Cup scores a million

The Antiques Roadshow valued the longest-serving FA Cup trophy at more than £1m, making the cup the most valuable item in the show’s history.

The FA Cup on the BBC's Antiques RoadshowBrought in to the programme recorded in Harrogate by BBC Sport’s Gabby Logan and Leeds United’s former manager and 1972 FA Cup winner Eddie Gray, the item received the highest valuation ever given by expert Alastair Dickenson during his 20 years on the programme.

The show’s previous highest valuation was £1m for a model of Sir Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North sculpture.

The cup was the third version of the FA Cup to be used, and was made by Bradford firm Fattorini and Sons and – by coincidence – the first team to be presented with it were Bradford City, who beat Newcastle United in the 1911 final, after a replay.

The original FA Cup trophy, presented at the first final in 1872, was stolen from a Birmingham shoe shop window in 1895 while being displayed when Aston Villa were holders.

The second was replaced by the Football Association (FA) after 1909 winners Manchester United made a replica and the FA realised it did not own the copyright. The obsolete cup was given to Lord Kinnaird, who had been president of the FA for more than two decades.

It was bought at auction for £478,000 in 2005 by David Gold, then chairman of Birmingham City and now of West Ham United, and presented for permanent display at the National Football Museum, now based in Manchester.

The replacement – the trophy featured on the Antiques Roadshow – was used for every final from 1911 until 1991 when it was decided it was too fragile to continue being used.

It was succeeded by an exact replica but this was only used for two decades before also being retired because of wear and tear. In 2014 another version was made by Thomas Lyte Silver, the FA’s silversmiths and official restorers of silverware to Buckingham Palace.

Despite its history, Mr Dickenson claimed the trophy’s design suggested it had not been created to be a football trophy, and was more likely designed as a “wine or champagne cooler”.

“Now I may be banned from every football ground in the country for saying this, but I suspect that this may have been an off-the-shelf piece, that it may not be specifically made,” he said.

“I think that because it has all these grapes and vines on it, it might have been a wine or champagne cooler.

“The hardest thing of all about this is putting a value on it. This is, alongside the Wimbledon trophy, the most famous cup in the country.

“I think, quite comfortably, this has got to be worth well over £1million – the highest ever value I have given on Antiques Roadshow.”

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