It was feared that the original trophy - considered by The Arts Council to be an item of International Historic Significance - would be privately purchased and taken overseas when it was listed for auction last year, however, the purchase of the trophy by Club owner, His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, ensured it would remain in England for the benefit of English football.
Whilst the original trophy has now been loaned to the National Football Museum in Manchester for public display, His Highness was cognisant that The FA should themselves have access to a key artefact relating to the almost 160 years of remarkable football heritage they have overseen and asked for a replica to be made and gifted to The FA.
On behalf of Club Chairman, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Manchester City’s Club Ambassador, Mike Summerbee, presented the gift of the full-sized replica to The FA’s CEO, Mark Bullingham, in a private presentation at Saturday’s Community Shield.
A forerunner of the FA Cup in use today, the original trophy is one of the most significant artefacts in world football and the oldest surviving piece of FA Cup silverware in England. It is also the first trophy won by Manchester City 117 years ago in the 1904 FA Cup final, when the Club secured a 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers, becoming the first professional football club from the city of Manchester to win a major honour.
Commenting on the gift of the full-sized replica of the original FA Cup to The FA, Club Ambassador, Mike Summerbee, said:
“The FA Cup competition is one of the most prestigious in world football and its success and longevity has made a significant contribution to the English football culture we cherish and celebrate today.
It is fitting that The FA will now have their own replica of the oldest surviving piece of FA Cup silverware to act as a visible reminder of the heritage they have overseen and the important role they have played in shaping the game.”