Sheriff of London Charity Shield

The Sheriff of London Charity Shield, also known as the Dewar Shield, was a football competition played annually between the best amateur and best professional club in England, though Scottish amateur side Queens Park also took part in 1899.[1][2] The professional side was either the Football League champion or FA Cup winner from the previous season while the amateurs were usually represented by Corinthians, a renowned amateur side of the time. The first game was played on 19 March 1898, after being devised by Sir Thomas Dewar and ratified by the Football Association, whose president Lord Kinnaird and former president Sir Francis Marindin sat on the Shield's committee.

Sheriff of London Charity Shield
Abolished1907 (fundraising matches held 1931–32, 1934, 1964–66, 1983)
Region England
Number of teams2
Last championsWatford
Most successful club(s)Corinthians (3 titles)

Proceeds from the annual game were distributed to hospitals and charities. The game was the predecessor to the FA Charity Shield, today the FA Community Shield, which began in 1908 after the Amateur Football Association split from the Football Association.[3] After 1908 the trophy was revived on seven occasions in the twentieth century to raise funds for grassroots football causes.




Lord Dewar
The Corinthians team of 1896–97, including Shield committee members: Charles Wreford Brown (far left, seated), N.L. Jackson (centre, seated) and R.C. Gosling (2nd left, seated)

In 1898 a shield was offered by Sir Thomas Dewar, the Sheriff of London at the time, with the understanding that it would pit the best professional side and amateur side against each other with proceeds going to charity.[4] A high profile committee of Football Association and amateur football representatives, politicians and England players past and present was formed composed of Sir Thomas; Lord Kinnaird (President of the FA); Sir Reginald Hanson (Lord Mayor of London); Sir Francis Marindin (Former President of the FA); Sir William Bromley-Davenport (Member of Parliament and former England international footballer); Colonel Harry McCalmont (Member of Parliament), R. Cunliffe Gosling (former England captain), Dr. Kemp (a former player for the London-based United Hospitals side),[5] N. L. Jackson (FA Honorary Secretary and Founder of Corinthians), John Bentley (President of the Football League), and Charles Wreford-Brown (former England captain and FA Council member).[4]

The competition lasted for nine years in its first incarnation, coming to an end in part due to the dominance of the professional sides, and also to a rift in the Football Association that saw the creation of the Amateur Football Association.[6] Following the 1907 edition, won by Newcastle United, the shield was replaced in 1908 by the FA Charity Shield which rather than the best amateur side pitted the Football League winner against the winners of the Southern Football League and then later against the winner of the FA Cup.



The match was later resurrected in the 1930s over four years at the suggestion of Charles Wreford-Brown, a member of the original Shield committee, to raise funds for the National Playing Fields Association.[7] The trophy was again competed for in the 1960s for three years with funds supporting Corinthian Casuals Football Club, the successor to the original Corinthians side. The most recent match for the shield trophy was a one-off game played between Watford and Corinthian Casuals in 1983, marking the centenary of Corinthians original formation. Watford ran out as 6–1 winners.[7] All seven matches in the post-1907 era were London-only affairs.

The shield itself, commissioned by Dewar, was over six feet high and believed to be the largest trophy to be competed for in the history of football.[8] In the 1990s, the trophy was put up for auction by Corinthian Casuals to finance all-weather training facilities; it sold for around £25,000 to a private owner.[9]

List of champions

The Aston Villa team of 1899 that won the First Division and the Sheriff of London Charity Shield (centre)

Sheriff of London Charity Shield


Fundraising matches


See also



  1. ^ Murray, Scott. "The Joy of Six: Charity Shield matches". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Sheriff of London Charity Shield: Aston Villa v. Queen's Park". Evening Express. 11 March 1899. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Villa Park to stage Man City-Chelsea Community Shield clash". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Corbett, B. O. (ed.). Annals of the Corinthian Football Club, page 159. LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Sheriff Dewar's Charity Shield". The Wheelwoman, page 21. February 12, 1898. Retrieved 7 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Local newspapers, football match reports and the 1908 FA Charity Shield". The British Newspaper Archive. Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Cavallini, Rob (November 2007). Play Up Corinth: A History of Corinthian Football Club. History Press Limited. ISBN 9780752444796. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  8. ^ Simons, Rowan (2010). Bamboo Goalposts. Pan Macmillan. p. 146. ISBN 9780330539036. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  9. ^ Alexander, Jeremy. "Corinthian in sporting values but not all that casual in action. 30 September 1998". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Current Sport". The Aberystwith Observer. The National Library of Wales. 24 March 1898. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  11. ^ "History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867–1917 (R Robinson)" (PDF). Scottish Football Historical Archive. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Football: The Semi-finalists". Llandudno Advertiser and List of Visitors. The National Library of Wales. 12 April 1901. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  13. ^ More honours for the Anfielders, The Liverpool Echo, 28 April 1906, via Play Up Liverpool
  14. ^ "The Championship". Rhyl Record and Advertiser. 16 March 1907. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  15. ^ a b c d Attwood, Tony. "Arsenal win the Sheriff of London Shield". Woolwich Arsenal. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  16. ^ "England–List of FA Charity/Community Shield Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 27 January 2017.