General Harington Cup

At the end of World War I, the lands of Ottoman Empire were invaded by Italian, French, Greek and British troops. On November 13th, 1918 British troops entered Istanbul and invasion was official.

Following the invasion, Turkish forces gathered under the command and leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Turkey and waged an independence war. Turkish side won the war.

During the invasion period in Istanbul, Turkish football teams played against teams of the occupation forces. Among Turkish teams, Fenerbahçe was the most succesful one. Fenerbahçe won 41 out of 50 games against foreign troops teams and got only 5 defeat and 4 draws.

When occupation forces lost the war, General Charles Harington, the British commander-in chief of the occupation forces wanted his forces to salvage some pride before their withdrawal from Istanbul.

He placed a newspaper advertisement challenging any Turkish  football teams to take on his British forces team. Harington was confident that his team would easily win against any Turkish team because he brought some players from England to play in this game including the future Chelsea winger Willie Ferguson. Fenerbahçe accepted the challenge. The opener in the game came from Willie Ferguson. However, things changed on the second half. Zeki Rıza Sporel, an astonishing goal scorer of his time, found the net twice and brought the victory to Fenerbahçe. 


By this 2-1 score, a metre high cup designed for the winner of the game and carrying the name of General Harington went to Fenerbahçe’s museum.