3 July 2015

Football fans have until Thursday, 30 July to catch a glimpse of a piece of Sheffield’s football heritage.

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Talib Hussain, unveiled the Youdan Trophy at Sheffield Town Hall yesterday (Thursday, 2 July).

The bronze statue is the work of Barnsley’s ‘people’s sculptor’ Graham Ibbeson, the man famed for his life-size Dickie Bird statue in his hometown and his celebrated Eric Morecambe statue in Morecambe.

The Youdan Trophy is on public view in the alarmed display case in the Town Hall entrance, with round-the-clock security.

Mr Ibbeson was commissioned to design and make a trophy celebrating a Sheffield footballing first – the Football Challenge Cup presented by Thomas Youdan Esq.

The little-known competition was the world’s first ever football tournament that pre-dates the FA Cup by a full four years and was played only once at Bramall Lane in 1867.

This month sees it as the inspiration for the new Youdan Trophy with the final once again played at the competition’s spiritual home, Bramall Lane.

The winning team will be presented with Mr Ibbeson’s stunning new masterpiece, the Youdan Trophy itself.

Sheffield-based “You-Are-The-Ref.com”, a leading independent authority and education platform for match officials, is behind the creation of the tournament that is set to see invited youth teams at under 14 level from as far away as Australia competing.

The original Football Challenge Cup was the brainchild of Thomas Youdan – a self-made Victorian who was behind Sheffield’s celebrated Alexandra Theatre.

The Youdan Trophy  Tournament is set to take place at Sheffield Hallam University’s Sports Park from Monday, 27 July to Friday, 31 July. The final will take place at Bramall Lane on 31 July at 3pm.

Glasgow Celtic, Glasgow Rangers, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Charlton Athletic, Brentford, AFA Nerang Eagles (Gold Coast) and FAB Academy are set to compete at the event.

Free tickets for the final are available from www.youdantrophy.com

The Youdan Trophy is being delivered in partnership with Marketing Sheffield, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Precision, Meadowhall and Blenheim Estates.