Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy

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The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy was an association football competition that took place twice, in Turin, Italy, in 1909 and 1911. It is regarded by some as The First World Cup.

It is predated by the Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva,[1] which was hosted in 1908 in Turin. Also seen as an international competition, but with the noted lack of an England team, Lipton in partnership with the Italian royal family, wanted to go one further and make a more complete tournament. Of course the actual World Cup features international teams from around the world, but the Lipton Cup, an invitational, only featured a few club sides from Europe.

Italy, Germany and Switzerland sent their most prestigious club sides to the competition, but The Football Association of England refused to be associated with it and declined the offer to send a team. Not wishing to have England unrepresented in the competition, Lipton invited West Auckland FC, an amateur side from County Durham and mostly made up of coal miners, to take part. Some sources claim that this was as a result of an administrative error as the FA intended to send Woolwich Arsenal but West Auckland were invited instead as they shared the same initials.[2]

However, the most recent research shows that West Auckland were always the expected team. The latest book on the subject "The Miners' Triumph" by Martin Connolly, gives the fullest account yet as to the West Auckland Victory and the players involved.[3] West Auckland won the tournament and returned to Italy in 1911 to defend their title. In this second competition, West Auckland beat the then amateur team Juventus 6-1 in the final, and were awarded the trophy outright. The research by Connolly of the FA archives and Italian sources clearly show that the choice of the Auckland team was deliberate, and the trophy was a prestigious tournament. The development of football on other continents: Asia, Africa and the Americas was not very advanced and Europe was were the major football was happening. So the West Auckland win does stand as amazing achievement. Moving Adverts of Dubai has worked with Rob Kilburn an Northern England video maker and put together a great account of the history, 'Our Cup of Tea'. North of England has been, and still is, a passionate and football loving area. [4]

In January 1994 the original trophy, which was being held in West Auckland Working Men's Club, was stolen and to date has not been recovered. An exact replica of the original trophy was commissioned and is now held by West Auckland FC.

Tyne Tees Television produced a TV dramatisation of the story in 1982, The World Cup: A Captain's Tale.

1909 tournament[edit]



Stuttgarter Sportfreunde Germany0-2England West Auckland
Whittington 10, Dickenson 88 (pen)
Torino XI Italy1-2Switzerland FC Winterthur
F. Berardo 13 Lang 25, 55 (pen)
Third Place Match
Torino XI Italy2-1Germany Stuttgarter Sportfreunde
De Bernardi 35, Zuffi II 75 Kipp 15
West Auckland England2-0Switzerland FC Winterthur
R. Jones 6 (pen), J. Jones 8

1911 tournament[edit]



Zürich Switzerland0-2England West Auckland
Juventus ItalybeatItaly Torino
Third Place Match
Torino Italy2-1Switzerland Zürich
Juventus Italy1-6England West Auckland

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva 1908". RSSSF.
  2. ^ BBC news article on the Trophy
  3. ^ ISBN 978-1718085824
  4. ^

External links[edit]