Press Release : Totty Cup Centenary

The Totty Cup Centenary celebrations

A small selection of photographs from the first 100 years with information included is can be found at


There is no older primary school football competition that the Totty Cup.  It started back in 1923 in Goldthorpe by cinema owner Russell Totty in the days before primary schools – initially competed for by 13- & 14-year-olds.

The Dearne Schools FA oversaw the Goldthorpe Picture House Cup in its inaugural season, with future Rotherham United striker, Albert Parkin, scoring a brace in a 2-0 win for Wath Victoria.

Thereafter it was known as the Totty Cup.  Schools from Thurnscoe, Bolton-on-Dearne and Brampton dominated the early years.  Future FA Cup winner George Robledo scored all 4 goals in the 1939 final for Brampton Ellis and then all 6 goals in 1940.

After the war the Dearne Schools FA merged with the Don Schools FA to form the Don & Dearne Schools FA – which became something of an academy for clubs like Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Since 1923 there have only been a handful of finals not played.  World War 2 put the Totty Cup on hold between 1941 & 1944.  The Don & Dearne folded for a season in 1973 and the teacher’s strike chalked another final off in 1986. Covid-19 put paid to the 2020 final.

Centenary Badges

As part of the centenary celebrations we are selling commemorative pin badges priced £3.  These are available for Pettits in Mexborough or from Darryl Hand 07545 420054.

All proceeds will go to the Don & Dearne Schools Sports Association.

Centenary Final

The Centenary Totty Cup final took place on Thursday 23rd March 2023 on Goldthorpe Welfare. It was the first time in a geneartion that the final was held in Goldthorpe. Remarkably, a Goldthorpe school qualified the final for the first time since 1999.

It’s appropriate that the centenary is to be played in Goldthorpe, as it was the town’s Picture House where it all began in 1923.

Russell Totty’s family travelled up from Camberley in Surrey for the final. They were unable to present the trophy as the match was drawn.

The replay was schedhuled for teh week after – 31st March 2023 – 100 years to THE VERY DAY since the very first Totty Cup final. It was Swinton Queen who won the replay with a 1-0 victory against Goldthorpe Sacred Heart.

Pre-order the Centenary Book

To mark this anniversary we are producing a book that will be out in December 2023. This will be produced by the same people behind “The Mont” (released December 2022).  All proceeds will go to the Don & Dearne Schools Sports Association.

The book is NOT just about the Totty Cup – it is an attempt to record the history of school football in our area. The main thrust will be the Don & Dearne primary school competitions such as the Barlow-Salmons, the Clarke Shield and, of course, the Totty Cup.

Newer competitions such as the cups for the Don & Dearne Girls, Gordon Swann and Brian Hyde will be featured as well as the Don & Dearne representative teams that were virtually football academies.

Successful secondary school teams will be included – such as Mexborough Grammar School winning the English Schools Cup in 1972.

The book will feature the players who made it at an elite level from each of the local towns.

Those who pre-order before September 30th 2023 can have their name (or that of a loved one) included in the book along with other subscribers. Before the same date, the book can be pre-ordered at the reduced price of £10.  Pre-orders can be made upstairs at Pettits (Mexborough) or online at

This pre-order price is a reduction of one-third from the final price.

Post-War Totty Cup winners

8   –   Bolton Carrfield
8   –   Thurnscoe Hill
8   –   Darfield Council
6   –   Rawmarsh Monkwood
6   –   Dearne Highgate
4   –  Wath Central
4   –  Bolton Lacewood
4   –  Brampton Ellis
3.5 – Mexborough St. Johns
3   –  Swinton Fitzwilliam
3 – Swinton Queen
2   –  Swinton Brookfield
2   –  Thurnscoe Gooseacre
2   –  Kilnhurst


Schools used to pay subs to enter the sports competitions organised by the Don & Dearne.

In 1999, we entered a new era of sponsorship when the South Yorkshire Times paid for a new trophy & medals.

In 2020 Chris Speight contacted the Totty Cup to see if he could help to keep the competition going.  Since then, his business, Circuits Electrical, has covered the costs of medals, trophies and referees

Chris played football for Goldthorpe Sacred Heart in the Totty Cup.  As a local footballer he won both the Montagu Cup and the Sheffield Senior Cup

Circuits Electrical Ltd is a family owned & run electrical contractors that has been trading for over 20 years, who work locally & nationally all forms of domestic & commercial electrical repairs & installations.     Tel: 01709 590994

The Missing Trophies

The trophy bought by the South Yorkshire Times in 1999 was the 3rd Totty Cup trophy.  The other two are both missing.  In 1998, Bolton Carrfield were the winners but there is no sign of the cup in that school.

The original is likely to be in Rawmarsh as the last sighting was in either 1977 when Sandhill won it or in 1978 when their near neighbours Monkwood were victorious.


The 50th anniversary of the Barlow-Salmons is technically in 2024 but we are including this competition in the anniversary publication as it first started in autumn 1973.

Geoff Salmons and Frank Barlow had played for the representative team of the Don & Dearne Schools FA and wanted to give something back.

In 2023 the Barlow-Salmons has reverted to its original format – a knockout for those schools that didn’t progress in the early stages of the Totty Cup.  This is after a few years recently where the Barlow-Salmons was played by the losing semi-finalists in the Totty Cup.

New Competitions

Those losing semi-finalists will now compete for the Gordon Swann Cup – named after the referee who officiated in countless Totty cup finals.

Rather like the late Brian “Boe” Hyde who has had a third-tier knockout named after him.