Only four teams entered to compete for the trophy since all eligible clubs had to be less than two years old to be able to take part. These four clubs were Exchange FC, Garrick FC, Wellington FC, and The Wednesday. The formation date for Exchange FC in the graphic below is wrong. It states 1863 but their formation date was actually 1867.
Oliver Cromwell, the stage manager at Sheffield’s Theatre Royal at the time, donated the trophy as well as played in the tournament for Garrick FC. The final of the Cromwell Cup was played on 15th February 1868 at Bramall Lane between Gatwick FC and The Wednesday in front of 600 spectators. After 90 minutes the game was still tied at nil-nil. Both teams agreed to play on into extra time.
The match finished when Wednesday scored. This became the first ever incident of a golden goal deciding a game in association football history. This was also of course The Wednesday’s first ever trophy and it still sits in the boardroom today at Hillsborough stadium.
Wednesday’s captain in the final was Penistone born John Marsh. Marsh took credit for his performance in the game, especially for his defensive skills. Because the Youdan Cup was won by Hallam FC the year before and lifted by victorious captain John Charles Shaw, this means that the first two trophies in association football history were lifted by men who attended Penistone Grammar School having been introduced to football by Cambridge educated Reverend Samuel Sunderland.
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