West Auckland is a former mining community in County Durham famous for having possibly the biggest village green in England, and also as the home of the original football world cup.
In 1909, a team of working class men, mainly miners, from the area, lifted the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy in Italy, defeating Swiss opposition Winterthur in the final, having already beaten Stuttgart in the semi. They returned heroes, and repeated the remarkable feat two years later in 1911, this time defeating Juventus 6-1. The original players overcame many hardships – selling furniture to fund the trip and sleeping rough in train stations during the tournament, many unsure whether they would have a job to return to.
Of course they were only there by mistake another WAFC (Woolwich Arsenal FC) should have received the invite.
Now the club are back in Turin to play Juventus again 100 years later, there won’t be any miners in the team this time, just local amateurs who normally play in front of 150 fans in a stadium with a capacity of 70,000.