The Coventry Charity Football Cup, founded in 1907 as the Coventry Nursing Cup, and the proud owners of one of the largest sporting trophies in the Country, standing at 42 inches tall on its plinth, finds itself in a similar position to the Coventry Telegraph Cup with a reducing number of local sides entering the competition.
Some sides, like Coventry Sphinx, who played for many years in the competition are now ineligible to enter following their promotion to the Midland Alliance, a situation that may happen to Southam who very much look as if they may win the Midland Combination this season and thus be promoted. In addition, some sides have folded and others merged, reducing the number of sides available to enter the competition.
The competition has held steady at around 20 teams for the past few seasons, but the committee would love to increase this to 24 teams. This year saw Bolehall Swifts from Tamworth enter the competition for the first time and there are promises of a couple of new teams entering the competition next season.
Historically, some teams have only entered the Coventry Charity Football Cup and others the Coventry Telegraph Cup. Charity Cup Chairman Richard Aston says "I would be very happy if teams were able to enter both of the major junior Charity competitions within the area, but I understand why some teams only enter one competition. However, I would be disappointed if teams defected from our competition to the Telegraph Cup".
The Charity Cup has been the biggest Charity Cup of any sporting ilk for many years in the local area in terms of money raised, having raised over £20,000 for local charities over the past two years, and over £55,000 since it's Centenary in 2007.
This is due to the very hard working and long serving committee, the Premier Group (makers of the Olympic Torch) who have sponsored the Charity Cup's Sportsman's Evening and Autumn Balls for the past four years, and this year have agreed to sponsor the Cup Final, along with other sponsors, which will be held on Friday 27th April at the Ricoh Arena.
The Charity Cup has been a victim of its own success in that other Charity competitions have begun to copy the Charity Cup in terms of hosting a Sportsman's Evening, having seen the great success of their evenings. This year will be the 21st successive Sportsman's Evening, where the speaker will be ex-Arsenal, Coventry & England left back Kenny Sansom and with only a limited number of people to go around, numbers have reduced slightly due to people supporting other events.
To support the local region through which the clubs that enter the competition, for the first time this year, one of the competition's semi-finals will be held at Southam. Richard says "we want to support all of the local clubs that enter our competition, and with one of our semi-finals being between Stockton and Racing Club Warwick we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to spread our wings. With both sides not having to travel to Coventry, hopefully we will get a larger gate, increasing the amount of money that we take which will go towards our Charity donations in 2013".
He added "both the Coventry Telegraph Cup and Ourselves do a great job, along with other football charity cups in the local area, in raising lots of money for charity. We have a very friendly rivalry, each supporting one another, and it will be great if more clubs entered both competitions, as at the end of the day we are both striving for the same thing, to make lives better for many people within Coventry & Warwickshire".
More on the Coventry Charity Football Cup can be obtained by clicking on http://covcharitycup.homestead.com/index.html