The FA Vase is a version of the FA Cup for teams playing in the ninth division or below. It gives tiny little teams with exaggeratedly unglamorous names the chance to play at Wembley.
The Vase has still more entrants than the FA Cup. In 2008-09, there were 514 competitors although some were found to be ineligible. For example, Avram Grant was barred for just being one man and Newcastle United had mistakenly entered thinking it was the FA Cup.
Tradition dictates that the final of the FA Vase is contested between two teams with grim sounding names, almost always ending in Town. Recent winners include Nantwich Town, Didcot Town and Brigg Town.
The final is a magnificent occasion as thousands of fans make the trip to London to cheer on a team that usually have more players than fans on match days.
At the 2006-07 showdown between Truro City and A.F.C Totton there was a crowd of 36,000. Every single man, woman and child in Truro attended and saw the Tinmen lift the trophy. Sadly looters sacked the deserted city of Truro and stole its ornate Cathedral.
The 2009 final saw Whitley Bay beat Glossop North End – a result that upset many neutrals who felt Glossop deserved more for their hideously unattractive name.
Confusingly the FA Vase itself isn’t a vase at all, it’s just a normal trophy. But then again the FA Trophy isn’t really a trophy as much as a sceptre.