Tees

Saturday County Cup lid still missing 'after 50 years'

Arthur Wharton with the cup Image copyright North Riding FA/Shaun Campbell
Image caption The cup was won in 1887 by a Darlington team containing the world's first black professional footballer Arthur Wharton

Owners of one of the UK's oldest football cups are hoping to solve a 50-year-old mystery a week before the trophy goes on display.

The lid for the Saturday County Cup - in use since 1880 - went missing sometime between the 1960s and 1980s.

Now the North Riding FA is trying to find it before the trophy goes on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

The trophy was originally known as the Cleveland Cup.

Image copyright North Riding FA
Image caption Though the trophy is going on display at the National Football Museum it will still be presented to its winners each season

Dave Roberts from the North Riding FA told BBC Tees: "We believe it's the second oldest cup in the world that's been continuously played for. There is one problem, we've lost the lid.

"We need to find a hero, there is a hero out there who knows something about the lid, either about its demise, or its hanging on a wall or is on a mantelpiece."

In 1887, it was won by a Darlington team including Arthur Wharton, the world's first black professional footballer.

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