Bootle F.C. (1879)

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Bootle Football Club was an English football club based in Bootle, Lancashire. Founder members of the Football Alliance, the club was one of the first two clubs to resign from the Football League.[1] and also one of only two clubs (the other being Middlesbrough Ironopolis F.C.) to spend a single season in the League.


The Bootle team pictured in 1888.

Bootle F.C. were formed in 1879 as Bootle St Johns AFC and played their first fixture in October 1880 against Everton.[1] Later that year the club changed its name to Bootle F.C. and then entered the FA Cup for the first time the following season.[1] Playing at Hawthorne Road, Bootle applied to become founder members of the Football League. Unlike neighbours Everton, their application was unsuccessful. Instead, in 1889–90 Bootle became founder members of the Football Alliance.[1] That season was their most successful as they finished league runners-up, reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they lost 7–0 to Blackburn Rovers.[2]

In 1887 Bootle signed former Scotland international Andrew Watson, the first black international player. If, as is likely, he was paid then he was the first black professional footballer in history, pre-dating Arthur Wharton.[3]

When the Alliance merged with the Football League in 1892, Bootle became founder members of the new Second Division.[4] Despite finishing in eighth position, the club resigned after one season, becoming one of the first two clubs to do so (the other being Accrington F.C.). It was replaced by neighbours Liverpool, and seemingly disappeared due to financial problems. Bootle and Middlesbrough Ironopolis are the only two clubs to have spent just one season in the Football League.[5]

International players[edit]

Four Bootle players appeared for Wales:[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bootle". Historical kits. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  2. ^ "The FA Cup Archive". The FA. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
  3. ^ "Fate of Scotland's first black footballer revealed". The Scotsman. 20 March 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  4. ^ "WHAT'S IN A NAME: LINCOLN CITY". September 16, 2009. The Football League. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  5. ^ Yarden, Paul. "Football Trivia Question of the Day May 2013 Archive". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  6. ^ "Appearances of players of Bootle F.C." Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2011.

External links[edit]