Sheriff of London Charity Shield

The Sheriff of London Charity Shield was an English football competition played annually between an amateur club and a professional club.  The first game was played on March 19th 1898, after being devised by Sir Thomas Dewar. Proceeds from the annual game were distributed to hospitals and charities.

The competition was short-lived, due in part to the dominance of the professional sides, and also to a rift in the Football Association that saw the creation of the Amateur Football Association. The shield was discontinued in 1907, although the charitable spirit of the trophy was continued by the FA Charity Shield. It was resurrected twice - once in the 1930s and again in the 1960s.  The shield was competed for in 1931, 1933 and 1934 and then in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1968 before the final game in 1983 that saw Watford win the shield.  This was a one-off game played between Watford (current holders) and Corinthian Casuals in 1983. Watford emerging as 6-1 winners.  The shield itself, commissioned by Dewar, was over six feet high - the largest trophy to be competed for in the history of football. In the 1980s, the trophy was put up for auction and sold for £26,000 to a private American owner. It is on display in the Watford Museum.  Corinthian FC won the trophy 4 times in ten years along with Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur, Sunderland, The Wednesday, Liverpool and Newcastle United and here is a brief history of this famous old club.

Corinthian Football Club was an English amateur football club based in London, that played at various venues including Crystal Palace, Queen's Club and Leyton. They were founded in 1882 by N. Lane Jackson, assistant secretary of the Football Association (FA), with the intention of upholding the ideals of amateurism and developing a squad capable of challenging the supremacy of the Scotland national team.  Their overseas tours helped popularise football around the world; the 2000 and 2012 FIFA World Club Champions, SC Corinthians Paulista, are named after the club; the 2015 World Club Champions, Real Madrid, changed their usual white to wear the Corinthian's uniform for one season, in their honour.  The team originally determined to play only friendly matches and often played other amateur clubs, especially teams in the London area. They also supplied large numbers of players to the England football team. During the 1880s, the majority of England caps against Scotland were awarded to Corinthian players and, for two England matches against Wales in 1894 and 1895, the entire team consisted of members of the club, although most of the Corinthian players had another primary club affiliation - in many cases one of the university sides.  Corinthian initially refused to join The Football League or to compete in the FA Cup due to one of their original rules forbidding the club to "compete for any challenge cup or prizes of any description", but they finally competed in a competition in 1900 when they beat Aston Villa, then League champions, in the Sheriff of London Shield. They might have won the FA Cup many times if they had competed - for instance, shortly after Blackburn Rovers beat Queen's Park in the 1884 final, Corinthian beat Blackburn 8-1. Similarly, Corinthian had a 10-3 win over ten of the Bury side that beat Derby County 6-0 in the 1903 final.

After joining the Amateur Football Association and being banned from playing the top home opposition, all of whom were members of The Football Association, the team increased its touring of the world, popularising football.  Real Madrid adopted Corinthian's white shirts and Sport Club Corinthians Paulista in Brazil and Zejtun Corinthians in Malta adopted their name. After a visit to Sweden in 1904, a Swedish tournament called the Corinthian Bowl was set up to commemorate them.  In 1904, Corinthian beat Manchester United 11-3, which remains United's biggest defeat.  They also took football round the world, touring in South Africa, Canada, the United States, South America and across Europe, including Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Spain, Denmark and Germany. In 1910, after a visit to Sao Paulo in Brazil, five-strong group of blue-collar workers locals were so impressed that they founded a Corinthians of their own.

After World War I, the team began to compete in the FA Cup, but with limited success. They also played the 1927 Charity Shield, losing to Cardiff City 2-1.

In 1923, Corinthian played in the FA Cup for the first time, having decided "to depart from their usual rules and to take part in a contest which did not have charity as its primary object".

In 1939, Corinthian amalgamated with the Casuals to form Corinthian-Casuals Football Club.

First Division champions, Arsenal, in 1931

Back Row (L-R)
J Shaw (assistant manager, H Cope, R Robinson, W Allison, J Brain, C Preedy, A Haynes,
H Roberts, W Harper, W Seddon, D Lewis, G Male, R Parkin, W Milne (trainer)

Middle Row (L-R)
J Williams, L Thompson, W Maycock, A Baker, B Diaper, C Bastin, E Hapgood, H Lewis, R John, J Lambert

Front Row (L-R)
J Hulme, T Parker, H Chapman (manager), T Whittaker (chief trainer), D Jack, C Jones

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Design: David Ainsworth