Picture this. It’s the final game of the season and the captain of your club lifts the trophy aloft as scenes of pure jubilation erupt around him. Can you truly put a price on that feeling where club and fan base are unanimous in their euphoria of the moment?
Of course you can’t.
Most of the time football fans spend their time wishing, dreaming and waiting patiently in the hope that one day they’ll get to see their club win something and have their day in the sun. Of course it is this journey of fandom – with its many twists and turns - that we embark upon that gives 22 players kicking a ball around a sense of value to the supporters.
This week however the goings on at Hallam FC are providing us with an alternative view of the ‘value’ of football and more specifically the value of arguably the most historic football trophy on earth.
Jules Rimet? Coupe de club? The FA Cup? No, were talking about the Youdan Football Cup. The Youdan cup was contested in 1867 (precceeding the FA cup by 4 years) and was awarded to the winners of a Sheffield Football rules competition which featured 12 teams. The teams that took part were Norton, United Mechanics, Mackenzie, Garrick, Hallam, Heeley, Norfolk, Fir Vale, Broomhall, Pitsmoor, Wellington and Milton. The Youdan trophy gets it’s name from Thomas Youdan, a local theatre owner who provided sponsorship for the competition as well as the trophy itself.
Hallam were the winners of the competition, lifting the trophy at Bramall Lane after defeating Norfolk. Reports from the time point to a “Two rogues to none win” in favour of Hallam yet some reports claim a score of 2-1.
Fast forward 150 plus years and the Youdan trophy is back in the spotlight with a special event taking place at Hallam FC on Friday 17th February at 5pm. Staff from Graham Budd auctions will be heading up the Hallam FC’s clubhouse (which also hosts an array of brilliant football memorabilia in its own right) for a special monetary valuation of the trophy. The two experts, David Covert and John Garrett, have also invited football fans to bring their own sporting memorabilia for a free valuation (with items limited to two per person). In 2014 the one of a kind trophy was valued at £100,000 by an expert from the Antiques Roadshow and with the cost of everything rising at the moment it would be hard to argue that the same would not be true for the Youdan trophy!
In a world where elite footballers are paid upwards of £200,000 a week and clubs pay £100 million for the latest superstar, thankfully it is not our job to place a monetary value on the Youdan trophy. What we can of course tell you is that the sporting moments and competition that this beauty of a trophy paved the way for is priceless in every sense of the word!