The Football Association Challenge Cup (1872 - 1895)
The first-ever Football Association Cup Final was contested by Wanderers and Royal Engineers in 1872 and was played before 2,000 at The Kennington Oval. The Wanderers won the match 1-0.
The trophy presented to Wanderers was made of silver by Martin Hall & Co. and cost 'no more than £20'. The winning design was approved by a Football Association sub-committee on 13th February 1872 and the subscribers included the famous Glasgow amateur side Queen's Park who contributed a guinea to the cost of the trophy. It was a modest trophy and with an ebonised plinth it stood scarcely 18ins tall. Affectionately known as 'the little tin idol', the trophy set the game of Association Football alight. Initially, there was concern in having a Cup Competition with some feeling that it could give rise to unhealthy rivalry. Shortly after commencement of the annual Cup Competition, any concerns were dispelled by great sporting occasions and entertaining matches.
For 23 years this trophy was contested for and won by the great amateur teams of the 1870s and 1880s and the professional sides of the Midlands and North of England.
On 11th September 1895 disaster struck. Aston Villa, who had won the trophy this year, loaned it to the Birmingham football and football boot manufacturer, William Shillcock of Newtown Road. The trophy was stolen and a £10 reward was offered (interestingly, a letter signed by William Shillcock on Aston Villa headed paper was sold by Christie's in the Football Memorabilia auction, 20th June 1998, Lot 470 with Shillcock offering a £50 reward!). This Cup has never been recovered, however, in 1958 one Harry Burge said he had stolen it to melt down to make counterfeit coins. In 1975 Joseph Piecewright, who had already been imprisoned for counterfeit coins, was identified as the guilty party. These stories have never been confirmed and Aston Villa were fined the princely sum of £25 by The Football Association for the loss of the trophy.
The Football Association Challenge Cup (1896 - 1910)
The History of The Football Association by Geoffrey Green, records that "At a Council meeting on January 22nd 1896, it was proposed by A. S. Sharman that the new cup to be purchased for Competition in place of the old lost one should be of gold, the cost not to exceed £200. The proposal was lost and a resolution put forward by R. P. Gregson, seconded by Dr. Morley 'that a cup as nearly as possible like the old cup, should be purchased' was carried. Thus another trophy costing £25 and of twin design to the original was set upon its high pedestal".
This exact replica of the original trophy made by Vaughton & Sons of Birmingham, offered here for sale, bears all the names of the previous winners from 1872 to 1895. Aston Villa again won it in 1897 (but did not put it on public display this time!) and the following clubs were presented with this trophy during the 15 years it was contested (see fold-out pages), for (clubs highlighted in bold are first time winners). All matches were played at the Crystal Palace with the exception of the 1900-01 replay, which was played at Burnden Park, Bolton and the 1909-10 replay, which was played at Goodison Park, Liverpool.
1895-96 Sheffield Wednesday 2 - Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
1896-97 Aston Villa 3 - Everton 2
1897-98 Nottingham Forest 3 - Derby County 1
1898-99 Sheffield United 4 - Derby County 1
1899-1900 Bury 4 - Southampton 0
1900-01 Tottenham Hotspur 3 - Sheffield United 1
(after 2-2 draw in first match)
1901-02 Sheffield United 2 - Southampton 1
(after 1-1 draw in first match)
1902-03 Bury 6 - Derby County 0
1903-04 Manchester City 1 - Bolton Wanderers 0
1904-05 Aston Villa 2 - Newcastle United 0
1905-06 Everton 1 - Newcastle United 0
1906-07 Sheffield Wednesday 2 - Everton 1
1907-08 Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 - Newcastle United 1
1908-09 Manchester United 1 - Bristol City 0
1909-10 Newcastle United 2 - Barnsley 0
(after 1-1 draw in the first match)
A VICTORIAN SILVER TWO-HANDLED CUP AND COVER
Born 16th February 1847 in London, Kinnaird attended Cheam School, Eton, and Trinity College, Cambridge. At Trinity College, he became an all-round sportsman and represented Cambridge University at running, lawn tennis, fives, swimming and, of course, Association Football. He also won an International Canoe race at the 1867 Paris Exhibition.
It was, however, Association Football at which he excelled. During a career spanning almost 60 years, he became the most respected and influential player and administrator the game had seen. He was instrumental in the formation of The Football Association and appeared as a player in nine F.A.Cup finals between 1873 and 1883 for either Wanderers or Old Etonians. He also made one International appearance for Scotland in 1873 against England. In the match played on 8th March at the Kennington Oval, England won 4-2.
The winner of five of these finals, he played in several positions, including: goalkeeper, back, half-back and forward. Resplendent in his long white trousers, quartered cap and flowing red beard, he captained the Old Etonians team which defeated Blackburn Rovers in the 1882 Cup final and celebrated by doing a handstand in front of the pavilion to a standing ovation from the crowd. The following year he played in the defeat by Blackburn Olympic and this was the last time an amateur team appeared in a F.A. Cup final.
Kinnaird enjoyed the combatable nature of Association Football and his mother was concerned that one day his leg would be broken. Sir Francis "The Major" Marindin, a close friend and then President of The Football Association, calmed any nerves she had by informing her "Pray do not be alarmed, if anybody's leg is broken it will not be Arthur's".
He was genuinely admired by all supporters of the game, and prior to one Cup final, crowds released the horses from his carriage and pulled the great man the last few hundred yards to the pitch at the Kennington Oval. Kinnaird's devotion to the game was such that during his playing career, he also became a Council Representative of The Football Association. He joined The Football Association Committee in season 1868-9 and became Treasurer in 1877-8. He was appointed President of The Football Association in 1890, succeeding Sir Francis "The Major" Marindin.
In 1911, to celebrate his 21st anniversary as President, The Football Association presented The Football Association Challenge Cup to him. To gift the most famous trophy in football clearly gives an indication how greatly admired Kinnaird was by the governing body. Technically, this was the second time Kinnaird had been presented with the trophy. In 1878 Wanderers (with Kinnaird in the team) won the original Cup for the third successive time, and as such won outright ownership of the trophy. However, in true 'Corinthian' spirit Wanderers returned the Cup to The Football Association.
During the latter half of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th Century, Kinnaird, as President, oversaw huge changes in the game of Association Football. From a tournament comprising (and won by) former public school teams before modest crowds of between 2,000 and 8,000, Kinnaird transformed football into the 'people's game'. He once said 'I believe all right-minded people have good reason to thank God for the great progress of this popular national game'. In many ways, one could say it was Kinnaird who made this progress possible: - in 1901 a crowd of 110,000 saw Tottenham Hotspur play Sheffield United in the Cup final at the Crystal Palace. For 33 years Kinnaird was President of The Football Association and sadly he did not survive to see the official opening of Wembley as he passed away on 30th January 1923 at the age of 75. The following is an extract from The History of The Football Association by Geoffrey Green, published in 1953 which records the presentation of the Cup to Kinnaird.
"The original trophy 'the little tin idol' - it may be remembered, had been stolen in Birmingham in 1895. It had been replaced by an exact replica, which after a spell of faithful duty had been presented by the Council to Lord Kinnaird in 1910 (in actual fact the trophy was presented to him on 6th February 1911 as recorded on an inscription to the plinth of the trophy) on the completion of his 21st year as President of The Association. This was a splendid gesture on the part of the council members for Kinnaird's service to the game was unmatched, but there was also an underlying reason why the life of the second F.A. Cup was brought to an end. It had been discovered that the design, without the authority of The Football Association had two seasons earlier been pirated in Manchester. The Association naturally disapproved strongly at the time, but no steps could be take in the matter since the design of the cup was then not copyright. The Association's answer was to pass the following resolution at Overstrand on July 9th 1910: 'That the present Football Association Challenge Cup, having been duplicated without the consent of the Association, be withdrawn from competition and a new cup offered, the design of which should be registered'".
A duplicate of the trophy offered for sale, bearing date hallmark for 1909 and made by Manchester based silversmiths Ollivant & Botsford, with assay mark for London, is in the possession of The Football Association at Soho Square, London and is thought to be the duplicate mentioned above.
THE FOLLOWING LOT WAS PRESENTED TO LORD KINNAIRD BY THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION CHALLENGE CUP (1896-1910)
the trophy 16in. (40.6cm) high, 20in. (50.7cm) high, overall
Presented to Lord Kinnaird by The Football Association to commemorate his 21st Anniversary as President of The Football Association and thence by Family decent.