When you see a sports trophy, it’s hard to ignore the history attached and how many legendary hands have gripped the award. However, it’s fair to say that the design itself plays an important role in building a story. Some trophies are instantly recognisable (even for people who don’t follow the sport), and the following are among the most iconic.
The World Cup
Since the first football World Cup in 1930, the competition has had two trophies. Eventually, the elegant Jules Rimet trophy was retired in 1974, and we’ve had the modern FIFA World Cup Trophy ever since. Both trophies have history, and the Jules Rimet version was actually lost after England won the World Cup in 1966. Eventually, it was found again by Pickles…a dog.
The modern trophy depicts two humans holding Earth aloft, and it was originally made in Italy.
The Heisman Trophy
Although it sounds strange to other countries, college sports are some of the most-watched sporting occasions on the calendar in the United States. The Heisman Trophy was first introduced in 1935 and has been won by some of the sport’s greatest NFL players. However, it’s a trophy given to the best college football player in a given year. Winning players include Barry Sanders, Herschel Walker, Marcus Allen, Mike Rozier, Cam Newton, and Charles Woodson.
Every two years, Europe’s greatest golfers come together to face off against the best players from the United States. The trophy was initially gifted by Samuel Ryder, the creator of the competition, and since then the winning captain has held it aloft after four days of intense competition. While the United States have won the trophy 26 times, Great Britain (and then Europe when it was opened up in 1979) have won 14.
From golf to cricket, we find another competition that is battled with intensity, passion, determination, and grit. Since 1883, Australia and England have played a set of five test matches every two years. The two countries take turns hosting, and it’s one of the closest sporting events you’re likely to find, and one of the most sought after custom trophies and awards Australia plays for in sports. After the 2019 Ashes series, the 71st on record, Australia has 33 wins, England 32 wins, and the two teams have played out six draws.
The important detail, however, is the Ashes trophy. As a four-inch urn, rumour suggests that the trophy contains the ashes of a cricket bail burnt after the first-ever fixture between these two nations. Despite the rumours, the story has never been confirmed.
Yellow Jersey and Green Jacket
It’s important to remember that, in some sporting events, the trophy doesn’t conform to what you might expect. Instead of a gloriously detailed metal product, some sports use a piece of clothing. For example, the Yellow Jersey is awarded to identify the leader of the Tour de France. Meanwhile, the Green Jacket is a golf trophy given to the winner of The Masters. The jacket is handed to the winner by either the previous winner or the Augusta chairman.
For those who watch ice hockey, you will have seen winners of the Stanley Cup carrying this huge monstrosity around the ice after the winning game. The names of all previous winners are engraved around the five rings, and these are actually detachable. Every year, player names are engraved onto the trophy, and only four engravers have ever been trusted with this job since the introduction of the trophy around one century ago.
Other Iconic Trophies
- FA Cup
- America’s Cup
- Claret Jug
- Olympic Gold Medal
- Borg-Warner Trophy
- Premier League
- Vince Lombardi Trophy