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|Organising body||Irish Football Association|
|Most successful club(s)||Linfield (24 titles)|
The City Cup is a now-defunct cup competition which involved competitors from Northern Ireland. It was run by the Irish Football Association. It had previously been known as the Dunville Cup and ceased to exist in 1976. The old City Cup trophy is now used for the Irish League Cup.
Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in several areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".
The Irish Football Association (IFA) is the governing body for association football in Northern Ireland. It organised the Ireland national football team from 1880 to 1950, which after 1954, became the Northern Ireland national football team.
The City Cup began as a competition for Belfast clubs only (although, until 1900 the League consisted only of Belfast clubs). From 1905 to 1911, however, Dublin club Shelbourne also participated. In the 1911–12 season, all eight Irish League clubs participated (Derry Celtic and Glenavon joining the five Belfast teams and Shelbourne). In the 1912–13 season, when the League expanded to ten clubs, only seven participated (the five Belfast teams plus Glenavon and Shelbourne. From 1913 until its demise in 1976, all clubs who were members of the Irish League competed for the City Cup (excluding the war years).
Shelbourne Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Drumcondra, Dublin, who play in the League of Ireland First Division.
Derry Celtic Football Club was a football club from Derry, Ireland. The club, formed as St Columb's Hall in 1890, changing to St Columb's Hall Celtic in 1893, and Derry Celtic in 1899, was once the primary team in the city, but was voted out of the Irish League in 1913 and is now defunct.
Glenavon Football Club is a semi-professional, Northern Irish football club playing in the NIFL Premiership. The club, founded in 1889, hails from Lurgan and plays its home matches at Mourneview Park. Club colours are blue and white. Gary Hamilton has been player-manager of the Lurgan Blues since December 2011 following the resignation of Marty Quinn. Glenavon's bitter rivals are Portadown, with their matches known as the 'Mid-Ulster Derby'.
During 1915 to 1919, the City Cup was known as the Belfast City Cup and reverted to being a Belfast-only competition and is not recognised as an "official" competition for this period; and during 1940 to 1947, it was not played at all.
The format for the City Cup varied throughout its history, but most commonly it was organised on a league basis, by which each participating club played each other and the team with the most points won the cup.
A sports league is a group of sports teams that compete against each other in a specific sport. At its simplest, it may be a local group of amateur athletes who form teams among themselves and compete on weekends; at its most complex, it can be an international professional league making large amounts of money and involving dozens of teams and thousands of players.
The format over the years was as follows:
|Years||No. of seasons||Format|
|1894–1915, 1919–1940, 1947–1969||64||league|
|1969–1970||1||group system plus final|
|1971–1976||5||group system plus final|
Linfield Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which plays in the NIFL Premiership – the highest level of the Northern Ireland Football League. The club was founded in 1886 as Linfield Athletic Club and in 1905 moved into their current home of Windsor Park, which is also the home of the Northern Ireland national team. The club's badge displays Windsor Castle, in reference to the ground's namesake. Historically, Linfield's main rival has been Glentoran – the other half of Belfast's Big Two. This rivalry traditionally includes a league derby played on Boxing Day each year, which usually attracts the largest league attendance of the season. Linfield's average league home attendance is approximately 2,500, the highest in the division and more than double the league's overall average of about 1,000.
Glentoran Football Club is a professional football club that plays in the NIFL Premiership. The club was founded in 1882 and plays its home games at The Oval in East Belfast. Club colours are red, green and black. Linfield and Glentoran are nicknamed Belfast's Big Two, as they have traditionally dominated local football in Northern Ireland since the demise of Belfast Celtic. The two play a league match on Boxing Day each year, which regularly attracts the largest attendance of the Irish League season.
Lisburn Distillery Football Club is a Northern Irish, intermediate football club who are based in Ballyskeagh, County Down and play in the NIFL Premier Intermediate League.
|Linfield||24||1894–95, 1895–96, 1897–98, 1899–00, 1900–01, 1901–02, 1902–03, 1903–04, 1907–08, 1909–10, 1919–20, 1921–22, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1935–36, 1937–38, 1949–50, 1951–52, 1957–58, 1958–59, 1961–62, 1963–64, 1967–68, 1973–74|
|Glentoran||15||1896–97, 1898–99, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1913–14, 1914–15, 1931–32, 1950–51, 1952–53, 1956–57, 1964–65, 1966–67, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1974–75|
|Belfast Celtic||10||1905–06, 1906–07, 1925–26, 1927–28, 1929–30, 1930–31, 1932–33, 1939–40, 1947–48, 1948–49|
|Distillery||5||1904–05, 1912–13, 1933–34, 1959–60, 1962–63|
|Glenavon||5||1920–21, 1954–55, 1955–56, 1960–61, 1965–66|
|Queen’s Island||3||1922–23, 1923–24, 1924–25|
|Derry City||2||1934–35, 1936–37|
The Irish Football Association Challenge Cup is the primary football knock-out cup competition in Northern Ireland. Inaugurated in 1881, it is the fourth-oldest national cup competition in the world. Prior to the break-away from the Irish Football Association by clubs from what would become the Irish Free State in 1921, the Irish Cup was the national cup competition for the whole of Ireland.
The Irish Intermediate Cup is a Northern Irish football competition for teams of intermediate status, including NIFL Premiership reserve sides. It is a straight knock-out tournament and is currently sponsored by Ladbrokes.
The Irish League in season 1911–12 comprised 8 teams, and Glentoran won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1912–13 comprised 10 teams, and Glentoran won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1927–28 comprised 14 teams, and Belfast Celtic won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1928–29 comprised 14 teams, and Belfast Celtic won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1929–30 comprised 14 teams, and Linfield won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1930–31 comprised 14 teams, with Glentoran winning the championship.
The Irish League in season 1931–32 comprised 14 teams, and Linfield won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1932–33 comprised 14 teams, and Belfast Celtic won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1933–34 comprised 14 teams, and Linfield won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1934–35 comprised 14 teams, and Linfield won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1935–36 comprised 14 teams, and Belfast Celtic won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1936–1937 comprised 14 teams, and Belfast Celtic won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1937–38 comprised 14 teams, and Belfast Celtic won the championship after a play-off with Derry City.
The Irish League in season 1938–39 comprised 14 teams, and Belfast Celtic won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1939–40 comprised 14 teams, and Belfast Celtic won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1947–48 comprised 12 teams, and Belfast Celtic won the championship.
The Irish League in season 1948–49 comprised 12 teams, and Linfield won the championship.
The Northern Ireland Football League, known historically, and still colloquially, as the Irish League, is the national football league of Northern Ireland. The Irish League was originally formed in 1890, with the league in its current format created in 2013 to assume independent collective management of the top three levels of the Northern Ireland football league system; namely the Premiership, Championship and Premier Intermediate League.