Corinthians v. Sheffield United, 19th March 1898
The opening match in the competition was played at the Crystal Palace in front of over 20,000 spectators. In heavy rain the match, which was entertaining enough, ended in a 0-0 draw. After a committee meeting it was decided to replay the match on 4th April 1898. This match attracted a crowd of around 8,000 to the Crystal Palace. Sheffield United scored the first goal of the match through Almond and went in at half-time with a slender 1-0 lead. After 15 minutes of the second-half Foster equalised for the amateurs and although United pressed for the winner the Corinthians defended superbly and at full-time the result was 1-1. Discussions took place with the thought of extra-time being played. However, United were keen that the result stood and as such the Corinthians and Sheffield United became joint holders of the trophy in its first year.
Queen's Park v. Aston Villa 11th March 1899
The Corinthians were defeated in both preliminary matches against Queen's Park (3-2 in London and 4-1 in Glasgow). Therefore the famous Scottish amateur side participated in their one and only Sheriff of London Shield match against the mighty Aston Villa. Again no decisive result was reached during normal time. However, an extra half-hour was played which still produced no goals, and therefore the trophy was again shared between the two participating sides. Queen's Park were delighted to become joint holders of the trophy and it took pride of place in Glasgow's Peoples Palace.
Corinthians v. Aston Villa, 8th November 1899
Due to a congestion in the fixture card this season, the match was played before Christmas and mid-week rather than a Saturday. As such, the attendance at the Crystal Palace suffered greatly and around 7,000 spectators were in attendance. During the week prior to the match incessant rain fell leaving large pools of water on the pitch. The ground was heavy and both sides could do little about the ball repeatedly being stuck in the mud. Shortly before half-time Villa took the lead through Garraty, only for Foster to equalise for the amateurs before the half-time whistle. The second-half produced a stalemate with both sides attacking but unable to breach either defence. With twelve minutes remaining the Cortinthians took the lead when G.O. Smith hit an unstoppable shot which beat George in the Villa goal. Therefore, the Corinthians became the first outright holders of the Shield and Sir Thomas Dewar presented the Shield and medals to the winners.
Corinthians v. Aston Villa, 2nd March 1901
Both teams again contributed to an exciting and competative match, again played in poor conditions. In front of a large crowd Villa, desperate to reverse the result of the previous year, started the match in confident mood. The first-half remained goal-less. However, Villa during the second period began to control the match and it seemed inevitable that they would score at some point. With ten minutes remaining Athersmith raced clear of the Corinthian defence to score the only goal of the game.
Corinthians v. Tottenham Hotspur, 1st March 1902
Surprisingly, Aston Villa as the previous season's League Champions, were not invited to defend the trophy which caused more than a little astonishment in Birmingham. The committee, taking in the considerations of the interests of charity, chose Tottenham Hotspur, winners of the F.A.Cup as the professional opposition. This factor contributed to a large attendance which saw the amateurs take control of an eventful first-half. The Corinthians went in at the break 2-0, both goals being scored by Morgan-Owen. Spurs totally ouplayed their opponents during the second-half and turned a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 win. The shield and medals were presented to the victorious Spurs side by Colonel Probyn.
Corinthians v. Sunderland, 28th February 1903.
This match played at the Tottenham Hotspur ground was comfortably won by Sunderland 3-0. The Corinthians side comprised players unfamiliar with each other and were on the whole ineffective in combating the Sunderland forward-line ably led by Miller. The Sunderland defence easily coped with the infrequent Corinthians attack and it was with great credit to the Corinthian defence that they allowed only three goals to be converted. Lord Kinnaird, President of the Football Association presented the Shield and medals to the victorious Sunderland team.
Corinthians v. Bury, 5th March 1904.
This match was played at the Corinthians home ground at Queen's Club. The Bury side included no less than nine of the player's who had won the F.A.Cup the previous season and after ten minutes led 2-0 with goals from Plant and Sagar. The Corinthians re-grouped and soon scored through Monteith. With their tails-up the Corinthians scored a further two goals through Day within five minutes and prior to half-time S.S.Harris scored two bring the first period to an end with the amateurs leading 4-2. The second-half continued in the same vein as the end of the first-half, with the Corinthians full of confidence and scoring almost at will. A further six goals were scored by them before the end of the match and they ran-out clear winners 10-3. S.S.Harris scored five goals, G.S.Harris three and S.H.Day two. This match, against the holders of the F.A.Cup was perhaps the most remarkable display ever by the famous amateur side and they were presented with the Shield and medals by Lord Alverstone.
Corinthians v. Sheffield Wednesday, 24th April 1905.
This match which was played on Easter Monday at the Cyrstal Palace drew a crowd of around 15,000. The Corinthians immediately took hold of the match and scored the opening goal through G.S. Harris in only three minutes. The first-half scoring ended there, but Wednesday, through Wilson scored early in the second-half. The professionals began to control the game and it was hardly surprising when Wilson scored again with fifteen minutes remaining. The match ended 2-1 in favour of Sheffield Wednesday who graciously accepted the Shield and medals from Sir T.R.Dewar, M.P.
Corinthians v. Liverpool, April 28th 1906.
This match was played at Fulham, and the Corinthians entered the match full of confidence having only lost one match in their previous twenty-two. Liverpool with the Scottish Internationalist Raisbeck in charge were, without doubt, the best team in the country. The amateur side, having played all their important fixtures sometime earlier and having just returned from a relaxed Continental tour were out-played in the first-half by Liverpool who scored two goals through Hewitt and Raybould with no reply. The Merseyside team continued where they had left-off in the first-half and added three more goals in the second-half. The Corinthians, through S.S.Harris, scored a solitary reply in a 5-1 defeat. Lord Kinnaird presented the victorious Liverpool side with the Shield and medals.
Corinthians v. Newcastle United, 9th March 1907.
In this match, played in poor conditions before a large crowd, the Corinthians despite several absentees took the match to a Newcastle United side on the verge of winning the Division 1 Championship. However, despite controlling the game in the first-half the United goalkeeper Lawrence prevented the amateurs from taking the upper-hand. Against the run of play, Appleyard passed to Rutherford who scored the only goal of the first-half. Early in the second-half Young scored the equaliser for the Corinthians. However, Newcastle United came back strongly and Appleyard scored to give Newcastle the lead once more. The Corinthian centre-half Morgan-Owen was injured and courageously tried to prevent Newcastle United from scoring again. The Corinthians chance of any come-back soon diminished when Timmis scored an own goal. One last effort was made by the amateurs and S.S.Harris scored to make the final result 5-2 in favour of Newcastle United. The Shield and medals were presented to the victorious Newcastle United side by the Lord Mayor.
Corinthians v. Arsenal, 22nd April 1931.
After a gap of twenty-four years, The Sheriff of London Shield was competed for by Arsenal and the Corinthians at Highbury before 12,000 spectators. The proceeds from the match were to be given to the funds of the National Playing Fields Association and Arsenal emerged as winners in a thrilling match by five goals to three. Arsenal were, without doubt the greatest side in the country at this point and fielded a forward-line, comprising Hulme, Jack, Lambert, James and Bastin. However, the amateurs led 2-1 until the final few minutes of the first-half. Arsenal equalised prior to half-time and early in the second-half took a grip on a match that was always going to be won by them. In the first three minutes of the second-half Lambert came close and a short time later Hulme gave the Gunners the lead. Bastin curved a corner in which hit the crossbar, with Hulme scoring from the rebound. John made it 5-2 midway through the second-half, before a late rally from the Corinthians when Shearer scored from close range to make the final outcome 5-3 in favour of Arsenal. Lord Derby presented the Shield and medals to the winners.
A late Victorian silver, electro-plated, copper and enamelled shield-shaped plaque, mounted on a similarly-shaped moulded oak panel, the central panel cast in relief with a footballing scene, signed Mappin & Webb, 1898, enclosed by a gilt-metal laurel wreath border and flanked by fifteen oval plaques, thirteen of which are inscribed with the following: 1898, Corinthian F.C. and Sheffield United F.C., Joint Holders; 1899, Aston Villa F.C. & Queen's Park F.C., Joint Holders; Season 1899-1900, Won By The Corinthians; 1900-1901, Won By The Aston Villa F.C; 1901-1902, Won By Tottenham Hotspurs; 1902-1903, Won By Sunderland; 1904-1905, Won By Sheffield Wednesday; 1905-1906, Won By Liverpool; 1906-1907, Won By Newcastle United; 1930-1931, Won By Arsenal F.C.; 1964-1965, Won By Arsenal F.C.; 1965-1966, Won By Arsenal F.C.; and 1966-1967, Won By Watford F.C.,surmounted by a further oval plaque enclosed by an acanthus-cast border, inscribed Presented By Thomas R.Dewar Esqre, Sheriff Of The City of London, 1897-8, the apron mounted with two classical female figures depicting Charity and Peace, resting on thistle, acanthus and c-scroll cast plinths bearing a further inscription The Sheriff Charity Shield, silver hallmarks for London 1897, maker John Newton Mappin for Mappin & Webb, 70in. (177.5cm) high, 40in. (101.5cm) wide The organisers of The History of Football in London exhibition, which is planned to coincide with the 1996 European Championships at the Museum of London, would like to display The Sheriff of London Shield. For further information please contact the specialist in charge of this sale.
THE SHERIFF OF LONDON SHIELD
The forerunner to the present Football Association Charity Shield, The Sheriff of London Shield was first played for in season 1897-98. N.L.Jackson, the founder of the Corinthian Football Club, and great friend of Thomas Dewar (later Lord Dewar), suggested to Mr. Dewar that to mark his election as Sheriff of London, in 1898, he should supply a trophy to be played for by London Association Football Clubs with the proceeds of these matches to go towards charity. Dewar was very enthusiastic about this and suggested to "Pa" Jackson that he make the necessary arrangements and that a committee should be formed. The main stipulation regarding participating teams was to be that the trophy was competed for by the best professional and amateur club sides of the season. All proceeds from the matches were to be entirely devoted to charity and the committee comprised the following: Lord Kinnaird, President; Sir Reginald Hanson, Bart., M.P., Chairman; T.R. Dewar Esq, Donor of the Shield; Sir Francis Marindin, K.C.M.G.; W.Bromley Davenport, M.P.; H.McCalmont, M.P.; R.C. Gosling; Dr. Kemp; J.J.Bentley; C.Wreford-Brown Esq.; and N.L. Jackson Esq, Honorary Secretary.
The trophy was played annually from season 1897-98 until 1906-7 and in all but one match the Corinthians were the participating amateur side. The participating professional teams, comprised League Championship and F.A.Cup-winning sides. By 1907, when the competition was discontinued, around (3,000 had been distributed to hospitals and other charities. Interestingly, the Corinthians had to alter their club Rule 7 which stated that "The Club shall not compete for any Challenge Cup or prizes of any description whatever". This problem was resolved by the insertion of the following "In the event of a cup competition being started in which only one amateur and one professional team compete, the committee shall have the power to enter the club for such competition". The competition was revived some twenty-four years after the last match (1906-7), in season 1930-31, when the Corinthians played Arsenal.