Hallam F.C.

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Hallam
logo
Full name Hallam Football Club
Nickname(s) The Countrymen
Founded 4 September 1860
Ground Sandygate Road,
Crosspool, Sheffield
Ground Capacity 1000 (250 seated)
Chairman Chris Taylor
Manager Steve Toyne
League Northern Counties East League
Division One
2013–14 Northern Counties East League
Division One, 20th

Hallam Football Club is a football club in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, which currently plays in the Northern Counties East League Division One. Founded in 1860, it is the second oldest football club in the world with Sheffield also being the home of the oldest club in the world, Sheffield which was founded in 1857.

Hallam still plays on its original ground, Sandygate Road, which is officially recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as "The Oldest Ground in the World". Sandygate is in Crosspool in western Sheffield. In 1860 Hallam first played Sheffield in a local derby which is still contested today. This 'Rules derby' is considered the oldest still-contested derby of any football code in the world, and is probably one of the oldest organised team-sport derbies in the world, besides those found in cricket.

In 1867 the club made football history when it won the Youdan Cup, the world's first ever organised football tournament when it beat fellow Sheffield club Norfolk in the final played at Bramall Lane.[1] The club still possess this historic trophy.

Club history[edit]

In the Pennine Hills to the west of Sheffield stands the Plough Inn alongside the road called Sandygate. In 1804 the landlord of the inn agreed to use one of his fields for cricket matches and so the Hallam cricket club was formed. The club was so successful that by the 1850s it had some 300 members, many being familiar with team football as played by Sheffield club, which was formed in 1857. The desire for another, less exclusive football club led the cricketers to the formation of the Hallam Football club in 1860 and the first challenge match against Sheffield took place at Sandygate on Boxing Day of that year.

The Hallam Football club's founder and captain, John Charles Shaw, soon became President of the Sheffield Football Association which organised matches to the locally preferred rules for its growing number of member clubs. John Shaw was directly instrumental, with Charles Alcock of the Football Association in London, in the formation of nationally accepted rules for playing the game. In fact both gentlemen were the respective captains of the first all Sheffield match with London in 1871, in which the preferred rules were experimented.

In 1867, Hallam won what is believed to be the first football cup competition which was the Youdan Cup, named after a local footballing enthusiast and theatre owner Thomas Youdan. By 1878, Hallam had the regular services of an English international player in Billy Mosforth, who was a member of both Hallam football and cricket clubs.

With the advent of more successful clubs and the growth of professionalism, Hallam could not hope to compete, being content to maintain its place in amateur football, with occasional success in local league and cup competitions. In 1925, over 2,000 spectators at Sandygate saw Hallam defeat the famous Bishop Auckland in an FA Amateur Cup tie.

By rapid promotion, Hallam soon reached the most senior local league and had regular encounters with more famous clubs in the FA Amateur cup competition. Local enthusiasm for the club's progress was that one such tie against Dulwich Hamlet in 1953 had to be played at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground and attracted a crowd of over 13,000.

Hallam have won the Sheffield Senior Cup four times during the 1950s and 1960s, the last time in 1967–68.

The 1982–83 season saw the demise of the old Yorkshire League with the introduction of the FA's pyramid system of non league football in which promotion was determined as much by ground grading as team performance. With only seven years of its ground lease remaining the club could not commit to expensive ground improvements. Protracted negotiations with the landlord eventually led to a 99 years extension being granted but a large premium was demanded within one year.

Hallam’s profile was highlighted during the 1980s when the complete history of the club was researched and published by member John Steele. This was soon followed by much national publicity of the club’s plight.

A massive fund raising effort secured the new lease and continued for the provision of floodlights-first used in 1992. Next, the league required a 250 seat stand and a shelter for 100 spectators. More fund raising was boosted when the club received a large bequest from a late supporters will. The two new stands were ready for the 1999–2000 season and work continued by building new changing rooms behind the main stand. This left the original changing rooms redundant, so it was gutted internally and refitted as a licensed clubhouse.

At some point in the past, the Youdan Cup, won outright by the club in 1871 had been lost. In 1997, the club bought it back when it turned up at a Scottish antique dealers shop. This allowed the club to obtain acceptance from the Guinness Book of World Records that it has both the oldest football ground and the oldest football cup.

Following 36 years without winning any silverware, Hallam won the NCEL cup in 2003–04 when it beat Mickleover Sports 1–0 in the final played at Buxton. So with its home at Sandygate secure until 2088. The future looks bright for Hallam Football club particularly as it looks forward to celebrating the clubs 150th anniversary in 2010.

In September 2010 Uriah Rennie (ex FA Premier League Referee) was unveiled as club president at Hallam FC's 150th anniversary dinner. At the end of the same season Hallam were relegated after finishing second from bottom.

Hallam F.C. was also the club Jimmy Muir played for. He was scouted by Sheffield United in the film When Saturday Comes. Sean Bean played the role of Jimmy Muir.

Stadium[edit]

Notable former players[edit]

  • Michael Boulding: Ex-Aston Villa, Grimsby, Mansfield and Bradford City striker.
  • Sean Connelly: Stockport County legend, now a physio at Cardiff City.
  • Tony Crane: Ex-Sheffield Wednesday and Grimsby defender.
  • Howard Wilkinson: Title winning manager at Leeds who played for Hallam between spells with Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.
  • Harold Brook : Inside forward who later played for Sheffield United and Leeds.
  • Harry Deacon : Played for a number of football league clubs, most notably Swansea City where he scored 86 goals in 319 appearances.
  • Sean Dunphy : Former Lincoln City defender
  • Fred Furniss : Former Sheffield United full back who never missed a penalty in his United career and is included on the Blades' 'Wall of Fame'.
  • George Handley : Started his career at Hallam before moving to Bradford City. Later coached in Switzerland with Brühl and St. Gallen.
  • Brian Linighan : Played for Hallam after being released by Sheffield Wednesday and Bury. Brother of former Arsenal defender Andy Linighan and former Ipswich Town defender David Linighan.
  • Billy Mosforth : Former England midfielder who played in the first ever floodlit game at Bramall Lane.
  • Mark Smith : Played for a number of league and non-league clubs most notably Rochdale, Huddersfield, Grimsby and Scunthorpe.
  • Jack Whitham : Capped at England under 23 level, Whitham started his career at Sheffield Wednesday making 63 appearances and scoring 27 goals. Later played for Liverpool, Cardiff and Reading in the 1970s before playing for Hallam towards the end of his career. Later became Hallam FC manager before retiring.
  • Pat Hanwell : In his 50th year at Hallam. Started playing for Hallam in 1959 playing for a number of years and won the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Cup in '62 '65 and '68. Became Hallam manager in the 1970s and is still involved in the club today.
  • Dave McCarthy : Played for and managed Hallam in the 1990s. Now CEO of Ferencvárosi TC in Hungary.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murphy, Brendan (2007). From Sheffield with Love. SportBooks Limited. ISBN 978-1-899807-56-7. 

External links[edit]