City Cup (Northern Ireland)

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The City Cup is a now-defunct cup competition which involved competitors from Northern Ireland. It was run by the Irish Football Association. It had previously been known as the Dunville Cup and ceased to exist in 1976. The old City Cup trophy is now used for the Irish League Cup.

Participating teams[edit]

The City Cup began as a competition for Belfast clubs only (although, until 1900 the League consisted only of Belfast clubs). From 1905 to 1911, however, Dublin club Shelbourne also participated. In the 1911–12 season, all eight Irish League clubs participated (Derry Celtic and Glenavon joining the five Belfast teams and Shelbourne). In the 1912–13 season, when the League expanded to ten clubs, only seven participated (the five Belfast teams plus Glenavon and Shelbourne. From 1913 until its demise in 1976, all clubs who were members of the Irish League competed for the City Cup (excluding the war years).

During 1915 to 1919, the City Cup was known as the Belfast City Cup and reverted to being a Belfast-only competition and is not recognised as an "official" competition for this period; and during 1940 to 1947, it was not played at all.


The format for the City Cup varied throughout its history, but most commonly it was organised on a league basis, by which each participating club played each other and the team with the most points won the cup.

The format over the years was as follows:

Years No. of seasons Format
1894–1915, 1919–1940, 1947–1969 64 league
1969–1970 1 group system plus final
1970–1971 1 league
1971–1976 5 group system plus final


Performance by club[edit]

Club Winners
Linfield 24
Glentoran 15
Belfast Celtic 10
Distillery 5
Glenavon 5
Queen’s Island 3
Bangor 2
Coleraine 2
Derry City 2
Ballymena United 1
Portadown 1
Shelbourne 1