Wharncliffe Charity Cup announced 140 years ago today in 1878

The Wharncliffe Charity Cup was an invitational knockout charity competition, taking the name of its sponsor, the Earl of Wharncliffe, and was designed to raise money for local good causes. The title of world’s oldest charity football cup belongs to Glasgow but the Wharncliffe Charity Cup is England’s first.It began in 1878/79, ceasing in 1983/84 over a hundred years later; the trophy’s first winners were Wednesday FC when they beat Heeley FC three goals to two at Bramall Lane. The announcement was in the Sheffield Independent on Thursday 05 September 1878. The Earl was too busy shooting to attend (!) but sent a letter.

The image below is the March 1878 entry in the Sheffield Football Association Minute Book showing that the Earl of Wharncliffe had become Honorary President. An occasion he marked with the commencement of the eponymous cup competition.

The trophy was lifted for the very last time in 1984 by Kiveton Park FC -the cup now resides at Clegg House.

I discuss the history of the Wharncliffe Cup in more detail in my book ‘ A History of Sheffield Football 1857-1889: Speed, Science and Bottom’ which is available to purchase at: http://bit.ly/2qYw0r0