New football exhibition at the Town Hall

A new exhibition of football memorabilia, cups, trophies and medals to be launched next week, has ‘unearthed’ a rare collection of 1966 World Cup items owned by a Sheffield woman, whose father was a press photographer at the event. The charity promoting Sheffield as ‘The First City of Football’ is launching its first exhibition of silverware, shirts and other memorabilia at the historic Sheffield town hall next week, to coincide with the European Championships.

Sheffield Home of Football was set up last year aiming to establish a football heritage museum in the city, alongside a programme of education about the City’s unique footballing history. “Items included in the new exhibition include the worlds first football trophy, the Youdan Cup, football shirts signed by players including Pele and Geoff Hirst. There’s also cups and medals from Hallam FC and Sheffield Wednesday and even a Hornby model train named Sheffield Wednesday’”, says Nick Partridge, Chief Executive of SHOF.

“There’s also a fantastic 1966 World Cup collection, loaned by Darlene Dickens from Sheffield whose father Harold Martin, was a Freelance journalist & partner in Whites News Agency. We have his press bag, mobile desk and press passes along with a unique menu from the post cup final dinner signed by all England World Cup ’66 squad, along with a picture of Harold, who acted as liaison for West German journalists”.

“The 1966 items are fantastic”, says Stephen Burke Civic Office Manager at Sheffield Town Hall. “I am going to arrange them on their own shelf. Darlene genuinely didn’t understand the significance of her father’s role in telling the story of the World Cup and England’s success. She has brought in some photographs of her father wearing his blazer that he wore for the games he attended and the patch that was sown onto his pocket, identifying him as part of the official press party. I think the human link really helps to tell the story of the items in the collection.

There is also have a commemorative dish gifted to Harold by the FA, A guest list for the celebratory banquet which Harold attended along with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Sheffield, invitations from the Prime Minister and the FA to the banquet, the menu with autographs and a World Cup Final Ticket. The exhibition also features various footballing items presented to Sheffield City Council including the English Schools FA Glass Football and knives marking the 1935 FA Cup victory by SWFC, along with a shield commemorating the 150th anniversary of the world’s oldest football match.

“This shows why Sheffield lays claim to being The First City of Football”, says Denise Fox, Chair of Trustees of SHOF. “Currently the Men’s Euros are rightly celebrated around the world, but many people don’t know that they owe their existence to what happened in Sheffield over 160 years ago”.

The first ever football competition in the world, The Youdan Cup was held in Sheffield. We have the world’s oldest club, Sheffield FC (1857) and the second oldest, Hallam FC, (1860) which won that first cup, and which is still playing today. Alongside this there are over 40 Footballing firsts that happened in Sheffield, and we want to let people know about the city’s achievements in being the crucible in which the world’s favourite game was forged.

The exhibition opens at Sheffield Town Hall on Saturday 6th July from 09.30am and is open 9.00am-5.00pm Mondays to Fridays and from 10.00am-4.00pm on Saturdays throughout the Summer.

Full list of items currently on display:

Signed Shirts – Geoff Hurst, Gordon Banks, Pele, Diego Maradona.
Centenary tray 1993 gifted by Queens Park FC on the City’s centenary.
List of Sheffield born England players
UEFA EURO ’96 Wilkinson’s Sword
Shield presented by the FA to Hallam FC celebrating their 150th anniversary.
Hallam FC Walking Cup
Youdan Cup
Glass vase presented by the FA to the city for being a host city 1966.
Hallam FC Sports Cup
English Schools FA Glass Football
Knives marking the winning of the 1935 FA Cup by SWFC
Various Hallam FC medals
Steel Pitcher & Tozer interdepartmental Cup
Lewis Cup c.1893
Shield commemorating the 150th anniversary of the oldest football match.
Hornby model train named “Sheffield Wednesday”.
Sheffield & District Junior Sunday League Cup
Wilson Cup 1956 trophy
Sheffield Sunday School Football League Shield
Youdan Trophy medal and civic gift from a participating team.
SHOF children’s book
Copy of the first rules of Sheffield Foot-ball Club

Harold Martin 1966 display:
World Cup – Local Liaison Committee Minutes
Official press bag and “mobile desk”
2 press passes.
2 press pins and 2 liaison pins (Harold acted as liaison to West German journalists)
Patch pocket badge (three photographs were supplied showing Harold wearing the blazer with the badge and the press pins)
Commemorative dish gifted by the FA.
Guest list for the celebratory banquet (Harold attended along with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Sheffield)
Invitations from the Prime Minister and the FA to the banquet
Banquet menu with autographs.
World Cup Final Ticket

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