In the late 1960’s there was a growing demand for organised football on a Sunday and despite a reluctance to acknowledge it by local Councils and established Saturday Leagues, who thought it was a fad that would go out of fashion in a few years.
The disorganised pitch pirates, as they were known for playing on corporation pitches, without paying fees needed direction and guidance and with local leagues sprouting shoots over the County, the Association put plans in place in early 1971 to introduce a new competition to take place the following season 1971-72. Very little is known of who or how many teams entered the first format. However, it is known that the eventual winners were Nelson Nomads, who were part of the newly formed Heywood Sunday League.
In 1975, the LFA Sunday Trophy was decided by a replay for the first time when Wellington from Blackburn overcame the Golden Eagle from Blackpool 1-0. In the same year, Manchester United bounced back to win promotion back to Division One, after they were relegated the previous season.
The first team to enter the competition
The Piper, were the first Preston based Lancashire Evening Post Sunday League team to enter the competition in 1976, winning the first of 15 LFA Sunday Trophy titles to be won by the rebranded Lancashire Sunday League. The team was managed by former PNE player Graham Hawkins. In the same year, the FA Vase Competition was introduced, and The Football League introduced goal difference replacing goal average.
Marklynn Motors took the Cup to the Fylde Coast for the first time when they beat Standish 4-1 at Bloomfield Road in 1979. In the same year, Football League Referee David Richardson and former LFA Vice-President, was appointed to referee the FA Trophy Final and was also elevated to the FIFA List of referees.
3 points for a win
In 1981, Lisieux Hall overcame Southport Warwick in a replay to win the first of their back-to-back LFA Sunday Trophy titles. The first game ended 1-1 at Haig Avenue, with the replay finishing 3-2 at Horwich RMI. In the same year, 3 points for a win was introduced and QPR had an artificial pitch installed at Loftus Road.
Marsden Building Society sponsoring the LFA Sunday Trophy
The following year in 1982, the Marsden Building Society began its long and greatly appreciated support of the Association by sponsoring the LFA Sunday Trophy. With over 200 clubs entering, which saw a repeat of the previous final when Lisieux Hall retained the Cup beating Warwick Southport 3-2 in a replay, after a scoreless first meeting. In the same year, Bob Lord who was the longest serving member of the Association, LFA President and Chairman of Burnley FC sadly passed away.
The first main sponsor of the LFA Sunday Trophy
In 1985, Youngers Scotch Bitter became the main sponsors for The LFA Sunday Trophy, with a record 230 teams entering the competition, which was eventually won by former winners Bryn who beat Forrest Arms 3-2 in the final. In the same year, Manchester United won the FA Cup in extra time against Everton with a Norman Whiteside goal. In the same final, Kevin Moran became the first player to be sent off in an FA Cup Final.
In 1987, Matthew Brown Ltd became the main sponsor for the LFA Sunday Trophy, with Cock & Magpie from Whitworth beating Queens Park from Burnley in the final. The medals were presented by Miss Matthew Brown, who was also the reigning Miss Great Britain. In the same year, former LFA Discipline Secretary and Culinary Wizard Jim Parker was promoted to the Football League Referees List.
256 teams entered the LFA Sunday Trophy
1989 saw a maximum entry of 256 teams enter the LFA Sunday Trophy, which had a new sponsor in ‘4 Sports’. Forrest Arms were eventually crowned champions after they beat Wyre Villa 2-0 at Victory Park, Chorley. Interesting fact is that Forrest Arms did not concede a single goal in the competition that year and were also to go on and win the LFA Sunday Trophy in four consecutive seasons.
Welcoming 22 Women and Girls teams
1993 saw Mamas beat Masons Arms 2-1 in the final of the newly sponsored Royal Mail Lancashire FA Sunday Trophy. In the same year, 22 Womens and Girls teams registered with the Association after the FA took over full responsibility for Womens football.
Jennings Brothers Brewery were the new sponsor in 1996, with Nelson based General Gordon triumphing 2-1 over Poolstock. In the same year, Bamber Bridge entertained the eventual Euro 96 Finalists Czech Republic in a Friendly watched by over 2,000 fans.
Old Toll Bar and Manchester United had something in common
Old Toll Bar won a spellbinding final in 1999, beating Green Dragon 6-5 on pens, in the same year that Manchester United won the treble.
First year without a sponsor
2003 was the first year without a sponsor, as Squires Wanders won 2-1 against Abram. In the same year Lancashire FA CEO Simon Gerrard was appointed as Women and Girls Football Development Officer.
2009 was a year to remember
2009 was the year Copper Pot, formerly Dog & Partridge won the LFA Sunday Trophy beating local Rochdale rivals Littleborough. In the same year, Barack Obama became the 44th and 1st African American President of the United States.
2017 saw a ground-breaking achievement
2017 was the year Southport & Ainsdale Amateurs became the first team from the Southport & District Sunday League to win the Sunday Trophy, when they beat Crown Paints of Blackburn.
The influence of the pandemic
And finally, 2020 was the first time the LFA Sunday Trophy Final was not played due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The rearranged 2020 final sponsored by Poppysigns was eventually played in May 2021 after the 2020-21 competition was cancelled. Hunters & Ingol Rangers were the winners beating Highfield Social.
Bamber Bridge United Seniors First vs Lostock Hall FC Blues
On the 28th April at 7:30pm, these two teams will compete in what is now called the Poppy Signs Sunday Trophy.