The new design for the FA Trophy, which will replace the current trophy after eighty-one years, was revealed during the MFA Awards 2016 which was held at the Mediterranean Conference Centre on Friday.
Although it has some features from the original trophy such as the footballer holding the ball at the top, the globe and the platform with the plaque, the new trophy designed by world-renowned trophy maker and silversmiths Thomas Lyte is basically a traditional cup with the addition of these features. The official presentation will take place at Wembley Stadium in October before the World Cup qualifier between England and Malta.
Kevin Baker, CEO and founder of Thomas Lyte, expressed his excitement for the fact that his company has been approached by The FA to redesign and manufacture a new FA Trophy for Malta. This, according to Baker, following the manufacture of the English FA Cup in 2014, the Rugby World Cup in 2015 and the Copa America this year, was another fantastic project for the company to be involved with and it has been quite a journey with a lot of work behind the scenes in order to take forward the heritage of the 1934 FA Trophy into the future.
The new FA Trophy will be sixty-five centimetres in height, and seven kilogrammes in weight, six of which are solid silver. The trophy will be produced with the traditional methods of silversmithing, by hand. The new Trophy will carry forward the main features of the current FA Trophy, with the player holding the ball aloft being the top part on a silver pedestal, also featured on the current trophy, containing the exact wording which symbolises the bond between the English FA and the Malta FA, the globe and the base will remain identical, with the effigy of the football match found on the current trophy also retaining its place. The new trophy has been designed in the shape of the old Cassar Cup, which was another historical competition of the MFA in which the best two British service teams used to play against the two best Maltese teams for the cup. Veterans recall the passion of these matches with the Maltese football aficionados all rooting for the Maltese teams against the British ones.
Dr Chris Bonett, MFA vice-president, explained that the concept for the new trophy came about with the combination of two circumstances. The first being the general consensus at the MFA that the current trophy had to be withdrawn due to the heavy damage in has incurred in the last 81 years, to be restored and put in an important place to be enjoyed by everyone, and the second being the generous offer made by the Chairman of the English FA, Greg Dyke to the President of the Maltese FA, Norman Darmanin Demajo, to participate in the funding of this trophy in order to renew the bond between the two football associations, which bond had already been created with the current trophy.
Dr Bonett continued by stating that the design for the new FA Trophy has been approved by the Executive Committee of the MFA in the past weeks, and the actual trophy will be presented by the English FA to the MFA before the match between England and Malta, at Wembley Stadium, on the 8th October 2016. The Malta FA is confident that the new FA trophy will, “renew our history; renew the bond between the English FA and the Maltese FA; and most importantly it will renew the passion of the local fans for the local game,” concluded Dr Bonett.
The original FA Trophy was a gift of the English FA in 1933 after a number of pro-British Maltese supporters travelled to Rome to support England in a game against Italy. In recognition, the Football Association donated a silver trophy to be played on the model of the FA Cup.
The new FA Trophy, made in silver, will cost around £25,000 and will be partly-financed by The FA. An exact replica which will be silver-plated will be retained by winners.
The current FA Trophy will be be restored and will be put on display at the MFA Headquarters. A trophy identical to the current FA Trophy was presented by The FA to the Trinidad & Tobago Football Association and is also called the FA Trophy and played on the same format.