Seeing double: Medal-making for a final matchday decider

Lifting the lid on medal-making when a title race couldn’t be any closer

Like the supporters who will be nervously filing into Anfield and the Etihad on Sunday, football is in our blood here at Thomas Lyte. It’s part of our DNA. It’s why we’re so proud of our long-time association with the FA, and it’s why we’ll be following the final day of the Premier League season as closely as the rest of you this weekend.

Whether Manchester City or Liverpool lift the trophy, only time will tell. Our work, though, is already done – and has covered both potential title eventualities. But more of that shortly.

 

Aguerooooo!

It’s not the first time that the title has gone down to the wire, as Manchester City fans will know only too well. Earlier this week, a statue was unveiled marking Sergio Aguero’s famous last-second strike against QPR at the Etihad in May 2012.

In the final act of the season, the Argentinian not only delivered the club’s first league title since 1968, but also ended the title dreams of their great rivals from across the city. Manchester United’s powerless players watched the events unfold at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

Then, as now, everything was already in place for whichever team ended the final day as champions. There were two identical trophies, two presentation parties despatched to the Etihad and the Stadium of Light, and two sets of medals, each with screen-printed ribbons in the colours of both Manchester clubs. Here at Thomas Lyte, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with the Premier League to ensure that the final day of an enthralling 2021/22 season goes similarly smoothly.

Designing and making the Premier League Medal

We’re proud to be associated with the world’s most exciting league. It’s a partnership dating back to 2016, when we were commissioned by the Premier League to design and make new medals for the 2016/17 season. The commission was part of a brand refresh, which incorporated a reimagining of the Premier League’s now iconic and instantly recognisable Lion logo.

The first recipient of the brand-new winners’ medals were Chelsea, who finished that 2016/17 season seven points clear of second-place Spurs. No last-day drama that time around. This year, however, things are very different.

This is why we’ve prepared two sets of medals, each screen-printed and bespoke to the winning team’s colours. The work that goes into each one, a reflection of our passion for both our trade and the sport itself.

Made from sterling silver, and featuring the Lion logo, the medals are plated in 24 carat gold. Each medal comes in its own custom-made Premier League presentation box – a presentation case that has found its way into the homes of some of the greatest players to have performed in the English top flight.

As well as winners’ medals, we also design and make medals for a range of other competitions under the Premier League umbrella. These include winners and runners-up medals for all the Premier League’s domestic and international competitions, as well as its myriad of youth development tournaments.

Preparing for every outcome…

Every year, 40 medals leave the Thomas Lyte workshop in London, bound for stadiums that are interwoven not just into the fabric of English football, but of English life and culture.

When the title race is as close as this one, though, we have to do things rather differently, which is why 80 have been produced to cover the possibility of either Manchester City or Liverpool winning the title.

Clearly, given the immediacy of the trophy and medal presentation after the final whistle, there’s no time for medals to be shipped between Merseyside and Manchester, or vice-versa. The silverware for the winners must already be on site. With that in mind, it’s little wonder that we’ll be following the action as closely as anyone when the matches kick off at four o’clock on Sunday.

 

Who is eligible for a Premier League medal?

So, who receives the medals once the action is completed? Well, as well as the players who have played at least five matches over the course of the season, and the managers and coaching staff, it’s then up to the clubs themselves to decide which other members of club personnel receive them.

As anyone involved in football will tell you, any title tilt is a team effort in every sense. As it is here, too, with so many of our craftsmen and design team involved in ensuring that, at the end of each season, the medals reflect the hard work, toil, and eventual glory of lifting one of the most famous trophies in global sport.

Thomas Lyte and ATP sign five-year tennis trophy and silverware partnership

The Queen’s Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Thomas Lyte have entered into an exclusive five-year partnership with the ATP, global governing body of men’s professional tennis.

As Official Trophy and Silverware Supplier to the Nitto ATP Finals, the bespoke luxury and sporting trophies company will design, create, restore and maintain trophies and silverware for the ATP, including crafting new replicas and awards for players. The partnership cements and extends Thomas Lyte’s affiliation with the ATP, which began in 2009 when the company was commissioned to produce a series of contemporary new trophies in sterling silver.

Designed with 8 sides to represent the number of players in the tournament and standing at 60cm tall, the Nitto ATP Finals Singles Trophy dazzles under the arena lights. The trophy has been lifted by some of the greats of men’s tennis including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and, most recently, 2020 champion Daniil Medvedev, with the Doubles Trophy being lifted by the world’s best teams, such as the Bryan Brothers.

In addition, Thomas Lyte designed and produced the prestigious ATP Year-End World Number One trophies, which are awarded to the best singles player and doubles team of the season during the Nitto ATP Finals.

The Nitto ATP Finals Trophies & ATP Year-End World Number One Trophies in the Thomas Lyte Workshop

The Nitto ATP Finals Trophies & ATP Year-End World Number One Trophies in the Thomas Lyte Workshop

“Known across the globe for creating iconic sporting trophies, Thomas Lyte is a perfect fit for the ATP. We are excited to build on our relationship as we continue to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the world’s best tennis players,” said Massimo Calvelli, ATP CEO.

Thomas Lyte, a Royal Warrant Holder as Goldsmiths and Silversmiths to Her Majesty the Queen, is renowned as one of the world’s greatest trophy makers. The London-based company specialises in the bespoke design and manufacture of elite silverware and is responsible for some of the world’s most iconic sporting trophies, including The FA Cup, Rugby World Cup’s Webb Ellis Cup, the AFC Asian Cup trophy, and the Summoner’s Cup for Riot Games’ League of Legends.

“We are proud of our reputation within the sporting world and our affiliation with tennis, so it was a huge honour for our designers and makers to create the ATP Year-End World Number One Trophies alongside the Nitto ATP Finals silverware. This long-term partnership with the ATP means our team will carry on playing a central role as the ATP recognises the achievements and hard work put in by the players over a full year ahead of the thrilling climax to the ATP Tour season,” said Kevin Baker, CEO and Founder of Thomas Lyte.

This year’s Nitto ATP Finals will be held at Turin’s Pala Alpitour stadium, Italy’s largest indoor sporting arena, from November 14 to 21.

Auld Alliance Trophy: Two trophies at stake in the Six Nations showdown in Paris

The Guinness Six Nations Rugby tournament draws to a close this evening, with the fate of not one, but two trophies to be decided.

France defeated Grand-Slam chasing Wales on Saturday thanks to a last-gasp try in what many have described as one of the greatest Championship matches of all-time, keeping their title hopes alive. They host Scotland at the Stade de France tonight, needing a bonus-point victory and a winning margin of at least 21 points to become champions for the first time since 2010.

Scotland too have a great deal to play for, with an eight-point victory enough to secure second spot in the tournament.

To add to the excitement, there is another historic title to be decided, with both sides also playing for the Auld Alliance Trophy.

The Auld Alliance Trophy

The Auld Alliance trophy was commissioned in 2018 by Scottish Rugby and the French Rugby Federation (FFR) in tribute to the courageous rugby players from the two nations who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War, and to celebrate the historic relationship between Scotland and France.

It specifically commemorates the captains of the two nations in the last matches played before the First World War – Eric Milroy (Scotland) and Marcel Burgun (France), both of whom perished in the conflict.

It is also a tribute to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. In all, 22 French and 30 Scottish internationals were killed in action, along with countless other club players from both nations.

The driving force for the creation of the trophy was Patrick Caublot from Amiens Rugby Club in France, who worked alongside David Anderson QC, a great-great nephew of Eric Milroy, in promoting the concept to both the FFR and Scottish Rugby.

The trophy is to be contested once more on Friday, 26th March at the Stade de France as Scotland take on France in the Guinness Six Nations Rugby Tournament.

The two nations first met on the rugby pitch in 1910, when the two teams played against each other in Edinburgh. Scotland won the match 27–0. Since then there have been a total of 97 games played, resulting in 56 wins for France, 38 wins for Scotland and 3 draws.

One of the most remarkable matches in the history of international rugby took place between the two sides in Paris on 1st January 1920. This was not only the first official international played after the First World War, it was also the first time back in country colours for a number of players on both sides after serving during the conflict.

French sources have christened this meeting “Le match des borgnes”, as it is believed that five of the 30 players on the field lost an eye in the war. The match was played in mud and driving rain, with Scotland winning 5-0.

Since the creation of the Auld Alliance Trophy, there have been three meetings of the two teams, with Scotland winning twice and France once, with a total of 70 points scored by each side, so expectations are high for a competitive and exciting match.

The Auld Alliance Trophy was designed and made by world-renowned trophy makers Thomas Lyte. Using traditional silversmithing and goldsmithing skills combined with leading-edge modern methods, the team at Thomas Lyte are experts in the fields of custom trophy design and manufacture, and is responsible for some of the world’s most iconic sporting trophies, including the Rugby World Cup’s Webb Ellis trophy, the Emirates FA Cup, the Davis Cup trophy and the Guinness Six Nations trophy.

The Auld Alliance Trophy in Thomas Lyte’s silver workshops

The trophy stands at an impressive 60cm in height and was hand spun from hallmarked Sterling Silver, requiring a total of 110 craft hours to create. The contemporary sweeping form of the trophy rises up in remembrance, while the clipped edge refers to lives so tragically cut short. Around the trophy is a band of poppies and cornflowers, exquisitely engraved in line form to encourage a closer look, while the bright mirror finish applied patiently to the sterling silver surface allows for personal reflection as we remember all those who fell.

“The Auld Alliance Trophy is a very significant commission for Thomas Lyte, commemorating an immensely sad time in our history, while celebrating one of rugby’s great contests” said Thomas Lyte Founder and CEO Kevin Baker.

“This trophy is a magnificent symbol of considered craft. I have no doubt the whole Thomas Lyte team will be watching with pride tonight, with the incredible opportunity to see this wonderful trophy lifted alongside perhaps one of our most famous trophy commissions, the Guinness Six Nations trophy itself”.

Read more on the Thomas Lyte website.

Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship: BBC explores the symbolism of iconic trophies as live sports continue to inspire during the pandemic

Wales still have one hand on the Guinness Six Nations trophy, but France snatched away the chance of a grand slam last weekend in dramatic fashion, keeping their own hopes of winning the tournament alive. And what a trophy it is; a six-sided objet d’art that was designed and made by none other than the Queen’s goldsmiths and silversmiths, Thomas Lyte.

“It is made from seven kilograms of Sterling silver and an enormous amount of passion and art and desire as more than 200 hours of work go into it,” said Kevin Baker, CEO, Thomas Lyte in an interview with the BBC’s World Business Report, who have explored what it takes to design and make such an iconic sporting symbol.

Makers of iconic sporting trophies such as the one on show in Paris this Friday have always been about much more than merely business, though there is obviously a money side to it all.

Trophies can cost anything from a few thousand pounds to more than a million, though a significant piece of silver such as the Six Nations trophy will cost tens of thousands of pounds to design and make, Baker explained in the interview with the BBC World Service radio, though he declined to be more specific due to client confidentiality.

“It is a significant investment,” he acknowledged, albeit an obviously important one for the sports and the tournaments, given that they play such important roles in our lives.

“It is ultimately the event symbol,” Mr Baker said, and as such a trophy will also be a symbol of hope for us all as we face difficult times due to the global Covid pandemic.

“Sport has been an enormously resilient asset that has supported all of us, or many of us, in terms of both mental health and entertainment,” Baker said.

 

 

A redesigned trophy for an expanded tournament…

The Six Nations trophy is a prime example of a powerful symbol of both inclusiveness and unity; values that are truly important during times such as these.

The six-sided trophy was made as recently as in 2016 to reflect the facts that there are now six nations playing in the championship.

“It was only the second time a trophy was made in almost 140 years since the 1883 tournament started,” said Baker.

The bespoke trophy was handmade by expert British silversmiths in Thomas Lyte’s London workshops, and was presented to the winners on 21st March, 2016. The 1993 edition of the trophy was retired as it only represented the Five Nations Championship before Italy joined the tournament.

Hand spun from hallmarked sterling silver, the 75cm high Trophy underwent the process of casting, spinning, hand engraving and polishing. Crafted from one single sheet of silver for the body and more than fifty individual pieces, the six-sided Trophy represents each competing nation with each nation’s crest engraved on the plinth.

“There are many trade secrets to it,” said Baker. “When you look at some of these iconic pieces, made from many traditional crafts techniques, some that go back to Roman times, such as hammers and chisels. But then we add in leading edge technology, such as 3D scanning and 3D printing, so there are many processes going on.”

But perhaps the most important part of a sports trophy such as this one is the way it encompasses both the distinctive history of the tournament and its exciting future.

“There’s been no crowds during matches recently, but live sports have indeed continued,” Baker said.

Listen to Thomas Lyte CEO Kevin Baker on BBC World Service Radio’s World Business Report. The interview starts at 17m20s. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w172x584r472xfl

 

 

Links:

The Guinness Six Nations Rugby Championship https://www.sixnationsrugby.com

The Guinness Six Nations Rugby Trophy https://www.thomaslyte.com/6-nations-trophy/p

Thomas Lyte donates surgical gowns to carehomes in coronavirus response.

Thomas Lyte turns luxury bag lining into surgical gowns in coronavirus response.

Thomas Lyte is a luxury goods business. When times are good, we make high-quality sustainable leather and beautiful silver. But now is not a time for luxury.

During crisis, focus has to change as individuals, and as a society. This is a time for us all to do what we can to help beat COVID-19. So we have temporarily halted our production.

Our colourful and beautifully patterned bag lining material will now instead be used to make surgical gowns for the care home sector.

Over the Easter weekend, some 325 metres was delivered, and the seamstresses have already started creating gowns for a large care home that employs 160 Nurses and Care staff. Our initial goal is to make 2 washable gowns each within days.

This is just an example of how we can all make a contribution, as active members of society. It is but a small step, but if we all do our bit, the overall impact will be huge.

Our own initiative came about because one of our colleagues came up with the idea, and everyone latched onto it with enthusiasm. The idea was then spurred on by one of our non-executive directors, Nick Farrow, who is also the Chairman of the Royal Warrant Holder’s Charity Fund. His partner, Sally Stubbs, is running a large care home that needs more PPE, so contact was established and off we went.

It is heartening to see how many similar initiatives have emerged across the nations and regions of our United Kingdom. From community groups that help the elderly do their shopping or mow their lawns, to large corporates that step in to creatively serve the people, we are witnessing the emergence of a powerful sense of shared purpose and responsibility.

We are discovering that together, we can move mountains. Now, and in the future. This newfound resilience will put us in good stead as we embark on a long and hard process of healing from this punishing pandemic. But first, let’s all do what we can to knock it back.

All the best,

Kevin Baker
CEO of Thomas Lyte

 

Please find below, a video we uploaded of a BBC interview that I recently contributed to:

Designers & Makers of the Women’s Asian Cup | The AFC | Thomas Lyte

Thomas Lyte are thrilled to handcraft a brand new trophy to be uplifted at the final of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan 2018.  Unveiled by Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President, this trophy has been crafted at an important time for the women’s game, particularly as the competition will be played for the first time in West Asia.

Embodying the spirit of the competition, the trophy stands at an impressive 52.5cm in height and is crafted in 5.5kg of Hallmarked Sterling Silver bullion.  Taking 140 hours to create, this trophy has passed through the hand of eight different craftsmen at our London workshop.

Based on traditional trophy designs, it also encompasses modern craft and design features. The handles are particularly striking and a key feature of the trophy.  Cast from six solid silver bars, they point to the six participants that played in the first tournament in 1975. At the base of the trophy, eight highly stylised modern women footballers decorate the plinth, capturing the strength and agility of the modern competition.

 

 

Celebrating International Women’s Day | Women in Sport | Thomas Lyte

Thomas Lyte join you in celebrating International Women’s Day.  Observed for over 100 years and now celebrated around the world, this day helps to bring together governments, businesses, charities and organisations to acknowledge the achievements of women worldwide.

At Thomas Lyte, we are privileged to work closely with many of the World’s top sporting organisations and through the trophies we design, make and restore play our part in celebrating the contributions made by many of the worlds leading women’s sports stars. Over the past 5 years particularly you can’t help but notice the increased profile of women’s sport and the role sport has played in empowering women and advancing towards equal opportunities. There is still some way to go but no doubt sport will continue to play an ever increasing role highlighting and profiling the talent and successes of women all around the world.

Here are a few examples of top women’s sporting trophies that we have designed, made and restored:

 

Women

 

Designers & Makers of The Women’s 6 Nations Championship Trophy

With the final of the 2018 Women’s 6 Nations being contested for next weekend, women’s rugby has moved forward significantly in the past few years.  First commissioned in 2008, this trophy has a spirit of the hertiage of the game. Crafted from sterling silver, the trophy originally took over 40 hours to complete, through a precise process of casting, spinning, hand engraving and polishing.

 

Kia Super league

 

Designers & Makers of the Kia Super League Trophy

With six teams competing for the title, Thomas Lyte were inspired by the shape and movement a cricket ball makes for the design of this trophy.  The tournament is a semi-professional cricket competition in England and Wales, helping to further women’s cricket.  Many of the teams feature some of the top players for England.

 

Women

 

Designers and Makers of the Women’s FA Cup

One of our first prestigious trophies to be made in the Thomas Lyte Workshop, the Women’s FA competition is nearing its 50th year.  This year sees the semi-final and final being broadcast live on the BBC for the first time in a primetime slot.  The design of the trophy is based around the Men’s FA Cup Trophy.

 

Women

 

Makers of the FIH WC Women’s Trophy

One of our newest trophies added to our trophy gallery, Thomas Lyte were commissioned by the International Hockey Federation to modify and restore the Women’s Hockey World Cup. The brief was simple, to use the existing bowl that was the Hockey Women’s World Cup, affectionately known as “The Salad Bowl”, and to add to it, creating a trophy following a very specific design  that would give the women’s trophy the same look and stature as the men’s trophy.

 

The Fed Cup

 

Restorers of the Fed Cup

The premier international tennis competition, The Fed Cup, is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition, in terms of the number of nations that compete.  Thomas Lyte have been the official restorers of the original cup since 2009. The yearly restoration work depends year to year, from simple polishing and cleaning to more complex repair work.

 

For more Women’s Sporting trophies that we have crafted, please do follow the link to our Trophy Gallery

The ITTF Team World Cup | Ping Pong Championships | Thomas Lyte

Thomas Lyte are delighted to have been commissioned to design and make the new ITTF Team World Cup Trophies. Both the men’s and women’s trophies were unveiled at the draw for this year’s World Cup taking place at The Copper Box in London this weekend (22nd to 25th February)

Tim Munton, Commercial Director at Thomas Lyte said ‘it is a great honour to be involved at such an exciting time in the development of the sport of table tennis. New trophies and the announcement of new structures to the world tournaments signal exciting times ahead for the sport and the team at Thomas Lyte are thrilled to be involved.”

Jonny Cowan, European Marketing Manager for the International Table Tennis Federation stated, ‘Like any sport, trophies are an important part of events for us at the ITTF.  For events like the Team World Cup which has the world’s best players, global broadcast reach, and world renowned sponsorship partners, we are passionate about having the best of everything on show. To partner with Thomas Lyte on our two trophies and medals helps us achieve this ambition and we have been delighted with the service and end products provided. The press were interested in the unveiling of the trophies at the draw for the events, and we look forward to finding out on Sunday who will lift both women’s team and men’s team trophies as ITTF Team World Cup Champions.”

Designers & Makers of the ITTF Team World Cup Trophies | Thomas Lyte

Thomas Lyte are delighted to have been commissioned to be the Designers and Makers of the new ITTF Team World Cup Trophies. Both the men’s and women’s trophies were unveiled at the draw for the 2018 World Cup taking place at The Copper Box in London from the 22nd of February to the 25th of February 2018.  It is the first time that England has hosted the Team World Cup.

Alongside the new trophies, an announcement of a new structure to the world tournaments signal exciting times ahead for the sport and the team at Thomas Lyte are thrilled to be involved.  Comprising of a total of 12 men’s and 12 women’s team, the teams are made up of a host team, the Continental Champions and other top finishers at the 2016 World Team Table Tennis Championships.

Handcrafted in our London workshop, the trophies stand at an impressive 46cm tall.  Featuring the engraving of the ITTF logo, the sweeping handles reflect the movement of the ball in a topspin curve across the table.  Crafted in the shape of a vase, this trophy stands on a wooden plinth.

For more information, please visit: ITTF Website

Designers & Makers of the Auld Alliance Trophy | Rugby | Thomas Lyte

Thomas Lyte are truly honoured to be the Designers and Makers of the Auld Alliance Trophy.  The trophy was commissioned by Scottish Rugby and the FFR to commemorate the 100-year anniversary since the end of World War 1 and to celebrate the close alliance between Scotland and France.

This momentous new rugby trophy is to be played for each time the two countries meet in the Six Nations Championship, it’s first presentation on 11th February 2018.  It has been expertly crafted in tribute to the courageous rugby players from the two nations who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Great War.

The Auld Alliance Trophy is a magnificent symbol of considered craft being hand spun from hallmarked Sterling Silver.  It stands at an impressive 60cm in height and took a total of 110 craft hours to create. The sweeping form of the trophy rises up in remembrance, while the clipped edge refers to lives so tragically cut short. Around the trophy is a band of poppies and cornflowers, exquisitely engraved in line form to encourage a closer look, while the bright mirror finish applied patiently to the sterling silver surface allows for personal reflection as we read the names of Eric Milroy and Marcel Burgun and remember all those who fell.  Expertly handgraved in both English and French, this trophy is a fitting tribute.