Milk Cup

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Milk Cup
Dale Farm Milk Cup.png
Milk Cup Logo
Founded 1995 - Elite
1983 - Premier
1985 - Juniors
Region Northern Ireland
Number of teams 6 - Elite
24 - Premier
24 - Juniors
Television broadcasters BBC
Website http://www.nimilkcup.org
2013 Milk Cup

The Northern Ireland Youth Soccer Tournament, commonly known as the Milk Cup or the Dale Farm Milk Cup for sponsorship reasons, is an international youth football tournament held annually in Northern Ireland. The cup matches are mainly played in the North Coast area of Northern Ireland, with matches taking place in the towns of Portrush, Portstewart, Castlerock, Limavady, Coleraine, Ballymoney, Ballymena and Broughshane.

In October 2013, the Milk Cup organising committee and leader sponsors Dairy Council released a joint-statement stating that the long-term sponsors Dairy Council would be withdrawing sponsorship.[1] The official Facebook page for the competition revealed that the competition(s) would no longer be known as the Milk Cup.

In February 2014, the organisers announced that competition would be sponsored by Belfast-based company Dale Farm and that the competition would be known as the Dale Farm Milk Cup.[2]

History[edit]

The Milk Cup began in 1983 with sixteen teams participating at an Under 16 (Premier) level. Motherwell F.C. from Scotland were the first winners. It was founded by Jim Weir, Victor Leonard, George Logan and Bertie Peacock, one of the most famous football players from the region.

The competition was extended in 1985 when an extra age group, the Under 14 (Junior) section was introduced and again the first champions were from Scotland, as Rangers F.C. won the Milk Cup at that age level. The competition at both levels has grown in size and stature over the years, with teams increasingly travelling from all continents to compete. The Under 19 (Elite) section was introduced in 1995 with the Welsh finishing the tournament as winners. Traditionally, the finals are played at the Coleraine Showgrounds on the Friday evening.

Many current international footballers have taken part in the Milk Cup, players such as Charlie Davies, Jonathan Spector, Paul Scholes, and Wayne Rooney have all competed at some level in the Milk Cup. In the 2002 FIFA World Cup there were 30 Milk Cup veterans playing.

To celebrate the competition's silver jubilee, a friendly match took place between Northern Ireland and four-time junior section winners Everton F.C. at the Coleraine Showgrounds on 14 July 2007. Everton won the tie 2–0.

One of the key parts to the Milk Cup is the inclusion of six representative teams from each county of Northern Ireland - Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone. This system allows young players from across the province to compete against some of the best in the world at their age group.

Winners[edit]

Year Elite (U-19) Premier (U-16) Junior (U-14)
Winner Runner-up Winner Runner-up Winner Runner-up
1983 Founded in 1995 Scotland Motherwell Northern Ireland Coleraine Founded in 1985
1984 Scotland Rangers Scotland Motherwell
1985 England Newcastle United Northern Ireland Coleraine Scotland Rangers Northern Ireland Craigavon
1986 Scotland Dundee United England Newcastle United Northern Ireland Craigavon United England Crewe Alexandra
1987 England Crewe Alexandra England Liverpool Scotland Dundee United England Crewe Alexandra
1988 England Liverpool Scotland Motherwell Republic of Ireland Home Farm Scotland Dundee United
1989 England Newcastle United England Manchester United Northern Ireland Dungannon Swifts Republic of Ireland Dublin & District Schoolboys
1990 England Tottenham Hotspur England Crewe Alexandra England Crewe Alexandra Scotland Hibernian
1991 England Manchester United Scotland Heart of Midlothian England Norwich City Scotland Dundee United
1992 Scotland Rangers England Nottingham Forest England Norwich City Scotland Heart of Midlothian
1993 Republic of Ireland Cherry Orchard Scotland Rangers  Slovakia Scotland Heart of Midlothian
1994 Scotland Hearts  Russia England Middlesbrough England Manchester United
1995  Wales  Russia Netherlands Feyenoord England Everton England Norwich City
1996  Turkey England Tottenham Hotspur England Blackburn Rovers England West Ham United Scotland Motherwell
1997  Northern Ireland England Middlesbrough England Manchester United England West Ham United England Middlesbrough
1998  Turkey  Chile England West Ham United England Crewe Alexandra England West Ham United
1999 Brazil Vitória England Crewe Alexandra England Manchester United England Manchester City England Everton
2000  Chile  Turkey England Manchester City England Charlton Athletic England Manchester City
2001  Mexico  Scotland  Paraguay England Manchester United England Norwich City Scotland Heart of Midlothian
2002  Paraguay  Denmark England Leeds United Greece Panathinaikos England Everton Brazil Botafogo
2003  Paraguay  Brazil England Manchester United England Preston North End Argentina Racing Club Scotland Heart of Midlothian
2004  Turkey  Brazil Scotland Heart of Midlothian Republic of Ireland Belvedere Israel Maccabi Haifa England Everton
2005 United States USA  Northern Ireland Spain Barcelona England Chelsea Denmark Lyngby Russia CSKA Moscow
2006  Paraguay United States USA Russia Spartak Moscow Austria Rapid Vienna England Swindon Town Republic of Ireland Crumlin United
2007  Israel  Northern Ireland Brazil Fluminense England Manchester United Mexico Guadalajara Republic of Ireland St. Kevin's
2008  Northern Ireland  Chile England Manchester United United States South Coast Bayern England Everton England Wolverhampton Wanderers
2009  Northern Ireland  Denmark England Manchester United England Sheffield United England Everton England Watford
2010 United States USA  Northern Ireland Senegal Étoile Lusitana England Bolton Wonderers England Chelsea Mexico Cruz Azul
2011  Denmark  Northern Ireland Qatar Aspire England Manchester United England Everton Mexico Cruz Azul
2012  Mexico  Denmark Brazil Desportivo Brasil England Newcastle United England Brentford England Everton
2013  Mexico  Northern Ireland England Manchester United Northern Ireland County Tyrone England Everton Northern Ireland County Antrim

Notable players[edit]

Media coverage[edit]

Since 2005 the Milk Cup has been broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland, taking over from Ulster Television. This has led to much more media coverage as matches from Finals Night are broadcast on BBC Two Northern Ireland. Usually these are from the Premier and Elite section featuring highlights of the junior game which happens earlier in the afternoon. Some Milk Cup matches are broadcast on BBC Two Northern Ireland, made available to the rest of the UK via BBCi and BBC SPORT Website and some other Milk Cup matches are broadcast online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/milkcup. The coverage is usually hosted by Stephen Watson, with commentary by BBC Commentators such as Jackie Fullerton, Michael McNamee, Paul Gilmour, Joel Taggart, Grant Cameron and punditry by John O'Neill, Gerry Armstrong and Oran Kearney over recent years.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Milk Cup Chairman: Dairy Council backing was 'remarkable'". NI Milk Cup. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Dale Farm new sponsor for Milk Cup". Coleraine Times. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.