We love creating sports trophies celebrating athletes across different disciplines. The word athlete comes from the Greek word Athlon, which means prize and it is known that the Greeks were some of the first people to hand out prizes for sporting events. The history of sports trophies is fascinating and we’ve decided to look into the 10 oldest sports trophies in the world in more detail. Below, you will find some interesting facts about some of the most iconic trophies in sports.
- Carlisle Bells – 1599, England
The Carlisle Bell is a historic British flat horse race. Dating back to 1559, when the coveted bells were first awarded, this prize originated in Cumbria, England. The Carlisle Bells have earned their place in history as the oldest sporting trophy in the world. The Bells were kept at Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle but since then they have moved to Newmarket and will go on a 500-mile round trip each year for the race.
- Scorton Silver Arrow – 1673, Yorkshire, England
The Scorton Silver Arrow trophy dates back to 1673 and it was first introduced in Yorkshire, England. The archery competition was created for the purpose of maintaining target archery and it celebrated its tri-centenary shoot in 2008. The winner is the first person to hit the black spot awarded the title Captain of the Arrow and he person who hit the red zone is appointed Lieutenant of the Arrow. The winners are presented with a replica of the Silver Arrow, as the original is held at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds.
- Royal Musselburgh Old Club Cup – 1774, Musselburgh
The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club dates back to 1774 and it is believed to be the oldest golf trophy still played for. The Cup was presented t the golf club by Mr. Thomas McMillan of Shorthope who won it and became Captain of the club. The second winner of the Old club Cup was Rev Leslie Moodie, Minister of the Parish of Iveresk. n 1925, after 150 years of crowded play at Musselburgh Old Course, the Royal Musselburgh moved to Prestongrange House at Prestonpans.
- America’s Cup – 1851, Isle of Wight, England
The America’s Cup is the oldest international sporting trophy. The history of the trophy dates back to 1851 when a syndicate of businessmen from New York sailed the schooner America across the Atlantic Ocean and won a race around the Isle of Wight. The trophy would go to the young democracy of the United States and would be over 100 years before it was taken away from New York. The Cup is also known as Auld Mug and the history and prestige of the trophy attract the world’s top sailors and yacht designers.
- Claret Jug (Golf Champion Trophy) –1873, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Claret Jug is presented to the winner of The Open Championship. The trophy is made in the style of jugs used in the nineteenth century to serve a dry red wine, called claret. The winner’s name is engraved on the jug and is allowed to keep the jug for one year, before returning it for the next tournament. The winner then is presented with a replica of the award to keep permanently.
- Scottish Cup Trophy – 1874, Scotland
The Scottish Cup Trophy is primarily from silver and it has been recognised as the oldest trophy in association football by Guinness World Records. George Edward & Sons in Glasgow were commissioned to make the trophy that measures 50cm in height and weighs 2.25kg. The original trophy is kept at the Scottish Football Museum and a replica is presented to the tournament winners. The tournament starts at the beginning of the Scottish football season and participating teams enter at different stages, depending on their league ranking.
- Wimbledon Trophies – 1877, Tennis, London, England
Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world and it has been held in London since 1877. It is also one of the Grand Slams’ tennis tournaments, the others being the US Open, the Australian Open, and the French Open. The Gentlemen’s Singles champion is presented with the silver-gilt cup that measures 47cm in height and 19cm in diameter. The trophy bears the inscription: “All England Lawn Tennis club single Handed Championship of the World”. The pineapple on the top of the trophy remains a mystery. The original trophy remains the property of the All England Club and the recipients receive a three-quarter size replica of the Cup that bears all the past Champions. The Ladies’ Singles champion is presented with a replica of a sterling silver salver, also known as the Venus Rosewater Dish. The actual dish remains the property of the All England Club and measures 48cm in diameter.
- Calcutta Cup – 1879, Rugby, Country of origin India
The Calcutta Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the rugby match between England and Scotland, which takes place during the annual Six Nations Championship. The trophy is approximately 45cm high and sits on a wooden base. The silver cup is decorated with three cobras that form the handle of the cup. The Calcutta Cup has an interesting history. The Calcutta Rugby Football Club was introduced in 1872 in India, however, after the departure of a local British army regiment, the interest in rugby diminished. This didn’t stop the remaining members to melt down their 270 silver rupees to make one trophy. The trophy was later presented to the Rugby Football Union as “the best means of doing some lasting good for the cause of Rugby Football.”
- The Ashes Urn – Cricket, Sunbury, Australia. First Awarded in 1882
It is believed that The Ashes Urn contains the ashes of a burnt cricket bail. The urn itself is made of terracotta and measures 11cm. It is thought to be one of the most famous cricket trophies but is has never really been presented to the winners. In 1998-99, an urn-shaped award was introduced, called the MCC Waterford Crystal Trophy. Because the urn is so fragile it has been kept the MCC Museum at Lord’s and has only been taken to Australia twice.
- Stanley Cup – Hockey, country of origin Canada, 1893
The Stanley Cup is the oldest professional sports trophy in North America and it is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the 1892 Governor General of Canada. After he became interested in the sport, he donated the Cup to award Canada’s amateur hockey club. The trophy is awarded annually to the playoff champion club of the National Hockey League. However, unlike every other sports trophy The Stanley Cup is not made every year. Instead, the names of the winning team, coaches, and management are added to the Cup. When the rings of the Cup become full, the oldest band is being replaced with a blank one, ready for the next championships to be added to it.