|Liam McCarthy, GAA Patron (1853-1928)|
The trophy was first presented for the final of 1921 between Dublin and Limerick, and played at Croke Park on 4th March, 1923.
The day of the first final was bright but cold; admission was one shilling and two shillings (or five cent and ten cent in to-day's currency) and six pence for schoolboys.
The ground was in excellent condition, and the "proceedings were enlivened by the Transport Workers Band and the Artane Boys' Band", to quote a newspaper report the following day.
The match attracted an attendance of close on 19,000, it was the first between Dublin and Limerick, and the referee was Willie Walsh of Waterford.
Dublin were defending champion and holders of the Great Southern Cup which, until then, was the trophy for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship.
The final proved to be the poorest in years. The first ten minutes were exciting enough, but then Limerick took a grip on the exchanges. Their backs gave little away, and the attack, powered by team skipper Bob McConkey and Tom McGrath, began to find the target.
The Shannon-siders led by eleven points at the interval, and went on for an 8-5 to 3-2 win. McConkey was an inspiring captain. "The little fellow with the grey cap—the skipper who knows more about finding the net than most", as a report in a daily newspaper put it. McConkey scored four goals in that game.
The Liam McCarthy Cup commemorates a man who gave sterling service to the Gaelic Athletic Association in Britain. Liam McCarthy was born in Ballygarvan, Co. Cork. He emigrated to London, where he became the first President of the Provincial Council of Britain. He brought many teams to play in London.