27th April 1905
The first Muratti football match takes place
The Muratti is an annual football competition played between Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney. The teams play for the Muratti Vase, which was named after the Muratti cigarette brand produced by Philip Morris. Although Muratti cigarettes were the tournament’s first sponsor, the brand is no longer sold in the Channel Islands.
The first match took place in 1905, at Springfield Stadium on Jersey. It has been played every year since then during peacetime, with breaks between 1915 and 1919, and again from 1940 until 1946, due to the First and Second World Wars.
Straight in to the semis
Each event consists of two matches. The first is the semi-final, in which either Guernsey or Jersey plays Alderney. The winner of that match plays in the final against whichever of the larger islands didn’t take part in the first. In the first tournament, Guernsey beat Alderney 6-0 in the semi-final, and went on to beat Jersey 1-0 in the final.
None of the games – either semi-final or final – have been played on Alderney since before the occupation, although previously they did cycle between all three islands. Each team wears its traditional colours. For Guernsey, this is a green shirt and socks with white sleeves and white shorts; Jersey wears a red shirt and socks with white shorts, and Alderney wears all blue.
Excluding Alderney’s win in 1920 and the three-three tie between Guernsey and Jersey in 1937, the two larger islands have been fairly well matched. Over the first 90 years of the Muratti’s existence, Guernsey won 45 games, and Jersey took home the vase on 52 occasions. Jersey’s eight consecutive wins between 1958 and 1965 is the record for the longest un-broken streak.
The 100th final was played between Jersey and Guernsey on Sunday, 14 May 2006. Jersey won 1-0 at home, after each side had one player sent off.
Although it was exclusively played by men at its launch, the core Muratti competition has been broadened. It now includes allied matches for female teams, under-21s and under-18s.
What else happened in Guernsey in April?
A body on a beach, an impossible alibi and an unstoppable race against time!
Check out the first book in The Sarnian series, set on the Channel Island of Guernsey.