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Football and the First World War

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See reviews of Rob Cavallini's The Wanderers FC, and Around The World In 95 Games.

The Lost Trophy: The Complete History of the First F.A. Cup

Tony Onslow

The Lost Trophy by Tony Onslow, a must for anyone interested in the early development of the F.A.Cup.  This book covers the formative years of the world's oldest football competition, from the early domination of the amateur public school teams to the emergence of professional clubs from the midlands and the north.  It is impossible not to be impressed by the depth of research as the author takes the reader through every round of the cup between 1871 and 1895.  We learn, for example, that The Wanderers, the most successful team in the early years of the competition, began their existence as Forest FC in 1865. The team met to play their football near the Eagle Tavern at Snaresbrook, Essex, which was sited 'on the main stagecoach route between the centre of London and the University town of Cambridge.  The location was well known to many of the former public schoolboys from London, who would stop there on their way "Up to Cambridge".  It became a focal point for several of the early clubs who would meet up there, play football matches and later entertain their visitors at the tavern'.  Making good use of contemporary newspaper accounts and illustrations, the author finishes with an account of the theft of the old trophy, The Little Tin Idol as it was known at the time, from the window of the football outfitters William Shillcock in Newton Row, Birmingham,  in 1895.  Despite intensive investigations an a 10 reward it was never recovered. Various suspects were identified, although the truth will probably never been known.  It seems likely, however, that the cup was melted it down to make counterfeit half-crowns!  A riveting read, it is a must for anyone who takes their football history seriously. 

The Lost Trophy was published by the author and can be purchased by contacting at