Worlds Oldest Football Club Founded
It is somehow reassuring that the oldest (non-varsity) football club in the world still extant (though a club in Edinburgh which predates it has reformed) should be an amateur one, Sheffield FC . That the club should be in a city with two famous sides playing in the second tier of the league, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday , is testament to the determination of the club to continue. It is quirky too, that the club while named for the South Yorkshire city should these days play just over the border with Derbyshire, in Dronfield .
The club was an offshoot of a cricket club, established as a separate entity at a meeting held in the suburb of Highfield, at Parkfield House, on October 24 1857.
Sheffield FC was formed six years before the FA, and though it joined the new organisation in the year it was set up, Sheffield, with Yorkshire stubbornness, continued to play by its own code until it took on the FA rules in 1878. To be fair to Sheffield, the club’s rules informed the codification by the FA, their view on handball for example being incorporated, and the concept of throw-ins.
Here’s a good pub quiz question: Sheffield FC, recognized by FIFA as the longest running club in the world, is one of only two in the world to receive FIFA’s Order of Merit – what is the other? Real Madrid. But Real Madrid never achieved the supreme honour of winning the FA Amateur Cup, for some unfathomable reason, which Sheffield did in the 1903/04 season. All those European Cups can surely never make up for that.