Over 63,000 fans set to watch FA Youth Cup final

Over 63,000 fans set to watch FA Youth Cup final between Man United and Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford – smashing previous attendance record for the game by 25,000 – with £1 tickets now in VERY short supply

  • Manchester United play Nottingham Forest in Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup final
  • Over 63,000 fans will be at Old Trafford in record crowd for showpiece game 
  • United priced tickets at just £1 with all receipts going to the club’s Foundation
  • Forest will have just under 6,000 fans as they look to lift trophy for first time
  • United are aiming to win the competition for a record 11th time  

Over 63,000 fans will watch Wednesday night’s FA Youth Cup final between Manchester United and Nottingham Forest at Old Trafford – smashing the attendance record for the competition.

United confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that 63,500 tickets – priced at just £1 – had been sold for the showpiece game with all receipts going to the club’s charity foundation.

The crowd will far exceed the previous Youth Cup attendance record of 38,187, set for the first leg between Arsenal and United in March 2007.

Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho celebrates scoring a goal in the FA Youth Cup 

Nottingham Forest’s Detlef Esapa Osong celebrates scoring in the semi-final against Chelsea

United had hoped the crowd would exceed 50,000 but that target has been exceeded with very limited tickets now left available on the club’s ticketing website.

The capacity of Old Trafford is 74,140 and Wednesday night’s attendance may not be far short of that.

Forest will be backed by just under 6,000 fans at Old Trafford with the club playing in their first-ever Youth Cup final.

The Championship club have not played United at Old Trafford since Boxing Day 1998 but the first team may make it back to the Premier League via the play-offs this month.

United are aiming to win the Youth Cup for the 11th time in their history, having not lifted the trophy since a team containing Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard beat Sheffield United in 2011.

The United ticketing website showed most of Old Trafford sold out (dark red) with only limited areas of the £1 tickets left available (lighter red)

Old Trafford will almost be full to its 74,000 capacity for the match on Wednesday night

Youth Cup final facts and stats 

Jonny Brick has written a book chronicling the history of the FA Youth Cup complete with player recollections about the competition from the past 70 years.

From Kids to Champions, by Pitch Publishing, is released on May 16 and you can order it here. Jonny has provided Sportsmail with some facts and stats about Wednesday’s final:

  • The last time United won the Youth Cup was in 2011, when they beat Sheffield United 6-3 on aggregate with a team which included Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and Sam Johnstone.
  • United striker Alejandro Garnacho scored in the semi-final and imitated Cristiano Ronaldo with his celebration. He has since trained with Lionel Messi after being called up to the Argentina national team.
  • Forest striker Detlef Esapa Osong scored twice in the semi-final against Chelsea, including a last-minute penalty to extend the lead to 3-1. Impressively, he chose not to dribble the ball to the corner flag to see the game out, winning the penalty in the process
  • This is the second consecutive season that a Midlands club have reached the FA Youth Cup final. In 2021, an Aston Villa team containing Carney Chukwuemeka and striker Louie Barry defeated Liverpool 2-1.
  • The last time a club reached the Youth Cup final for the first time was 2014. In a thrilling two-legged final, Fulham came up against the dominant side of the modern era and lost 7-6 to Chelsea. Patrick Roberts, who left Manchester City for Sunderland in January, was on the losing side, and this Monday he scored the winning goal which sent the Mackems to the League One play-off final.
  • Since United’s Youth Cup win in 2011, Chelsea have won it six times (losing two finals) and Manchester City have won it once, having also lost four finals, three of those to Chelsea. 

Travis Binnion’s team have overcome Scunthorpe United, Reading, Everton, Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers to reach the one-legged final.

Forest, who are coached by the former United reserves manager Warren Joyce, have overcome Bristol City, Peterborough United, Cambridge United, Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea to reach this stage.

On the big crowd, United head of academy Nick Cox told the club website: ‘If you turn up and watch the FA Youth Cup final, you are contributing to their development.

‘If we can have a ferocious atmosphere and passionate fans, it will help the boys cope that little bit better when they get the chance to play in front of 75,000.

United last lifted the Youth Cup in 2011, with their side featuring (left to right) Ryan Tunnicliffe, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison

United’s Class of ’92, featuring the likes of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Gary Neville, win the Youth Cup that year

‘The purpose of the FA Youth Cup is to create amazing learning opportunities.

‘The boys put some pressure on themselves to win, the history of the competition at this club puts a little bit of pressure on them as well, and you play in front of crowds, have that little bit of pressure and have to deal with whatever circumstances cup competitions throw at you.’

Forest coach Joyce said: ‘It’s fantastic that so many Forest fans are making the journey up to support the boys. I’m sure the way the ground is laid out, I’m sure they could make as much noise as the United fans if not more.’

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