The Town take crown in Giant Killers study
To get you warmed up for this afternoon's trip to Accrington Stanley in the Emirates FA Cup third round, we can reveal the Hatters have been crowned the greatest FA Cup underdogs of the last 25 years following a study taken by ‘The Giant Killers: A Search for the FA Cup’s Ultimate Underdog’.
The study takes into account from the Third Round onwards over the last 25 years, and each giant killing score equals the difference in final league position between the two teams in the match-up.
The Town have knocked out teams a staggering 233 places above them overall over the past two-and-a-half decades.
This included the biggest Cup upset in recent history, as a Non-League club in 2012/13 knocking out a Norwich City side who at the time were a whopping 88 places above them in the football Pyramid as a Premier League club.
The Hatters – the only Non-League club to beat a top-flight club in the Premier League era – have also seen off Wolves, Newcastle United, and Bradford City over the years.
In joint second stood Premier League Swansea City and Oldham Athletic, both with a combined giant killing score of 213. The Latics are of course remembered for their infamous run in 2012/13 which saw them beat Liverpool and take Everton to a replay, while the Swans were punching well above their weight before joining the top flight – having seen off West Ham in 1999 when they were at the very foot of the Football League.
The Giant Killers: A Search for the FA Cup’s Ultimate Underdog has analysed each of the last 25 seasons from the Third Round onwards, and it’s certainly uncovered a few surprises. Stevenage finished inside the top 10 following a number of famous giant kills over the years while Shrewsbury Town, Rochdale and Crawley Town all finished highly.
When it came to the ultimate giant kill however, that once again belonged to the Hatters following their victory over Premier League Norwich. Shrewsbury Town ran them close beating Everton, 85 places above them, a decade earlier.
Meanwhile, the top 10 clubs and giant kills are below…
Top 10 Giant Killers
1. Luton Town - 233
2. Oldham Athletic - 213
3. Swansea City - 213
4. Sheffield United - 203
5. Cardiff City - 195
6. Stevenage - 186
7. Leyton Orient - 165
8. Bolton Wanderers - 162
9. Shrewsbury Town - 159
10. Rochdale - 156
Top 10 Giant Kills
1. Norwich City 0-1 Luton Town (2012/13) - 88
2. Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Everton (2002/03) - 85
3. Macclesfield Town 2-1 Cardiff City (2012/12) - 82
4. Havant & Waterlooville 4-2 Swansea City (2007/08) - 78
5. Derby County 1-3 Bristol Rovers (2001/02) - 72
6. Swansea City 1-0 West Ham United (1998/99) - 70
7. Swindon Town 1-2 Stevenage (1997/98) - 69
8. Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Telford United (2002/03) - 66
9. Stevenage 3-1 Newcastle United (2010/11) - 62
10. Torquay United 1-0 Blackpool (2008/09) - 60