Anglo-Italian Cup

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Anglo-Italian Cup
Founded1970; 52 years ago (1970)
Abolished1996; 26 years ago (1996)
RegionEngland and Italy
Number of teamsVaried
Last championsGenoa
Most successful club(s)Modena (2 titles)

The Anglo-Italian Cup (Italian: Coppa Anglo-Italiana, also known as the Anglo-Italian Inter-League Clubs Competition[1] and from 1976 to 1986 as the Alitalia Challenge Cup, Talbot Challenge Cup or Gigi Peronace Memorial) is a defunct European football competition.

The competition was played intermittently between 1970 and 1996 between clubs from England and Italy. It was founded by Gigi Peronace, following the two-team Anglo-Italian League Cup in 1969. The initial Anglo-Italian Cup was played as an annual tournament from 1970 to 1973. The first final was abandoned early due to violence, with Swindon Town declared the winners. During its time the tournament had a reputation for violence between fans, and also between players on the pitch.[2][3] but it returned as a semi-professional tournament from 1976 before it was abolished again in 1986.

In 1992, the Anglo-Italian Cup was re-established as a professional cup for second-tier clubs – it replaced the English Full Members Cup. The Italian representatives were Serie B teams. This version of the Cup ran for four seasons, until 1996, before being discontinued due to fixture congestion. The trophy was a 22-inch (56 cm) high gold loving cup mounted on a wooden plinth.[4][5]


Professional era[edit]

Year Winners Runners-up
1970 England Swindon Town Italy Napoli
1971 England Blackpool Italy Bologna
1972 Italy Roma England Blackpool
1973 England Newcastle United Italy Fiorentina
1971 Anglo-Italian Cup Winners - Blackpool FC (edited)
Squad photograph of The 1971 Anglo-Italian Cup winners, Blackpool

From 1967, a place in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup was awarded to the Football League Cup winners,[6] but that season's winners, Queens Park Rangers, could not take up their place because UEFA did not at that time allow third-tier teams to compete in the Fairs Cup.[2][7] When the same situation arose two years later with Swindon Town, a two-legged match against that year's Coppa Italia winners, A.S. Roma, was organised by way of compensation.[2][8] Following the popularity of that event, dubbed the Anglo-Italian League Cup,[2] and as a way to generate income to pay players' wages during the extended close season caused by the 1970 FIFA World Cup, the first Anglo-Italian Cup was inaugurated in 1970.[1]

For the first competition there were six English teams and six Italian teams.[2] These teams were split into three groups consisting of two English and two Italian teams each,[9] with two points being awarded for a win, one point for a draw, and a point for each goal scored.[10][11] The final was contested between the best team from each country, and Swindon played Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo on 28 May 1970. Swindon were 3–0 up after 63 minutes, when violence started to break out. The match was halted and then abandoned after 79 minutes, with Swindon being declared as the first winners of the tournament.[2][9]

In 1971, the second edition of the tournament, Blackpool and Bologna were the two nations' best-ranked teams and contested the final at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on 12 June 1971. Prior to the match, tournament organiser Gigi Peronace stressed that it was imperative for an Italian club to win back the trophy.[12] After 90 minutes the score was 1–1 and the match went into extra-time, during which Micky Burns scored the winning goal for Blackpool.[4]

Blackpool qualified for the final again in 1972, but were unsuccessful in their defence of the title, with Roma winning 3–1.[4] In 1973, points were no longer awarded for each goal scored, and Newcastle United went on to win the final 2–1 against Fiorentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on 3 June 1973.[13][14] Due to lack of interest the tournament did not continue,[4] and it was not until 1976 that it re-emerged as a semi-professional competition.[3]

Anglo-Italian Semiprofessional Cup[edit]


Year Winner Runner-up
1975 England Wycombe Wanderers Italy Monza
1976 Italy Lecce England Scarborough F.C

Semi-professional era[edit]

Year Winner Runner-up
1976 Italy Monza England Wimbledon
1977 Italy Lecco England Bath City
1978 Italy Udinese England Bath City
1979 England Sutton United Italy Chieti
1980 Italy Triestina England Sutton United
1981 Italy Modena England Poole Town
1982 Italy Modena England Sutton United
1983 Italy Cosenza Italy Padova
1984 Italy Francavilla Italy Teramo
1985 Italy Pontedera Italy Livorno
1986 Italy Piacenza Calcio Italy Pontedera

In March 1976, the Anglo-Italian Cup was re-introduced as a semi-professional tournament, with six entrants from each country. Wimbledon and Monza reached the final, with Monza winning the final 1–0, making them unbeaten for the tournament.[17] For the next two years Bath City were the English finalists but they lost to Lecco in 1977,[18] and Udinese in 1978,[19] when the tournament was renamed the Alitalia Challenge Cup.[20]

In 1979, each country had four entrants and Sutton United defeated Italian finalists Chieti 2–1 to become the first and only English winners of the competition during its time as a semi-professional competition.[21] Attempting to defend their title the following year, Sutton United reached the final but were defeated by Triestina.[22]

In 1981, the tournament was called the Talbot Challenge Cup and Modena were the winners.[20][23] The following year the tournament was renamed the Gigi Peronace Memorial, after the man who organised the tournament,[20][24] and reduced to four teams. The new format consisted of two Anglo-Italian semi-finals, which meant the final was not necessarily contested by an English and an Italian team. That year, Modena successfully defended their title in a final against Sutton United,[25] who were the last English team to reach the final of the semi-professional tournament.[citation needed]

From 1983 to 1986, the finals were all-Italian contests, and after the 1986 instalment the tournament was discontinued.[20]

Professional tournament again[edit]

Year Winner Runner-up
1992–93 Italy Cremonese England Derby County
1993–94 Italy Brescia England Notts County
1994–95 England Notts County Italy Ascoli
1995–96 Italy Genoa England Port Vale

The competition was re-established in 1992–93 as a replacement for the Full Members Cup.[2][5] It was a professional tournament for teams competing in the second tier of football—the newly renamed First Division in England and Serie B in Italy.[26]

The new version of the tournament began with preliminary rounds – 24 English teams competed in 8 groups of three teams. Each team played the others once, and the eight group winners progressed to the main competition.

The main competition consisted of two groups, each with four English, and four Italian teams. Each team would play four group games – against every team in its group from the other nation. Then, the top team in each group from each nation competed in semi-finals: an all-English semi-final, and an all-Italian semi-final.[27] The final was a single match played at Wembley.

In the 1992–93 tournament, Derby County lost the final 3–1 to Cremonese.[28] Brescia won the final in 1994 against Notts County, but Notts County reached the final again in 1995 and defeated Ascoli 2–1.[5] The last instalment of the competition was held in 1995–96, and Genoa triumphed 5–2 over Port Vale in the final on 17 March 1996.[29] The competition was abandoned in 1996 because the two leagues could not agree on dates for fixtures,[30][3]


For the original professional tournament in the 1970s, the English entrants were either First Division or Second Division sides. (The First Division sides had generally finished the previous season in the lower half of the table, while the Second Division sides were generally mid-table or better.) With the exception of Bari and Como in 1973, all Italian teams playing in the 1970s tournament had just competed in the previous Serie A season. The Italian clubs were often mid-table or higher finishers who had sometimes also qualified for the European competitions.

When the competition was revived in the 1990s, for the first two seasons all English sides playing in the First Division (2nd level) participated, but in the last two tournaments only 8 English teams played. In 1994/95, two of the clubs relegated from the Premiership were joined by six teams that had just missed out on promotion. For 1995/96, only one relegated Premiership team competed – most of the remaining teams had finished in mid-table or lower table in the previous First Division campaign, and Birmingham City had just been promoted from Division Two.[31]

The Italian participants in the revived 1990s tournament were the four teams that had just been relegated from Serie A and the four teams that had finished highest but not been promoted in Serie B. The exception to this was Verona, who were relegated in 1991/92, but did not play in the 1992/93 cup.[32]

Table of participants and performance by season[edit]

Country Club 1970[11] 1971[33] 1972[34] 1973[35] 1992–93[36] 1993–94[37][nb 1] 1994–95[38] 1995–96[39]
England Middlesbrough GS GS GS
England Sheffield Wednesday GS
England Sunderland GS GS Q Q
England Swindon Town W GS Q GS
England West Bromwich Albion GS GS GS SF
England Wolverhampton Wanderers GS Q Q GS
Italy Fiorentina GS RU GS
Italy Juventus GS
Italy Lazio GS GS
Italy Napoli RU
Italy Roma GS GS W GS
Italy Lanerossi Vicenza GS GS
England Blackpool W RU GS
England Crystal Palace GS SF Q
England Huddersfield Town GS
England Stoke City GS GS GS SF GS
Italy Bologna RU SF
Italy Cagliari GS GS
Italy Internazionale GS
Italy Sampdoria GS GS
Italy Verona GS GS
England Birmingham City GS GS Q QF
England Carlisle United GS
England Leicester City GS Q Q
Italy Atalanta GS GS
Italy Catanzaro GS
England Fulham GS
England Hull City GS
England Luton Town GS Q Q GS
England Manchester United GS
England Newcastle United W GS
England Oxford United GS Q Q
Italy Bari GS SF
Italy Como GS
Italy Torino GS
England West Ham United GS
England Portsmouth GS GS
England Tranmere Rovers GS Q GS
England Millwall Q Q
England Derby County RU Q GS
England Grimsby Town Q Q
England Peterborough United Q Q
England Charlton Athletic Q GS
England Barnsley Q Q
England Bristol City GS Q
England Watford Q Q
England Notts County Q RU W
England Southend United Q SF GS
England Brentford SF
England Cambridge United Q
England Bristol Rovers Q
Italy Ascoli GS GS RU
Italy Cesena GS GS SF
Italy Cosenza GS GS
Italy Cremonese W
Italy Lucchese GS
Italy Pisa GS GS
Italy Reggiana GS GS
England Bolton Wanderers GS
England Nottingham Forest Q
Italy Ancona GS SF GS
Italy Brescia W GS
Italy Padova GS
Italy Pescara SF
England Sheffield United GS
Italy Lecce GS
Italy Piacenza GS
Italy Udinese GS
Italy Venezia GS
England Ipswich Town QF
England Oldham Athletic GS
England Port Vale RU
Italy Foggia QF
Italy Genoa W
Italy Perugia GS
Italy Salernitana QF

Won tournament; runner-up; lost in semi-final (English or Italian final); lost in quarter-final (English or Italian semi-final); eliminated in group stage; eliminated in preliminary qualifying.

Performance by nation[edit]

Nation Winners
 Italy 15
 England 6

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The references for the qualifiers are 1 Archived 10 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine2 Archived 28 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine 3 Archived 10 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine45 Archived 10 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine6 Archived 30 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine 7 Archived 18 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine8 Archived 26 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine


  1. ^ a b "When Palace humbled Inter". The Holmesdale Online. 25 February 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Murray, Scott (26 June 2009). "The Joy of Six: Extinct football competitions – 3 Anglo-Italian Cup". The Sport Blog. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 7 February 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Lea, Greg (25 October 2019). "Remembering the violent but fascinating Anglo-Italian Cup". These Football Times. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bologna 1, Blackpool 2 – Anglo-Italian Cup Final, June 12, 1971". Blackpool Gazette. 20 September 2006. Archived from the original on 5 June 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  5. ^ a b c "Anglo-Italian Cup Winners". Notts County F.C. 18 January 2008. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 4 February 2011.
  6. ^ Murray, Scott (12 November 2008). "Why the League Cup still has its place in English football". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
  7. ^ Murphy, Alex (2 May 2009). "Mike Keen: Footballer who captained Third Division Queen's Park Rangers to League Cup victory in 1967". The Independent. London: Independent News & Media. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  8. ^ King, Clive (28 August 1969). "Swindon outplay Italians to win cup". Swindon Advertiser. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  9. ^ a b Sheldon, Peter. "Under the Shadow of Mighty Vesuvius". Swindon's pride. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Blackpool 10 LANEROSSI VICENZA 0 Anglo-Italian Cup, June 10, 1972". Blackpool Gazette. 6 November 2006. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  11. ^ a b Andrea Veronese (12 April 2004). "Anglo-Italian Cup 1970". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  12. ^ Gillatt, Peter (30 November 2009). Blackpool FC On This Day: History, Facts and Figures from Every Day of the Year. Pitch Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-905411-50-4.
  13. ^ "I've had countless drinks for my goal against Sunderland". Evening Chronicle. 15 January 2002. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  14. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup 1973". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  15. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cups".
  16. ^ "The end of amateurism – News – Wycombe Wanderers". Archived from the original on 22 October 2017.
  17. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup 1976". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  18. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup 1977". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  19. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup 1978". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  20. ^ a b c d "Anglo-Italian Cups". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  21. ^ "Club Info". Sutton United F.C. Archived from the original on 24 September 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  22. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup 1980". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  23. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup 1981". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  24. ^ Formosa, Tony (27 February 2005). "'King John' and 'Angel with Dirty Face'". Malta Today. Archived from the original on 1 January 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  25. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup 1982". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  26. ^ "The Tempestuous Curtain Call of a Tournament Destined to Fail: the Anglo-Italian Cup 1992-96". Calcio England. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  27. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup 1992/93". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  28. ^ "Rams Celebrate Lionel Pickering". Derby County F.C. 28 July 2009. Archived from the original on 1 September 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  29. ^ Shaw, Phil (18 March 1996). "Genoa produce high strike-rate". The Independent. London: Independent News & Media. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  30. ^ "Anglo-Italian Cup has been scrapped". The Independent. London: Independent News & Media. 12 September 1996. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  31. ^ Paul Felton (4 September 2008). "England – Football Statistics Archive – League Records". RSSSF. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  32. ^ Tamas Karpati and Igor Kramarsic (12 May 2011). "Italy – List of Champions". Links to Italian tables by season. RSSSF. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  33. ^ Andrea Veronese (15 October 2000). "Anglo-Italian Cup 1971". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  34. ^ 1972 competition results at RSSSF Archived 29 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ 1973 competition results at RSSSF
  36. ^ 1992/93 competition results at RSSSF
  37. ^ 1993/94 competition results at RSSSF Archived 24 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ 1994/95 competition results at RSSSF
  39. ^ 1995/96 competition results at RSSSF