Brentford fans have started a petition asking west London neighbours Chelsea to hand back a trophy which dates back to the Second World War.

Some fans feel the Bees should be the rightful holders of the London War Cup as they were the last team to win the trophy under that particular guise, in 1942.

However, the silverware sits in the museum at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea were the last club to win it in a competition it was used for after the London War Cup – the London Football League War Cup.

Wembley winners: Joe James receives the London War Cup

The London War Cup was introduced in 1940 with the aim of helping to fill the gaping hole left in English football by the FA Cup's cancellation, and was one of several wartime tournaments held to entertain the public while the major competitions were suspended.

Although called the London War Cup, teams from across the south of England took part, and although it lasted only two seasons, Brentford, then a top flight club, reached both finals.

Having lost to Reading in the 1941 final, the Bees bounced back to lift the trophy with a 2-0 victory over Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium the following year.

Two goal hero: Leslie Smith bagged a brace in the final

No sooner was the trophy lifted, however, than it was promptly dropped by Brentford skipper Joe James, as can be seen in the British Pathe footage of the final.

Both goals were scored by Ealing-born future England international Leslie Smith, who went on to play more than 200 games for Aston Villa.

The London War Cup was seen as something of a renegade tournament, and those who took part in it has to pay the FA a £10 fine before being accepted back into the Football League.

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It's replacement, London Football League War Cup, was won by Arsenal, Charlton and finally Chelsea before normal service resumed upon the end of hostilities in 1945.

The petition can be viewed or signed here: .

Another possibility being discussed by Bees fans is asking Chelsea for a loan of the trophy, or having a replica made.

* With thanks to Paul Briers for background research.