Mark Clattenburg to ref stars of the future at football's 'oldest' tournament in Sheffield

Jock Waugh, of the Youdan Trophy, with referee Mark Clattenburg
Jock Waugh, of the Youdan Trophy, with referee Mark Clattenburg
Promoted by Youdan Trophy

Footballing stars of the future are set to descend on Sheffield to compete for the sport’s 'oldest' honour - and your help is needed.

Young players from some of the world’s biggest clubs, from Manchester United to Houston Dynamo, will battle it out for the Youdan Trophy.

The annual contest was launched in 2015 to celebrate football’s first ever tournament, The Football Challenge Cup, which was staged only once in 1867 at Bramall Lane and was sponsored by local entrepreneur Thomas Youdan.

It has since tripled in size, and more than 800 players from the youth ranks of top clubs - including the Blades and Owls - will take to the pitch this summer between July 31 and August 4.

Refereeing this year’s final will be Mark Clattenburg, one of the game’s biggest names who has taken charge of the finals of Euro 2016, the Champions League and the FA Cup.

He was last week named as international director at tournament organiser You-Are-The-Ref.com’s online academy, and the final will be the first game he has refereed in the UK since announcing his departure from the Premier League.

“The Youdan Trophy continues to grow and grow and is fast developing into the biggest and most prestigious tournament of its kind in the whole of Europe. We are confident that in the coming years it will be established as a globally recognizable Sheffield brand,” said Keith Hackett, director of You-Are-The-Ref.com.

This year’s Youdan Trophy will feature competitions for under-14s, at the University of Sheffield’s Warminster Road facility, and under-16s, at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park.

The tournament’s organisers have appealed to the generosity of South Yorkshire’s sports fans, who can donate at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/youdan or sponsor the cup via www.youdantrophy.com/media/sponsorship.