End of the line for Challenge Cup creators

The family-run jewellers from Yorkshire who created Rugby League’s Challenge Cup trophy, which was inaugurated in 1896/97, are to close their last remaining shop.

Batley were the first club to lift the famous silverware designed by Fattorini’s of Bradford, who also supplied the winners’ medals.

They beat St Helens 10-3 in the final at Headingley, Leeds after coming through ties against Bramley, Brighouse Rangers, Widnes and Warrington, who were defeated 6-0 in a semi-final clash at Fartown, Huddersfield.

Antonio Fattorini opened his shop in Harrogate, believed to be the town’s oldest, in 1831 after emigrating from Italy.

In the 1850s, he and his sons started the now-closed branch in Bradford, which became well known for the production of sporting trophies and mementos.

One of the sons, Tony, was involved with Manningham, and represented the club when they became founder members of the Northern Union (later the Rugby Football League) in 1895.

Manningham were the game’s first champions in 1895/96 before switching to football, and becoming Bradford City, in 1903.

Fattorini’s also designed the version of football’s FA Cup trophy that was in use between 1911, when Bradford City were the winners, and 1991, when it was retired due to wear and tear.

The Harrogate shop is due to close on Saturday, when current owner Anthony Tindall, Antonio Fattorini’s great-great-grandson, retires after 45 years behind the counter.

“The decision to close the store has been incredibly tough,” he explained.

“It’s undoubtedly the end of an era for Harrogate and for our family.

“I have loved my time in the business and am going to miss the customers, many who have been coming into the store for many years to purchase special and sentimental pieces.”

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