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Wix Competitions

Message from the Chairman

I am told that pride is a sin but I cannot help but feel proud of the many teachers and others I have known in my forty years association with The Wix who have selflessly given of their time, energy and expertise to enable children to enjoy competitive sport in a safe and encouraging environment. They are part of a great tradition of a loosely knit  community linked by football-a role model for Mr Cameron’s ‘volunteer force’. They all deserve a medal but know that they are unlikely to get one!

Hundreds of helpers have helped thousands of children to know what it is like to win and lose. To compete and yet be friends. Colm Kerrigan pays tribute to such people in his History of the ESFA. He concluded that ‘as teachers are generally reluctant to make pronouncement about the value of what they do by way of extra curricular activities, it is not surprising that a limited amount of material only has survived to throw light on what they felt was their motivation for putting so much energy into promoting the game among their players. These values aren’t written down- they just become part of the lives of many teachers. What starts as a hobby becomes a way of life, and gratifyingly, the enthusiasm and dedication touches people throughout the years? The Wix Centenary is testament to that’.

Because of them we can honestly and proudly assert that The Wix has provided ‘Great Football since 1901’. I think that I can say what was said in 1905, ‘This has been the best year for this association’

David Willacy

The Wix Senior Challenge Trophy, the Wix Shield or simply the Wix. Call it what you will but it is 110 years since it was first played for. It is a fine trophy and the prestigious competition is one of the oldest in England.

When E.N.Wix Esq., an Inspector, or perhaps The Inspector of schools in Herts. Beds. and  Hunts. presented the shield in 1900 he could hardly have dreamed that it would still be played for with such enthusiasm over a century later.

Just pause to think about it. Mr Wix was Her Majesty’s Inspector! Queen Victoria was still on the throne.

We know who won that first final (Callowlands of Watford) and a report from a semi-final match said that the final was to be played on the Luton Town ground. The Centenary final in 2001 was played at Kenilworth Road .It was an  ccasion when ex-players, player’s widows, proud mothers and great nephews swamped the Wix with memories of great games, both won and lost and gold and silver medals treasured.

Victoria (Watford) won it three times in the first five years. That information is in the minutes of the 1905 AGM which we still have. That year was described as ‘The most successful the Association has had’. It is also the year in which St Albans played in the newly formed ESFA Trophy and lost 0-3 to London. It was another 105 years before a  Hertfordshire side won it (Dacorum in 2010-11).

The Wix Shield wasn’t played for during the mayhem of the First World War. Mr Wix died in 1928 and his daughters honoured his memory with a donation of the Junior Wix Shield for the newly formed Primary Schools. The original Shield became the Secondary School’s competition.

The AGM of 1939 reported a healthy balance sheet (£25 deposited in the bank) but it was more than seven years later that the minutes were signed as a correct record of the meeting! The Wix has survived another World War.

Since then the Wix has had it’s ups and downs. It was threatened when the cash ran out in the 1980’s and was rescued by a five year sponsorship from Stewart Newiss (Chartered Surveyors) the only sponsors of the Wix until this century. The Wix flourished again and entries are healthy with 56 teams in this years draw. They include schools from Luton who had dropped out somewhere along the way. They re-entered the competition in the centenary year.  Regrettably  the hand of friendship was  not grasped by Huntingdon Schools who had been excluded from the Wix in the early years for not attending meetings!

The Final is now established at the HFA County Ground in Letchworth.