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An original game – The origin of knockout football

June 22, 2018

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World Cup 2018 is the latest of footballs big tournaments.

But where did tournament football begin?

The format of modern football competitions have been shaped for over a 100 years.

However, the very first football tournament in the World was known as the Youdan Cup. It took place in 1867 in Sheffield England.

Local theatre manager Thomas Youdan financed it by offering a cup and prize money.

Youdan cup
The 12 teams that contested the first cup competition were Norfolk, Broomhall, Heeley, Norton, Garrick, Mackenzie, Fir Vale, Pitsmoor, Wellington, Milton, Mechanics and Hallam.

Some of the structure of the competition is the basis for modern knockout tournaments. The team whose name came out first in the draw played their games at home.

In the second round, two games went to extra time. This was another world first including one decided by a “golden goal.” Norfolk held the honour of scoring that goal.

world cup
So it was the world first’s cup final took place between Hallam and Norfolk. Held in Bramall Lane on the 5th March 1867 around 3000 spectators saw Hallam win the Youdan cup and earn their place in history as the world’s first cup winner.

Because two types of football rules existed at the time, the Scottish FA claim their cup competition was in fact the first as it played under FA rules instead of the Sheffield rules that the Youdan cup was played under.

However as both were more similar than different the Youdan cup might just edge it.

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