Football History – Sheffield Steel

BRITAIN Oldest Club

Sheffield FC in 1857

If previous world cups are anything to go by, the meat grinder of the European leagues will have ground down the best the players in the world and it can fall to a younger and less well known players to shine. My two best teams in 2010 – Ghana and Germany – lost their best known players (Ballack and Essien both of Chelsea) yet still ended up being the most entertaining teams of the tournament. This is because of the tough physical realities of playing in the biggest money leagues in the world – La Liga in Spain and The Premiership in England. When Gianlucca Vialli came to Chelsea from Juventus in 1996 he spoke no English and had to learn from scratch. One of the first words he learned playing in the Premier league was “knackered”.
But there is more to it than just physical condition at the end of a long season. Highly experienced strikers like those prosper within a team, the team they are familiar with and integrated to. This is because clubs are the essence of football, not countries. Some would say that club football is the true football – a team of players who play together every week, rain or shine; no countries, no flags just talent – as Arsene Wenger said when he joined Arsenal the same year as Vialli signed for Chelsea – “if you are good, you are in … that’s all …”


As far as anyone can tell, the first association football club to be founded was Sheffield FC in Yorkshire in 1857, the same year as the Indian Mutiny and when the Liberals were in power and Lord Palmerston was PM. The club pre-dates the formation of the Football Association in 1863, at the Freemason’s Tavern, Mortlake, London by Ebenezer Cobb Morley.It was Morley who drafted the first of the rules at his home in Barnes, London and played in the first game under those rules – between two (upmarket) districts of south-west London – Barnes v Richmond, the result was a 0 – 0 draw.


At the outset clubs played to their own rules, being divided into teams who played each other. In 1860, Sheffield contested the first inter – club game against city rivals Hallam – the first ever “City Derby”. Initially they played at Bramall Lane, but moved away and the site is now the home of Sheffield United of League One. The club eventually moved out of the county and are now based in Dronfield, Derbyshire where they continue to play to this day as an amateur side in the Northern Premier League. Their greatest successes were 1904 when they won the FA Amateur Cup and in 1977 they were runners-up in the FA Vase. In 2004 they were awarded the FIFA Order of Merit as the world’s oldest club still playing competitively – the only other club to be honoured that year was Real Madrid for their outstanding contribution to the club game.


Copyright ©2014 Savereo John

Blog Admin Note #1

Regular readers will have noticed a few changes recently. I’ve added a blog roll containing a variety of links that I hope will, like the rest of the blog, amuse, inform and entertain. It’s really just a bunch of websites that I hang out on and reflect some of my personal interests / obsessions which may be of amusement.

News / Current Affairs

I like to read what the foreign press have to say about the big news items of day, here are a selection

Der Spiegel : English language version of the famous German magazine

The Hindu : English language news from India

Xinhua : English Language news from China

Le Monde : News from France (in French – use Google Translate)

New York Times : News from the USA

La Stampa : News from Italy (in Italian – use Google Translate)

The Lagos Guardian : News from Nigeria

The Register : The best IT, Technology and Science news from around the world, with a Private Eye sense of humour.

Al Jazeera : English language version of the Qatar – based news service


I listen to a lot of music, here are some of the free sites I visit

Nat Geo Music : World music videos from National Geographic

AVRO Baroque Classical : For audiophiles – the best Baroque music on the web in 128 bit stereo from Hilversuum. In Dutch, “Klik hier om te luisteren” = “Click here to listen”

Afropop worldwide : African music news and events

Rete Toscana Classica : For audiophiles – classical music and Opera in 128 bit stereo from Firenze. In Italian, “Ascolta” = “Play”

Accuradio : Free online music radio; no adverts, no DJ’s, just music. Not audiophile quality (on 32 bit), but huge range of styles and genres

Ali Farka Toure : BBC programme about the late, great Malian guitarist Ali Farka Toure in audiophile quality

Old School Hip-Hop Radio : Huge archive of Classic Hip-Hop


The Vega Science Trust : Video and Audio science resources for schools (or anyone else who’s interested)

Science and Reason : Excellent primer on the Big Bang theory of cosmology

Bishop Hill : Climate Change sceptical blog of Andrew Mountford, author of The Hockey Stick Illusion. Nb – one of the fastest growing blogs on the net. Don’t worry if you are not a sceptic, all views welcome as long as you are polite

Real Climate : Man-Made Climate Change website, with regular contributions from work in the field. If you want to understand the current scientific consensus then this is the place to go, but sceptics be warned – your comments are likely to be deleted

Plasma Cosmology : Alternative, yet intelligent, theory of cosmology for those who don’t believe in the Big Bang – well worth a read

Watts Up With That : The most popular science blog on the web from climate change sceptic US weatherman Anthony Watts

NASA Images : Gigantic database of images from space, includes the famous NASA Image of Day gallery

Judith Curry : Blog of award winning Climate Scientist Judith Curry

Fractals : All about Fractals

Sylvie Gallet Fractals : The fractal art of French maths professor Sylvie Gallett

The Sun : Solar and Heliographic research from NASA


Wolfram Alpha : Fiendishly clever online computation engine, calculates anything from a currency conversion to the area under a curve

WordPress : Seen the blog, think you can do better ? – then learn all about blogging with WordPress (the hosts of this blog). It’s simple and its free – what are you waiting for ?

Football on TV : listing of every football game to be shown in UK TV over the next few weeks

Chelsea FC : Official website

The Guttenberg Project : One of the oldest sites on the web, it is an enormous database of books on which the copyright has expired. They have been digitised and are available for free download. Why pay money for an classic book in e-Book format when you can get it here for free !