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FA Youth Cup fixtures & history: Semifinals draw made for 2023/24

FA Youth Cup fixtures have now entered the semis after a successful third and FA Youth Cup semifinal draw, producing several incredible ties for lower-league sides who will welcome English footballing giants to their homes.

The FA Youth Cup is the most prestigious domestic youth football competition in the world and was initiated in 1952 as the great Manchester United team – later christened the ‘Busby Babes' – won five consecutive titles under the tutelage of Jimmy Murphy, assistant to the legendary Sir Matt Busby.

It has since continually proved an excellent grounding for future Premier League and Football League players. It is a fine barometer of the quality of a club's youth ranks.

West Ham are the defending FA Youth Cup champions and will play Southampton in a mouthwatering FA Youth Cup Third Round draw clash
West Ham are defending champions | Photo: Icon Sport

When is the FA Youth Cup semi-final draw?

The Youth FA semi-finals draw was made on 23rd February 2024 after Liverpool were edged out by Leeds Youth in the quarterfinal at Etihad.

When will the FA Youth Cup semi-final matches be played?

Leeds Youth will now face Millwall in the semi-finals on 4 April 2024 at 19:00 GMT.  The other FA Youth Cup semi-final will be a clash between Manchester City Youth and Bristol City, to be played on 2 April 2024 at 19:00 GMT.

What were the stand-out games in the FA Youth Cup semi-final draw?

Well, it depends on what you're looking for. While we had exciting third round featuring top teams, the semifinals now feature the best that have wade through the stiff competition and now closer to bagging the title.

There are several potential exciting fixtures for lower-league youth teams to welcome Premier League opposition. Harrogate Town – whose first team compete in League Two – will host Brighton & Hove Albion, while Liverpool will travel to either League Two Morecambe or League One Fleetwood Town.

The biggest gap in opponents could come in Everton's fixture. The Toffees – who have long had an impressive Academy – will host either Stockport County (League Two) or Leighton Town. This latter side play in the Southern League Division One Central, which is Level 8 in the English football pyramid.

You've also got some tantalising match-ups in terms of talent. Defending champions West Ham United and Southampton have historically produce fine youth sides and compete in the Third Round, as do Watford and Manchester City. Sunderland and Middlesbrough, meanwhile, will face off in a local derby.

You can see the draw in full below.

FA Youth Cup Third Round draw in full

Harrogate Town v Brighton & Hove Albion

Sheffield United v Cheltenham Town or Dorking Wanderers

Cardiff City v Fulham

Luton Town v Swindon Town

Everton v Leighton Town or Stockport County

Sheffield Wednesday v Hemel Hempstead Town or Exeter City

Burton Albion or Chester-Le-Street United v Aston Villa

Morecambe or Fleetwood Town v Liverpool

Reading or Forest Green Rovers v Rotherham United

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Queens Park Rangers

Burnley v Birmingham City

West Ham United v Southampton

Plymouth Argyle v Crystal Palace

Grimsby Town v Nottingham Forest

Brentford v Tottenham Hotspur

Leicester City v Chelsea

Barnsley or Bradford City v Lincoln City or Walsall

Arsenal v Crewe Alexandra

West Bromwich Albion v AFC Bournemouth

Huddersfield Town v Erith & Belvedere or Charlton Athletic

AFC Wimbledon or Stevenage v Blackburn Rovers

Sunderland v Middlesbrough

Watford v Manchester City

Newcastle United v Leyton Orient or Tring Athletic

Ipswich Town v Swansea City

Norwich City v Leeds United

Millwall v Barking

Bristol City v Stoke City

AFC Fylde or Accrington Stanley v Hull City

Manchester United v Bolton Wanderers or Derby County

Preston North End v Coventry City

Gillingham or Eastleigh v Oxford United or Sutton United

FA Youth Cup FAQs

Who are the current holders of the FA Youth Cup?

West Ham United are the defending champions after defeating Arsenal in the FA Youth Cup final 2023 at the Emirates Stadium. The Hammers thrashed the hosts 5-1 with 34,000 watching on. It was their first FA Youth Cup triumph in 24 years.

Who has won the most FA Youth Cups?

Manchester United are the most successful club in FA Youth Cup history, winning the competition a record 11 times. Chelsea are the next best, with nine titles to their name.

Alejandro Garnacho helped Manchester United win the FA Youth Cup in 2022
Current starlet Alejandro Garnacho helped United to an 11th FA Youth Cup triumph | Photo: Icon Sport

Who can play in FA Youth Cup fixtures?

Players must have been born on or after 1 September 2005 but before 1 September 2008. This effectively means they must have turned 15 before the season began but must not have yet reached their 18th birthday. If they turn 18 during the season, they are still eligible to play.

Where are FA Youth Cup fixtures played?

Many clubs will host their FA Youth Cup matches at their primary stadiums, but this isn't always the case in the early rounds for the Premier League and Championship sides.

For groundhoppers, though, this can present an equally enticing opportunity to tick off some more stadia. Manchester United, for example, play most of their Youth Cup games at Old Trafford but, on occasion, play them at their regular Academy stadium, Leigh Sports Village. Across town, United's rivals Manchester City will play their games at their dedicated Academy Stadium, also home to Man City Women.

Generally, Academy players and staff are keen to play these games at their club's main stadium, but scheduling issues can make this difficult in the busy month of December, when there are so many fixtures.

List of FA Youth Cup winners

Club Wins Victorious seasons
Manchester United 11 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1964, 1992, 1995, 2003, 2011, 2022
Chelsea 9 1960, 1961, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
Arsenal 7 1966, 1971, 1988, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2009
Liverpool 4 1996, 2006, 2007, 2019
Aston Villa 4 1972, 1980, 2002, 2021
West Ham United 4 1963, 1981, 1999, 2023
Manchester City 3 1986, 2008, 2020
Everton 3 1965, 1984, 1998
Tottenham Hotspur 3 1970, 1974, 1990
Ipswich Town 3 1973, 1975, 2005
Crystal Palace 2 1977, 1978
Sunderland 2 1967, 1969
Millwall 2 1979, 1991
Watford 2 1982, 1989
Newcastle United 2 1962, 1985
Norwich City 2 1983, 2013
Leeds United 2 1993, 1997
Wolves 1 1958
Coventry City 1 1987
Blackburn Rovers 1 1959
West Brom 1 1976
Middlesbrough 1 2004
Burnley 1 1968
Manchester United won the FA Youth Cup in 2022 and the FA Youth Cup fixtures now dictate they'll play Bolton or Derby in the 2023/24 Third Round
Manchester United have won the most FA Youth Cups | Photo: Icon Sport

List of FA Youth Cup finals

Until the 2018/19 seasons, all FA Youth Cup finals were played over two legs, with an aggregate score determining the winner. Since the 2018/19 season, all FA Youth Cup finals have been single matches.

Year Champions Score Defeated finalists
1952-53 Manchester United

9-3

Wolves
1953-54 Manchester United

5-4

Wolves
1954-55 Manchester United

7-1

West Brom
1955-56 Manchester United

4-3

Chesterfield
1956-57 Manchester United

8-2

West Ham
1957-58 Wolves

7-6

Chelsea
1958-59 Blackburn Rovers

2-1

West Ham
1959-60 Chelsea

5-2

Preston
1960-61 Chelsea

5-3

Everton
1961-62 Newcastle United

2-1

Wolves
1962-63 West Ham

6-5

Liverpool
1963-64 Manchester United

5-2

Swindon Town
1964-65 Everton

3-2

Arsenal
1965-66 Arsenal

5-3

Sunderland
1966-67 Sunderland

2-0

Birmingham City
1967-68 Burnley

3-2

Coventry City
1968-69 Sunderland

6-3

West Brom
1969-70 Tottenham

1-1 / 2-2 / 1-0

Coventry City
1970-71 Arsenal

2-0

Cardiff City
1971-72 Aston Villa

5-2

Liverpool
1972-73 Ipswich Town

4-1

Bristol City
1973-74 Tottenham

2-1

Huddersfield Town
1974-75 Ipswich Town

5-1

West Ham
1975-76 West Brom

5-0

Wolves
1976-77 Crystal Palace

1-0

Everton
1977-78 Crystal Palace

1-0

Aston Villa
1978-79 Millwall

2-0

Manchester City
1979-80 Aston Villa

3-2

Manchester City
1980-81 West Ham

2-1

Tottenham
1981-82 Watford

7-6

Manchester United
1982-83 Norwich City

6-5

Everton
1983-84 Everton

4-2

Stoke City
1984-85 Newcastle United

4-1

Watford
1985-86 Manchester City

3-1

Manchester United
1986-87 Coventry City

2-1

Charlton Athletic
1987-88 Arsenal

6-1

Doncaster Rovers
1988-89 Watford

2-1

Manchester City
1989-90 Tottenham

3-2

Middlesbrough
1990-91 Millwall

3-0

Sheffield Wednesday
1991-92 Manchester United

6-3

Crystal Palace
1992-93 Leeds United

4-1

Manchester United
1993-94 Arsenal

5-3

Millwall
1994-95 Manchester United

2-2 (4-3P)

Tottenham
1995-96 Liverpool

4-1

West Ham
1996-97 Leeds United

3-1

Crystal Palace
1997-98 Everton

5-3

Blackburn Rovers
1998-99 West Ham

9-0

Coventry City
1999-00 Arsenal

5-1

Coventry City
2000-01 Arsenal

6-3

Blackburn Rovers
2001-02 Aston Villa

4-2

Everton
2002-03 Manchester United

3-1

Middlesbrough
2003-04 Middlesbrough

4-0

Aston Villa
2004-05 Ipswich Town

3-2

Southampton
2005-06 Liverpool

3-2

Manchester City
2006-07 Liverpool

2-2 (4-3P)

Manchester United
2007-08 Manchester City

4-2

Chelsea
2008-09 Arsenal

6-2

Liverpool
2009-10 Chelsea

3-2

Aston Villa
2010-11 Manchester United

6-3

Sheffield United
2011-12 Chelsea

4-1

Blackburn Rovers
2012-13 Norwich City

4-2

Chelsea
2013-14 Chelsea

7-6

Fulham
2014-15 Chelsea

5-2

Manchester City
2015-16 Chelsea

4-2

Manchester City
2016-17 Chelsea

6-2

Manchester City
2017-18 Chelsea

7-1

Arsenal
2018-19 Liverpool

1-1 (5-3P)

Manchester City
2019-20 Manchester City

3-2

Chelsea
2020-21 Aston Villa

2-1

Liverpool
2021-22 Manchester United

3-1

Nottingham Forest
2022-23 West Ham United

5-1

Arsenal
Aston Villa won the FA Youth Cup in 2021
Aston Villa won the FA Youth Cup in 2021 | Photo: Icon Sport

FA Youth Cup fixtures and results 2023/24

FA Youth Cup Third Round 2023/24

Harrogate Town v Brighton & Hove Albion

Sheffield United v Cheltenham Town or Dorking Wanderers

Cardiff City v Fulham

Luton Town v Swindon Town

Everton v Leighton Town or Stockport County

Sheffield Wednesday v Hemel Hempstead Town or Exeter City

Burton Albion or Chester-Le-Street United v Aston Villa

Morecambe or Fleetwood Town v Liverpool

Reading or Forest Green Rovers v Rotherham United

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Queens Park Rangers

Burnley v Birmingham City

West Ham United v Southampton

Plymouth Argyle v Crystal Palace

Grimsby Town v Nottingham Forest

Brentford v Tottenham Hotspur

Leicester City v Chelsea

Barnsley or Bradford City v Lincoln City or Walsall

Arsenal v Crewe Alexandra

West Bromwich Albion v AFC Bournemouth

Huddersfield Town v Erith & Belvedere or Charlton Athletic

AFC Wimbledon or Stevenage v Blackburn Rovers

Sunderland v Middlesbrough

Watford v Manchester City

Newcastle United v Leyton Orient or Tring Athletic

Ipswich Town v Swansea City

Norwich City v Leeds United

Millwall v Barking

Bristol City v Stoke City

AFC Fylde or Accrington Stanley v Hull City

Manchester United v Bolton Wanderers or Derby County

Preston North End v Coventry City

Gillingham or Eastleigh v Oxford United or Sutton United

FA Youth Cup Second Round 2023/24

South Shields 1-5 Grimsby Town

Swindon Town 5-0 Wimborne Town

Barking 1-0 MK Dons

Northampton Town 1-2 Harrogate Town

Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Boldmere St Michaels

AFC Fylde 1-0 Accrington Stanley

Oxford United 2-0 Sutton United

Hemel Hempstead Town 5-2 Exeter City

Lincoln City v Walsall

Cheltenham Town v Dorking Wanderers

Burton Albion v Chester-Le-Street United

Morecambe v Fleetwood Town

AFC Wimbledon v Stevenage

Gillingham v Eastleigh

Leighton Town v Stockport County

Erith & Belvedere v Charlton Athletic

Barnsley v Bradford City

Reading v Forest Green Rovers

Bolton Wanderers v Derby County

Leyton Orient v Tring Athletic

FA Youth Cup First Round 2023/24

Doncaster Rovers 0-1 AFC Fylde

Thame United 3-6 Forest Green Rovers

Carlisle United 1-5 Barnsley

Bolton Wanderers 2-0 Blackpool

Shrewsbury Town 0-3 Grimsby Town

Notts County 0-3 Lincoln City

Colchester United 2-2 Sutton United (7-8 penalties)

Leyton ORient 2-1 AFC Sudbury

Eastleigh 2-1 Portsmouth

Bristol Rovers 1-2 Cheltenham Town

AFC Wimbledon 2-1 Cambridge United (AET)

Bury Town 1-4 Charlton Athletic

Oxford City 1-4 Reading

Morecambe 3-2 Wrexham (AET)

Salford City 0-3 Accrington Stanley

Bradford City 2-0 Tranmere Rovers

Burton Albion 2-1 Port Vale

Oxford United 3-0 Bridgwater United

Chester-Le-Street United 2-0 Guiseley

Stourbridge 0-3 MK Dons

Ware 1-2 Gillingham

Aldershot Town 0-1 Swindton Town

Crewe Alexandra 1-1 Peterborough United (5-4 penalties)

Dorking Wanderers 2-1 Worthing

Lancaster City 2-3 South Shields

Mickleover 0-2 Northampton Town

Wigan Athletic 0-2 Fleetwood Town

Hemel Hempstead Town 4-0 Takeley

Rochdale 1-2 Harrogate Town

Walton & Hersham 0-3 Erith & Belvedere

Reading City 3-5 Exeter City (AET)

Kingstonian 0-1 Barking

Burgess Hill Town 1-5 Stevenage

Stockport County 3-0 Farsley Celtic

Newport County 2-3 Wimborne Town

Tring Athletic 4-0 Berkamsted

Chesterfield 1-2 Boldmere St Michaels (AET)

Leighton Town 1-0 Solihull Moors

Chasetown 2-6 Walsall

Mansfield Town 0-2 Derby County

FA Youth Cup schedule and dates 2023/24

The FA Youth CUp begins with 96 matches in the extra preliminary round before 189 in the preliminary round, 116 in the first round qualifying and a further 105 in the next two qualifying rounds before the First Round Proper.

Forty matches take place in the First Round, 20 in the Second Round, 32 in the Third Round as the Premier League and Championship sides enter, 16 in the Fourth Round, eight in the Fifth Round and then the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final follow.

The full schedule is outlined below.

Extra preliminary round – 14 August 2023 – 96 matches

Preliminary round – 4 September 2023 – 189 matches

First round qualifying – 18 September 2023 – 116 matches

Second round qualifying – 2 October 2023 – 70 matches

Third round qualifying – 16 October 2023 – 35 matches

First Round Proper – 4 November 2023 – 40 matches

Second Round – To be played by 25 November 2023 – 20 matches

Third Round – To be played by 16 December 2023 – 32 matches

Fourth Round – To be played by 20 January 2023 – 16 matches

Fifth Round – To be played by 10 February 2023 – 8 matches

Quarter-finals – To be played by 9 March 2023 – 4 matches

Semi-finals – To be played by 6 April 2023 – 2 matches

Final – To be played by 4 May 2023


Harry Robinson

A freelance writer and broadcaster, Harry has worked for or featured in/on Manchester United, FourFourTwo, The Independent, The Manchester Mill, UEFA, United We Stand and many others. He's the author of The Men Who Made Manchester United and hosts the Manchester United Weekly Podcast and United Through Time. A Stretford End season ticket holder, Harry travels around Europe to watch his team.

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