Wellingborough and District Challenge Cup

The Wellingborough and District Challenge Cup ran from 1882-3 to 1885-6. The challenge cup was kindly offered by Wellingborough FC and subscribed for by gentlemen in the vicinity. A code of rules was formally approved at a meeting held at the Hind Hotel in Wellingborough in late October 1882, which included that:

  • the competition should be confined to clubs within a radio of 20 miles of Wellingborough;
  • association rules should be adopted;
  • committee should comprise one representative from each competing club;
  • an hon. sec. should be elected by the committee;
  • a referee should be appointed, whose expenses should be defrayed by the association ;
  • each club should pay 10s to the general fund;
  • the first round of matches should be played on the ground of the club winning the toss from their opponents, or by arrangements;
  • all subsequent matches be arranged in the same way, except the final which must be played at Wellingborough;
  • each member of the winning team should be presented with a gold orate or some other trophy ; 
  • the cup must be won three years in succession before it becomes the absolute property of the team.

Winners and Finalists




Newport Pagnell


Market Harborough (R1)



Market Harborough (R1)


Market Harborough

Market Harborough (RU)

The genesis of Northampton Football Association is complicated, which may explain why the official Northamptonshire Football Association website makes no mention of its history. There were five name changes before it finally alighted on its ultimate name:

Wellingborough & District Football Association (1882-85)

East Midland Counties Association (Dec. 1884-86)*

Northamptonshire & District Football Association (1884-86)*

Northants & Beds Association (1886-97)

(* amalgamated to form Northants & Beds Association)

Eventually they would form three separate county associations:

Northamptonshire Football Association 1887

Huntingdonshire Football Association 1887

Bedfordshire Football Association 1894

The Wellingborough & District Football Association Challenge Cup came over time to be referred to as the Northamptonshire Senior Cup.