Joint-Chairman - How I won the Cup

Joint-Chairman David Gold is literally an FA Cup winner – at auction.
Mr Gold is the proud owner of the oldest surviving trophy presented to the winners.
“The Little Idol” was what the teams played for from 1872 until 1910 when it was replaced by the silverware we know and love today.
The actual original was stolen from a shoe shop window in Birmingham while Aston Villa were holders - and never seen again.
Mr Gold said: “For me, this is a far classier trophy. They used to make them a lot better in the Victorian times.
“I bought the trophy at an auction at Christie’s ten years ago. It was purely to stop it going into foreign ownership.
“It spends most of its time at the Football Museum in Manchester but I do sometimes have the trophy at home. It is a nice thing to have at the dinner table instead of a vase of flowers!
“But, seriously, I was surprised that the FA - and PFA - did not step in to make sure that this fine piece of silverware stayed in the country.
“So I had to step in at the last minute because it was apparent that it was heading to Germany.
 “At one stage, there was a mystery phone bidder and we thought it might be Roman Abramovich - and, with him, at least we knew the trophy would be staying in England.
“But that bidder went by the wayside - and I came in.
“The guy doing the bidding for me at the auction shouted to me on the phone, “We’ve won”! We were so happy - we’d just won the FA Cup!”
Villa won the “Little Idol” four times and were actually fined £25 to pay for the replacement trophy that Mr Gold owns today.
The trophy was retired in 1919 and presented to FA president Lord Kinnaird as a retirement gift.
Mr Gold said: “It was kept in the family’s vault for nearly 100 years before the family decided to sell it.
“When you are holding this trophy, you can feel the history … the first 39 winners are all listed on there.”
The Wanderers - a team that comprised mostly of former leading public school pupils - won the very first final in 1872 by beating Royal Engineers 1-0 at Kennington Oval in front of 2,000 fans.
Royal Engineers were pioneers of the passing game. They encouraged team-mates to pass the ball to each other, rather than just kick the ball forward and chase it.
That certainly sounds very much like the sort of game that is encouraged at our Academy of Football