Crystal Palace F.C. (1861) was a short-lived amateur association football club, who were formed in 1861 by groundkeepers who worked at the famous Crystal Palace Exhibition building. Later notable players joined such as Cuthbert Ottaway. The club disbanded and disappeared from historical records after 1876.
The groundkeepers were one of the 12 founder members of the Football Association and competed in the first FA Cup in 1871-72 reaching the Semi-finals where they were eliminated by the Royal Engineers in a replay after the first game ended goalless. They also played in the FA Cup in the following four seasons, before the club disbanded shortly after.
The later professional Crystal Palace football club that was formed in 1905 and still exists today, is considered by many to be spiritual successors to the amateur club due to the links that both clubs have to the name of the exhibition building, and the fact that the clubs also played inside the grounds of the Palace, although it is thought that the amateur club used the old cricket pitch at the site. These links are the reason why the professional club makes reference to the earlier amateur club in its chronicled history.