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150 Years of The Scottish Cup

On 13 March 1873, seven clubs met in Glasgow to establish the Scottish Football Association.

It was agreed that member clubs should ‘subscribe for a challenge cup to be played for annually.’

The trophy was made by two firms.

The body and lid was created by Martin Hall & Company in London.

It was then sent to Glasgow to be ‘finished’ by George Edwards & Sons.

This involved adding all of the engraving work, including the title, and creating the footballer for the lid.

The total cost of the trophy and ’11 silver gilt badges’ was 56 pounds, 7 shillings and 11 pence.

Sixteen teams entered the first ever competition in October 1873 with Queen’s Park defeating Clydesdale in the final in March 1874.

The Scottish Cup is the premier knockout cup competition for association football in Scotland.

The Scottish Cup Final is a showpiece event which takes place at the end of each domestic season.

This season, the Scottish Cup turns 150 and to celebrate the Scottish Football Museum has created a brand new gallery celebrating this long history and these learning resources to help share the story of the cup.

Demi Boyd, Curator Scottish Football Museum


Challenge 1

Trophy Design

The wee man on top of the Scottish Cup represents the sporting nature of the trophy, he is a symbol of the tournament.

If you were to design a trophy for a competition, what symbols would you chose to have on it?

Would you have a figure on top of your trophy?

Would you have different figures and symbols on your trophy?

Would add extra details like a plinth or engraving?

Suggested learning opportunities:

- Design a trophy that represents you and your interests

- Design your own club crest (what would your motto and values be?)

- Write about the history, design, symbolism of the Cup, including who and how it was designed and how it is updated.

Challenge 2

National & International Scottish Cup

Any club that is a full or associate member of the Scottish Football Association is entitled to compete in the tournament.

Teams from all over Scotland compete for the Scottish Cup.

Full members of the Scottish FA qualify automatically, which includes every team that plays in the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL), Highland League, and Lowland League.

Clubs which are not full members of the Scottish FA may still qualify for the tournament by winning one of the six leagues at tier 6 in the Scottish football league system (EastMidlandsNorth CaledonianNorth RegionSouthWest) or the East, South and West of Scotland Cup-Winners Shield.

Clubs that are members of the Scottish Junior Football Association (SJFA) have been able to qualify since 2007 by winning the Scottish Junior Cup and since 2015, the winners of the Scottish Amateur Cup are also eligible to qualify. How many teams can you list that play in the tournament?

Suggested Learning Opportunities:

- Locate teams competing in the tournament using maps (you might come across names of teams you’ve never heard of and don’t exist anymore; e.g. Renton, Third Lanark and St Bernard’s – where did they come from?)

- In later years of the tournament, many more international players participate in the Cup:

Which different nationalities are represented in this season's Scottish Cup?

What languages are represented in this season's Scottish Cup?

- Write a few words in various languages about football/the Cup.

Challenge 3

The Life of an Amateur Footballer

The Football Association of England's decision to legalise professionalism significantly impacted the game in Scotland, which remained amateur until 1893.

The decision by England’s Football Association to allow professionalism in 1885 placed added pressure on the game in Scotland, with many players heading over the border to play football for a living. These players became known as ‘Scotch Professors.’

Suggested Learning Opportunities:

- In Scotland, before footballers became professional they had day jobs;

Find out what kind of jobs might they have had.

Would life have been like for them?

What would playing football mean to them?

- Research when clubs were formed and when they became professional.

Challenge 4

Special Memories and Moments

Many people have special memories of the Scottish Cup or remember special moments from its history.

Suggested Learning Opportunities:

- Write about a special moment in the history of the Scottish Cup that you would have loved to witness or be part of.

This could be a crucial match, a Final, an unforgettable goal, a match that contained a lot of goals.

- Interview someone (e.g. a family member) who has special Scottish Cup memories, who may have attended matches in the past or who remembers their first Scottish Cup Final match.

Write an article about their memories.