The Youdan Football Cup, also known as the Youdan Cup, was an 1867 Sheffield rules football competition. Preceding the FA Cup by more than four years, it was among the first tournaments in any code of football.[a]

Youdan Football Cup
The Youdan Football Cup trophy
Tournament details
Dates16 February 1867 – 9 March 1867
Final positions
Tournament statistics
Matches played13
Goals scored10 (0.77 per match)


Thomas Youdan, seen in 1865

The competition took its name from a local theatre owner, Thomas Youdan, who sponsored the competition and provided the trophy.[1]


Handbill or programme for the cup, as featured on the BBC Television programme Antiques Roadshow in May 2021 (transcription)

On 28 January 1867, representatives of thirteen football clubs from the Sheffield area met at the Adelphi Hotel to form the "Youdan Prize Committee".[2] The committee drew up the following regulations to govern the tournament:[3]

After the first round, the committee added a new rule that "the referee shall have power to award a Free Kick to the opponents of any Club, which makes more than three fouls or kicks-out, when the ball is being thrown in, if he (the referee) considers those fouls or kicks-out to be intentional".[5]

Participating teams

Participating clubs[6]
Team Foundation No. of members Home ground Colours
Norton[7] 1861 50 Norton Green
United Mechanics 1865 (September) 140 Norfolk Park Blue, white cap
Mackenzie 1862[8] 500 Myrtle Road Pink shirt, plaid cap
Garrick 1866 (October) 400 East Bank Red, white, & blue
Hallam 1860 150 Sandygate Blue & white
Heeley 1862 70 Wellsbrook Park Grey & white hoops[9]
Norfolk 1861 (December) 240 Norfolk Park Grey & blue
Fir Vale 1862 136 Pitsmoor White & red
Broomhall 1863 (October) 150 Ecclesall Road Black & white
Pitsmoor 1861 264 Pitsmoor White
Wellington 1866 150 Houndsfields Park Puce & white
Milton 1862 180+ South Heeley Black & yellow



The competition was organised as a straight knockout tournament, with two exceptions:

  • Because twelve teams entered the tournament, there were three teams remaining after two rounds: one team, drawn at random, received a bye to the final, while the other two teams played a semi-final to determine the other finalist.
  • After the final had been played, it was decided to hold a second-place playoff between the losing finalist and the losing semi-finalist.[10]

The semi-final, final and second-place playoff were all held at Bramall Lane, which at the time was primarily a cricket ground.



Under the Sheffield Rules of the time, the rouge was used as a tiebreaker if both teams scored an equal number of goals.[b]

Of the thirteen matches played in the tournament, seven were goalless, of which six were decided by rouges. Only one goal was scored after the first round.

In the results below, rouges are shown in brackets beneath the main scoreline.

First round

16 February 1867 Norton 2 – 0
United MechanicsNorton
15:00 Referee: Mr. W. I. Bingham
Note: John Hadfield of United Mechanics suffered a dislocated shoulder.[11][12]
16 February 1867 Mackenzie 1 – 0
GarrickThe Orphanage
15:00 Referee: Mr. J. Frith
Note: [11][12]
16 February 1867 Hallam 2 – 0
HeeleySandygate Road
15:00 Referee: Mr. R. Dickenson
Note: [11][12]
16 February 1867 Norfolk 2 – 0
Fir ValeNorfolk Park
15:00 Referee: Mr. J. Tomlinson
Note: [11][12]
16 February 1867 Broomhall 0 – 0
PitsmoorEcclesall Road
15:00 Referee: Mr. J. Pinder
Note: "Nothing was got by either side until they changed ends at half time, and then the Broomhall, having a slight advantage in both the ground and wind, succeeded in getting a rouge, and soon after got another from a free kick".[13]
Broohmall: C. Mills (capt.), F. Hazlewood, John West, James West, J. Broadbent, S. Oeakin, W. Ward, W. Furniss, W. Mills, S. Dungworth, J. White, J. Turton
Pitsmoor: G. Fowler (capt.), J. F. Bingham, J. Peck, G. Simpson, S. M. Walker, J. Clarke, G. Bradley, S. Heaton, E. Osborne, H. Peck, H. Fitter, G. Barnes[14][11][12]
16 February 1867 Wellington0 – 2
Milton The Orphanage
15:00 Referee: Mr. J. Crapper
Note: [11][12]

Second round

23 February 1867 Norfolk 1 – 0
BroomhallNorfolk Park
15:00 Unknown (92') Referee: Mr. R. Dickenson
Note: [15]
23 February 1867 Norton0 – 0
15:00 Referee: Mr. W.J. Bingham
Note: [15]
23 February 1867 Mackenzie 0 – 0
MiltonThe Orphanage
15:00 Unknown (30')[16] Referee: Mr. J. Crapper
Note: Green, playing for Mackenzie, broke his collar bone.[15]


25 February 1867 Hallam 0 – 0
15:00 Unknown (60')
Note: [15]


2 March 1867 Hallam 0 – 0
MackenzieBramall Lane
15:00 Referee: Mr. J. Tomlinson


5 March 1867 Hallam 0–0
NorfolkBramall Lane
15:00 Ash (75' or 85'), unknown Report Attendance: 2000[17]
Referee: Mr. J. Tomlinson
Note: Although contemporary reports are not completely consistent, the majority indicate a 2–0 scoreline:
  • "Thus Hallam won, scoring two rouges to their opponents' nothing"[18]
  • "Up to within a few minutes of the expiration of the time allotted neither club had gained a single point, but within the last five minutes the Hallam Club scored two rouges and won the prize" [19]
  • "After a severe struggle Hallam eventually won the cup by two rouges"[20]

However, one source indicates a one-rouge margin:

  • "Hallam won by one rouge"[21]
A BBC article from 2014 reports the score as 2–1 (without specifying rouges or goals).[22]

Second place play-off

9 March 1867 Mackenzie0 – 0
Norfolk Bramall Lane
Note: Although Norfolk won "it was pretty generally admitted that the Mackenzie played the best".[23]
Mackenzie: W. Wright, T. Jenkinson, J. Marsh, J. Ellin, J. Broomhead, T. Hodgkinson, M. Hodgkinson, C. Webster, H. Packard, T. Rycroft, E. Birkhead, Bramall
Norfolk: J. Roberts (capt.), T. S. Bell, J. Pashley, J. P. Donovan, H. Cauthorne, T. Goodwin, C. Grayson, C. Marshall, J. Wildblood, G. Rodgers, G. Proctor, J. Simmonite.[24]


The certificate which stands at Sandygate Road.

The Youdan Prize Committee invited members of the public to submit their proposed designs for the trophy.[1][25] The creator of the entry judged the best would be rewarded by Thomas Youdan with a prize of one sovereign.

This prize was initially awarded to a Mr Jarvis, of Roscoe Works.[26] His design was subsequently combined with that of another entrant: Mr. Topham, engraver, who was awarded a further prize of one pound.[27]

Before the semi-final, it was decided that the second-placed club would also be awarded a prize, to be funded by an admission fee of 3d at the semi-final and final.[23] This prize ended up being valued at £2 10s.[28]

The trophies were presented at a dinner held at the Adelphi Hotel on Monday 11 March. Because the winning design required "protracted time [...] in its manufacture", it had not been completed in time for the ceremony.[29] In its place, a "richly-ornamented claret jug", created by Martin, Hall, and Co., was awarded to Hallam. Thomas Youdan was absent through illness, so the trophy was presented by Mr J. Birley to J. C. Shaw, Hallam's captain. The second prize, a "double-handed goblet [...] enriched with athletic figures", was awarded to Norfolk.[10][30]

The inscription on the cup awarded to Hallam reads:[22]

FOOTBALL CHALLENGE CUP. THIS SILVER CUP PRESENTED BY Thos. Youdan, Esq to be contested for by the various Football Clubs in SHEFFIELD & THE NEIGHBOURHOOD was awarded to the HALLAM FOOTBALL CLUB Feb. 1867 J.C.SHAW ESQ. CAPT

Shaw presented the trophy to the members of the Hallam Club at a dinner after the final match of their season, played at Sandygate on Saturday 16 March.[31] The first-place trophy was subsequently lost. It 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.[22]



Attendances of up to 3,000 were reported in the press.[32] This would not be exceeded by the reported attendance at an FA Cup final until 1878.[33]

Contemporary reports suggest that the 1867 tournament was expected to be repeated in subsequent years, with Youdan awarding a trophy of the original competition-winning design.[10] This did not occur, and in the event the Cromwell Cup was held in 1868, sponsored and named after another Sheffield theatre owner.[34] Youdan nevertheless maintained an interest in football, for example by donating £50 in prize money to the Sheffield Football Association in 1870.[35]

The work of the ad-hoc Youdan Prize Committee in co-ordinating activity between local clubs and framing rules was a precursor to that of the Sheffield Football Association, which had already been formed by the end of January 1867, and issued its own first set of rules on 6 March 1867, the day following the final of the Youdan Cup.[36][37]

The Youdan Trophy, a Sheffield-based international youth team tournament founded in 2014, takes its name from the Youdan Cup.[38]


  1. ^ Though the Youdan Cup was not the first football competition, no older tournament involving three or more independent clubs is known.
    • The House Football Cup of Eton College dates from 1860, but it is an intramural competition rather than a tournament between independent clubs (see Major [Earnest] Gambier-Parry (1907). Annals of an Eton house, with some notes on the Evans family. London: John Murray. p. 130.).
    • The Caledonian Challenge Cup in Australian rules football dates from 1861, but was only ever contested between two clubs at a time.
    The Youdan Cup was recognized as the "oldest trophy" in the "soccer" section of Guinness World Records (see Guinness World Records 2003. New York: Bantam Books. 2003. p. 333. ISBN 0-553-58636-X.).
  2. ^ At least two different forms of the rouge are found in the Sheffield Rules: A contemporary newspaper report of the final indicates that the winning rouge was "touched down by Ash in splendid style", suggesting that the first definition was used in this competition.


  1. ^ a b Corbett, Fred[eric]k (31 January 1867). "To Artists and Designers". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: 1.
  2. ^ "Sheffield". Sporting Life: 4. 2 February 1867.
  3. ^ "Sheffield: Youdan's Football Cup". Sporting Life: 1. 20 February 1867.
  4. ^ Murphy, Brendan (2007). From Sheffield with Love. Sports Book Limited. pp. 77–78, 117. ISBN 978-1-899807-56-7.
  5. ^ "The Youdan Football Cup". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: 1. 23 February 1867.
  6. ^ Unless otherwise stated, all details taken from the John Lillywhite annual of 1868
  7. ^ Membership and ground taken from the 1869 Charles Alcock annual, foundation date and colour from the 1871 edition
  8. ^ 1871 Charles Alcock yearbook
  9. ^ Described as "stripes".
  10. ^ a b c "The Youdan Football Prize". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: 10. 16 March 1867.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "The Youdan Football Cup". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: 1. 16 February 1867.
  12. ^ a b c d e f "The Youdan Football Cup: Contests for the Prize". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: 10. 23 February 1867.
  13. ^ "The Football Contest for a Silver Cup". Sheffield and Rotherham Independent: 10. 23 February 1867.
  14. ^ "Pitsmoor v. Broomhall (Sheffield)". Sportsman: 4. 21 February 1867.
  15. ^ a b c d "The Youdan Prize for Football". Sheffield and Rotherham Independent: 10. 2 March 1867.
  16. ^ "Sheffield: Youdan's Football Cup". Sporting Life: 3. 2 March 1867.
  17. ^ "Sheffield – Youdan's Football Cup". Sporting Life: 3. 6 March 1867.
  18. ^ "The Yondam [sic] Football Cup". Bell's Life in London: 9. 9 March 1867.
  19. ^ "The Youdan Football Contest". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: 3. 6 March 1867.
  20. ^ Identical sentence found in two sources: "Sheffield – Youdan's Football Cup". Sporting Life: 3. 6 March 1867. and "Sports and Pastimes". Bell's Weekly Messenger: 5. 9 March 1867.
  21. ^ "The Youdan Football Cup". Sheffield and Rotherham Independent: 10. 9 March 1867.
  22. ^ a b c "World's oldest football trophy 'not for sale'". BBC News. BBC. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Football". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: 8. 12 March 1867.
  24. ^ "Sheffield: Youdan's Football Cup". Sporting Life: 4. 13 March 1867.
  25. ^ Corbett, Fred[eric]k (31 January 1867). "To Artists and Designers". Sheffield and Rotherham Independent: 1.
  26. ^ "The Football Competition for Mr. Youdan's Prize". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: 8. 16 February 1867.
  27. ^ "Design for the Youdan Football Cup". Sheffield Daily Telegraph: 8. 19 February 1871.
  28. ^ "Football". Sheffield and Rotherham Independent: 8. 12 March 1867.
  29. ^ Harvey (2005), p. 289
  30. ^ "Football". Sheffield and Rotherham Independent: 10. 16 March 1867.
  31. ^ "Football". Sheffield and Rotherham Independent: 5. 19 March 1867.
  32. ^ A. L. G. (9 March 1867). "Football Rules". Field: 180. The report of a recent match for the 'Youdans Football Club,' from which I learn that three thousand spectators were present to witness a contest between two of the combatants for this cup at a place distant five miles from Sheffield, gives me sufficient proof of the hold football is now securing in the provinces. The exact match is not identified in the article. Despite its statement that the match took place "five miles from Sheffield", Harvey (2005), p. 104 appears to assume that it is referring to the final.
  33. ^ Harvey (2005), p. 172
  34. ^ "Sheffield Wednesday Celebrate 150th Anniversary Of Cromwell Cup Win". Shef News. 15 February 2018. Archived from the original on 17 May 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  35. ^ "Local Intelligence". Sheffield and Rotherham Independent: 8. 2 April 1870.
  36. ^ "Football in Sheffield". Nottingham and Midland Counties Daily Express: 4. 31 January 1867.
  37. ^ "Sheffield Football Association". The Sportsman: 4. 14 March 1867.
  38. ^ "Football stars of future from some of world's biggest clubs to play for Youdan Trophy in Sheffield". Ripon Gazette. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2019.


  • Harvey, Adrian (2005). Football: The First Hundred Years: the Untold Story. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35019-8.