Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy

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Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
Sir thomas lipton trophy.png
The trophy awarded to champions
Organising bodyThomas Lipton
Abolished1911; 111 years ago (1911)
Number of teams4
Related competitionsTorneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva
Last championsEngland West Auckland (1911)
Most successful club(s)England West Auckland
(2 titles)

The Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy was an association football competition that took place twice, in Turin, Italy, in 1909 and 1911. It is regarded as an early European trophy.[1][2]

It is predated by the Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva,[3] which was hosted in 1908 in Turin, and the Football World Championship, which took place between 1887 and 1902. 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. While the actual FIFA World Cup features international teams from around the world, 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, Thomas Lipton invited West Auckland FC, an amateur side from County Durham and mostly made up of coal miners, to take part. The reason why this team was selected is unknown. Some verbal tradition in West Auckland was that the FA intended to send Woolwich Arsenal but West Auckland were invited instead as they shared the same initials.[4]

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 development of football on other continents: Asia, Africa and the Americas was not very advanced and Europe was where the major football was happening.[5][6]

In January 1994 the original trophy, which was being held in West Auckland Working Men's Club, was stolen. An exact replica of the original trophy was commissioned and is now held by West Auckland FC.[2][6]

1909 tournament[edit]


West Auckland with the Thomas Lipton Cup won in 1909
Italy Torino XI [note 1]
Germany Stuttgarter Sportfreunde
England West Auckland
Switzerland Winterthur
  1. ^ This team was formed from players of mainly clubs Juventus and Torino.



1909 Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
Stuttgarter Sportfreunde Germany0–2England West Auckland
Whittington 10'
Dickenson 88' (pen.)
Torino XI Italy1–2Switzerland Winterthur
Berardo 13' Lang 25', 55' (pen.)

Third place match[edit]

Torino XI Italy2–1Germany Stuttgarter Sportfreunde
Debernardi 35'
Zuffi II 75'
Kipp 15'


West Auckland England2–0Switzerland Winterthur
R. Jones 6' (pen.)
J. Jones 8'

1911 tournament[edit]


England West Auckland
Italy Juventus
Italy Torino
Switzerland FC Zürich



1911 Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy
Torino Italy0–2England West Auckland
Juventus Italy2–1Zürich Switzerland

Third place match[edit]

Torino Italy2–1Switzerland Zürich


1911 Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy Final
Juventus Italy1–6England West Auckland
Report Moor

West Auckland Town: J Robinson; Tom Wilson, Charlie Cassidy; Andy "Chips" Appleby, Michael Alderson, Bob "Drol" Moore; Fred Dunn, Joes Recastle, Bob Jones, Bob Guthrie, Charlie "Dirty" Hogg, T Riley, John Warick

Officials: M S C Barron, E Meek, W Nolli, R Hodgson, R Chamberlain

In popular culture[edit]

Moving Adverts of Dubai has worked with video maker Rob Kilburn on an account of the story, Our Cup of Tea.[6]

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

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • The Miners' Triumph: The First English World Cup Win, Martin Connolly, ISBN 978-1718085824 Oakleaf Publishing (self-published) (2014)


  1. ^ WEST AUCKLAND, JUVENTUS AND THE FIRST ‘WORLD CUP’ by Somnath Sengupta on The Hard Tackle, 12 July 2013
  2. ^ a b The first European Trophy - 1909 on West Auckland Web
  3. ^ Andrea Veronese (20 November 2004). "Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy (Torino)". RSSSF. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  4. ^ "West Auckland's World Cup Rematch". BBC. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  5. ^ The World Cup Story on West Auckland Town site (archived, 2 Feb 2017)
  6. ^ a b c West Auckland: "World Cup" winner on Fortune City (archived, 16 Aug 2002)
  7. ^ a b c d Andrea Veronese (20 November 2004). "1909 Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy (Torino)". RSSSF. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  8. ^ a b c d Andrea Veronese (20 November 2004). "1911 Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy (Torino)". RSSSF. Retrieved 13 July 2022.

External links[edit]