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The Medals

At the end of the First World War the local Hesketh Bank footballing community found itseldf with nowhere to play having been refused access to previous playing areas. To rectify this situation a group of local people banded together to purchase a plot of land exclusively for sporting purposes and on 23rd January 1920 formed the Hesketh Sports Company Ltd who bought the current land and ran the Football Club

To help raise the necessary money the Company took out a mortgage of £500, which was obviously a large sum in its day. To help pay off this mortgage the idea of running a Medals Competition was born. A cup for the winners was donated to the Sports Company by Major Fermor-Hesketh in 1920, which is the same cup presented to this day, and in 1921 the first competition was run.

A year later saw the formation of the present seperate Hesketh Bank AFC, but the Sports Company continued to organise the Medals and use the proceeds to reduce the debt. This continued until the Second World War and in 1947 the running of the competition was handed over to the Football Club who agreed to pay an increased rent for this honour which also entitled them to keep the proceeds. In 1994 the Sports Company disbanded and sold the land to the Parish Council.

Entry is by invitation only to Clubs who must be affiliated to their local Football Association. In the 80 years since the first competition, the tournament still seems to be as popular as ever with the teams enetering and the spectators. Nowhere outside the Lancashire County Cup competitions will such a variety of representatives be found in a single competition, with clubs from the West Lancashire League, Lancashire Amateur League, Preston & District League, Southport & District League and Sunday football represented from the Southport, Ormskirk, Wigan and Lancashire Evening Post (Preston) Leagues.

The competition was run on a knockout basis during April and May, with all matches played at Station Road. In recent years with the help of local sponsorship and advertising a competition programme is published with seperate ones for the semi-finals and final ties. Attendance at these games can be large and the competition is well known and respected throughout the area. Traditionally, the competition has provided open, entertaining football, and certainly in the modern era no one club has dominated the competition.

The Medals were disbanded in 2007 a seasons are now continuing into late April early May and of course the Medals were held during those months. The last final was won by Royal Garrison of Preston.

Where next?

Medals Winners 1921 - Walmer Bridge 1922 - Walmer Bridge 1923 - Hesketh Bank 1924 - Walmer Bridge 1925 - B

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