October 1st, 2016

£500 prize for Bromsgrove League’s WA Harris Cup winner

£500 prize for Bromsgrove League’s WA Harris Cup winner £500 prize for Bromsgrove League’s WA Harris Cup winner
Bartley Green Illey Sunday (green) will take on Northfield Athletic in the final of the WA Harris Cup. Picture: COLIN MORTIBOYS
Updated: 1:22 pm, May 05, 2016

A PRIZE of £500 is on offer for the winner of the Bromsgrove & District League’s historic WA Harris Cup this weekend.

Teams have been fighting to reach the final of the prestigious competition since August 23 and on Sunday, Northfield Athletic will battle it out against Bartley Green Illey Sunday at Bromsgrove Sporting’s Victoria Ground (6.30 kick-off) for the cash prize.

Athletic reached the final of the WA Harris Cup after defeating Sporting Club Redditch 3-1 while Bartley Green edged past Belbroughton Athletic 3-2 on Wednesday night.

The WA Harris Cup is believed to be the only non-FA Sunday league cup competition in the country to offer prize money.

The tournament is played on a knock-out basis with every member of the Bromsgrove League taking part and each club is given their own wall chart to monitor the progress of league’s very own FA Cup.

A Bromsgrove League statement said: “The league management committee are proud to manage such a prestigious competition that offers a significant prize for the winners.

“We are expecting a large crowd on Sunday so we urge people to arrive at the Victoria Ground early to avoid queueing.

“We also encourage all grassroots enthusiasts to come down and support Sunday football.”

The WA Harris Cup was originally played for by Bromsgrove League teams in the 1960s but after the league finished in the late 1970s, the competition ended.

The competition was played in memory of William Harris, founder of Harris Coaches in Catshill, Bromsgrove, who died in 1959.

Ten years ago, the reformed Bromsgrove League reintroduced the WA Harris Cup as a supplementary competition and was played for at the end of the season by teams with only a few fixtures remaining.

Two years after its introduction, Steve and John Harris – William’s grandsons and new owners of Harris Coaches – approached the Bromsgrove League to see the original trophy.

Following the demise of the former Bromsgrove League, the trophy was apparently placed in a deposit box somewhere in Birmingham but unfortunately, there appears to be nobody left alive who knows where and when this was done.

This led to the commissioning of a new trophy.

John Harris said: “Local sport, especially football, is hugely important. To have the WA Harris Cup reintroduced is massively exciting and we are sure our grandmother who donated the cup originally would be very proud.

“Likewise, William was an avid football fan and throughout his life contributed his time as well as funds to local football.

“We are delighted we are able to continue with the prize fund which is so important to the players and clubs and we are looking forward to an exciting final on Sunday.

“Should anyone out there know the location of the original trophy or can track it down we would love to hear from you.”

If anybody knows the whereabouts of the original WA Harris Cup, call Harris Coaches on 01527 872857 and ask John or Steve.