The cup was first played for in 1908, replacing the Sheriff of London Charity Shield that had been introduced in 1898. It continued the professionals versus amateurs basis of the earlier cup (the gentlemen and players tradition). The first match was between Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers. The competition was not highly regarded, the games were informal, end-of-season clashes with both teams often assembled just for the game.
The date of the game was moved to the start of the season in 1959 and in 1974 then FA secretary, Ted Croaker, created the current format with the game being played at the national stadium and the monies raised at the gate going to charity. The game is decided on the day with extra-time and a penalty shoot-out if the scores are level. From the 1960s until 1993 extra-time and penalties were scrapped, with the cup being shared if the game was drawn.
The competition was renamed the Community Shield in 2002 for reasons that are not particularly clear.
The most successful teams in the competition are Manchester United and Liverpool, winners on fourteen occasions (including shares). The highest scoring game was Manchester United's 8:4 win against Swindon.