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Cestria Cup

The 'Joseph Shield' was introduced in 1955 for the smaller schools in the association following a proposal at the 1954 annual meeting that a trophy for the smaller schools in the association should be introduced. Mr Josephs, of Josephs Sports in Sunderland, was keen to sponsor the trophy and did so for a number of years.


After discussion, it was agreed that the competition should be open to schools with 100 pupils or less on the role. A school was not allowed to compete in the C B Watson Cup and the Josephs Shield and this is a rule which still exists today.


There is a wide variation in the sizes of schools in the league and it gives small schools a chance to win a trophy. That is not to say that small schools have never won the league title - far from it. The success of a football team is very much down to the enthusiasm of the teacher. Teams which entered the first competition were:

St Cuthberts


Ravensworth Tce


St Josephs

Fence Houses


First winners of the Joseph Shield in season 1954-55 were Waldridge. Fatfield were runners up

In the 1970's, the trophy became known as the Cestria Cup

Competition 2023: Thursday October 12th

Top two teams in each group progress to the final

Final 2023: Thursday October 20th 

Competition History

This photograph, although not particularly good quality, had to be included for a number of reason

It is the earliest photograph we have of the Joseph Shield

It was the first time Birtley St Josephs won the trophy in 1963-64

The player sitting in the front row holding the ball is St Joseph's Joe McCormick, firstly a pupil at the school and then returning as a teacher in 1976, where he remained until retirement

The table below shows the past winners of the competition.

Cestria Cup Winners 1973-74   Red Rose

Cestria Cup Winners 1978-79   Birtley St Josephs

Cestria Cup Winners 1982-83   Ouston St  Benets

Cestria Cup Winners 2000-01    Red Rose

Cestria Cup Winners 1995-96    Red Rose

Cestria Cup Winners 2002-03   Birtley St Josephs  

Witton Gilbert 18.JPG

Cestria Cup Winners 2018-19  Witton Gilbert

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