FA Cup Trophies

Chelsea Didier Drogba kisses the FA CupSince the first FA Cup final was first contested in 1872, no fewer than four different FA Cup trophies have been lifted by winning captains.

The First of the FA Cup Trophies

The trophy awarded at the first FA Cup final was made of silver, stood 18 inches high and cost £20. Affectionately known as the Little Tin Idol, the trophy was awarded 24 times before its mysterious disappearance in 1895.

Legend has it that having won the trophy for the second time, Aston Villa decided to reward loyal fans by putting the cup on display in the shop window of Birmingham football outfitter, William Shillcock. The trophy graced the window for only a few hours before the shop was broken into and the Little Tin Idol vanished, along with some money left in the till.

Although a £10 reward was offered for the trophy, it was never seen again. Many years later, a homeless man by the name of Harry Burge confessed to stealing the cup and melting it down to make counterfeit coins. His story was not believed by everyone.

Rumour has it that the Little Tin Idol had been insured by Aston Villa for the princely sum of £200. The replacement of the trophy cost them only £25. Few people knew that the lucrative contract for the creation of the replacement cup was handed to a Birmingham silversmith who was himself a former Aston Villa player.

The Second FA Cup Trophy

Because replica FA Cup trophies had been presented to all the previous winners of the FA Cup, it was possible to create an exact copy of the original trophy. The second FA cup trophy was taken out of service in 1910 when it was discovered that the trophy design had been stolen by another competition. The redundant FA Cup trophy was promptly presented to FA president Lord Kinnaird for his 21 years of service.

More recently, this trophy re-emerged at a Christies auction in 2005, where it was sold to Birmingham City manager David Gold for £478,000. The historic trophy was put on public display at Milestones Museum in Basingstoke for the first time in 2007.

FA Cup Trophy 3

The next version of the FA Cup trophy was designed and crafted in Bradford. Interestingly, it was immediately won by Bradford in the team’s first and only FA Cup final outing. The third trophy was awarded for the final time in 1991, having become too fragile for continued use.

The Current FA Cup Trophy

The trophy used at present is an exact replica of the 1911 trophy. A replica of the current FA Cup trophy is held in store in case the original ever meets with misfortune.