It’s the FA Cup Final on Saturday – so ‘Rugby Reloaded’ investigates whether the FA Cup was directly inspired by Sheffield’s Youdan Cup. The Youdan Cup kicked off in Sheffield in 1867 and was won by Hallam FC by two rouges to nil. Many Sheffield fans believe the cup was the model that FA secretary Charles Alcock used for the FA Cup when it kicked off in 1871.
But as usual in football history, the truth is far more complex and fascinating than this simple origin myth. As this new episode explains, the Youdan Cup and its successor the Cromwell Cup were early, failed models of football’s commercial, sponsored future – but they came at a time when football’s local and national leaders believed that football was the antithesis of popular entertainment.
For more on the history of rugby, soccer, and the other football codes, take a look at www.rugbyreloaded.com (where you can find the links for this episode) and follow me on Twitter at @collinstony