How many of the crowd at Bramall Lane tonight will be aware they are at the scene of the world’s first football final? Probably a minority. Which is one reason among plenty to look out for an important pitch side ceremony before the start of Sheffield United’s play-off first leg.
That first ever football trophy of 1867, actually named the “Challenge Cup sponsored by Thomas Youdan”, is being celebrated 148 years on this summer in a tournament staged by ‘You Are The Ref’.
The original cup, which was won by and belongs to Hallam FC, was most recently valued at £100,000. That could soar with a spread of awareness of Sheffield’s historical treasure, which can be viewed at the Legends of the Lane museum.
Theatre impresario Thomas Youdan provided the trophy and funded the tournament. His only surviving relative, Glyn Youdan, will be at the Lane tonight to make the draw for the commemorative competition. Fittingly, considering the educational aspect, it will be a youth competition featuring teams from Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Celtic, Rangers, Brentford, Charlton, the FAB academy of Bisham Abbey and AFA Nerang Eagles of Australia. The final is at Bramall Lane on July 31st.
More details at you-are-the-ref.com which is run by former Sheffield referees Jock Waugh and Keith Hackett.