Youdan Cup

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Youdan Cup
Tournament details
Dates 16 February 1867 - 9 March 1867
Teams 12
Final positions
Champions Hallam

The Youdan Cup was a football competition played in Sheffield, England. Predating the FA Cup by four years, it was the first ever football competition held in England.

The tournament[edit]

The competition took its name from a local theatre owner, Thomas Youdan, who sponsored the competition and provided the trophy. The format of the competition was drawn up by a committee and played under Sheffield Rules.[1]

The first round was competed by twelve teams on 16 February, with the six winners entering into the second road. Of the three second round winners, Hallam and Mackenzie met in a semi-final, while Norfolk were awarded a bye to the final.

The final took place on 5 March 1867 and attracted 3,000 spectators, each paying 3d admission. Hallam defeated Norfolk by two rouges to win the competition. Four days later, the losing finalists regained some pride by winning a second place play-off match against Mackenzie.

The competition used the concept of 'rouges'. A rouge was scored when an attempt at goal (using a goal only 4 yards wide) missed, but would have gone into a 12 yard wide goal: rouges were only considered in the case of a drawn match.


Note: rouges are shown in brackets beneath the score and are used in the event of a tie.

First Round[edit]

Second Round[edit]




Second place play-off[edit]

The trophy[edit]

The certificate which stands at Sandygate Road

The cup itself was made of silver, and although Youdan awarded a £2 prize to the winner of a competition to design the trophy, it was not completed in time to be presented on the day to the winners.[2][3]

The runners-up were presented with a two-handed silver goblet encircled with athletic figures that had been purchased with the proceeds of the gate money and had been completed.

The trophy was subsequently lost and did not resurface again until 1997, when a Scottish antiques collector contacted Hallam F.C. to tell them that he was in possession of it - they subsequently bought it back for £1,600. Since then it has been valued to be worth at least £100,000 by silver specialist Alastair Dickenson of the BBC programme Antiques Roadshow, although the owners have insisted it is not for sale.[4]


  1. ^ Murphy, Brendan (2007). From Sheffield with Love. Sports Book Limited. pp. 77–78, 117. ISBN 978-1-899807-56-7. 
  2. ^ Harvey, Adrian (2005). Football: The First Hundred Years: the Untold Story. Routledge. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-415-35019-8. 
  3. ^ "Football: The First Hundred Years: the Untold Story" Google Books
  4. ^ "World's oldest football trophy 'not for sale'". BBC. BBC News. Retrieved 2014-10-19.