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The Shield: From the beginning

Commshield5

Commshield5

The Community Shield now kicks off the season as one of Wembley's highlights of the year, but it has come a long way since its predecessor, the Charity Shield, was first staged in 1908.

The original format of Football League champions versus Southern League champions pitted Manchester United against Queens Park Rangers, and they played at Stamford Bridge.

The Old Trafford men prevailed, but only after a 1-1 draw. The replay, in which QPR were well beaten 4-0, is the only Shield match to go to a second game.

Various formats were tried over the years, including in 1913 an Amateur XI versus a Professional XI. The champions and the FA Cup winners first met in 1921, and in 1930 that became the norm.
 
Notable exceptions include 1950, when England's World Cup team faced an FA team that had toured Canada that summer, and the 1961 version, when Tottenham - who won the Double - played an FA XI.

In 1971, Arsenal also won the Double but did not take part due to previously arranged pre-season friendlies - Division Two champions Leicester played Cup finalists Liverpool instead and won.

It left the Foxes as one of only two Shield holders who had won neither the title or the Cup. Brighton had their day in the sun when they won it as Southern League champions in 1910.

A year later, champions Derby and Cup winners Leeds both opted out. City, fourth in the League, and Third Division champions Aston Villa were invited to take part, City winning 1–0.

FA secretary Ted Croker created the current format in 1974 with the match being played at Wembley Stadium, and being contested by the reigning League and FA Cup holders.

During the 1980s and early 1990s a draw meant each team held the trophy for six months, but since 1993 penalty shoot-outs have decided any stalemate.

The competition was re-named the Community Shield in 2002. Arsenal were the first winners of the newly-title curtain-raiser with a 1–0 victory over Liverpool.

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