Real Madrid Honour Alfredo Di Stefano with Trophy Display

Before last nights Spanish Super Cup First Leg against local rivals Athletic Madrid, Real paid tribute to club legend Alfredo Di Stefano who passed away last month.

The club organised a display of all the trophies he won whilst playing for Real Madrid.  He was also honoured with a huge number 9 shirt on the pitch and several banners in the stand.


Alfredo Di Stefano with his some of his trophy haul

In total his collection of silverware included an incredible five European Cups, eight La Liga Trophies, two Ballon D’ors and five La Pichichi Trophies for being La Liga’s Top Goalscorer.

The man was an absolute legend at Real Madrid, and that feat won’t be matched there or anywhere else you wouldn’t think.


Team GB’s Top 5 medal hopes in Zurich

  1. Christine Ohuruogu

The reigning world champion begins her campaign for a European Gold this afternoon in the opening rounds of the 400m. Although she has admitted that her year’s break may not have been the best idea, she will go into the event as the favourite but does she have enough in her locker to go all the way? We feel that her absence from major competitions recently may cause her trouble, but hopefully she will prove the doubters wrong.



  1. Mo Farah

Mo is expected to run in both the 5,000m and the 10,000m in Zurich, giving him two chances to win a European medal and prove that he is back to fitness after pulling out of the Commonwealth Games.  The field in the 10,000m looks to be slightly weaker than that of his previous triumphs and it will be a slight disappointment if he doesn’t make the podium.

 Mo Farah



  1. Jodie Williams

Williams is currently ranked as Europe’s second best in the women’s 200m, behind Daphne Schippers of the Netherlands, and therefore is looking to win a medal this week. She will be looking to build on her Commonwealth silver and put her past injury worries behind her. Her form certainly looks good of late and she is a strong contender for a gold.


  1. Greg Rutherford

The challenge of being up against world champion Aleksandr Menkov is something that may spur Greg Rutherford on to beat his own personal best, something that he admits may be needed if he wants to come out on top in the long jump. It will be a tough test but we certainly expect Rutherford to finish with a medal in these Championships, we just have to hope it will be gold.


  1. Lynsey Sharp

One of Scotland’s brightest stars in Athletics, Lynsey Sharp, will be taking to the track just a couple of weeks after picking up a silver in the 800m in Glasgow. She set herself a big target at the Commonwealth games and was struck with illness just beforehand. Sharp will hope to put these worries, and the controversy over her medal behind her and finish with a European medal.

Van Gaal secures first trophy

International Champions Cup



He only took over the club at the beginning of July, but Louis Van Gaal has already secured his first trophy as Manchester United manager, and he will be hoping that this isn’t the only one this season.

Manchester United fans will remember that, just under a year ago, David Moyes got off to a trophy-winning start with victory in the Community Shield, which then turned out to be the only silverware of a very disappointing campaign.

This year, the red devils have started off the campaign by winning the International Champions Cup after beating rivals Liverpool 3-1 in Miami.

Wayne Rooney was handed the captains armband for the game, and he led by example, scoring the equaliser after his team’s underwhelming start to the game. Juan Mata then grabbed the second goal, before Jessie Lingard rounded off the victory and secured the cup.

United have looked impressive throughout this tournament, thrashing LA Galaxy before overcoming Roma and Inter Milan as well as Champions League winners Real Madrid.

Van Gaal will now be looking to build on this success by mounting a major title challenge this season.

England Leading The Way

To be quite honest, it’s not been a great summer for English sport has it? But finally it looks like we have something to cheer about!


Medal Table


At this current moment in time, England are leading the medal table at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, bypassing Australia’s total, as Greg Rutherford added a Commonwealth gold to his collection and Emma Pooley picked up a silver medal in the cycling yesterday, whilst today Jack Laughter won his second medal of the games, picking up the gold medal for the synchronised 3m springboard (along with Chris Mears).
It’s great news for British athletics and a host of other sports – with Scotland also appearing high up the table, giving promising signs for the upcoming European Championships as well the Olympics in 2014.

There are still 2 more days to go in the games, and therefore lots of chances for more medals to be won in a host of sports – so let’s hope we can finish the summer on a high!

What’s Next – A Medal In Batter?!!

Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony last night and it was no surprise to see a very clichéd representation of Scotland.

I can’t confess to seeing it all, but what I did witness was Scotty Dogs, Kilts, a Caber, Bagpipes, Mull of Kintyre, Rod Stewart, the Loch Ness Monster and enough tartan to make you dizzy!!  I didn’t see the Krankies or Russ Abbott, but maybe they’re being saved for the closing ceremony!

All that remains is for the medals to be deep fried in batter!!

Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony


Engrave Danger!!

by Challenge Trophies


Claret Jug


Ok – so the pun isn’t the best!! The point is that the numbers of hand engravers in the UK is shrinking rapidly, and the noble art of hand engraving is indeed in grave danger of dying out.

For all the hundreds of thousands of trophies that are engraved throughout year, the engravers moment in the sun comes at the end of a major tournament.  We see it at the Champions League Final, recently at the World Cup 2014 Final but the most iconic sight is the engravers adding the winners name to the Open Claret Jug.

Any engraver worth his salt would have been hoping that someone with a short name, like Adam Scott won the Claret Jug, and with Rory McIlroy coming out as the winner – he didn’t do too bad.  If Charl Schwartzel had ended triumphant, the poor old engraver would have been scratching away for quite some time!!

But the sad fact is that fewer and fewer trophies and cups are hand engraved these days.  The reason for this?  Mostly, it’s the fact that as computerised engraving machines have improved, more and more items can be machine engraved and no longer need to be hand engraved.  Another factor is that cups are predominantly made in standard shapes which fit nicely into engraving machines.  The days of cups being made in an eclectic mix of unusual shapes are unfortunately behind us.

The saddest of all factors is cost.  You sometimes see a beautiful sterling silver cup that has been hand engraved with winners names for 60 years, only to have the last 3 years winners added by the uniformity of machine engraving.  It looks awful switching from the slightly stuttering strokes of hand engraving to the standard shapes of machine engraving, it’s almost as if the cup suddenly loses its soul.  Why is the decision made to switch?  Because the cost of adding the winners name by machine engraving may be £10 instead of £15 by hand engraving.  These are austere times, but I think that more is lost than is gained in that small saving.

But tradition demands that hand engraving will always remain.  So, whilst thousands of trophies will go in and out of machines this weekend, only one trophy will have its engraving viewed by millions of people through a global television audience.

Garry Harvey was the one responsible for hand engraving McIlroy’s name onto the jug last Sunday, taking over from his late father, and I for one raise a glass to the man!! Hoylake 2014 was the 11th time that the 58 year old performed one of the most famous duties in golf, witnessed by a live audience. Carry on the good work Sir!!