Since ancient times trophies have marked victories, in fact, the word “trophy” is derived from the Greek tropaion, which comes from the verb trope, meaning “to rout.” In ancient Greece, trophies reflected victory in war, and were created on the battlefield at the place where the enemy had been defeated.
At that time some sporting trophies included shields originally used in battle, thought to be the inspiration for the Wooden Shields we give today, but some contestant winners were given prized Olive oil which was naturally held in a vase or cup. This is most likely to be a forerunner to the silver cups and chalices that we use as trophies to this day.
For many years where a trophy was presented for Annual Perpetual Challenge, that is competed for every year, the Winners name was recorded on the original trophy cup, usually by engraving, however it became tradition to award a small replica of the original trophy cup so that the Winner had a memento to display at home after the main trophy had been returned. These replica cups became the fore runner of the Football Trophies that we award today.
Traditionally these cups were made from silver by skilled Silversmiths and smaller exact replicas made for the winner to keep after the original cup was handed back for presentation to it’s next winner. Mostly Sports Trophies were available from the local Jeweller’s shop but as popularity grew the specialist Sports Trophy Shop began to appear throughout the Country. With the rise of these trophy shops came an explosion of designs and ideas. Modern-day online trophy stores have made it easier than ever to access a diverse range of football trophies, including bespoke medals and humorous resin figures, at affordable prices.
As costs escalated the fledgling trophy industry began to explore new materials and production methods to ensure the continued affordability of the replica trophies.
A Sporting Trophy Cup made from solid silver is still available but commands a price in the thousands of pounds so identical items finished in silver plate, nickle plate or even chrome are more likely to be found on the shelf of your local trophy shop today. The trophy cup shown here is, amazingly, made of metallic vacuum plated plastic!
The oldest Association football trophy is the Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup (Scotland), commonly known as the Scottish Cup, which has been continuously awarded since 1874. The Cup is played for annually as the main national cup competition in Scotland. The only known football trophy older than the Scottish Cup is the Youdan Cup, which was awarded for Sheffield rules football and only once, in 1867.
As fashions and trends develop the traditional trophy cup remains popular but more regularly the replica has become a model of a footballer, a medal or even a shield.
The winners and runners-up of both the FA Cup and the Scottish Cup receive medals to mark their achievement and this tradition is becoming increasingly fashionable again at Football’s Grassroots level. The popularity of bespoke football medals is on the rise and increasingly affordable.
Modern production methods and materials have opened the door to a diverse Football Trophy range. The 1970’s saw the rise of American influenced plastic awards as tall as a skyscraper but as light as a butterfly wing. As the decades have passed we have seen more British design influencing the Football Awards readily available with cast resin figures dominating the Industry for some considerable time.
This humorous football trophy is cast in Resin and individually hand painted and costing around £10 shows just what incredible value can be achieved.
From Ancient Greece to the 21st Century the attraction of rewarding our great achievers is as popular as it ever was and new generations of Youth Football Players are spurred on by the excitement of receiving their first ever Football Trophy some of whom, of course, will one day mount the steps at Wembley Stadium to receive their ultimate goal with no care for the history that has proceeded them.