IT maybe 25 years since Wrexham last lifted the Welsh Cup but they still remain the undisputed kings of the competition.

Ever since the first final in 1878 where a crowd of 1,500 at Acton Park watched Wrexham down Druids 1-0, the Reds have been the team to beat.

Wrexham hold the record for the most number of wins, having lifted the famous trophy 23 times in the 45 finals they’ve played in.

With the opportunity to play in the European Cup Winners’ Cup, the rewards were rich until the Football League quartet of Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and Wrexham were barred from the competition as UEFA started to make sweeping changes.

Instead that chance of Europa League football now goes to the likes of Connah’s Quay Nomads and Newtown and the only European trips Reds fans can dig out their passports for these days are pre-season friendlies to Portugal.

But supporters can at least look back at the times when they definitely had the bragging rights at being the Best in Wales.

It’s 141 years since James Davies netted the winner against Druids, who made for their defeat in the inaugural final by grabbing a hat-trick of win in 1880, 1881 and 1882.

Wrexham’s last final triumph was at the National Stadium on May 21 1995 where two Gary Bennett goals secured a 2-1 win over former Wrexham captain Eddie May’s Cardiff City in the days when the Reds were managed by Brian Flynn.

It was Wrexham’s fourth success in the end of season showpiece event against The Bluebirds - a sequence that kicked off in 1960 when 19-year-old Arfon Griffiths - the club’s greatest player of all time - scored the only goal of the game.

The 3-2 aggregate win in 1972 was significant as it earned John Neal’s Wrexham their first ever European excursion with trips to FC Zurich and Hajduk Split to come the following season.

The 5-2 Welsh Cup win over two legs three years later where bustling centre forward Billy Ashcroft scored twice in the 3-1 success in Cardiff was the catalyst for Wrexham well and truly putting their name on the European footballing map.

Wrexham reached the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup in 1976 with only eventual finalists Anderlecht ending a fairytale run in the last eight.

The Reds had beaten Djurgardens - Gareth Davies and Griffiths scoring their only Euro goals in the home win - and then Stal Rzeszow, courtesy of another Ashcroft double.

They’d probably have knocked out Anderlecht too but new signing Stuart Lee, despite scoring in the 1-1 draw in front of 20,000 fans at The Racecourse, forgot to pack his shooting boots for the away leg.

There are also a hat-trick of wins to savour against the old enemy Chester City when English sides just across the border used to receive invites to boost the numbers.

Those wins came in 1909, 1910 and 1958 while the 7-0 slaughter of Shrewsbury in 1931 was just as rewarding, with Reds legend Tommy Bamford scoring twice to take his tally for the season to 45.

Wrexham have beaten Swansea and Druids twice while their victories over Chirk in 1893 and Newtown four years later were both played at the Cricket Field in Oswestry.

One of those successes against The Swans came in the war years in 1915 while Wrexham’s biggest Welsh Cup Final win was 12 years earlier - an 8-0 annihilation of Aberaman Athletic.

Wrexham’s other final victories have come against Aberdare, Llanelli, Pontypridd, Merthyr, Flint Town, Connah’s Quay and Shotton and Kidderminster Harriers where Jim Steel scored both in a 2-1 win at Aggborough on May 21 1986.

Barry Horne had scored the Reds’ goal in the 1-1 draw at The Racecourse three days earlier.

Wrexham’s illustrious history in the competition is further enhanced by the fact that The Racecourse has staged 60 Welsh Cup finals although the club showed no respect for the past when in 2011 after being invited back in by the Football Association of Wales.

The Reds put a full strength team out for a league and fielded an understrength one at home against Airbus and lost 2-1 after extra-time.

The only significance of the game was Danny Ward was the Reds goalkeeper that day - the one and only time he represented Wrexham in a ‘first team’ fixture.