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Canaries Promotion Special

Up for the cups

May 10, 2004

THE Canaries can thank Preston North End for the magnificent trophy they will received at City Hall.

The Football League championship trophy, made in 1890, will soon be added to City’s collection of silverware at Carrow Road.
The Football League championship trophy, made in 1890, will soon be added to City’s collection of silverware at Carrow Road.

But it’s not down to the fact that the Lilywhites went down 3-2 in the final Nationwide League Division One match of the season at Carrow Road nine days ago, a result that just about wrapped up the title for Nigel Worthington’s side.

The reasons are rooted deep in history — all the way back to 1890.

It was then that Preston won the Football League title for the second successive year, having won the inaugural championship the season before.

In fact, 1888/89 had seen North End complete the League and FA Cup double. They won the championship without losing a match and won the cup without conceding a goal.

But “The Invincibles” had to lobby the Football League to get a trophy made after their second championship success.

Preston’s manager and benefactor, William Sudell, described as “an astute businessman and a flexible tactician,” had developed a taste for silverware after his team’s FA Cup triumph the year before, and he was less than impressed at the League’s offer of a flag to fly to mark their second title win.

So it was proposed and agreed at the League annual meeting in 1890 that a trophy should be made “at a cost of no more than 50 guineas”.

Ironically, Preston have never won the trophy since.

The trophy was designed and manufactured by Vaughtons of Birmingham.

Known sometimes as “The Lady” because the lid bears the figure of a woman, the 114-year-old trophy has been presented to some of English football’s legendary teams. They include the great Huddersfield triple title winners of the 1920s and the Arsenal teams that won five titles in eight seasons in the 1930s. Manchester United’s Busby Babes carried off the trophy in 1956 and 1957 before the Munich air tragedy, and Liverpool collected the trophy 10 times in 18 seasons between 1972/73 and 1989/90.

Since the creation of the Premier League in 1992/93, the trophy has been presented to the winners of Football League Division One.

It will certainly be the most glamorous silverware ever presented to the Canaries.

They won the Football League Cup in 1962, the Division Two championship trophy in 1972, the Milk Cup in 1985 and the Canon League Division Two trophy in 1986.

The Milk Cup replica remains in the trophy cabinet at Carrow Road, along with other notable pieces of silverware in the club’s history.

These include the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the Player of the Season; the Hospital Cup, played for in past years by the Canaries and Ipswich; the Northern Ireland Milk Cup, won in the past by City’s youth team; the Bobby Moore Fair Play trophy won by City in 1992/93; and the Friendship Trophy contested by City and Sunderland each time they meet.

The most valuable of all, however, is reputedly the Lowestoft Fishermen’s Widows’ and Orphans’ Cup.

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