Totty Cup, the past and the future.

In South Yorkshire Sheffield has its oldest teams and grounds, in the Dearne Valley they have two cups with great histories. Last year I went to the 125th Anniversary of the Montagu Cup, the oldest football competition to be played continuously at its original venue, Mexborough. So when I read about the Totty cup I thought I would go and see what it’s all about.

100 years ago in 1923 a cup was presented to the winners of a schools football competition that had been donated by Russell Totty who was the proprietor of a Goldthorpe Picture House. Then it was competed for by “senior schools”, today it is a primary schools competition.

Russell Totty moved his family to Devon a few years later, but the organisers of this year’s anniversary had tracked down some of his decendents who travelled from Surrey to see the game.

What is heartening for the game and the community is the archive and memories that have been collected and grows with each year. The band of people who organise the administration of this cup and others in the area are amazing. The afternoon of finals, culminating with the Totty Cup attracted more than were at the Northern Premier League East game I was at last Saturday. They had produced a program, special 100 year pin badges and the clubhouse was open for drinks of all sorts and food.

To follow this there will be ‘The Totty Cup’ Anniversary Centenary book on sale by the end of the year. This follows the publishing, last year, of “The Mont” which chronicled the 125 years of the Montagu Cup.

The next Montagu Cup final, this year between last year’s beaten finalists, Dog Daisy United and Dearne & District FC, will as usual be on Easter Monday kick off 11.00 am at Mexborough Stadium. A great morning out but getting there early is always a good idea with an expected crowd of over 1000.

Like the Montagu Cup the crowd to see the Totty Cup was a real family affair with fans of all ages despite the overcast skies that had earlier turned the pitch and surrounding area into mud patches.

Goldthorpe Sacred Heart 1 Swinton Queen 1

With a Drone recording the game Swinton kicked down the hill in the first half in this 9 a side game. Sacred Heart were the only team who had a girl in their line up and it was them that went ahead after 10 minutes when a shot from outside the box sailed into the top corner of the goal. Individuals on both sides showed good skill on the muddy pitch.

The second half continued with end to end play and Swinton equalised when the ball was robbed from the Sacred Heart goalkeeper and hit into the net. Despite protests from the goal keeper the goal stood.

Sacred Heart now exerted more pressure but full time came and extra time of 5 minutes each way was started. The deadlock could not be broken so another two periods of 5 minute extra times were played. Neither side scored partially thanks to Swinton’s goalkeeper who was undoubtedly my man of the match. The two teams decided on a replay rather than penalties so this has been tentatively pencilled in for 30th March.

What a great community event which will be remembered by players, family, friends and fans for many years. An historic cup showcasing the future football talent.

An unexpected bonus was the chips that were hot, tasty, crispy, golden, fluffy centre and with no greasy after taste getting a chip league score of 68.

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