Sheriff of London Charity Shield

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Sheriff of London Charity Shield
Founded 1898
Abolished 1983
Region  England
Number of teams 2
Last champions Watford (2 titles)
Most successful club(s) Arsenal (4 titles)
Website FA Community Shield

The Sheriff of London Charity Shield, also known as the Dewar Shield was a football competition played annually between the best amateur and best professional club in England, though Scottish amateur side Queens Park also took part in 1899.[1][2] The professional side was either the Football League champion or FA Cup winner from the previous season while the amateurs were usually represented by Corinthian, a renowned amateur side of the time. The first game was played on 19 March 1898, after being devised by Sir Thomas Dewar and ratified by the Football Association, whose president Lord Kinnaird and former president Sir Francis Marindin sat on the Shield's committee.

Proceeds from the annual game were distributed to hospitals and charities. The game was the predecessor to the FA Charity Shield, today the FA Community Shield, which began in 1908 after the Amateur Football Association split from the Football Association.[3] After 1908 the trophy was revived on seven occasions in the twentieth century to raise funds for grassroots football causes in matches played between London-based sides.



Lord Dewar
The Corinthian team of 1896–97, including Shield committee members: Charles Wreford Brown (far left, seated), N.L. Jackson (centre, seated) and R.C. Gosling (2nd left, seated)

In 1898 a shield was offered by Sir Thomas Dewar, the current Sheriff of London, with the understanding that it would pit the best professional side and amateur side against each other with proceeds going to charity.[4] A high profile committee of Football Association and amateur football representatives, politicians and England players past and present was formed composed of Sir Dewar; Lord Kinnaird (President of the FA); Sir Reginald Hanson (Lord Mayor of London); Sir Francis Marindin (Former President of the FA); Sir William Bromley-Davenport (Member of Parliament and former England international footballer); Colonel Harry McCalmont (Member of Parliament), R. Cunliffe Gosling (former England captain), Dr. Kemp, N. L. Jackson (FA Honorary Secretary and Founder of Corinthian), John Bentley (President of the Football League), and Charles Wreford-Brown (former England captain and FA Council member).[4]

The competition lasted for nine years in its first incarnation, coming to an end in part due to the dominance of the professional sides, and also to a rift in the Football Association that saw the creation of the Amateur Football Association.[5] The shield was replaced in 1908 by the FA Charity Shield which rather than the best amateur side pitted the Football League winner against the winners of the Southern Football League and then later against the winner of the FA Cup.


The match was later resurrected in the 1930s over four years at the suggestion of Charles Wreford-Brown, a member of the original Shield committee, to raise funds for the National Playing Fields Association.[6] The trophy was again competed for in the 1960s for three years with funds supporting Corinthians Casuals Football Club, the successor to the original Corinthian side. The most recent match for the shield trophy was a one-off game played between Watford and Corinthian Casuals in 1983, marking the centenary of Corinthians original formation. Watford ran out as 6–1 winners.[6] All seven matches in the post-1907 era were London-only affairs.

The shield itself, commissioned by Dewar, was over six feet high and believed to be the largest trophy to be competed for in the history of football.[7] In the 1990s, the trophy was put up for auction by Corinthian Casuals to finance all-weather training facilities; it sold for around £25,000 to a private owner.[8]

List of champions[edit]

The Aston Villa team of 1899 that won the First Division and the Sheriff of London Charity Shield (centre)

Sheriff of London Charity Shield[edit]

Fundraising matches[edit]


  1. ^ Murray, Scott. "The Joy of Six: Charity Shield matches". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Sheriff of London Charity Shield: Aston Villa v. Queen's Park". Evening Express. 11 March 1899. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Villa Park to stage Man City-Chelsea Community Shield clash". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Corbett (ed.), B. O. Annals of the Corinthian Football Club, page 159. LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "Local newspapers, football match reports and the 1908 FA Charity Shield". The British Newspaper Archive. Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d Cavallini, Rob. "Play Up Corinth: A History of Corinthian Football Club". History Press Limited. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Simons, Rowan (2010). Bamboo Goalposts. Pan Macmillan. p. 146. ISBN 9780330539036. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  8. ^ Alexander, Jeremy. "Corinthian in sporting values but not all that casual in action. 30 September 1998". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  9. ^ "Current Sport". The Aberystwith Observer. The National Library of Wales. 24 March 1898. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  10. ^ "History of the Queen's Park Football Club 1867–1917 (R Robinson)" (PDF). Scottish Football Historical Archive. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Football: The Semi-finalists". Llandudno Advertiser and List of Visitors. The National Library of Wales. 12 April 1901. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "The Championship". Rhyl Record and Advertiser. 16 March 1907. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c d Attwood, Tony. "Arsenal win the Sheriff of London Shield". Woolwich Arsenal. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 
  14. ^ "England–List of FA Charity/Community Shield Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 27 January 2017. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]