The nephew of the author of Alice in Wonderland, Professor Bertram Collingwood, lectured the then-students of University College Dublin in Physiology. Professor Collingwood was an engaging character and a keen football man, playing for the teams of Oxford University and London-based Corinthians during his life. He was a supporter of UCD AFC and promoted their endeavours which had begun to explore intervarsity competition whilst participating in the local Dublin leagues.
With other sports beginning to establish intervarsity competitions, football would also follow suit and formed their own tournament. Professor Collingwood donated a trophy for the four-team tournament held in North Dublin. UCD, Queen’s University Belfast, Trinity College Dublin and University College Galway (now NUI Galway) participated in the inaugural edition with the semi-finals in Prospect Park in Glasnevin that would see UCD defeat Trinity 5-2 and Queen’s recording a 3-1 success against Galway. The final would take place in Dalymount Park, generously loaned for the day by Bohemian FC, as UCD would be the first victors from a 2-1 result.
With gap years taken due to the Wars and political indifference, the one hundredth edition of the famous competition will take place in 2020 with original members Trinity College Dublin hosting, and Dalymount Park primed to witness another Collingwood Cup Final.
Throughout the 107-year history of one of the island’s oldest football tournaments, there have been many changes and upsurges to the format. UCC became the fifth University to participate midway through the century and in later years would be joined by institutions such as Dublin City University, Dublin IT, Mary Immaculate College, Maynooth University, Royal College of Surgeons, St. Mary’s College Belfast, Stranmillis University College, University of Limerick, and Ulster University – the campuses of Coleraine, Jordanstown, and Magee previously participated individually up until 2015.
In 2020, ten teams participated in the competition which commenced with a first round in November 2019 to reduce down to eight teams who will compete in Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Final across three consecutive days.
The competition has remained true to its roots of being an All-Island football competition with the Colleges FAI (CFAI), and Women’s Soccer Colleges (WSCAI) following suit with their own All-Island Cup competitions for Colleges and Women’s Third Level teams. The Colleges and Universities Football League (CUFL) as it stands is the sole cross-border league. One of the key matches of the Quarter-Finals will see a Northern derby as Queen’s and Ulster University clash in Dublin with both hopeful of bringing the trophy back across the border for the first time since 2008 with Queen’s coming agonisingly close in 2018 when they were defeated in the final by UCD, who hold the most successes in the competition (44).
All eyes will be on College Park at Midday of Monday 3rd February, as holders UCC enter the famous College Park of Trinity College, immersed within Dublin City Centre, to take on the hosts who will be anxious to end their 40 year hoodoo in claiming one of the most prestigious prizes in Intervarsity sport.
Monday 3rd February 2020
RUSTLERS IUFU Collingwood Cup Quarter-Finals
Trinity College Dublin v University College Cork, College Park, 12pm
Dublin City University v University College Dublin, AUL Complex, 2pm
Maynooth University v University of Limerick, AUL Complex, 2pm
Queen’s University Belfast v Ulster University, AUL Complex, 2pm
Tuesday 4th February 2020
RUSTLERS IUFU Collingwood Cup Semi-Finals
Maynooth University or UL v DCU or UCD, AUL Complex, 2pm
QUB or UU v TCD or UCC, AUL Complex or College Park TBC, 2pm
Wednesday 5th February 2020
RUSTLERS IUFU Collingwood Cup Final
Dalymount Park, 5pm