Bootle F.C. (1879)
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. and also one of only two clubs (the other being Middlesbrough Ironopolis F.C.) to spend a single season in the League.
Bootle F.C. were formed in 1879 as Bootle St Johns AFC and played their first fixture in October 1880 against Everton. 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. 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. 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.
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.
When the Alliance merged with the Football League in 1892, Bootle became founder members of the new Second Division. 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.
- Smart Arridge (2 caps with Bootle)
- Walter Evans (1 cap with Bootle)
- Billy Hughes (3 caps with Bootle)
- Job Wilding (3 caps with Bootle)
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