Life Story of Sir Thomas Lipton

The Sir Thomas Lipton football challenge trophy His generosity spilled over into other fields including sport; there was hardly a corner in the world which could not boast a 'Lipton' cup whether for sailing, racing, cricket or football.

In 1909 Lipton was made a Knight Commander of the Grand Order of the Crown of Italy. By way of thanks, he presented the Italians with a cup to be used for an international football competition. The Football Association declined to nominate a team so Lipton turned to West Auckland Town to represent Britain. The team was made up mostly of coal miners and, in a story as romantic as Lipton's own, they beat Red Star of Zurich and Juventus to win this cup in 1910 then successfully defended the title in 1911. Because of this Lipton is often credited with initiating the first football World Cup.