The History of Sport Played in China's Treaty Ports

  The solid silver Morse Cup alongside a pint of beer for size reference. Fortunately the last winner of the cup was Hong Kong and so the cup ended up in Hong Kong at the time of the Chinese Revolution. 

  Despite this, when I approached HKFC to ask where the trophy was its whereabouts was unknown. My request instigated a search and eventually the base was found in a cupboard. About one year later I was approached by HKFC who having appointed a archivist had found the trophy itself. The two parts were reunited and I was delighted to hold the trophy in August 2012.

​  The photos below show the name of the photo, a reference to the original Saker Shield it replaced, and the shields showing Shanghai as winner in the 1947 - 8 season and Hong Kong the following season.

 There are plans to put the cup on display at the HKFC Clubhouse.

 

The Morse Cup

The match report and the pre match photograph for the 1927 annual Wayfoong vs Taikoo rugby match. Sadly I have not found the team lists for this match. Prominent in the front row, second from left is G S Dunkley whose daughter Caroline Sellick kindly passed me a copy of the photo.

The HSBC Bank's Hong name was Wayfoong. They were established in Hong Kong in 1865 and opened premises in Shanghai later the same year. The bank and its employees as one of the largest companies in Shanghai featured prominently in the sporting life of Shanghai. As early as 1866 the Shanghai Cricket Club were banking with them.

  As far as rugby is concerned, the Shanghai Rugby Football Club featured three players who later became the 'Taipan' i.e. Big Boss of the bank. They were:


Sir Newton John Stabb - taipan 1910 – 1920, played in Shanghai 1895
Sir Vandeleur Molyneux Grayburn - taipan 1930 – 1941, played in Shanghai 1905 – 1909
Sir Michael William Turner – taipan 1953 – 1962, played in Shanghai 1936 – 1939


When the original interport cup (the Saker Cup) awarded to the winner of rugby matches between Shanghai and Hong Kong was lost during the Second World War, it was the post war HSBC Taipan Arthur Morse who donated a new cup (see below). 

 The first recorded rugby match played by Wayfoong in Shanghai was the December 1912 fixture against the Taikoo hong (Butterfield and Swire). The bank won 8:0. It is quite possible other matches were played before the next match I have found in March 1923, this time Taikoo emerging victorious. I have found another match in March 1926 but not the result. In December 1927 Wayfoong beat Taikoo 13:6 and the last evidence of Wayfoong being scheduled to play rugby in Shanghai was in March 1928 when their match against the Asiatic Petroleum Company was cancelled due to rain.

 

The match report for the first recorded rugby match played by HSBC in Shanghai in December 1912.


Note the reference in the second match report to the Hongkong team. This was the team selected for Shanghai as the probables to play against a forthcoming interport fixture against Hong Kong. The match did not take place, it was another 12 years before Shanghai and Hong Kong faced each other.

Wayfoong a.k.a Hongkong & Shanghai Bank