There have been 62 winners of the English Football League Cup (EFL Cup), a knockout competition in English football invented and organised by the English Football League.
Making its debut in the 1960-61 season, the EFL Cup falls some way behind the Premier League and FA Cup in terms of prestige. Nevertheless, the competition offers a route into European football and the most realistic chance of silverware for many sides, making it a popular tournament with fans and punters assessing the best new betting sites.
The competition is held over seven rounds and is open to all 92 clubs within the top four tiers of English football, i.e. the Premier League, Championship, League 1 and League 2. Most Premier League sides enter the competition in Round 2, but those involved in European competition don’t enter until Round 3.
A Cup of Many Names
The official name of the competition was simply The Football League Cup up until the 2016/17 season at which point the rebranding of The Football League saw the word English added to the title.
The competition is most commonly referred to as “The League Cup”, but has had a number of titles over the years related to the various sponsorship deals in place:
|Period||Competition Title Sponsor||Title of Competition|
|1960–61 to 1980–81||No sponsor||Football League Cup|
|1981–82 to 1985–86||Milk Marketing Board||Milk Cup|
|1986–87 to 1989–90||Littlewoods||Littlewoods Challenge Cup|
|1990–91 to 1991–92||Rumbelows||Rumbelows Cup|
|1992–93 to 1997–98||Coca-Cola||Coca-Cola Cup|
|1998–99 to 2002–03||Worthington’s||Worthington Cup|
|2003–04 to 2011–12||Molson Coors/Carling||Carling Cup|
|2012–13 to 2015–16||Capital One||Capital One Cup|
|2016–17||No sponsor||EFL Cup|
|2017–18 to 2023–24||Carabao Energy Drink||Carabao Cup|
How Old Is The EFL Cup?
The EFL Cup is the younger of England’s two major domestic cup competitions. The inaugural edition took place during the 1960-61 season, almost 90 years after the first-ever FA Cup of the 1871-72 campaign.
Who Won The First EFL Cup?
Aston Villa were the first side to claim the trophy when coming out on top against Rotherham United in a two-legged final in 1961. Rotherham won the first game at Millmoor 2-0, but couldn’t hold on as Villa roared back with a 3-0 success at Villa Park to win 3-2 on aggregate.
Where Is The EFL Cup Final Played?
The first six editions of the EFL Cup Final took place over two legs, with one leg being played at the home ground of each side involved in the final.
Since 1967 the final has taken place at the home of the English game – Wembley Stadium.
Between 1967 and 1997, finals were replayed if they ended in a draw. This led to replays taking place at Hillsborough Stadium (1977, 1997), Old Trafford (1977, 1978), Villa Park (1981) and Main Road (1984).
The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff hosted the final between 2001 and 2007, due to the building of the new Wembley Stadium.
How Many Teams Have Won The EFL Cup?
As of 2022, 23 teams have won the EFL Cup. There have been a few surprise winners over the years; Norwich City (1962), Aston Villa (1975) and Sheffield Wednesday (1991) all won whilst in the old Second Division, whilst Queens Park Rangers (1967) and Swindon Town (1969) were in the Third Division at the time of their success. However, despite those surprises, the all-time wins list is dominated by the biggest sides in the game.
- 9 Wins: Liverpool
- 8 Wins: Manchester City
- 5 Wins: Aston Villa, Chelsea, Manchester United
- 4 Wins: Nottingham Forest, Tottenham Hotspur
- 3 Wins: Leicester City
- 2 Wins: Arsenal, Birmingham City, Norwich City, Wolverhampton Wanderers
- 1 Win: Blackburn Rovers, Leeds United, Luton Town, Middlesbrough, Oxford United, Swansea City, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Stoke City, Swindon Town, West Bromwich Albion.
Non-English Winners of the EFL Cup
Over the years, a number of Welsh football sides have competed in the English league system, and therefore gained eligibility for both the FA Cup and EFL Cup.
As of 2022, the only Welsh side to take maximum advantage of their place in the competition is Swansea City. Making the final in 2013, Swansea celebrated their centenary year in style by beating Bradford City 5-0 at Wembley Stadium.
Fellow Welsh side Cardiff City came very close just one year earlier in 2012, holding Liverpool to a 2-2 draw in the final, only to lose on penalties.
The Complete EFL Cup Finals List
|Season||EFL Cup Winners||Result||Runners-up||Match Venue||Official Attendance|
|1960-61 1st Leg||Aston Villa||0–2||Rotherham United||Millmoor||12,226|
|2nd Leg||Aston Villa||3–0||Rotherham United||Villa Park||31,202|
|1961-62 1st Leg||Norwich City||3–0||Rochdale||Spotland||11,123|
|2nd Leg||Norwich City||1–0||Rochdale||Carrow Road||19,708|
|1962-63 1st Leg||Birmingham City||3–1||Aston Villa||St Andrew’s||31,850|
|2nd Leg||Birmingham City||0–0||Aston Villa||Villa Park||37,921|
|1963-64 1st Leg||Leicester City||1–1||Stoke City||Victoria Ground||22,309|
|2nd Leg||Leicester City||3–2||Stoke City||Filbert Street||25,372|
|1964-65 1st Leg||Chelsea||3–2||Leicester City||Stamford Bridge||20,690|
|2nd Leg||Chelsea||0–0||Leicester City||Filbert Street||26,958|
|1965-66 1st Leg||West Bromwich Albion||1–2||West Ham United||Boleyn Ground||28,341|
|2nd Leg||West Bromwich Albion||4–1||West Ham United||The Hawthorns||31,925|
|1966-67||Queens Park Rangers||3–2||West Bromwich Albion||Wembley Stadium||97,952|
|1967-68||Leeds United||1–0||Arsenal||Wembley Stadium||97,887|
|1968-69||Swindon Town||3–1||Arsenal||Wembley Stadium||98,189|
|1969-70||Manchester City||2–1||West Bromwich Albion||Wembley Stadium||97,963|
|1970-71||Tottenham Hotspur||2–0||Aston Villa||Wembley Stadium||100,000|
|1971-72||Stoke City||2–1||Chelsea||Wembley Stadium||97,852|
|1972-73||Tottenham Hotspur||1–0||Norwich City||Wembley Stadium||100,000|
|1973-74||Wolverhampton Wanderers||2–1||Manchester City||Wembley Stadium||97,886|
|1974-75||Aston Villa||1–0||Norwich City||Wembley Stadium||95,946|
|1975-76||Manchester City||2–1||Newcastle United||Wembley Stadium||100,000|
|1976-77||Aston Villa||0–0||Everton||Wembley Stadium||100,000|
|Replay 1||Aston Villa||1–1||Everton||Hillsborough Stadium||55,000|
|Replay 2||Aston Villa||3–2||Everton||Old Trafford||54,749|
|1977-78||Nottingham Forest||0–0||Liverpool||Wembley Stadium||100,000|
|Replay||Nottingham Forest||1–0||Liverpool||Old Trafford||54,375|
|1978-79||Nottingham Forest||3–2||Southampton||Wembley Stadium||96,952|
|1979-80||Wolverhampton Wanderers||1–0||Nottingham Forest||Wembley Stadium||96,527|
|1980-81||Liverpool||1–1||West Ham United||Wembley Stadium||100,000|
|Replay||Liverpool||2–1||West Ham United||Villa Park||36,693|
|1981-82||Liverpool||3–1||Tottenham Hotspur||Wembley Stadium||100,000|
|1982-83||Liverpool||2–1||Manchester United||Wembley Stadium||99,304|
|1984-85||Norwich City||1–0||Sunderland||Wembley Stadium||100,000|
|1985-86||Oxford United||3–0||Queens Park Rangers||Wembley Stadium||90,396|
|1987-88||Luton Town||3–2||Arsenal||Wembley Stadium||95,732|
|1988-89||Nottingham Forest||3–1||Luton Town||Wembley Stadium||76,130|
|1989-90||Nottingham Forest||1–0||Oldham Athletic||Wembley Stadium||74,343|
|1990-91||Sheffield Wednesday||1–0||Manchester United||Wembley Stadium||77,612|
|1991-92||Manchester United||1–0||Nottingham Forest||Wembley Stadium||76,810|
|1992-93||Arsenal||2–1||Sheffield Wednesday||Wembley Stadium||74,007|
|1993-94||Aston Villa||3–1||Manchester United||Wembley Stadium||77,231|
|1994-95||Liverpool||2–1||Bolton Wanderers||Wembley Stadium||75,595|
|1995-96||Aston Villa||3–0||Leeds United||Wembley Stadium||77,065|
|1996-97||Leicester City||1–1||Middlesbrough||Wembley Stadium||76,757|
|Replay||Leicester City||1–0||Middlesbrough||Hillsborough Stadium||39,428|
|1998-99||Tottenham Hotspur||1–0||Leicester City||Wembley Stadium||77,892|
|1999-00||Leicester City||2–1||Tranmere Rovers||Wembley Stadium||74,313|
|2000-01||Liverpool||1–1||Birmingham City||Millennium Stadium||73,500|
|2001-02||Blackburn Rovers||2–1||Tottenham Hotspur||Millennium Stadium||72,500|
|2002-03||Liverpool||2–0||Manchester United||Millennium Stadium||74,500|
|2003-04||Middlesbrough||2–1||Bolton Wanderers||Millennium Stadium||72,634|
|2005-06||Manchester United||4–0||Wigan Athletic||Millennium Stadium||66,866|
|2007-08||Tottenham Hotspur||2–1||Chelsea||Wembley Stadium||87,660|
|2008-09||Manchester United||0–0||Tottenham Hotspur||Wembley Stadium||88,217|
|2009-10||Manchester United||2–1||Aston Villa||Wembley Stadium||88,596|
|2010-11||Birmingham City||2–1||Arsenal||Wembley Stadium||88,851|
|2011-12||Liverpool||2–2||Cardiff City||Wembley Stadium||89,041|
|2012-13||Swansea City||5–0||Bradford City||Wembley Stadium||82,597|
|2013-14||Manchester City||3–1||Sunderland||Wembley Stadium||84,697|
|2014-15||Chelsea||2–0||Tottenham Hotspur||Wembley Stadium||89,294|
|2015-16||Manchester City||1–1||Liverpool||Wembley Stadium||86,206|
|2016-17||Manchester United||3–2||Southampton||Wembley Stadium||85,264|
|2017-18||Manchester City||3–0||Arsenal||Wembley Stadium||85,671|
|2018-19||Manchester City||0–0||Chelsea||Wembley Stadium||81,775|
|2019-20||Manchester City||2–1||Aston Villa||Wembley Stadium||82,145|
|2020-21||Manchester City||1–0||Tottenham Hotspur||Wembley Stadium||7,773|
What Do EFL Cup Winners Qualify For?
This has changed over the years, but the EFL Cup has offered qualification to a European Competition of some description for the majority of its lifespan.
- 1966-67 to 1971-72: Winner qualified for the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
- 1972-73 to 2019-20: Winner qualified for the UEFA Europa League (formerly UEFA Cup).
- 2020-21 to Present: Winner qualifies for UEFA Europa Conference League.
Who Receives An EFL Cup Winners Medal?
A total of 19 medals are awarded to the matchday squad for the final. 11 additional medals are then given at a later date, with the clubs free to distribute these as they wish – usually choosing to give medals to players who have contributed earlier in the tournament and/or coaching staff.
Sergio Agüero and Fernandinho hold the record for most winner’s medals with six apiece. The Argentinian and Brazilian duo were part of the Manchester City sides which lifted the trophy in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Sir Alex Ferguson, Brian Clough, and Pep Guardiola lead the way amongst managers, with four wins apiece.
How Much Money Do EFL Cup Winners Get?
Not much is the answer. At least in relation to the other major domestic competitions. Winners of the Premier League can expect to earn upwards of £160m including their share of the broadcast money, whilst the FA Cup awards £2m to the winners. The prize money breakdown for the EFL Cup is as follows:
|First round winners||£5,000|
|Second round winners||£7,000|
|Third round winners||£10,000|
|Fourth round winners||£15,000|