Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy

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 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.[2]

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.

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

1909 tournamentEdit



Semi-finals [3]Edit

Stuttgarter Sportfreunde  0-2  West Auckland
Whittington 10, Dickenson 88 (pen)
Torino XI  1-2  FC Winterthur
F. Berardo 13 Lang 25, 55 (pen)

Third place match [3]Edit

Torino XI  2-1  Stuttgarter Sportfreunde
De Bernardi 35, Zuffi II 75 Kipp 15

Final [3]Edit

West Auckland  2-0  FC Winterthur
R. Jones 6 (pen), J. Jones 8

1911 tournamentEdit



Semi-finals [3]Edit

Zürich  0-2  West Auckland
Juventus  2-1  Torino

Third place match[3]Edit

Torino  2-1  Zürich

Final [3]Edit

Juventus  1-6  West Auckland
Bob Moor - 2, Fred Dunn - 2, Andy Appleby, Joe Rewcastle [4]

In popular cultureEdit

Moving Adverts of Dubai has worked with video maker Rob Kilburn on an account of the story, Our Cup of Tea.[5]

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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva 1908". RSSSF.
  2. ^ BBC news article on the Trophy
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Results of the Thomas Lipton Trophy".
  4. ^ "West Auckland Web - The First World Cup".
  5. ^

Further readingEdit

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

External linksEdit