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  ---Old Carthusians FC vintage football team photograph


You may not have heard of the Arthur Dunn Cup but its contribution to the world of football and its expression of the Corinthian Spirit cannot be underestimated.

Founded in 1902 in honour of the brilliantly-named Arthur Tempest Blakiston Dunn, who played 32 times for Corinthian FC between 1886-92 (scoring 12 goals), it features the ‘amateur’ alumni sides from England’s public schools, such as the Old Etonians (Eton) and the Old Carthusians (Charterhouse) – teams which, while hard to believe, had been major forces in football during Dunn’s lifetime.

Many Corinthians, including CB Fry and Donald Shearer, made appearances in the Cup’s 104-year history, which contains its fair share of triumphs, legends and a keen sense of gentlemanly fair play, up to this day.

Here are 10 interesting facts about the cup:

1) It was founded in tribute to Arthur Dunn, not directly by him

Three weeks after Dunn died unexpectedly at the age of 42, his friend and half-brother Norman Malcolmson established a meeting of old boys’ teams, leading to the formation of the Cup in his honour. Dunn had already proposed an old boys’ league by writing to Malcolmson, saying ‘there’s nothing for it but an old boy association but who has the time to start it?’

2) Dunn himself was an FA Cup winner

He made the assist for the winning goal for the Old Etonians 1-0 win against Blackburn Rovers in 1882. He was a losing finalist the year after at the Kennington Oval, coming off injured in the second half, with many believing his absence cost the Old Etonians the match.

3) It’s the world’s second oldest cup

After the FA Cup itself, of course.

4) For the Love of the Game

The Corinthian’s charitable ethos inspired the cup, and one of the guiding principles of the tournament is that all extra profits go to charity.

5) The centenary saw a rematch of the first ever fixture

The cup’s first match was between the Old Carthusians (Charterhouse) and the Old Salopians (Shrewsbury), ending in a 2-2 draw. To mark it’s first hundred years, the sides came back for a rematch, with the Salopians winning 2-1.

6) A dinner date meant the first cup didn’t run into extra time.

Yes, really. According to sources, “as the teams were dining at the Café Royal on the same evening, extra time did not commend itself to all parties concerned”. Hence the draw.

7) Like many of his fellow Corinthians, Dunn was a sporting polymath

Dunn has been called ‘the finest and most accomplished footballer of the 1880s’; he won five caps for England during his career and, as a sign of his modesty, once slipped out early one morning to captain the England side without even telling his wife. He was also a renowned cricketer and founded Ludgrove School in 1892 – where the future King of England (and current president of the FA), Prince William was educated. Even the day before he died, he was playing ice hockey when, for the first time ever in his career, he complained of feeling slow.

8) Corinthian substitute teachers

On Dunn’s passing, his successors as joint-headmaster of Ludgrove were Corinthians – and former England captains - William Oakley and GO Smith. GO Smith still sits between George Best and David Beckham in the UK’s Football Museum’s Hall of Fame.

9) A extraordinary Corinthian donated the cup’s trophy

That man was Robert Cunliffe Gosling, a fellow Old Etonian and former England Captain known as “the richest man who ever played for England” and even described by CB Fry as “the best-looking man of my acquaintance”. Unusually, the cup is engraved with the names of all the winning players, not just the side - a powerful expression of Corinthian Spirit.

10) The 100th game

Game #100 took place in 2014, a showdown between the Old Carthusians and the Old Foresters, ending in a 3-0 defeat for Old Foresters. The Old Carthusians dominated the first 25 finals, appearing a staggering 11 times and winning nine of them, and are the Cup’s most-crowned winners. Dunn’s own team, the Old Etonians, would finally win in 2005 and 2010 after almost 100 years.

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