After Sam Maguire's death, a group of his friends formed a committee in Dublin to raise funds for a permanent commemoration of his name.
They decided on a cup to be presented to the Gaelic Athletic Association. The G.A.A. were proud to accept it as Sam Maguire was very important in the War of Independence and he was the only Protestant to captain a team in the Senior Football Final. He had also given life long service to the G.A.A. as a player and official.
The silver crafted cup cost £300 in 1928 (equivalent to €26,395 today) and was modelled on the Ardagh Chalice. Kildare was the first county to win the Sam Maguire Cup in 1928 after defeating Cavan 2-6 to 2-5.