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The Coca Cola? The Worthington? A Look At Which English League Cup Was Most Memorable

The Coca Cola? The Worthington? A Look At Which English League Cup Was Most Memorable
By Cormac O'Malley

The English Football League Cup.... Hardly rolls off the tongue does it? What even is it? Well it's the League Cup or to people of a certain vintage, the Milk Cup. To others it's the Littlewoods Cup. To some people it's still the Coca-Cola Cup.

We take a look back at the first sponsored trophy in English football and we ask which name remains the one that you associate with the least sought after trophy in the game?

1982- 1986 The Milk Cup

The first major sponsorship deal for English Football the FA allowed the Milk Marketing Board to rename the trophy and even introduce their own trophy. Bizarrely for the first Milk monikered final winners Liverpool were presented with the original League Cup trophy AND the new Milk Cup. Captain Graeme Souness had his hands full that day.

Best Milk Cup Final Memory: The 1985 final saw Norwich beat Sunderland - before BOTH sides were relegated from the First Division that season.


1986- 1990 The Littlewoods Challenge Cup


The Littlewoods Cup - to a generation of football fans who got into the game in the late 80's, this will forever be how the League Cup will be remembered. Like the Milk Board they brought in their own trophy, a curious trophy which did not last beyond the end of the sponsorship. "It's not a shopping catalogue Mam it's a football trophy!"

Best Littlewoods Cup Memory: Oxford and Luton both reached the highpoints of their existence with victories in the competition in 1986 & 1988 respectively.


1990- 1992 Rumbelows Cup

Ah the Rumbelows Cup. What was Rumbelows? No one knows but what a great name for the Cup. What child of the 90's didn't dream of getting their hands on the Rumbelows Cup? The sponsorship was short-lived but the name echoes through the ages... unlike the actual business which closed down in 1995.

Best Rumbelows Cup Memory: A teenage Lee Sharpe destroying Arsenal with a hat-trick in a 6-2 win for Man United in November 1990 in the fourth round.


1992-98 Coca-Cola Cup

The definitive trophy for many of our readers, the Coca-Cola Cup was at least a company that we had all heard of at last, and the name has stuck for certain football fans. After the messing with new trophies for some of the previous sponsors Rumbelows went back to the original three handles cup and the Coca-Cola years re-established it as one of the more recognisable trophies in the game.

Best Coca-Cola Cup Memory: Arsenal winning the first incarnation through a Steve Morrow winner - and Morrow breaking his arm in the celebrations thanks to Tony Adams over-exuberance.



1998-2003 Worthington Cup

Nope, us neither.


2003- 2012 Carling Cup

The longest sponsorship tie-in for the trophy many of the finals were played in Cardiff before the return to Wembley in 2008 in time for Robbie Keane to go mental when Spurs beat Chelsea in the decider. The less than inspiring sponsorship coincided with the competition taking a bit of a battering as the bigger clubs began to treat it as a reserve team jolly-up.

Best Carling Cup Memory : Obafemi Martins and Birmingham hilariously extending the Arsenal trophy drought in the 2011 final.


2012-2016 The Capital One Cup

After the Milk Board, two alcohol brands, a soft drink company and two retailers (one now defunct) came an American bank. As boring as it sounds. Maybe they are better off without a sponsor these days!

Best Capital One Cup Memory: Swansea winning a major trophy in style, pummeling Bradford 5-0 in the decider.


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