Oldest football clubs

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The history of the formation of the oldest football clubs is of interest to sport historians in tracing the origins of the modern codes of football from casual pastime to early organised competition and mainstream sport. The identity of the first or oldest football clubs in the world, or even in a particular country, is often disputed or claimed by several different clubs, across several different codes of football. Many early clubs did not use the word "football" in their name. Although the terms "football club" and "FC" are now strongly associated with association football (commonly known as soccer in some countries), early rugby clubs also referred to themselves, or continue to refer to themselves, as simply a "football club", or as a "rugby football club". Similarly, almost all Australian rules football teams have also referred to themselves as football clubs.

"Club" has always meant an independent entity and, during the historical period in question, very few high school or university teams were independent of the educational institutions concerned. Consequently school and university football teams were seldom referred to as "clubs". That has always been the case, for example, in American football, which has always had strongly ties to college sport in general. Conversely, however, the oldest still-existing "football club" with a well-documented, continuous history is Dublin University Football Club, a rugby union club founded in 1854 at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Defunct clubs[edit]

While the first clubs emerged in Britain, possibly, as early as the fifteenth century, these are poorly-documented and defunct. For example, the records of the Brewers' Company of London between 1421 and 1423 mention the hiring out of their hall "by the "football players" for "20 pence", under the heading "Trades and Fraternities".[1] The listing of football players as a "fraternity" or a group of players meeting socially under this identity is the earliest allusion to what might be considered a football club.[2] Other early sporting bodies dedicated to playing football include "The Gymnastic Society" of London which met regularly during the second half of the eighteenth century to pursue two sports: football and wrestling[3] The club played its matches – for example between London-based natives of Cumberland and Westmoreland – at the Kennington Common from well before 1789 until about 1800.

The Foot-Ball Club (active 1824–41) of Edinburgh, Scotland, is the first documented club dedicated to football, and the first to describe itself as a football club.[4] The only surviving club rules forbade tripping, but allowed pushing and holding and the picking up of the ball.[5] Other documents describe a game involving 39 players and "such kicking of shins and such tumbling".

Other early clubs include the Great Leicestershire Cricket and Football Club present in 1840.[6] In 1841 two clubs are documented in a contemporary challenge to play "foot-ball" in Lancashire: "The Body-Guard club" (Rochdale) and the "Fear-noughts Club"[7] A club for playing "cricket, quoits and football" was established in Newcastle on Tyne in or before 1848.[8] The Surrey Football Club was established in 1849 and published the first non-school football list of rules (which were probably based upon the eighteenth century Gymnastic Society cited above[9])

Continuous clubs[edit]

Cambridge University Association Football Club has been described by the university as the oldest club now playing association football.[10][11] For example : "Salopians formed a club of their own in the late 1830s/early 1840s but that was presumably absorbed by the Cambridge University Football Club that they were so influential in creating in 1846".[12] According to Charles Astor Bristed, in the early 1840s at Cambridge, there were games played between clubs from different colleges and houses.[13] Cambridge rules dates from 1848 and football is documented as being played on the original club ground, Parkers Piece, as early as 1838.[14] The earliest existing evidence of the Cambridge University Football Club comes from "The Laws of the University Football Club" dated 1856, and held at Shrewsbury School.[11]

It is claimed that the Barnes Club (later Barnes Rugby Football Club), from Barnes in London, was formed in 1839 and is the oldest club to have played football for its entire history.[15] However, this has not been conclusively documented. It is also argued, and supported by the Guinness Book of Records, that Guy's Hospital Football Club, founded by staff at Guy's Hospital in London in 1843, is the oldest club. While a rugby club still exists at Guy's Hospital, the connection between the present club and the one formed in 1843 is poorly-documented.[16]

The oldest football club with a well-documented, continuous history is the Dublin University Football Club, founded in 1854 at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. The club plays rugby union.

The international governing body of association football, FIFA, and the England FA both officially recognise Sheffield F.C., founded in 1857, as the world's oldest association football club.[17] The club, in Sheffield, England, is the oldest documented stand-alone club, that is, the oldest association football club not associated with an institution such as a school, hospital or university. It was founded in 1857.[18] It initially played Sheffield rules, a code of its own devising, although the club's rules influenced those of the FA (1863) including handball, free kicks, corners and throw ins. While Sheffield F.C. joined the FA in 1863 it continued to use its rules and did not adopt the Association's code in full until 1877.

Liverpool Football Club (not to be confused with Liverpool F.C. of the English Premier League), later known as Liverpool St Helens F.C. were formed in 1857, which claims to be the oldest open rugby club in the world. The club adopted the Rugby Union rules in 1872, never playing association rules.

English club Notts County, formed in 1862, is the world's oldest fully professional association football club.[19]

Outside Britain & Ireland[edit]

Although football variants have been played in North America since the 1820s, the claim of oldest continuous football club in North America is still a matter of debate. Oneida Football Club was founded in 1862, and played the "Boston game", the rules of which have been lost. The modern club, Oneida FC were refounded in 2011 and play rugby league football.

The first football club in France was established in Paris in 1863 by English expatriates, as the following excerpt from a contemporary newspaper shows: "A number of English gentlemen living in Paris have lately organised a football club... The football contests take place in the Bois de Boulogne, by permission of the authorities and surprise the French amazingly.[20]

In terms of gridiron football the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League can trace their roots back to the Hamilton Football Club (nicknamed the "Tigers") which formed in 1869, then later merged with the Hamilton Wildcats in 1950 to form the current franchise. Their rivals to the north, the Toronto Argonauts, were founded four years later in 1873 and boast a mostly unchanged franchise history. It should be noted, however, that both clubs began as rugby football clubs and only later adapted to the gridiron-style of play which would become known as Canadian football. The oldest continuous rugby club in North America which still plays rugby is the McGill University Rugby Football Club which was established in 1863, although their first recorded game was not until 1865.[21] The oldest independent (non-university) rugby club is the Westmount Rugby Club of Montreal, which formed in 1876.[22]

In the United States, gridiron-based variants of the game did not distinguish themselves from existing codes until 1871, when Harvard University began playing a variation known as the "Boston Game." This allowed a player to pick up the ball and run with it if he were chased and it quickly spread, with innovations added by Yale University student Walter Camp. The oldest existing non-university semiprofessional football club is the Watertown Red & Black, which was founded in 1896. The Arizona Cardinals, formed in Chicago in 1899, are the oldest club currently in the National Football League, although they relocated to St. Louis in 1960 and then to Arizona in 1988. The Green Bay Packers, founded in 1919, are the oldest NFL club still in their original city.

"Dresden English Football Club" was founded on 18 March 1874 and was the first association football club in Germany, possibly the first in continental Europe and thus the first outside Britain. That year, over 70 members participated, primarily Englishmen working in Dresden, watched by hundreds of spectators. (Another German club, 1860 Munich did not play football until 1899, although it has its origins in a gymnastics and fitness club formed in 1848 and reestablished in the year indicated by its name.)

The oldest existing "football club" in South America is the Buenos Aires Football Club, established in 1886 in Argentina to play rugby union, being also a founding member of the Argentine Union. The BAFC merged with Buenos Aires Cricket Club in 1951 and has continued playing rugby up to present.[23] (It is sometimes confused with an older Buenos Aires Football Club, established on May 9, 1867 by a group of English immigrants. The club is known to have played rugby and was dissolved at the end of the 1880s.[24]

Timeline, 1854–80[edit]

Year Date Club Original code Current codes City Country Current status/league Notes
1854 Dublin University F.C. Rugby football Rugby union Trinity College, Dublin Ireland AIB League Oldest documented football club in Ireland and the oldest to later play Rugby union. Now playing in AIL Division 2.
1857 24 October Sheffield F.C. Sheffield Rules Association football Sheffield England Northern Premier League Division One South English FA and FIFA officially recognise this club as the oldest now playing Association football,.[25]
1857 10 November Liverpool St Helens F.C. Rugby football Rugby union Liverpool England North 1 West The club's first match took place in 1857 when old boys from Rugby school challenged local boys to a game under their school rules. Liverpool Football Club were then formed. The oldest open rugby club not part of an academic institution in the World.
1857 26 December Edinburgh Academical F.C. Rugby football Rugby union Edinburgh Scotland Scottish Premiership (rugby) Oldest football club in Scotland. Oldest documented rugby club in the UK.
1857 Edinburgh University RFC Rugby football Rugby union Edinburgh Scotland BUCS Rugby Union Premier North B Joined the RFU in 1871 but resigned to become a founder member of the Scottish Football Union in 1873. The Edinburgh University Association Football Club (AFC) was formed in 1878 and was a founder member of the Scottish Football League.
1858/59 [a] Cambridge University A.F.C. Cambridge rules Association football Cambridge England BUSA Midlands Division 2A See above. The 1856/57 foundation date has been claimed by the university, which would make it the 2nd oldest club now playing Association football.
1858 Blackheath Rugby football Rugby union Blackheath, London England National League 1 Foundation member of the F.A.
1858 University of St Andrews RFC Rugby football Rugby union St Andrews Scotland BUCS Scotland Div. 1, Caledonia Two Midlands Founder member of the SRU.
1859 14 May Melbourne F.C. Australian football Australian football Melbourne Australia Australian Football League The club was officially formed on 14 May 1859. On 17 May 1859, members of the club codified Australian rules football. Oldest of all the football clubs of any code in the world that are now professional.
1859 [a] 15 June Castlemaine F.C. Australian football Australian football Castlemaine, Victoria Australia Bendigo Football League Foundation date recently rediscovered, but dormant for a period.[26]
1859 [a] [a] Melbourne University F.C. Australian football Australian football Melbourne University Australia Victorian Amateur Football Association Section A Records of its formation are lost, however there are references of the club dating back to June 1859 and its first match was also in June 1859. Won Australian rules first ever trophy in 1861 by defeating Melbourne. Disbanded during World War I, but later reformed.
1859 18 July Geelong F.C. Australian football Australian football Geelong Australia Australian Football League The club's own code was played in the Geelong region and influenced the rewriting of the laws of Australian football in 1866.
1860 20 May Ballarat F.C. Australian football Australian football Ballarat Australia Ballarat Football League Formed as a junior club; senior club established in 1862.[27]
1860 Cray Wanderers F.C. (Unknown) Association Football Bromley, London England Isthmian League Premier Division Oldest existing association football club in Greater London
1860 Hallam F.C. Sheffield Rules Association football Sheffield England Northern Counties East League Premier Division Took part in first ever football tournament.
1860 Manchester R.C. Rugby football Rugby union Manchester England South Lancs/Cheshire 1 No connection to association football clubs Manchester United F.C. or Manchester City F.C..
1861 18 July Montevideo CC Rugby football Rugby union Montevideo Uruguay Campeonato Uruguayo de Rugby Recognised as the oldest Latin American club by the World Rugby Museum of Twickenham.[28][29]
1861 Worksop Town F.C. Sheffield Rules Association football Worksop England Northern Premier League
1861 Sandhurst F.C. Australian football Australian football Bendigo Australia Bendigo Football League Founded by J. B. Thompson, one of the inventors of Australian rules football.
1861 Richmond F.C. Rugby football Rugby union Richmond, London England National League 1 One of the first two clubs (with Barnes) to play a game of Association football, despite not being a member of the FA.
1861 Sale Sharks Rugby football Rugby union Manchester England Guinness Premiership Currently in the peak domestic competition for rugby union in England.
1861 18 July Modbury F.C. Australian football Australian football Modbury Australia South Australian Amateur Football League
1862 [a] Barnes R.F.C. Rugby football Rugby union Barnes, London England National League 3 London & SE It is claimed that Barnes RFC was founded in 1862 but there is no actual evidence, so the club itself states to have clear documents about its activities from the 1920s.[30] A founding member of the Football Association (F.A.) in 1863 and one of the first two clubs (the other being Richmond) to play a game of Association football.
1862 Notts County F.C. Own code Association football Nottingham England Football League One NCFC official site history.[31] Oldest of all the Association Football (Soccer) clubs in the world that are now professional.
1863 St. George's Hospital Medical School RFC Rugby football Rugby union Hyde Park Corner, London England BUCS league, South Eastern Conference, League 2A Founding member of United Hospitals RFC, and the only one of the original United Hospitals members that is in the same form as at inception. The team moved to Tooting, South West London, in the 1970s.
1863 [a] Bradford Park Avenue Rugby football Association football Bradford England Northern Premier League Division One North Folded in 1974. Reformed in 1988 as Bradford Park Avenue A.F.C. Founding member of rugby league in 1895. Entered top soccer league in 1907 in what was known as the "great betrayal".
1863 Stoke City F.C. Association football Association football Stoke-on-Trent England Premier League Founded as Stoke Ramblers in 1863, changed name to Stoke City in 1925 after Stoke-on-Trent was granted city status. The second oldest professional football club in the world, after Notts County, and one of the founding members of the Football League.
1863 Christchurch F.C. Own code Rugby union Christchurch New Zealand Division One - Telecom Cup Oldest club now playing rugby union in NZ.[32]
1863 [a] Sydney University F.C. Rugby football,
Australian football[33]
Rugby union University of Sydney Australia New South Wales Rugby Union Foundation date disputed by historican Tom Hickie who argues that it was actually 1865.[34] The oldest Australian rugby union club; according to fullpointsfooty.net, it "flirted with 'Victorian Rules' [Australian rules] in its formative stages."[33] The current Australian rules club at the university, Sydney University Australian National Football Club, claims to be a spin-off of SUFC, although the university did not play an inter-club Australian rules game until 1887.
1863 Royal Engineers A.F.C. (Unknown) Association football London England British Army competition Won the FA Cup in 1875.
1863 [a] Civil Service F.C. Association football Association football London England Southern Amateur League Foundation member of F.A. Sometimes referred to as the "War Office Club".
1864 Saturday 22 October Wrexham F.C. Association football Association football Wrexham Wales Conference National The oldest football club in Wales and the third oldest of all the football clubs in the world that are now professional.
1864 July Carlton F.C. Australian football Australian football Carlton, Victoria Australia Australian Football League Source: Carlton Football Club.[35] Carlton has participated at the highest level of its code longer than any other club.
1864 Williamstown F.C. Australian football Australian football Williamstown, Victoria Australia Victorian Football League The second club from Williamstown which exists to this day.
1864 Brigg Town F.C. Association football Association football Brigg England Northern Premier League Division One South
1865 West of Scotland F.C. Rugby football Rugby union Glasgow Scotland Scottish Premiership Division 2 One of the founder members of the SRU.
1865 Bath Rugby Rugby football Rugby union Bath England Aviva Premiership Currently in the peak domestic competition for rugby union in England.
1865 Hull F.C. Rugby football Rugby league Kingston upon Hull England Super League
1865 Nottingham Forest (Unknown) (possibly Bandy) Association football Nottingham England Football League Championship
1866 Harlequins Rugby football Rugby union Twickenham England Aviva Premiership Originally called Hampstead Football Club, the Club was renamed Harlequin Football Club in 1870 as the membership had ceased to be mainly Hampstead based. As the Club's equipment and stationery was all monogrammed HFC, a dictionary was used to find an acceptable alternative name to "Hampstead" beginning with an H and all members agreed on "Harlequin".
1866 Glasgow Academicals RFC Rugby football Rugby union Glasgow Scotland West Regional League division 1 One of the founder members of the SRU.
1866 Kapunda F.C. Australian football Australian football Kapunda, South Australia Australia Barossa Light & Gawler Football Association
1866 Rochdale Hornets Rugby football Rugby league Rochdale England Championship 1
1866 20 October Swinton and Pendlebury Football Club Rugby football Rugby league Swinton, Greater Manchester England RFL Championship Won three Rugby League Challenge Cups and six championships
1867 9 July Queen's Park F.C. Own code Association football Glasgow Scotland Scottish League Two
1867 4 September Sheffield Wednesday F.C. Sheffield Rules Association football Sheffield England Football League Championship The Wednesday Cricket Club formed 1820 in Darnall, Sheffield. Sometimes known as Darnall Wednesday C.C or Sheffield Wednesday C.C. The Cricket club folded 1924 but has recently been revived (2011).In 1867 a football section was formed known as The Wednesday Football Club. In 1929 the football club officially changed Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.
1868 Tiverton Rugby Club Rugby football Rugby union Tiverton, Devon England Tribute Cornwall/Devon League Tiverton Rugby Club is known as Devon's oldest club.
1868 Fordingbridge Turks F.C. (Unknown) Association football Fordingbridge England Bournemouth Saturday Football League
1868 Perthshire RFC Rugby football Rugby union Perth Scotland Scottish Premiership division 3
1868 York F.C. Rugby football Rugby league York England National League Two York FC was formed in 1868 and joined rugby league in 1901. They went bankrupt in 2002. A new club, York City Knights, was formed in 2003.
1869 Glasgow University Rugby Football Club Rugby football Rugby union Glasgow Scotland Scottish University competitions
1869 Queen's University RFC Rugby Football Rugby Union Queen's University Belfast Northern Ireland All-Ireland League AIB League, Ulster Senior League Second oldest club in Northern Ireland
1869 3 November Hamilton Foot Ball Club (later Hamilton Tiger-Cats) Rugby football Canadian football Hamilton, Ontario Canada Canadian Football League The HFBC were nicknamed the "Tigers" in 1873. Merged with the Hamilton Flying Wildcats in 1950 to form the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.[36][37][38][39] Oldest current professional gridiron football team.
1869 North Melbourne F.C. Australian football Australian football North Melbourne Australia Australian Football League Was briefly known as the 'Hotham Football Club' between 1877 and 1888, due to a change in the town's name.
1869 Kilmarnock Rugby football Association football Kilmarnock Scotland Scottish Premiership
1870 Southend RFC Rugby football Rugby union Southend England National League 2 South
1870 late April or early May Port Adelaide F.C. Australian football Australian football Port Adelaide Australia Australian Football League [40] Formerly played in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) as the Port Adelaide Magpies until 1997 before awarded a licence to enter the AFL in 1996. Entered AFL in 1997 as the "Power". A new club known as the Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club was formed in 1997 to fill its void in the SANFL
1870 Stranraer F.C. Association football Association football Stranraer Scotland Scottish League One
1870 Abingdon Town F.C. Association football Abingdon, Oxfordshire England Hellenic Football League
1870 Darwen Football Club Rugby football (and cricket) Association football Darwen England West Lancashire Football League The club was wound up in 2009 and later reformed as AFC Darwen.
1870 Burton F.C. Rugby football Rugby union Burton upon Trent England Midlands 1 West The club has since changed its name to Burton Rugby Football Club
1870 22 November Marlow F.C. Association football Association football Marlow, Buckinghamshire England Southern Football League
1871 Ararat Football Club Australian football Australian football Ararat, Victoria Australia Wimmera Football League
1871 Uxbridge F.C. Association Football Association Football Uxbridge, Greater London England Southern Football League Division One Central
1871 Birkenhead Park FC Rugby Football Rugby union Birkenhead England National League 3 North
1871 25 December Reading F.C. Association football Association football Reading, Berkshire England Football League Championship
1872 Lutterworth R.F.C Rugby Union Rugby Union Lutterworth England Midlands 2 East (South)
1872 Dumbarton F.C. Association football Association football Dumbarton Scotland Scottish Championship Founder member of the Scottish Football League, and joint winners of the first Scottish Football League title in 1890-1.
1872 Rangers F.C. Association football Association football Glasgow Scotland Scottish League One Founder member of the Scottish Football League, and joint winners of the first Scottish Football League title in 1890-1.
1872 Clifton R.F.C. Rugby union Rugby union Clifton, Bristol England National League 2 South
1872 Havre Athletic Club Rugby football & Athletics Association football Le Havre France Ligue 2 Founded originally as Rugby and Athletics Club in 1872 by English expats. Oldest football and rugby club in France.
1873 Chippenham Town F.C. Association football Association football Chippenham, Wiltshire England Southern Football League Formed in 1873 while Queen Victoria was alive and kicking. Considered one of the oldest clubs in Southern England.
1873 Exmouth RFC Rugby football Rugby union Exmouth, Devon England National League 2 South
1873 7 June Essendon F.C. Australian football Australian football Essendon, Victoria Australia Australian Football League
1873 Toronto Argonauts Rugby football Canadian football Toronto, Ontario Canada Canadian Football League Founded as a rugby team by the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club, itself founded the year previous in 1872.
1874 8 June Rochester Football Club Australian football Australian football Rochester, Victoria Australia Goulburn Valley Football League
1874 19 June South Melbourne F.C. (Sydney Swans) Australian football Australian football Sydney, New South Wales Australia Victorian Football League Relocated to Sydney in 1981.
1874 Port Melbourne F.C. Australian football Australian football Port Melbourne, Victoria Australia Victorian Football League
1874 Bolton Wanderers F.C Association Football Association Football Bolton England Football League Championship The club was originally known as Christ Church and was one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888.
1874 Greenock Morton F.C. Association Football Association Football Greenock Scotland Scottish League One
1874 Arthurlie F.C. Association Football Association Football Barrhead Scotland Scottish Junior Football West Premier League
1874 Heart of Midlothian F.C. Association football Association football Edinburgh Scotland Scottish Championship
1874 Hamilton Accies Association football Association football Hamilton Scotland Scottish Premiership
1874 Aston Villa F.C. Association football Association football Perry Barr, Birmingham England Premier League Founded in 1874,[41] also founder member of the Football League.[42]
1874 Northwich Victoria F.C. Association football Association football Northwich England Northern Premier League Premier Division Their foundation date is given as at least 1874. Founding member of the Cheshire FA, the Football League Second Division, The Combination and Cheshire County League. Their home ground Drill Field, at the time of its demolition in 2002, it was believed to be the oldest football ground in the world.[43]
1875 [a] Lampeter Town RFC Rugby football Rugby union Lampeter, Ceredigion Wales WRU Division Four West Officially recognised by the Welsh Rugby Union as the oldest Rugby Club in Wales, when the Reverend Rowland Williams brought the game with him to the College in 1850. The club currently plays within the British Universities and Colleges Sports (BUCS) league system.
1875 Birmingham City F.C. Association football Association football Small Heath England Football League Championship
1875 Blackburn Rovers F.C. Association football Association football Blackburn England Football League Championship

Founder members of both the Football League (1888) and the Premier League (1992).[44]

1875 11 September Bournemouth F.C. Association football Association football Bournemouth England Wessex League Known as Bournemouth Poppies to avoid confusion with the League Club AFC Bournemouth Founder Member of the Football Association, the Hampshire F.A. and the Bournemouth F.A. [45]
1875 Dewsbury Rams Rugby Football Rugby League Dewsbury England Championship (rugby league) Won 2 Challenge Cups (1911–12, 1942–43) and 1 Championship (1972–73).
1875 Hibernian F.C. Association football Association football Edinburgh Scotland Scottish Championship The Edinburgh derby match between Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian is the oldest regularly played derby match in the world.
1875[46] Club Mercedes Association football Association football Mercedes Argentina Torneo Argentino C The oldest club currently competing in any Argentine association football league.
1875 Redruth R.F.C. Rugby football Rugby union Cornwall England National League 2 South
1875 Taunton R.F.C. Rugby union Rugby union Taunton, Somerset England National League 2 South
1876 South Adelaide Football Club Australian football Australian football Adelaide Australia SANFL South Adelaide is the 2nd oldest football club in South Australia
1876 Westmount Rugby Club Rugby football Rugby union Montreal Canada 2nd Division of Quebec Rugby Federation Oldest active rugby club (excluding university teams) in North America. Founded as Montreal Football Club.
1876 Port Vale F.C. Association Football Association Football Burslem England Football League One The club claim to have been founded in 1876, though contemporary research suggests the club was probably founded in 1879.[47]
1876 Falkirk F.C. Association football Association football Falkirk Scotland Scottish Championship
1876 Stafford Rangers F.C. Association football Association football Stafford England EVO-STIK Premier, England
1876 Middlesbrough F.C. Association football Association football Middlesbrough England Football League Championship
1876 Partick Thistle F.C. Association football Association football Glasgow Scotland Scottish Premiership
1876 Kjøbenhavns Boldklub Danish longball Association football Copenhagen Denmark Danish Superliga Formed in 1876, but association football was only added in 1878.[48] The club itself claims to be the oldest football club on Continental Europe.[49] In 1991, Kjøbenhavns Boldklub and B 1903 merged their professional football teams and formed F.C. Copenhagen.
1876 Tynedale R.F.C. Rugby football Rugby union Corbridge England National League 1
1877 Clyde Association football Association football Glasgow Scotland Scottish League Two Then moved to Cumbernauld.
1877 Crewe Alexandra F.C. Cricket Association football Crewe England Football League One
1877 Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. Association football Association football Wolverhampton England Football League Championship Founding member of the Football League.

Formed as St. Lukes, before merging with The Wanderers two years later.[50]

1878 Norwood Football Club Australian football Australian football Adelaide Australia SANFL One of the oldest football clubs in South Australia
1878 West Bromwich Albion F.C. Association football Association football West Bromwich England Premier League Founded as West Bromwich Strollers, before adopting the Albion suffix two years later.[51]

Founding member of the Football League.

1878 Everton F.C. Association football Association football Liverpool England Premier League Also a founding member of the Football League. The club played cricket for two years before adopting Association Football, so could be said to have been formed in 1876.
1878 Kirkintilloch Rob Roy F.C. Association football Association football Kirkintilloch Scotland Scottish Junior Football West Premier League
1878 Lugar Boswell Thistle F.C. Association football Association football Lugar, East Ayrshire Scotland Scottish Junior Football Ayrshire Division One Founded as Lugar Boswell and played until 1939 and reformed 1945 as Lugar Boswell Thistle.
1879 Fulham F.C. Association football Association football London England Football League Championship
1879 Brora Rangers F.C. Association football Association football Brora Scotland Highland Football League
1879 Sunderland A.F.C. Association football Association football Sunderland England Premier League
1879 Doncaster Rovers Association football Association football Doncaster England Football League One
1879 19 April FC St. Gallen Association football Association football St. Gallen Switzerland Swiss Super League Oldest association football club in continental Europe.
1880 Aarhus Gymnastikforening (AGF) Gymnastics Association football Aarhus Denmark Danish Superliga
1880 East Craigie F.C. Association football Association football Dundee Scotland Scottish Junior Football East Region North Division The Scottish Junior Football Assoc was founded in 1886 and East Craigie pre-date this and are one of the oldest Junior (i.e. not members of the SFA) clubs still in existence.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Disputed, poorly documented or dormant for a period.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Magoun, Francis Peabody (1929) "Football in Medieval England and Middle-English Literature." The American Historical Review, v.35, no. 1
  2. ^ M. Marples, 1954, A History of Football, Secker & Warburg, London, p. 36
  3. ^ Football The First Hundred Years: The Untold Story by Adrian Harvey, Routledge 2005, page 54
  4. ^ John Hope, Accounts and papers of the football club kept by John Hope, WS, and some Hope Correspondence 1787–1886 (National Archives of Scotland, GD253/183)
  5. ^ The Foot-Ball Club in Edinburgh, 1824–1841 – The National Archives of Scotland
  6. ^ Football The First Hundred Years: The Untold Story by Adrian Harvey, Routledge 2005, page 60
  7. ^ Football The First Hundred Years: The Untold Story by Adrian Harvey, Routledge 2005, page 85
  8. ^ The Guardian, 10 June 1848.
  9. ^ Football The First Hundred Years: The Untold Story by Adrian Harvey, Routledge (2005), pages 78-79
  10. ^ "Cambridge University Newsletter July/August 2006". University of Cambridge. July 2006. p. 4. Retrieved 11 July 2007. 
  11. ^ a b "Cambridge... the birthplace of football?!". BBC Cambridgeshire. 13 June 2006. Retrieved 11 July 2007. 
  12. ^ Harvey, Adrian (2005). Football: The first hundred years. Routledge. p. 251. 
  13. ^ Bristed, Charles Astor (1852). Five Years in an English University. p. 365. 
  14. ^ History of the Cambridge University AFC on official website
  15. ^ Inverdale, John (2 November 2005). "My assumptions about 'oldest' were confounded by Barnes". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  16. ^ "GKT Gazette – March 2004 – A history of rugby". Guy's, King's & St.Thomas's Hospitals Medical & Dental Schools Gazette. 
  17. ^ "Sheffield FC: 150 years of history" at FIFA, 24 October 2007
  18. ^ "Club history" on Notts County official site
  19. ^ The five oldest football clubs in the world are: 1.Sheffield F.C. (1857), members of the Northern Premier League Division One South; 2. Hallam F.C. (1860) also a Sheffield football club, playing a division below the oldest club (Northern Counties East League Premier Division) 3. Cray Wanderers F.C. (1861) 4. Worksop Town F.C. (1861); 5. Notts County(1862). Notts County – A Pictorial History ISBN 0-9547830-3-4 page 8
  20. ^ The Scotsman Newspaper, 22 December 1863, page 8
  21. ^ "Team history" on McGill RFC website
  22. ^ History of Westmount RC
  23. ^ "Historia del club" at BACRC website
  24. ^ El Origen Británico del Deporte Argentino by Víctor Raffo, Gráfica MPS (2004) - ISBN 978-987-43-8107-1
  25. ^ "Famous Sons". Sheffield F.C. 
  26. ^ "Goldfields club endures". The Age (Melbourne). [dead link]
  27. ^ Ballarat Football Netball Club – Club History
  28. ^ World Rugby 1820-1870 at RFU.com
  29. ^ "Decano entre decanos" by Claudio Barragán & Gustavo Castro at El Area website
  30. ^ History of the club at Barnes RFC website
  31. ^ "The History Of Notts County". Notts County F.C. 
  32. ^ "Rugby Union Football – History". The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. 
  33. ^ a b "Sydney University". 
  34. ^ Hickie, T. A Sense of Union
  35. ^ "History of the Blues". Carlton Football Club. 
  36. ^ "Canadian Football Timelines (1860 – Present)". 
  37. ^ "Tiger-Cats History". 
  38. ^ "Grey Cup 06 Newsletter". 
  39. ^ "Here's hoping the Ticats turn it around". 
  40. ^ South Australian Register, 13 May 1870.
  41. ^ "History Timeline, avfc.co.uk". 
  42. ^ "History McGregor, avfc.co.uk". 
  43. ^ "Time called on Drill Field". BBC News. 19 October 2000. 
  44. ^ History of the Football League, 22 September 2010
  45. ^ The history of Bournemouth FC, 13 June 2009
  46. ^ Historia del Club Mercedes at official website
  47. ^ The Valiants' Years: The Story Of Port Vale, ISBN 0-9508981-4-7, pages 4–13, 1990, The Port Vale Record, ISBN 0-9508981-9-8, page 4, 1993, and What If There Had Been No Port In The Vale?: Startling Port Vale Stories, ISBN 978-0-9529152-8-7, pages 18–33, 2011, all by Kent, Jeff.
  48. ^ http://www.denstoredanske.dk/Livsstil%2c_sport_og_fritid/Sport/Fodbold_-_Danmark/Kj%C3%B8benhavns_Boldklub
  49. ^ http://www.kb-boldklub.dk/om-kb/historie/
  50. ^ Matthews, Tony (2008). Wolverhampton Wanderers: The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. ISBN 978-1-85983-632-3. 
  51. ^ McOwan pp. 7–10.

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