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.
The inspiration for the figure was published in The Graphic after the first football international, played on 30 November 1872. One of the 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.