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'Dear Women's FA Cup': Houghton pens letter to dream competition

'Dear Women's FA Cup...'

Marking the 50th anniversary of the prestigious competition, the 2020/21 Final will be played at Wembley Stadium today, as Arsenal and Chelsea lock horns for the coveted silverware.

In commemoration of the landmark, a number of captains from previous Finals will be present at the national stadium, including our very own Steph Houghton.

Five-time winner Houghton has lifted the trophy on three occasions with City and twice with the Gunners and in the build-up to the showpiece game, our skipper penned a letter expressing her love of the tournament.

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"Dear Women's FA Cup," she wrote. "As a young girl growing up, my memories of the FA Cup are making sure I got back in time from playing football in the street to watch the FA Cup Final!

"It's a journey that as current players, we have so many people to thank who paved the way to allow us to all live our dream of playing in an FA Cup Final at the home of English football.

"I'm looking forward to what the next 50 years brings and I know it's just the start."

Houghton is one of five captains – one from each decade the competition has existed – to share their memories, featuring alongside Lesley Lloyd and Elsie Cook (the skippers from the first Final in 1971 held at Crystal Palace Sports Centre), Sheila Edmunds, Hope Powell and Faye White.

Lead sponsor Vitality will pay tribute to the competition’s 28 winning captains by displaying their names on the iconic steps that lead up to the Royal Box. From the competition’s first winner, Southampton’s Lloyd in 1971, to the most recent winner, Houghton in 2020, each player's name will be visible to recognise their achievements in lifting the famous trophy.

As part of the pre-match ceremony, Southampton’s Lloyd and Elsie Cook of Stewarton Thistle will bring out the trophy and place it on the plinth.

At half-time, all the captains in attendance will be presented to the crowd with an opportunity for fans to celebrate the trailblazers and acknowledge their contribution to the game.

Watch the video above to hear some special memories of the FA Cup...

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