Last updated : Tuesday, 28 November 2023
County School Cup
The County School Cup is an amateur football league for schools in England. It is run by the English Schools' Football Association (ESFA). The competition was first held in 1908, and is the oldest schools' football competition in the world.
The County School Cup is open to schools in all age groups, from under-11s to under-19s. There are separate competitions for boys and girls. The competition is divided into county leagues, with the winners of each league progressing to the regional finals. The winners of the regional finals then compete in the national finals.
The County School Cup is a prestigious competition, and is seen as a stepping stone for young players who aspire to play professional football. Many former England internationals have played in the County School Cup, including David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, and Michael Owen.
The County School Cup was founded in 1908 by the Earl of Durham. The first final was played between Silksworth CE schoolboys and Leeholme schoolboys on the Shildon Athletic ground. Silksworth won the match 2-1.
The County School Cup has been held every year since 1908, except for during the First and Second World Wars. The competition has grown in popularity over the years, and now attracts over 100,000 school players each year.
The County School Cup is divided into county leagues, with the winners of each league progressing to the regional finals. The winners of the regional finals then compete in the national finals.
The competition is played on a knock-out basis, with each match played over two legs. The team with the most goals scored over the two legs progresses to the next round. If the teams are level on aggregate after the two legs, the match goes to extra time and then penalties if necessary.
The national finals of the County School Cup are held at a neutral venue each year. The final is usually played in May or June.
The national finals are a major event in the schools' football calendar, and attract large crowds. The final is often televised live on the BBC.