Rival teams from world’s smallest football league join forces… and win sport’s smallest trophy

May 20, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

The two teams from the world’s smallest football league who spent 50 years just playing each other joined forces – and won the sport’s tiniest trophy.

Garrison Gunners and Woolpack Wanderers meet every week for a local derby on the Scilly Isles – because they are the only two teams there.

They have turned up at the same ground to play each other every Sunday morning for half a century and have been officially recognised as the world’s smallest league.

Alex Wade (left) from the  Dynamo Choughs shakes hands with Martin Tomkinson from St Mary's FC as he holds the Lyonesse Cup the smallest trophy in football

Alex Wade (left) from the Dynamo Choughs shakes hands with Martin Tomkinson from St Mary’s FC as he holds the Lyonesse Cup the smallest trophy in football

But this year they finally decided to try and find a different opponent for the first time in over 50 years.

The two island teams combined to form a St Mary’s XI and contacted mainland rivals the Dynamo Choughs in Penzance, Cornwall.

The clubs agreed to play each other every year for the Lyonesse Cup – a trophy just 6mm tall and a miniature version of the famous Jules Rimet trophy, the original World Cup.

The Cornish team flew to the Scillies for the inaugural tournament which the home side won 3-1.

Martin Tomkinson, chairman of the Isles of Scilly football league and captain of the combined side, said: “We have the smallest league in the world, as ratified by the Guinness Book of Records.

“We have the smallest league so we thought we should have the smallest cup. The chance to find room for it in our trophy cabinet was irresistible.”

Action from the game between St Mary's FC (blue) and Dynamo Choughs (red and black)

Action from the game between St Mary’s FC (blue) and Dynamo Choughs (red and black)

Dynamo Choughs midfielder Alex Wade, 47, helped set up the new tournament because his team are also sorely lacking in opponents.

He said: “We are not officially in a league but we play teams near us whenever we can.

“In the 1920s on the Isles of Scilly there was a Lyonesse Cup and all the islands competed for it, so we started it up again and asked the Isle of Scilly XI to play against us on the same day as the FA Cup final.

“We are going to play them every year from now on. Their league might be the smallest in the world but they clearly have a huge love of football.”

Christian Guerrini, a Cornish musician and carpenter who created the tiny cup, added: “I hope the winners don’t lose the trophy before next year’s tournament.”

The Isles of Scilly Football League was established in the mid-80s but there have only been two competitive teams for 50 years.

The Gunners and the Wanderers are both based on the main island of St Mary’s and play each other 17 times a year.

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