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Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK
New shield for new season
Sami Hyypia of Liverpoool holds the Charity Shield aloft in front of manager Gerrard Houllier last season
Liverpoool beat Manchester United 2-1 last season
Arsenal v Liverpool | Community Shield
Sun 11 August | 1400 BST
Live on BBC Radio Five Live

BBC Sport Online looks at the history and latest incarnation of the Charity Shield, the traditional curtain-raiser of the English football season.

The Intertoto Cup, Champions League qualifying and early start to the Nationwide League programme may have robbed it of some of its lustre.

But the FA Charity Shield still marks the official start to the English domestic campaign.

  Multiple winners
14: Man United (4 shared) and Liverpool (5).
10: Arsenal (1).
9: Everton (1).
7: Spurs (3).
4: Professionals and Wolves (1).
3: Man City.
2: Amateurs, West Brom (1), Burnley (1), Leeds United and Chelsea.

And even a name change to the FA Community Shield for 2002 cannot dislodge its place in the football calendar.

On Sunday, 11 August, Liverpool play Arsenal for the first piece of silverware in 2002-03: the new season is up and running.

The Gunners' Double-winning exploits have disturbed the custom of the league champions taking on the side that claimed the FA Cup, so Liverpool, as Premiership runners-up, step forward on Sunday.

Liverpool will be looking to set an unprecedented Shield record. Last season's 2-1 victory over Manchester United saw them claim the prize for a joint-record 14th time.

Arsenal, meanwhile, will be hoping to pick up where they left off in May - and take revenge for their defeat when these sides met in Cardiff in the 2001 FA Cup final.

They would also become the first team to win it outright 11 times.

The competition's original format differed fundamentally from the current one.

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.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored his first goal for Man United in last season's game
Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored for Man United last year

It succeeded the Sheriff of London (Dewar) Charity Shield and was always professionals versus amateurs in those days.

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

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.

United beat QPR 4-0 in a replay that first year after drawing the initial game 1-1.

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

Then, 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.

The game was staged at Wembley from then on, until switching to Cardiff's Millennium Stadium last season.

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

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

  Most appearances
21: Man United.
19: Liverpool.
15: Arsenal.
11: Everton.
9: Spurs.
7: Man City.
6: Professionals, Amateurs and Newcastle United.
5: Wolves.
4: West Brom, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea.
3: Burnley, West Ham and Leeds United.

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

In the quarter of a century that Wembley hosted the game, more than 6m from ticket sales was distributed to charities by the FA.

A new deal, agreed with McDonald's last April, sees the American fast-food giants paying 30m to sponsor English football at grass-roots level over four years.

As part of the deal, McDonald's becomes a presenting partner for Sunday's game and the Charity Shield becomes the Community Shield, in an attempt to reflect the contribution made by the 250,000 volunteers who support the amateur game in England.

McDonald's is paying to be associated with the "community strand" of the FA's sponsorship programme, helping to create 8,000 new community-based coaches for young players.

FA chief executive Adam Crozier said: "We have stated our aim to improve football at every level in this country and this partnership with McDonald's is crucial to our aims in the community."

World Cup hat-trick hero Sir Geoff Hurst is the McDonald's director of football.

"In my new role, alongside Manchester United coach Eric Harrison, we are eager to see how much more can be achieved at grass-roots in schools and community's with the country's leading football organisation," he said.


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