Iconic Sporting Trophies

Sports trophies can become iconic for their sheer image and design; others become emblems for the history, prestige and what they symbolise. However when placing your sporting spread bet, you could be forgiven for forgetting the prize on offer for the teams and competitors. Here in part one, and with the World Cup just days away, we look at six of the most iconic trophies in world sport.

World Cup – Football

There have been two trophies used since the first World Cup in 1930. The first was the Jules Rimet trophy which was used until 1970 and famously lifted aloft by Bobby Moore at Wembley in 1966. The second was introduced for the 1974 World Cup and is called the FIFA World Cup Trophy. The Jules Rimet trophy was named after the then FIFA president whose vote was the deciding factor in the first ever World Cup competition. The trophy went missing in 1966 and after a nationwide hunt, a small dog called Pickles found it under an old newspaper. Both trophies measure a little over 14inches and the FIFA World Trophy is presented to the victorious captain at the climax to the biggest sporting and betting event in the world. There’s simply no greater honour in football than getting your hands on that beautiful gold trophy.

Ryder Cup – Golf

Samuel Ryder, from just outside London, came up with the idea to hold a competition between golf players from Europe and the USA. He donated the gold trophy that was given to the winning captain during the inaugural year competition in 1927. Since then the Ryder Cup has become one of the biggest sporting events on the planet – taking place every two years on a rotational basis between the US and Europe, after continental players joined the UK team in 1979. Punters have latched onto the tournament as well and big golf spread bets are placed on individual matches as well as the final outcome. Europe lead the USA 9-7 with one tie.

FA Cup – Football

The FA Cup (Football Association Cup) is the oldest domestic cup competition in the world. The first FA Cup Final took place at the Kennington Oval in 1872 between Wanderers and Royal Engineers, but its spiritual home has always been Wembley Stadium. While it’s lost some of its lustre in recent years with the financial incentives of qualifying for the Champions League outweighing the benefits of Wembley glory, it remains a huge sporting event in England with a global audience.

The Ashes - Cricket

The Ashes was first coined following the first defeat of England by Australia in 1882, in which a newspaper referred to the death of English cricket. A small terracotta urn containing a burnt bail was handed to the England captain by a group of Melbourne women during the next tour to Australia – immortalising ‘The Ashes’ forever. Australia have traditionally been the dominant team in recent Ashes series but England have got the upper hands in recent years, although the last visit to Australia in 2013 resulted in a 5-0 series whitewash – a feat England have never managed. The head-to-head stands at 32-31 in favour of the Aussies with five draws.

William Webb Ellis – Rugby World Cup

William Webb Ellis is known as the founder of rugby – when during a game of football he picked up the ball and ran to place it over the line. The William Webb Ellis Trophy or Webb Ellis Cup was created especially for the first ever Rugby World Cup in 1987. England are the only team from the Northern Hemisphere to have won the cup following their victory in Australia in 2003. The only three other winners of the cup are South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Claret Jug – The Open Golf Championship

The original Claret Jug was first awarded in 1873 to Tom Kidd, who had just claimed his fifth Open title in a row. The current model was created in 1928 and presented to the victor, Walter Hagen. Padraig Harrington won the trophy in 2007 and he will have to return it before next year’s Open. The Open is one of the highlights of the summer and the only golf major tournament to take place in Europe. Commentators regularly like to bet on the exact moment when the engraver will be able to finally decide if a player has won and he can do the speedy job.

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America's Cup - Sailing

The America's Cup is thought to be the oldest trophy in worldwide sport. It was created in 1848 and handed to the first winning captain of the yacht America in 1951. There are very strict rules and guidelines for any challenging yacht and they must comply with the Deed of Gift which has been going since 1953. The race is regarded as the most important sailing event in the world and people regularly refer to the trophy as the `Auld Mug'. The United States, Switzerland, New Zealand and Australia are the only countries in the world to have ever lifted the America's Cup. The 2013 edition made headlines across the globe as Team USA came back from 8-1 down against New Zealand to secure an against-all-odds victory 9-8.

Green Jacket - The Masters - Golf

Augusta has become synonymous with the green jacket ever since it was first awarded to the winner in 1949. The jacket is awarded to members of the Augusta National Golf Club and the winner of the Masters becomes an honorary member of the club. Famed for its treacherous greens and water features, the green jacket ceremony is the pinnacle of the sport for the golfer and they are handed the garment by the previous year's winner. Only players like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, who have won the tournament in consecutive years, are given the jacket by the Chairman of the Augusta National. Tiger Woods was the last golfer to claim back-to-back wins (2001-2002) and there have been seven different winners in the last eight years.

Yellow Jersey - Tour de France - Cycling

One of the most watched sporting events in the world, the Tour de France is perhaps the most gruelling competitive race anywhere in the world. Winners need to be able to adapt to mountains, speed trials and long, hard days in the saddle if they are to win the Tour and ride up the Champs Elysses wearing the famous yellow jersey. The jersey was introduced in 1919 because it was decided the leader of the tour needed to stand out from the rest of the cyclists. The leader of the Tour is the cyclist with the least amount of time spent on the road. Recently the Tour has been under intense criticism due to drugs and betting scandals, but organisers are now hoping that the glory days can return.

Vince Lombardi Trophy - Super Bowl

The winners of the Super Bowl each year are awarded the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Lombardi was the legendary Green Bay Packers head coach and the trophy was renamed to honour his two victories in the first ever Super Bowls. Similarly to the Larry O'Brien Trophy at Basketball, the Vince Lombardi Trophy is made especially for the winner of the Super Bowl each year and is kept as a memento of their victory. Punters in the UK traditionally stay up all night for the Super Bowl and bet millions each year on the unique occasion.

Stanley Cup - Ice Hockey

Ice hockey's most famous tournament is the annual Stanley Cup. It is awarded to the winners of the National Hockey League (NHL) from teams in both Canada and the USA. One of its unique features is that each player and coach has their name engraved on the trophy. The original trophy was bought by Lord Stanley of Preston in 1888 who had become obsessed with ice hockey. There are now two other versions as well as the original trophy which can be viewed in Toronto at the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame. American sports are increasingly popular worldwide from a betting point of view and huge events like the Stanley Cup attract millions of dollars in online betting.

European Cup - Football

The official name for the greatest club competition in world football may have changed from the European Cup to the Champions League in 1992, but the prestige of lifting the famous silver cup, designed by Jörg Stadelmann, a jeweller from Switzerland, after the original was given to Real Madrid in 1966 in recognition of their six titles, has only grown. Any team that wins five is given the honour of being presented with a full-scale replica - Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern Munich, Milan and Liverpool are the only club to have reached this landmark. This year Real Madrid landed an incredible 10th European crown when beating city rivals Atletico Madrid in a pulsating final. Maybe now they've reached 10 Los Blancos will get another replica delivered to the Bernabeu?

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