AN APPEAL in the Barnsley Chronicle has paid off with the family history of the man behind the historic Totty Cup football competition finally tracked down.

The cup was donated by Goldthorpe cinema owner Russell Totty ahead of the 1922-23 season and has been competed for ever since.

The competition’s historian Chris Brook sought to find out more about the founder and reader Bryn Jones was on hand to help.

Bryn discovered that Hoyland-born Russell moved to Minehead in Somerset in 1928 to run the Queen’s Theatre there. He settled with his wife Florrie and daughter Freda.

During the Second World War, Russell moved to Looe in Cornwall to run the Ship Hotel. It was there where he had another son, Gordon Russell Totty, known as ‘Rusty’.

Russell died in 1948, aged 62 and his grave is in Kirk Balk cemetery, Hoyland. Florrie died in 1984 in Somerset.

In April, Chris made contact with Freda, who at 93, was still living in Minehead. Chris said: “Freda spoke very fondly of her father and his love of football. She was very proud to hear that the Totty Cup is still thriving.

“Sadly, Freda passed away in October. Her closest relative, is her cousin’s daughter, Patricia, who also lives in Minehead.

“Rusty is now 76 and lives in Paignton, Devon. He married Margaret and has two sons and six grandchildren.”

Chris was pleased with the outcome of the search as the competition, which is for all Dearne and Don junior schools, approached its centenary.

He added: “The Totty Cup has been running for 96 years. For the last 90 years the connection between the Totty family and the Totty Cup was lost. Now thanks to the Bryn Jones the two are linked.

“The Totty Cup is funded entirely through sponsorship and I would be keen to hear from any businesses or individuals that can provide funds for the next four years - to reach the 100 year milestone.”

People can contact Chris Brook:

n Chris is also looking for pictures from winning sides in more local junior football tournaments to add to his dedicated website.

If you have pictures from Totty Cup winners: (Highgate Hill and Bolton 1930s), Darfield Council (1946), Hoyland Common (1952), Thurnscoe Gooseacre (2000) or Barlow Salmons: Bolton Carrfield (1977, 1981 and 1992). Clarke Shield: Wombwell Kings Road (1960), Highgate (1962 and Thurnscoe Houghton Road (1967), get in touch with Chris or call 734296.