Thomas Lyte are the makers of the UEFA Youth League Trophy, also known as the Leonnart Johansson Trophy. Named after the longest serving president of UEFA, the Leonnart Johansson Trophy is one of the most prestigious in global youth football and is a tournament which gives the brightest young players in Europe the opportunity to shine.
First played for in 2013, the Leonnart Johansson Trophy is one of the most distinctive in world football and is the result of Thomas Lyte’s collaboration with design agency, FiveFootSix, described here by UEFA.com.
As a world leader in hand-crafting trophies for major global sporting events, Thomas Lyte, has formulated partnerships and forged relationships with governing bodies across all sports, most notably the FA, World Rugby and the ITF.
The aims and ambitions of the UEFA Youth League are very much in-line with our own, with Thomas Lyte committed to ensuring that young people from all walks of life are given the opportunity to fulfill their potential. In the case of this trophy, the incredible bridge-like design illustrates that role that the UEFA Youth League plays in helping young footballers take the next step up – and one day move onto playing in the Champions League itself.
“The UEFA Youth League has rapidly established itself as one of the leading tournaments for the world’s most talented young footballers anywhere in the world,” says Andrew Jones, Thomas Lyte director.
“Our work on this trophy was very much part of a collaborative process with our design partner and UEFA. The end result is a stunning trophy which, we hope, will inspire generation after generation of footballers.”
The Leonnart Johansson Trophy has been designed to reflect the tournament’s ambition to bridge the gap between youth and professional football – an aim that the competition is well on its way to fulfilling. Rising from a metallic base, the beautifully crafted sterling silver centrepiece forms an elegant arch to illustrate the journey of those who play for it – namely the journey from young aspiring talents to fully fledged professionals playing at the very height of the sport.
Handmade in our London workshop, our team of master craftsmen worked tirelessly to fulfill the brief and create a trophy that not only stands-out today but continues to do so for years to come. Unveiled in October 2013, and first won by Barcelona the following April, the trophy has already become a symbol for excellence in youth development across the European game.
Rarely has a trophy so accurately reflected the stated vision of a tournament, with Thomas Lyte’s in-house specialists, including silversmiths, goldsmiths, polishers and engravers, all involved in helping to create a piece of silverware that graphically illustrates the passion that we have for our art. Using skills that date back to Roman times, and combining those with the very best in modern techniques, the UEFA Youth League Trophy is truly one for all-time.
The UEFA Youth League has grown from humble beginnings to become one of most hotly contested tournaments for young footballers anywhere in the world. And it has done so in a very short space of time.
The first tournament involved the under-19 teams of the 32 clubs who qualified for the group stages of the 2013/14 Champions League in senior football. Since then, the tournament has involved some of the biggest names in the game, including England star Phil Foden and Spain’s Barcelona star, Ansu Fati and increased hugely in size. The 2021/22 edition of the tournament, for example, involved 64 teams from 42 countries across Europe.
Thomas Lyte has worked with some of world football’s most prestigious and heritage-rich governing bodies, including FIFA, UEFA, the AFC, and The FA, to which Thomas Lyte is the official trophy and silverware supplier. The current edition of the fabled Emirates FA Cup was produced in our London workshop in 2014. We’re also proud to have made the Women’s FA Cup and continue to design and make the FA Cup medals for the men’s and women’s tournaments.