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The Llandudno International Trophy

While the PGA Cup was first played in 1973, the magnificent trophy which both teams contest in this keenly fought biennial match play showpiece has a much longer history dating back before the Second World War.

Trophy KClub

Its origins sit with members of Llandudno (Maesdu) Golf Club who put up the 18-pound piece of silverware as the prize for the Home Tournament Series between leading professional of the day from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

The first match was played in 1939 and England, captained by six-time Ryder Cup player Percy Alliss, triumphed to hoist the trophy. It was however, to be the first and last staging of the Home Tournament Series which was interrupted due to the outbreaks of the Second World War and never resumed.

Trophy Percy Alliss

As winning captain, Percy (above) had retained possession of the trophy which took pride of place on the mantelpiece in the family home near Ferndown Golf Club in Dorset where he was the club professional.

It was during the war that the trophy lid sustained a famous dent – the imposing silverware sent tumbling from its perch during one of Germany’s many relentless bombing missions against Britain.

The background to its unseemly relocation came during one particular German bombers mission to rain havoc upon Southampton and Portsmouth when the plane in question ran perilously low on fuel and was forced to turn its munitions loose on non-targets.

The Alliss family, innocently minding their own business, were jolted awake when one particular bomb exploded on the first fairway of the Ferndown course less than 50 yards from their home. The ensuing tremor, which rumbled throughout the neighbourhood, left a lasting impact, as Gary Alliss (pictured below left), grandson of Percy and two-time PGA Cup captain himself, recounts.

“My grandmother (Dorothy) kept the trophy on the mantelpiece – so, of course, when there was this massive explosion, it literally shook the house and sent the trophy tumbling to the floor on its head, causing the dent in the lid,” he explained.

Trophy Gary Alliss Peter Alliss

Battered, a little bruised but still intact, the trophy, which has since been repaired, stayed in the Alliss household until the early 1970s when Percy and his son Peter, the former PGA captain, eight-time Ryder Cup player and the BBC’s Voice of Golf (above right), donated the trophy to The PGA where it was assigned as an appropriate prize for the victorious PGA Cup team. “It was such an impressive trophy that I think my father and grandfather felt it deserved to be back with The PGA,” added Gary.

“It was trophy looking for a home and, by happy coincidence, the PGA Cup came along and it’s a perfect match.”

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