when United, inspired by Billy Meredith (below), won their first league title in 1908 and aged five when they moved to a new home - Old Trafford - in 1910. She had been drawing her pension for three years when United first won the European Cup in 1968. Since the early 1990s she has travelled to games from her Leicester home with fellow members of the Rugby and Nuneaton supporters' branch. Health problems will prevent her attendance in Cardiff.

Millwall

Frank Whipple, age 96, is Millwall's oldest season ticket holder. He attends games with son Harry, grandson Andrew and great-granddaughter Lois.

First match: 1918 v Arsenal.

Attended 1945 wartime FA Cup final v Chelsea.

Highlight: "Beating the great Huddersfield team 3-1 in the third round of the 1927 FA Cup. They had seven internationals. We were in the Third Division. There was a crowd of 45,000 at the old Den." Prediction for today: "Tough. But if Dennis Wise plays, he's the inspiration and we'll put up a show."

FA CUP SHOCKERS

Man Utd

Were on receiving end of one of the biggest post-war Cup shocks in 1984 when Ron Atkinson's men lost 2-0 at Bournemouth in the third round. Third Division Bournemouth were managed by Harry Redknapp.

Millwall

Produced one of the most astonishing giant-killings when they beat Huddersfield 3-1 in the third round in 1927. Huddersfield's team had been assembled by the great Herbert Chapman and had just won three league titles in a row.

HEAD TO HEAD

Man Utd

Have played Millwall six times at Old Trafford, winning five and drawing one. Biggest win there was 7-1 in old Second Division in 1932. Last meeting there was saw a 5-1 win in September 1989. The clubs have never met at a neutral venue.

Millwall

Have played United seven times at home, winning only once (a 2-0 victory in 1931), drawing twice and losing four times, including the last meeting, 2-1, in February 1990. Their only FA Cup meeting was at The Den in 1953 and Millwall lost 1-0

HAIRDRYER VERSUS HARDMAN

Man Utd

Sir Alex Ferguson once said that Dennis Wise could start a fight in an empty room. He declined to add anything about pots and kettles. The United manager has long ruled his dressing rooms with an acid tongue (and the odd kick of a football boot and shove of a table). But his record in the FA Cup has been good, winning it four times since 1990. The successes in 1994 and 1996 came as part of Doubles while 1999's win was part of a Treble.

Millwall

Dennis Wise, a cheeky chappy or reckless headcase depending on your affiliation, has been sent off 13 times in a 20-year career and has had more than his share of off-field troubles. He escaped a three-month prison sentence for assault in 1995 after being acquitted on appeal. He was sacked by Leicester for breaking a team-mate's jaw. Has won FA Cup three times (with Wimbledon and twice with Chelsea) and lost once (against United with Chelsea in 1994).

RECORD-MAKING OLD BOYS

Man Utd

Bobby Charlton (left): Most capped player at United (106 England caps); most League appearances for United (606).

Dennis Violet: Most League goals for United in a season (32 in 1959-60).

Eric Cantona: First foreign player to captain an FA Cup-winning side in the 20th century. Cantona did it in 1996 against Liverpool.

Millwall

Eamon Dunphy (right): Most capped player at Millwall (23 Republic of Ireland caps).

Barry Kitchener: Most League appearances (523).

Richard Parker: Most League goals for Millwall in a season (37 in 1926-27).

FB Kidd: Manager in 1898-99 when his reserve team won a record 30 of 30 league matches, scoring 212 goals.

CONTRASTING CHAIRMEN

Man Utd

Manchester United's plc chairman, Sir Roy Gardner, is a pillar of the Establishment. A former director at GEC and British Gas plc, he is also the chief executive of Centrica plc, the President of Carers UK and the government-appointed chair of the National Modern Apprenticeship Task Force. Sir Roy has been a director at United since 2000 and became the chairman in 2002. He prefers to stay out of the limelight

Millwall

Knickers and notepads are the business background of Millwall's flamboyant chairman, Theo Paphitis, whose business interests include the La Senza lingerie firm and Rymans stationers. Hard work and a no-nonsense approach at Millwall have helped transform the club's fortunes and image. Has been an influential force in helping the Football League to modernise and become more businesslike. Revels in the sort of publicity today will bring.

COMMON GROUND (BUT WE GOT HIM FIRST)

Man Utd

George Graham (left): Played at United in the early 1970s under Tommy Docherty and then managed Millwall in the 1980s.

Jimmy Nichol: Played at United in the 1970s and managed Millwall in 1996-97.

Ray Wilkins: Played for United from 1979 to 1984 and is now an integral part of Dennis Wise's management team at Millwall.

Millwall

Alex Stepney (right): Started his career at The Den in the early 1960s but made his name with United in the late 1960s and 1970s.

Gordon Hill: Played for Millwall until 1975, when he moved to Manchester United for £70,000.

Teddy Sheringham: Spent seven years at Millwall (1984-1991) and played for United from 1997 to 2001.

RECORD-MAKING TEAMS

Man Utd

Fewest goals conceded in a Second Division season, 23 in 1924-25; only team to win a Treble of League, FA Cup and European Cup; record number of wins in a Premiership season, 28 from 38 in 1999-2000.

Millwall

Set a record for the most goals ever scored in a league season with 127 in 42 games in the Third Division South in 1927-28. Held the record for the longest unbeaten run at home, 59 games in the late 1960s.

SHOP FOR SUCCESS

Man Utd

Three FA Cup items are currently vying for dominance in unit sales: the Cup foam hand, the Cup rosette and the Cup wig.

Millwall

FA Cup shirt has sold "thousands". Fastest-selling item this week is the Cup CD, "Oh Millwall", with 1,500 sales at £3.99 in first three days.

WORLD APPEAL

Man Utd

A recent survey claimed United had 50 million fans worldwide, including 12m in the UK. There are 110 official supporters' branches in England, Scotland and Wales, 86 in Ireland and 23 in the rest of the world. Average home attendance is 67,641.

Millwall

Have one official supporters' club in England and one official fledgling branch in Australia. Other overseas fans' groups include the Antwerp Lions in Belgium and the US Lions in America. Average home attendance is 9,711.

MONEY MATTERS

Man Utd

United have a Stock Market value of around £600m. The biggest fee they have paid for a player was £30m for Rio Ferdinand. The biggest fee received was £25m for David Beckham.

Millwall

Millwall have a Stock Market value of around £5m. The biggest fee they have paid for a player was £800,000 for Paul Goddard. The biggest fee received was £2.3m for Mark Kennedy.

NUMBERS GAME

Man Utd

United will contest their 16th FA Cup final today, after a Cup run involving 16 goals. United's key figure is likely to be Roy Keane, their No 16. Omen? Defeat could hasten the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and the arrival of the 16th different manager in United's history.

Millwall

Millwall contested the fourth FA Cup semi-final of their history on the fourth day of the fourth month of 2004. Their winner was scored by their No 4, Cahill. The opponents' No 4, Jason McAteer, was sent off. Omen? Millwall to win 4-0 in the final.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Salisbury ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities

The city is home to one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, along with the world’s oldest mechanical clock
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album