The Youdan Cup : the oldest Football Cup in the world-150 years ago today

The Youdan Cup

Hallam FC were the winners of the oldest Football Cup in the world, the Youdan Cup, in 1867.

The first two rounds were on a knockout basis; however, the final was contested between three teams playing each other in turn. The final between Hallam FC and Norfolk FC was played at Bramall Lane, on 5 March 1867 and attracted 3,000 spectators, each paying 3d admission. Thomas Youdan, ever the business man had the final played on Shrove Tuesday, when the “common man” would have a day off work. The throng did not have a great deal to cheer, with the match ending goalless, decided by rouges scored:

“THE YOUDAN FOOTBALL CUP. -The Hallam and Norfolk Football Clubs played the final match for this prize at Brammall-lane Cricket Ground, Sheffield, on Shrove Tuesday. The toss for choice of goals was won by Norfolk, who kicked with the wind, but were unable to score. After playing half time ends were changed, when it was soon evident the Hallamites had the game in their own hands. After half an hour’s play the ball was kicked by Elliott, not through the goal, but just over it, and was touched down be Ash in splendid style, after running round two of his opponents before getting to the ball, thus securing a rouge. The Norfolk captain immediately kicked off, thus hoping to secure a goal for his side whilst his opponents were off their guard, but in their haste and confusion they left their goal unprotected, which was taken advantage of by one of the Hallam players securing another rouge, when time was called. Thus, Hallam won scoring two rouges to their opponent’s nothing.” Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle – Saturday 09 March 1867

The promised Youdan Cup should have been presented on the 11th of March but instead a silver claret jug was awarded, as the Jarvis-designed Cup was announced as not being ready on time:

“THE YOUDAN FOOTBALL PRIZE. – During the last three weeks, the members of the local football clubs have been competing for a silver cup, presented by Mr. Thomas Youdan. After a protracted and keen competition, the Hallam club was declared victorious. At the conclusion of this competition it was resolved that the Mackenzie and Norfolk Clubs, who had been beaten by the Hallam, should play for a second prize. Accordingly, the clubs met at Brammall-lane Cricket Ground, on Saturday last, and after a well-contested match- each side in turn appearing to have the best of the game- Norfolk eventually won by one rouge. Last evening representatives from each of the clubs to the number of about forty sat down to dinner at the Adelphi Hotel, Arundel-street. After partaking of an excellent repast, served in Mr. Sampson’s usual excellent style, Mr. Councillor Hawksley was called on to preside, while the vice-chair was occupied by Mr. J. Birley. The usual loyal and patriotic toasts having been given and duly responded to, the prizes were put upon the table. They consisted of two handsome cups. The first prize, presented by Mr. Youdan, is a richly-ornamented claret jug, and the second a double-handled goblet. The first prize is not from Mr. Jarvis’s design on account of the protracted time which would have been required in its manufacture; but it is understood that Mr. Youdan will present one after that design next year. The goblet is enriched with appropriate figures. After the prizes had been handed round the company, Mr. Sampson very generously “hanselled” them by filling them and setting them on the table. The chairman being a member of the victorious club, Mr. Birley presented the goblet to the Hallam Club. In doing so, he proposed a vote of thanks to the donor for the handsome gift- a gift which he was sure had been keenly contended for and honourably won.” Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Tuesday 12 March 1867