The Hallmark Security League Management Committee have sanctioned a quote for restoration and repair work to be carried out on the Premier Division Championship Trophy.
It’s the second year in succession that funds have had to be allocated in this way, following on from repair work carried out to the League Challenge Cup trophy last season.
The Premier Division Championship trophy is an impressive piece of silverware which is over 100 years old. It was made by Fattorini & Sons of Bradford in around 1911 and was first called the Lancashire Football Combination Challenge Cup. The first winners were Eccles Borough in the 1912/13 season.
The trophy was handed down from the Lancashire Combination at the time of the merger with the Cheshire County League in 1982, when the new North West Counties Football League was formed.
League Secretary John Deal said: “The Premier Division trophy has a number of problems, the most notable being that the figure on top of the lid has been broken off.
“It is likely that this occurred due to the lid being out of shape and not fitting, and after being forced on, the easiest way to separate the lid from trophy would be to grab the figure and pull.
“The rim of the lid is seriously damaged and out of shape, and it would appear someone has taken pliers to it in an attempt to straighten out, and aside of that the trophy has a number of other dents and marks and is in general need of restoration.
“The work will be carried out by Thomas Fattorini Ltd, who are silversmith specialists and a remnant of the original Trophy Maker, Fattorini & Sons of Bradford.
“The work they will carry out will involve removing the applied top disk at the top of the lid and re-fit the figure directly onto the lid, remove dents on the lid and straighten out lid, as well as removing dents on the trophy as best as possible.
“They will also design and supply a “flight case” specially fitted to take the Trophy.
“We did agree at a Management Committee meeting a few months ago that the £3,000 Respect award prize money we were awarded should go towards trophy repairs, and this work will use up most of that money.
“The company have made us aware they will be unable to refurbish the Trophy to its original state, but will refurbish it as best as they can.
“Some might say it is a pity that League funds need to be spent in this way due to clubs in the past not looking after the trophy properly, but we feel it is money that is worth spending.
“We believe that the Premier Division trophy is an important symbol of our league, and must be kept in good condition for future winners to receive”.