The UEFA Cup Winners' Cup was a football club competition contested annually by the most recent winners of all European domestic cup competitions. The cup was one of the many inter-European club competitions that have been organised by the Union of European Football Associations; the first competition was held in the 1960–61 season – but not recognised by the governing body of European football until October 1963. The tournament ran for 39 seasons with its final edition held in 1998–99, after which it was absorbed into the UEFA Cup; the Cup Winners' Cup was regarded by UEFA as the second most prestigious European club competition, behind the European Cup and ahead of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, although many football writers and fans considered the UEFA Cup as harder to win. From 1972 onwards, the winner of the tournament progressed to play the winner of the European Cup in the UEFA Super Cup. Since the abolition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the UEFA Super Cup place reserved for the Cup Winners' Cup winner has been taken by the winner of the UEFA Cup, now the UEFA Europa League.
The competition's official name was the European Cup Winners' Cup. Throughout its 39-year history, the Cup Winners' Cup was always a straight knock-out tournament with two-legged home and away ties until the single match final staged at a neutral venue, the only exception to this being the two-legged final in the competition's first year. In common with other UEFA club tournaments, the away goal applied; the format was identical to the original European Champions' Cup with 32 teams contesting four knock-out rounds prior to the showpiece final, with the tournament running from September to May each year. Following the influx of new UEFA member nations during the 1990s, a regular August preliminary round was added to reduce the number of entrants to 32. Entry was restricted to one club from each UEFA member association, the only exception being to allow the current Cup Winners' Cup holders to enter alongside their nation's new domestic cup winners in order to allow them a chance to defend their Cup Winners' Cup title.
However, if this team qualified for the European Champions' Cup they would default on their place in the Cup Winners' Cup and no other team would replace them. On occasions when a club completed a domestic league and cup'double' that club would enter the European Cup/UEFA Champions League and their place in the Cup Winners' Cup would be taken by the domestic cup runners-up. In 1998–99, the competition's final year, Heerenveen of the Netherlands entered the Cup Winners' Cup despite only reaching the semi-final of the previous season's Dutch Cup; this was due to both Dutch Cup finalists Ajax and PSV Eindhoven qualifying for the expanded Champions League. Mirroring the circumstances behind the creation of the European Cup five years earlier, the idea for a pan-European cup competition contested by all of Europe's domestic cup winners came from prominent European sports journalists; the European Cup had proven to be a great success and the Fairs Cup had proven popular – as a result, other ideas for new European football tournaments were being aired.
One proposal was for a tournament based upon the format of the European Cup, but with national cup winners rather than league champions taking part, which could run alongside that competition. The inaugural Cup Winners' Cup was held in the 1960–61 season and was a semi-official pilot tournament; however the initial reaction to the competition's creation was unenthusiastic on the part of many of Europe's top clubs – many European associations did not have domestic cup competitions at the time and in those countries that did, the cup competition was held in low esteem and not taken by the bigger clubs. It was only in England, Scotland and to a lesser extent Germany and Spain that the domestic cup was considered prestigious. Many were sceptical about the viability of a European tournament for cup winners and many of the bigger clubs eligible to contest the first CWC turned down the chance to enter, such as Atlético Madrid of Spain and AS Monaco of France; the inaugural CWC was contested by just 10 clubs but the games were well attended and the response from the public and the media to the new tournament was positive and enthusiastic.
For the tournament's second season in 1961–62, UEFA took over the running of all aspects of the competition and this time all the clubs eligible to enter accepted the opportunity. By 1968, all UEFA member nations had set up domestic cup competitions due to the success of the Cup Winners' Cup. UEFA regarded it as the second most prestigious competition, behind the European Cup and ahead of the Fairs Cup. Therefore, a team qualified for both the European Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup would play in the European Cup, whereas a team qualified for both the UEFA Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup would play in the Cup Winners' Cup. Many commentators and fans regarded the Cup Winners' Cup as weaker than the UEFA Cup, which had more and better teams from the stronger European leagues. In the 1985–86 season, English clubs were banned from European competition as a result of Heysel Stadium disaster. Manchester United, Coventry City and Liverpool were prevented from competing in the Cup Winners' Cup until the beginning of the 1990–91 season.
No club managed to retain the Cup Winners' Cup, although eight time
Szécs was the name of a gens in the Kingdom of Hungary. The kindred owned lands in Komárom and Esztergom Counties; as there is no such place name in this region, it is presumable the kindred took its name after their founder who lived at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries. The kindred's ancient lands, Hetény, Födémes and Szőlős were still royal estates in the first half of the 13th century, thus historian Krisztina Tóth considered the ancestor of the Szécs clan belonged to the social status of royal servants who owned possession and was subordinate only to the king. For his service, they elevated to the nobility by the second half of the century. Mikó II: son of Mikó I, Master of the horse Paul: son of Mikó I or Paul, he might be connected to the genus only from maternal side, he was lord of Komárom since the 1280s and entered into a formal feudal alliance with King Andrew III in 1298. Nicholas: brother of Paul, he was identical with that Nicholas, who served as ispán of Győr and Komárom Counties in 1297 Stephen: son of Paul, he handed over the castle of Komárom to Matthew Csák after his father's death.
Merneferre Ay was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the mid 13th Dynasty. The longest reigning pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty, he ruled a fragmented Egypt for over 23 years in the early to mid 17th century BC. A pyramidion bearing his name shows that he completed a pyramid located in the necropolis of Memphis. Merneferre Ay is the last pharaoh of the 13th dynasty to be attested outside Upper Egypt. In spite of his long reign, the number of artefacts attributable to him is comparatively small; this may point to problems in Egypt at the time and indeed, by the end of his reign, "the administration seems to have collapsed". It is possible that the capital of Egypt since the early Middle Kingdom, Itjtawy was abandoned during or shortly after Ay's reign. For this reason, some scholars consider Merneferre Ay to be the last pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt; the relative chronological position of Merneferre Ay as a king of the mid 13th Dynasty is well established by the Turin canon, a king list redacted during the early Ramesside period and which serves as the primary historical source for the Second Intermediate Period.
The king list records Ay's name on column 8 line 3 and establishes that Merneferre Ay was preceded by Wahibre Ibiau and succeeded by Merhotepre Ini, his son. The precise chronological placement of Merneferre Ay varies between scholars, with Jürgen von Beckerath and Aidan Dodson seeing him as the 27th king of the dynasty while Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker place him in the 32nd and 33rd positions, respectively; the absolute datation of Ay's reign is debated and varies by 17 years between Ryholt's 1701–1677 BC and Schneider's 1684–1661 BC. Until the duration of Merneferre Ay's reign, recorded in the Turin canon, was disputed by Jürgen von Beckerath who read the damaged figure on the papyrus fragment as 13 years while both Alan Gardiner and Kenneth Kitchen maintained it should be read as 23 years; the dispute was settled in the latest study of the Turin canon by Kim Ryholt who confirms that Merneferre Ay's reign length as recorded on the papyrus is "23 years, 8 months and 18 days". Ryholt insists that "the tick that distinguishes 30 from 10 is preserved and beyond dispute.
Accordingly, 23 years or, less 33 years must be read." This makes Merneferre Ay the longest-ruling pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty at a time when numerous short-lived kings ruled Egypt. As a king of the mid 13th Dynasty, Merneferre Ay reigned over Middle and Upper Egypt concurrently with the 14th Dynasty, which controlled at least the Eastern Nile Delta; the egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker contend that Mernferre usurped the throne at the expense of his predecessor Wahibre Ibiau. They base this conclusion on the total absence of filiative nomina, references to the name of his father on the artefacts attributable to him, they believe that this should have been the case had his father been a pharaoh, indeed a number of 13th Dynasty kings used filiative nomina. Little is known of Ay's consorts, he was married to Ineni whose scarabs are stylistically similar to those of Ay. Merneferre Ay is well attested; the rest of the scarabs of known provenance are from Abydos and Lisht, all localities being in Middle or Upper Egypt.
Other attestations of Ay include an obsidian globular jar now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a ball dedicated to Sobek, an inscribed limestone block, part of a lintel, discovered in 1908 by Georges Legrain in Karnak and a pyramidion. The pyramidion was confiscated from robbers by the Egyptian police in 1911 at Faqus, close to the ancient city of Avaris, it is carved with the name of Ay and shows him offering to Horus "Lord of heaven", demonstrating that a pyramid was built for him during his long reign. The fact that the pyramidion was discovered by the robbers in modern-day Khatana, part of the ancient city of Avaris is important since it was the capital of the 14th Dynasty during Ay's lifetime. Egyptologists believe that the pyramidion originates in fact from Memphis, in the necropolis of which Ay's pyramid must be located. Accordingly, this suggests that the pyramid was looted at the time of the Hyksos invasion c. 1650 BC and the pyramidion taken to Avaris at this moment. This is vindicated by the "damaged text on the pyramidion invoked four gods" two of whom were Ptah and Re-Horus.
The cults of these gods were based in the Memphite necropolis, not in Avaris. Other objects which suffered the same fate include two colossal statues of the 13th Dynasty king Imyremeshaw. Though Merneferre Ay is well attested, the number of objects attributable to him is small given his nearly 24 year-long reign; this may point to serious problems in Egypt at the time and indeed Ryholt and others believe that by the end of Ay's reign "the administration seems to have collapsed". Merneferre Ay is the last Egyptian king of the 13th Dynasty, attested by objects from outside of Upper Egypt; this may indicate the abandonment of the old capital of the Middle Kingdom Itjtawy in favor of Thebes. Daphna Ben Tor believes that this event was triggered by the invasion of the eastern Delta and the Memphite region by Canaanite rulers. Indeed some egyptologists believe that by the end of Ay's reign the 13th dynasty had lost control of Lower Egypt, including the Delta re