Blackburn Olympic & Blackburn Rovers

 When the FA Cup was first contested in 1871-2 the 15 clubs that entered were almost exclusively from the south eastern corner of England. The only exceptions were a school team from Donington in Lincolnshire, who withdrew, and Queen's Park of Glasgow, who progressed to the semi finals via byes and then withdrew after a 1-1 draw with Wanderers when they they could not afford to return to London for a replay.
By 1882-83 there were a greater number of clubs from the north entering the competition. Of 84 clubs who entered 20 were from Lanacashire alone.
For four years in a row during the 1880's the town of Blackburn (population 104,000), provided the FA Cup winners. It marked a transitional period in the English game- a move from the dominance of southern, amateur clubs towards a northern dominated professional era- The 1885–86 season saw the legalization of professionalism. Attendances grew; the 1882 cup final was watched by 6,000, whereas the attendance  for the 1886 final was 15,000.

 Blackburn Rovers 1884

Blackburn had more than a dozen active football clubs by 1877, the principal of which was Blackburn Rovers. The club was founded in 1875, and played their first F.A.Cup tie on 1st November 1879.

 Blackburn Olympic F.C.1883

 Blackburn Olympic F.C. was founded in February 1878 when two minor clubs, Black Star and James Street, merged. By In 1880 the club's ambition had extended to entering the FA Cup.
When they reached the final in 1883 the club caused a stir by going  to Blackpool for a training camp. This was a first, and prompted southern amateur clubs to demand  investigations into the financial affairs of northern clubs. How could they afford the time off work? Who was footing the bill?

 When The Football League was formed in 1888 a rule was put in place stating that only one club from each town or city could join, and Rovers, rather than Olympic, were chosen by the League as Blackburn's representatives. Olympic were soon in deep financial trouble, and in 1889 all professionals were released as the club reverted to amateurism. This failed to save the club, which closed down in September 1889.

The FA Cup Finals

 Blackburn Rovers, the first team from outside London and the Home Counties to appear in an FA Cup Final, were defeated 1–0 by Old Etonians.

The Cup Final was contested by Blackburn Olympic and Old Etonians at the Kennington Oval. Blackburn Olympic won 2–1 after extra time. Jimmy Costley and Arthur Matthews scored for Blackburn; Harry Goodhart for Old Etonians. It was a watershed match for the sport, as for the first time in an FA Cup final a working class team playing the 'combination game' overcame a traditional public school team.

The 1884 FA Cup Final was contested on 29 March 1884 by Blackburn Rovers and Queen's Park (the only Scottish club to reach the FA Cup final) at the Kennington Oval. Rovers won 2–1. An all  Blackburn final had been on the cards, but Olympic lost their semi-final to Queen's Park.

 The 1885 FA Cup Final was contested by Blackburn Rovers and Queen's Park at the Kennington Oval, a repeat of the previous year's final. Rovers won 2–0 in their second successive FA Cup Final victory.

 The 1886 FA Cup Final was contested by Blackburn Rovers and West Bromwich Albion at the Kennington Oval. The match finished goalless, Albion wanted to play extra time but Blackburn Rovers declined, meaning a replay was necessary.The replay was particularly noteworthy in that it took place at Derbyshire County Cricket Club's Racecourse Ground, the first time an FA Cup Final was played outside London. The replay was won 2–0 by Blackburn Rovers, their third successive FA Cup Final victory in the season in which professionalism was legalised.

Blackburn Rovers won the cup again in 1890 and 1891.