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Thursday, 9 August, 2001, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
History of the Charity Shield
Gianluca Vialli and Dennis Wise hold FA Charity Shield after Chelsea victory over Man Utd last season
Chelsea defeated Man Utd in last season's Charity Shield
BBC Sport Online's Nada Grkinic takes a look at the history of the Charity Shield, the early showpiece of the English season.

The FA Charity Shield is the traditional curtain-raiser to the English domestic football campaign.

The winners of the Premier League and the FA Cup play each other for the season's first piece of silverware.

But the competition's original format differs greatly from the current one.

When the first Charity Shield match was played in 1908 between Manchester United, the then reigning Football League Champions, and Queens Park Rangers, then Southern League Champions, it was professionals versus amateurs.

This format was continued for many years and often featured teams that were assembled on a one-off basis.

Pat Jennings
Jennings scored in 1967 Charity Shield

Back then the games were largely informal, often played at the end of the season at neutral venues, or at the home ground of one of the teams involved.

It was then moved to coincide with the start of the new season in 1959, and has kept its place in the English football calendar ever since.

In 1974, Ted Croker, the FA Secretary, proposed that the Charity Shield should be played at Wembley, and assume the role of official curtain-raiser to the season.

Since then, the game has been staged at Wembley, until switching to Cardiff's Millennium Stadium this season for the meeting between Premiership champions Manchester United and FA Cup holders Liverpool as the redevelopment of the national stadium takes place.

The first Wembley-held Shield match was watched by a 67,000-strong crowd who saw Liverpool beat Leeds 6-5 on penalty kicks after the game ended 1-1.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, if the game finished in a draw then both teams would share the Shield for six months each.

National institution

The penalty shoot-out was then re-introduced in 1993.

In the 25 years that Wembley has hosted the game, over 6m has been distributed to charities by the FA.

This season's participants - Liverpool and Manchester United - have both won the Charity Shield 11 times.

Liverpool and Manchester United contested the 1977 Charity Shield
Liverpool take on Man Utd for fifth time in the Shield

United have been a regular feature of Shield games since the 1990s, while Liverpool have had to wait nine years to make another appearance.

Both clubs have been involved in some of the most entertaining Charity Shield matches in the competition's 93-year history.

United took part in the highest-scoring Shield match when they beat Swindon Town 8-4 in 1911.

Liverpool were the losing side in a seven-goal thriller against Leeds in 1992, when enigmatic Frenchman Eric Cantona scored a hat-trick in a 4-3 win before becoming a United player later that season.

And with treble-winners Liverpool and Premiership champions United in impressive pre-season form, one can expect another dazzling Charity Shield encounter.

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