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New Military Coins from The Royal Mint
ENGRAVED IN HISTORY
New Military Coins from The Royal Mint
ENGRAVED IN HISTORY

The History of The FA Cup Trophy

The History of The FA Cup Trophy

Now an iconic symbol of sporting excellence, The FA Cup trophy has taken many physical forms since the tournament began in 1871. Whilst the name of the club that wins the prestigious trophy each year is written into the rich annals of footballing legend, the trophy itself belongs to The FA and is only ever on loan. There have been five trophies used in the competition to date and it is fair to say they have all received their share of bumps and bangs in the post-Final celebrations, with one even stolen as it sat in a shop window in Birmingham on display.

The ‘Little Tin Idol’ and its Replica

Created for the grand sum of £20 and known as the ‘little tin idol’, the first FA Cup trophy lasted for 20 years before it was stolen from a shop window in 1895. Despite a career criminal confessing to a journalist in the 1950s that he was responsible for the heist, claiming the trophy was melted down to make half-crown coins, the crime was never officially solved.

Aston Villa, winners of that year’s FA Cup and considered responsible for looking after the trophy, were fined £25 for the loss by The FA. Promptly made for the 1895/96 season, the new trophy was a replica of the ‘little tin idol’ and went on to last for 15 years.

An Iconic Trophy is Born

In 1911, a third trophy was created at the behest of The FA, bearing the iconic design we still recognise today. Made by Bradford jewellers Fattorini & Sons, it was much chunkier than its predecessor was and is the longest-serving FA Cup trophy to date. The trophy was retired in 1992 to preserve its history and avoid potential damage. Ironically, the replica created in its place required replacing just 22 years later after receiving too many bumps and knocks.

History of The FA Cup

Makers of the Modern Trophy

The fifth and current FA Cup trophy was created by Thomas Lyte, a proud Royal Warrant Holder as Goldsmith and Silversmith to Her Majesty The Queen. Based in Essex, the luxury English brand has also been responsible for crafting and maintaining many elite sporting trophies, including the Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup and the Ryder Cup.

The current FA Cup trophy requires a considerable deal of care and maintenance and often goes to Thomas Lyte’s silver workshops in London multiple times a season for engraving, cleaning and any repair work required. Originally commissioned in 2013, it is a perfect replica of the 1911 trophy and was first presented on 17 May 2014 to Arsenal, who became FA Cup champions for the 11th time after defeating Hull FC.

Made from 6.3 kilogrammes of 925 sterling silver, the trophy stands at 61.5 centimetres tall. More than 250 hours of work and craftsmanship were required to make it, which involved the meticulous processes of spinning, casting, hand chasing, hand engraving and polishing. Interestingly, a bayonet fitting was later designed to fasten the lid to the main body of the trophy so it would be less likely to fly off when being lifted, which famously happened when Manchester United won the trophy in 2016.

History of The FA Cup

Photos courtesy of Thomas Lyte

The FA Cup

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