Manchester City owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, purchased the 1896–1910 Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) at an auction.
The FA Cup was the first trophy won by Manchester City 116 years ago when they defeated Bolton Wanderers 1-0 in 1904 final, making the Manchester club the first professional football club from Manchester to capture a major honour. They are now the proud custodian of their first trophy.
The club tweeted, “We are delighted to announce we are now the proud custodian of the 1896–1910 #FACup following the recent purchase of the trophy at auction by Club owner, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.”
Etihad chairman, Sheikh Khaldoon al-Mubarak, on commenting on the purchase said: “This Cup is a visible reminder of the rich and long history of English football to which Manchester City is inextricably entwined.
The cup was previously the property of West Ham co-owner, David Gold, before he put it up for sale last year September by an anonymous buyer which is now revealed to be Manchester City’s owner.
Auctioneers Bonhams had announced that a particular item of silverware was sold for £760,000 ($1.03m).
The cup is the forerunner of the current FA Cup and also the oldest surviving piece of FA Cup silverware in England and the one first used in 1871 stolen from a shop while on display following Aston Villa’s triumph in 1895 and that was the last time it was seen.
Originally, there were fears that the trophy would be bought privately and taken overseas, before Mansour stepped in to ensure the trophy will remain in England for the benefit of English football.
The trophy has been offered to the National Football Museum in Manchester, England on loan, where it has been housed for the past 16 years, 2005.
Download Nairametrics App for breaking news and market intelligence.