Written by Richard Sykes

When the Huddersfield rugby team won the Yorkshire Cup for the first time in 1890 few would have predicted that it would be over 120 years before the trophy made a return to the town. 

Fewer still could have foreseen the great schism that would divide the rugby world just five years later. 

When Huddersfield won ‘T’Owd Tin Pot’, as the trophy is affectionately known in rugby union circles, they did so by beating Wakefield Trinity at Thrum Hall in Halifax.

Winger John William (Jack) Dyson was a member of Huddersfield’s victorious team. He was born in Skelmanthorpe in 1866 and in an illustrious rugby career he was chosen to play for England on four occasions and capped 27 times for Yorkshire.

Jack gained the first of his four England caps in the home nations match against Scotland in Edinburgh just a month before helping Huddersfield to their county cup win.

John William (Jack) Dyson is pictured back left in the team photograph wearing his England shirt and cap. In his first international match he scored one of the two tries which secured victory for England at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh.

The Yorkshire Cup winner’s medal that Jack collected on 5th April 1890 is about to go to auction in London. It is currently in the hands of a vendor from Bradford who picked the item up in a private sale.

The historic piece of rugby memorabilia is made of 18 caret gold and bears the crest of the Yorkshire RFU on the face and has details of the match and Jack’s name engraved on the back.


The two clubs that contested the final of 1890 were amongst the 22 that met in the George Hotel in Huddersfield on 29th August 1895 to form the breakaway Northern Rugby Union, the forerunner of the modern professional Rugby League.

It was not until 14 years after that historic meeting that another rugby union club was formed in the town and it was a further 102 years before that club brought the Yorkshire Cup back to Huddersfield for a second time

‘T’Owd Tin Pot’ made its long overdue return to the town in 2011 when Huddersfield RUFC secured the trophy by beating Hull 26-18 in an epic final in York.