With our current pedigree in the League Cup it is hard to believe that, like a lot of the top clubs, we refused to even enter the competition at first!
Now, with our four wins, we share third place with Chelsea, Manchester United and Nottingham Forest in the current table of the most successful clubs in the tournament.
Liverpool have won it the most times with eight followed by Aston Villa with five.
We have been losing finalists on three occasions – in 1982, 2002 and 2009 and reached the semi-finals in 1968, 1972, 1976, 1987, 1992 and 2007.
The competition was launched in 1960, specifically as a midweek floodlit tournament. Yet it was only when automatic entry to the UEFA Cup for the winners was introduced, that the League Cup grew in popularity.
Yet these days England and France are the only UEFA members offering a European berth to the winners of what is considered as their ‘second’ cup competition.
Villa were the inaugural winners in 1960-61 and since 1996-97 teams involved in European competition have received a bye to the third round. The final, as the semis continue to be, used to be a two-legged until 1966 and, in 1993, penalties were introduced to decide a first replay.
Image: Alan Mullery wears the cup in 1971
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