The Emirates FA Cup trophy partially engraved for first ever Manchester derby final

Monday 29 May 2023

The Emirates FA Cup’s famous trophy has already been partially engraved to recognise and celebrate the first ever Final between Manchester City and Manchester United.

The competition’s official trophy and silverware provider, Thomas Lyte, are responsible for etching the winning club’s name into history each season, and either City or United will be added following the final whistle at Wembley Stadium connected by EE on Saturday 3 June.

As many as 57 teams have reached an FA Cup Final, since Wanderers and Royal Engineers first clashed at the Kennington Oval in South East London in March 1872. But not once in 151 years have the engravers had the chance to get busy before kick-off. Until now. 

But despite the pair’s success over the competition's history, the two sides have never met in an FA Cup Final. The same goes for both clubs in Sheffield, Nottingham and Bristol. 

All of which means that not once in the competition’s fabulously rich history has an engraver had the chance to etch even the first half of any finalist’s name onto the trophy. All that will change this year, though, with Manchester the undoubted winner regardless of whether it’s the blue or red half leaving Wembley with broad smiles on their faces.

The word ‘Manchester’ will be on the Cup by the time the winners have hoisted it aloft at Wembley, breaking the age-old tradition of the winners’ name being engraved in the days or months following the Final.

This is the first time Manchester City and Manchester United will contest the FA Cup Final

Fittingly, the engraving took place in the changing rooms at Wembley, in the week proceeding the Final. The engraver lovingly carving the name of this great global footballing city into a trophy designed and made by Thomas Lyte – the official trophy supplier to the FA and the exclusive makers of the Emirates FA Cup trophy – back in 2014. 

The engraving of either ‘City’ or ‘United’ will then complete the process. As Kevin Baker, CEO of Thomas Lyte, explains, 2023 is an FA Cup one-off in every sense.

“We regularly welcome the Emirates FA Cup trophy into our fine silver workshops at Thomas Lyte for engraving, repairs, and restoration,” he says. “This iconic symbol of football excellence holds a special place in the hearts of fans and players, and it is our responsibility to ensure its impeccable presentation and preservation. 

“The Emirates FA Cup team approached us, as the official makers and custodians of the trophy, with an extraordinary request. Recognising the rarity of the two clubs sharing such similar names, they asked us to engrave the word “Manchester” on the trophy before the momentous showdown. 

“This request is unprecedented and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Engraving the trophy with the name of the city that would eventually win the title, even before the final match, is a remarkable gesture. Each stroke of the hand engraving tools symbolised the historical significance and immense anticipation surrounding this fiercely contested Manchester derby.”

On Saturday, as United and City battle it out at Wembley, the finishing touch is waiting to be applied, on and off the pitch.

By Competitions department