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:
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 2019: Thursday October 10th
Top two teams in each four/five groups + the winning team only in the three-group progress to the final
Final 2019: Thursday October 24th
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
Cestria Cup Winners 2018-19 Witton Gilbert