Rare Harry Redknapp hand signed FA Cup final programme from the 2008 FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Cardiff City
Programme hand signed on the front by the former Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp
The 2008 FA Cup Final was an association football match between Cardiff City and Portsmouth held at Wembley Stadium, London, on 17 May 2008. The final was the showpiece match of English football’s primary cup competition, the 2007–08 Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup), organised by The Football Association. It was the 127th FA Cup Final and the second to be held at the new Wembley Stadium following its redevelopment. Portsmouth won the match by a single goal, scored by Nwankwo Kanu in the 37th minute.
Both sides had entered the competition in the third round and progressed to the final by winning five matches. Portsmouth conceded only one goal en route to the final, during a 2–1 victory over Plymouth Argyle in the fourth round. All of their remaining fixtures were won by the same 1–0 scoreline. Cardiff began their campaign by defeating the lowest-ranked side ever to reach the third round, Chasetown, 3–1. After a 2–1 victory over Hereford United in the following round, Cardiff did not concede another goal during their progression to the final. The final was the first time the two sides had ever met in the competition. Both teams were aiming to win the FA Cup for the second time, Cardiff having won it in 1927 and Portsmouth in 1939. Cardiff were also aiming to become the first side from outside the top tier of English football to win the competition since 1980.
The match was played in front of 89,874 spectators, which remains the highest attendance for a football match at the new Wembley Stadium. Cardiff started brightly and had several early opportunities that were denied by Portsmouth goalkeeper David James. For Portsmouth, lone striker Nwankwo Kanu nearly opened the scoring by hitting the post before converting a later chance, after the ball had been spilled by Cardiff goalkeeper Peter Enckelman, to lead at half time. Cardiff were denied an equalising goal late in the half when Glenn Loovens’ effort was disallowed for handball. In the second half, Portsmouth focused on defending their lead and, although Cardiff pressured for long periods, they were unable create many clear chances. Portsmouth maintained their 1–0 advantage until the final whistle to claim victory.
For winning the competition, Portsmouth received £1 million in prize money, as well as qualification to the 2008–09 UEFA Cup – their first foray into European football. Portsmouth reached the final again two years later, suffering a defeat to Chelsea.