But who was the original footballer on the cup? The Scottish Cup was commissioned in 1874 by the fledgling Scottish FA, who asked Glasgow silversmiths George Edward & Sons to come up with a suitably grand trophy. No cost was spared and the final bill came to £56 12 shillings (which included a set of medals) Trouble was, association football was in its infancy at the time, and the designer needed some help to create a lifelike representation of a player to stand on top.
I believe that the inspiration for the figure was a drawing which was published in The Graphic after the first football international, played in November 1872. One of nine drawings by William Ralston shows a Scotland player steadfastly dribbling the ball while an English tackler is robustly pushed away by a teammate.
Unfortunately, Ralston did not caption his drawings with names of the players - this one is simply titled 'Dribbling' - and there are insufficient contemporary photographs to make a comparison, so it may never be possible to identify specifically which one of the Scotland team has been immortalised.
Taking this theme further, I was surprised to find that this was not the only time that trophy designers took inspiration from printed sources.
I would love to know of any other early football trophies that have taken their inspiration from external sources.