It’s now just two days until the final of the Euros, and excitement is building while we are waiting to find out which country will lift the trophy at the end of it all. When you think about it; what would winning a football tournament be without a trophy? We all like having something physical to celebrate and commemorate our achievements, and the world of top-flight football is no exception.
As you may or may not know, the trophy used for the Euros is called the Henri Delaunay Trophy – and it’s just as impressive as the tournament itself. So – first things first – who was Henri Delaunay?
The founder of the Euros, and much, much more
Henri Delaunay (1883-1955) was once a football referee, but he retired after an incident which saw him swallow his whistle and break two teeth after being struck in the face by a ball.
In 1905, he started his career as an administrator, working his way through the ranks until he was soon sitting on the board for FIFA as a deputy. During this time, he helped developed what is known as the FIFA World Cup, as well as being a proponent for the European Champions Cup.
Henri then became the General Secretary of UEFA from its foundation in 1954 until his death in 1955. After his death, he was succeeded as head of UEFA by his son Pierre.
The idea for the Euros was first proposed by Henri as early as 1927, but he wouldn’t live to see the first tournament take place in 1960.
We think it’s fair to say that nobody else is more worthy of having the Euros’ trophy named in his legacy – Henri’s son himself agreed.
A trophy fit for a champion
The honour of creating the original trophy went to the Chobillion goldsmith, who crafted the 17 inches tall, 17lb heavy masterpiece, before it was purchased by Arthus-Bertrand of Paris – a maker of fine medals and decorations.
This trophy was used from 1960 – 2008, up until UEFA decided it was time for a remodel. The company felt as though the trophy was being overshadowed by their other trophies, such as the European Champion Clubs’ Cup.
To create an updated version of the trophy, UEFA enlisted to help of Asprey – a renowned silversmiths, goldsmiths, and jewellers based in London.
The trophy retained its historical name, but was made to be 18cm higher and 2kg heavier than the original – clocking in at 60 cm tall and 8 kg in weight. It is made of dazzling sterling silver, and comes with an enlarged base to make the trophy stable. The names of the winning countries that once appeared the marble plinth of the trophy – now removed – have now been engraved on the back of the trophy.
Now, the trophy is one of the focal points of the event, and a much-desired prize for all of the teams that take part in the tournament.
The 2008 tournament was as exciting and nerve-wracking as any other, but this time, the winner would also be the first country to take home the newly redesigned trophy. Spain would prove to be the winners this time, obtaining the trophy for four years, only to win it once again in 2012.
We’re sure that you agree that the Henri Delaunay trophy is just as iconic as the Euros themselves, and something that our eventual winner should be proud and overjoyed to take home.
Aford Awards trophy specialists know how important it is to have a fitting trophy to lift whether it’s at a schools sports day or a top championship event.
Thanks goes to Alice for providing this guest post for The Sweeper Football Blog