Ardrossan Winton Rovers are hoping that Herald readers can help with an enquiry about an old cup.

On their website, it is noted that Rovers won the Saint Vincent de Paul Charity Cup in 1936. The club received an email asking for information on the trophy but no immediate answer could be offered.

Subsequent research, however, showed that some winners were:

Saltcoats Victoria in 1921, 1923 and 1924

Ardeer Thistle in 1925 by beating Saltcoats Victoria 6-1, Vics having won the Scottish Junior Cup two days earlier!

• Saltcoats Victoria in 1926, 1927 and 1928

• Irvine Meadow in 1934

• Winton Rovers in 1936

• Kilmarnock’s reserve team against Clyde at Saltcoats in either 1938 or 1939 under manager Jimmy McGrory.

From the above, it might be deduced that the competition may have been initially confined to North Ayrshire teams and ran from at least 1921 to around 1939 when war would no doubt have caused the competition to be suspended.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is a charitable organisation dedicated to the helping those in poverty. It was founded in 1833 by French university students, led by the Frederic Ozanam (1813-1853).

Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) was a French priest who committed himself to serving the poor. The society currently has a presence in 132 countries and there are conferences in each North Ayrshire Catholic parish. These aim to help the poor locally - whether parishioners or not – and they rely on donations to distribute to the less fortunate.

The fact that seven of the first eight competitions were won by Saltcoats Victoria and that in the late 1930s, the final was played in Saltcoats suggests that the competition may have had its origins in the town. It is for that reason the knowledge of local people is sought.

The photographs of Winton Rovers are thought to have been taken in the mid to late 1930s – around the time when Winton won the Cup.

Bryan Brown of the North Ayrshire Heritage Centre in Saltcoats is helping with the research. He said: “The Saint Vincent de Paul Charity Cup was played for, at least latterly, by teams of varying levels – junior, senior and school. Over recent months, the centre hosted an exhibition called ‘Junior Football in North Ayrshire’.

“One visitor mentioned the Saint Vincent de Paul Cup, saying he remembered playing for it with his school about 50 years ago, adding that he had a picture."

Bryan would be very grateful if the visitor would get in touch with the Heritage Centre with more details of the picture. It would be good to know the current whereabouts of the cup. It might be in the possession of one of our junior clubs or stored safely in someone’s house.

If anyone else has information on the Saint Vincent de Paul competition, please contact the Herald on 01294 464321 or