The FA Cup is such a huge part of English football culminating in the final, with the winning team presented with the coveted FA Cup. This huge honour that every team and fan hopes this will be their year. However, whilst the competition itself is known for having a big history, are people aware about the iconic trophy itself? It has, in fact, a rich backstory of its own that needs to be shared with fans everywhere.

From humble origins to national fame

Although it is now something that sports fans look forward to every year, the FA Cup actually only started with a season from 1871-1872. The trophy has always been something that is associated with the event, though there have actually been five different incarnations since its inception. Each one has its own story about how it came to be and what eventually happened to it.

The first ever one was actually very small and made by Martin, Hall & Co. It cost only £20 and was used until it was stolen from a shoe shop in Birmingham whilst held by Aston Villa. It was never seen again and so a replica was made in 1895 for use from then until 1910. This one has been loaned to the National Football Museum for public display. It was later revealed by the thief that the first cup had been melted down to make counterfeit coins.

In 1911, a larger trophy was made by Fattorini’s of Bradford. It was used up until 1991 and retired because it became too fragile, meaning that it still exists. A replica of it was made in 1992 by Toye, Kenning and Spencer, along with a back-up in case of an emergency. This one was used until 2013, in which it was decided that a new one should be manufactured due to noticeable wear and tear.

2014 saw the introduction of the latest trophy, again a replica of the 1911 one, handcrafted by Thomas Lyte. In order to withstand more use, it was specifically made to be heavier. This has led to it becoming a lot more interactive with the public, with it being loaned out to various organisations and given tours of certain regions so that more fans can see it in person.

At the end of every Cup Final, the winning team is presented with the trophy at the Royal Box. The winning team is actually only loaned the it by the FA, though, and then must return it by a specified date. The traditional method was for the holders to keep it until the next presentation, but it is now taken on publicity tours between finals, so that members of the public get a chance to fully appreciate it and become a part of its legacy.

The iconic trophy is more interesting than you may think…

It’s only fitting that such a famous competition should have a notable history for the prize. We are all eager to see who lifts it this season and you now have a better idea of just how much work has gone into its design and construction. This isn’t a trophy that has been thrown together at the last minute, but is instead a work of art in which a lot of care and attention has been put into. The question is; who deserves the glory of winning it this year to add to its history?

Aford Awards trophy specialists are happy to share with you the unique history of the FA Cup trophy.


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