The trophy was known as the Marists' Cup and although it still bears the name, it is the same trophy as played for today under the accepted title of the 'Spillane Cup'.
From 1926 the Cup was competed for between Wanganui and Wellington and in 1930 Hamilton Marist issued a challenge to the then holder Wellington. That challenge resulted in a conference being called with a view to some form of permanent competition being established. From this gathering of Marist clubs came the 'New Zealand Marist Brothers Old Boys Football Association'. A further result of this conference was the inauguration of what is now known as the first Spillane Tournament. Approval was obtained from the trophys donor to change the intent of the cup from that of a challenge basis to a competitive one which would encourage more Marist clubs to compete.
The inaugural Spillane Tournament which was won by Auckland Marist, was held in Hamilton at Easter 1931. As the tournaments popularity grew, more affiliated clubs came on board, resulting in the Brennan Cup being added in 1936, the Moran Cup in 1953 and the Ham Cuming Cup in 1960. The only break in the sequence of tournaments since 1931 was during the war years 1939-45.