The Women’s FA Cup trophy has already established itself as one of the most instantly recognisable in world football and Thomas Lyte is enormously proud of our association with a tournament which continues to influence and inspire year after year.
As Royal Warrant Holders as Silversmiths and Goldsmiths to Her Majesty the Queen, Thomas Lyte has forged a reputation as one of the pre-eminent designers, makers and restorers of some of sport’s greatest and most well-known and loved trophies. From the Guinness Six Nations to the AFC Asian Cup, we take huge pride in working with governing bodies and organisations from across the global sporting spectrum. We are the official suppliers to The FA, and The Women’s FA Cup trophy exemplifies our ambition and approach.
Originally commissioned by the FA in 1997, the trophy holds a special place in the hearts and minds of everyone involved with Thomas Lyte, with this magnificent piece of silverware one of the first major sporting trophies to be hand-crafted in our London workshop.
Since the trophy was first awarded to the winners – with Millwall Lionesses the first team to lift it aloft – women’s football has been utterly transformed. The sport continues to develop at breakneck speed, with the FA Cup very much at the heart of the women’s domestic game. From its very humble beginnings, the Cup has now become a symbol of what’s possible, with the trophy representing the values that have served women’s football so well during its meteoric rise.
The Women’s FA may not date back as far as its male equivalent, but the competition’s history is every bit as fascinating. And while the first competition back at the start of the 1970s is very different from the glittering affair that is now hosted at Wembley, the competition has never turned its back on its roots and the traditions that pervade and sustain the women’s game in England.
The most powerful symbol of this is the Lionesses, and the three that adorn this magnificent trophy illustrate both the struggle and the triumph that the tournament itself has endured and enjoyed.
The Thomas Lyte-designed trophy is one of the earliest to be hand-crafted in our London workshop, with the trophy itself cast from sterling 925 silver and created using traditional techniques, many of which date back thousands of years. Hand-chased, the trophy’s stunning intricacy is the result of almost 180 hours of work, with our Master Craftsman utilising decades of experience and skill to produce a trophy that embodies the true spirit of the FA Cup.
Our specialist engravers and polishers also played a key role in ensuring that the trophy looked at its absolute best when it was held aloft for the first time following the final in 1997.
As one of our earliest and best-loved trophies, the trophy returns to our workshop on a regular basis. Unsurprisingly, given the number of hands it passes through in between finals, the trophy often suffers a degree of wear and tear. But the team that lovingly crafted it all those years ago, now take as much pleasure in restoring it as they did from making it in the original instance. It might be a minor scratch or a significant dent, but our industry-leading silversmiths and goldsmiths use age-old methods to ensure that by the time our in-house quality control team have signed it off, the trophy is ready to return to the FA in pristine condition.
The year 1971 was a watershed one for women’s football. Women were banned from playing on Football League grounds in 1921 with the FA claiming that the game was “…quite unsuitable for females and should be encouraged”. That ban was still in place when the first Women’s FA Cup final was held 50 years later, with Crystal Palace’s athletics stadium playing host to Southampton and Scottish village side Stewarton and Thistle. No-one could have envisaged the revolution that would lead to the final being played at Wembley from the 2014/15 season onwards. The 50th anniversary edition of the trophy saw over 40,000 people pour into Wembley for the London derby between Chelsea and Arsenal, an indication of the sport’s soaring popularity, and the enduring magic of the Women’s FA Cup.
Thomas Lyte is enormously proud of the role it has played in the rise of the sport, with the trophy now widely seen as a symbol for the fight for gender equality and sporting excellence.
We’re hugely honoured to be the official trophy and silverware supplier to the FA – an indication of Thomas Lyte’s deep links with the national sport here in England. Alongside the Women’s FA Cup, we also made the current edition of the Emirates FA Cup in 2014, and continue to design and make the FA Cup medals for both the annual men’s and women’s tournaments. In addition, our long association with the FA has seen us design and make the FA Community Shield and the FA Charity Shield. Thomas Lyte is also the official restorer of the Women’s FA Community Shield.
Our team make the conceivable possible, while preserving traditional skills, pioneering modern methods, and promoting authentic British craft across the globe. Combining the latest technologies with centuries of knowledge, Thomas Lyte’s silver workshops in London, England house world-class facilities for an elite team of designers and makers, masters of their craft. Learn about 3D printing, electroforming and other new technologies that our team have introduced to our sustainable handcrafting process.
Materials. Sterling Silver
Workshop Processes. Spinning, Casting, Filing, Sanding, Chasing, Polishing, Plating, and Hand-Engraving
Thomas Lyte are proud to be the Official Trophy Supplier to The FA and the exclusive makers of the Women’s FA Cup trophy.
Take a glance at these fast facts about one of women’s sport’s most iconic trophies.