List of football clubs in England and Wales by year formed
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List of football clubs in English football league system, as of the 2017–18 season, who are playing in the top four divisions of English football. Different sources offer alternative dates for club foundation dates, and therefore given dates can vary. Reasons for differentiation include:
- Clubs can originate as an unincorporated association; clubs may include this relatively informal period as part of their history however evidence for either continuous existence and relationship to any subsequent incorporated club may be limited
- Clubs can form from a merger of two clubs with the date of one of the origin clubs being used as the foundation date.
- Some clubs were wound up, with a present club claiming themselves as the continuation of the previous one
- Historicity - some dates are based on non-contemporary accounts, or on newspaper reports where the direct connection to modern day clubs is not established.
The year in the left hand column is the year claimed by the club itself
|Year stated by club||Club(s)||Notes|
|1862||Notts County||Informal before 1864|
|1863||Stoke City||The historicity of accounts of football in 1863 is disputed, the evidence of subsequent existence of football prior to 1868 is lacking, the 1868 club underwent a merger in 1878 and was liquidated in 1908|
|1867||Chesterfield||Several Chesterfield clubs with unknown links existed in the 19th century, current club founded 1919|
|1875||Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers|
|1876||Middlesbrough, Port Vale|
|1877||Blackpool, Crewe Alexandra, Wolverhampton Wanderers|
|1878||Everton, Grimsby Town, Ipswich Town, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion|
|1879||Doncaster Rovers, Fulham, Sunderland, Swindon Town|
|1880||Preston North End|
|1881||Watford||underwent merger in 1898, the 1881 date is for one of the two merged clubs|
|1882||Burnley, Queens Park Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur|
|1884||Derby County, Leicester City, Lincoln City|
|1885||Bury, Luton Town, Millwall, Southampton|
|1886||Arsenal, Plymouth Argyle, Shrewsbury Town|
|1887||Barnsley, Cheltenham Town, Wycombe Wanderers|
|1889||Brentford, Forest Green Rovers, Sheffield United|
|1892||Liverpool, Newcastle United|
|1893||Gillingham, Oxford United|
|1895||Oldham Athletic, West Ham United, Yeovil Town|
|1896||Crawley Town||played informally from 1890)|
|1897||Mansfield Town, Northampton Town|
|1899||Bournemouth, Cardiff City, Scunthorpe United|
|1901||Brighton & Hove Albion, Exeter City|
|1903||Bradford City||formed from Manningham FC after a switch from Rugby League |
|1904||Carlisle United, Hull City|
|1905||Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Crystal Palace|
|1908||Fleetwood Town, Huddersfield Town|
|1912||Cambridge United, Swansea City, Newport County|
|1925||Rotherham United||based on clubs that were involved in the 1925 merger, 1870 is sometimes claimed|
|1932||Wigan Athletic||Several teams created and wound up prior to current club|
|1937||Colchester United||Replaced an amateur club which folded the previous year|
|1950||Burton Albion||succeeded other clubs in the town|
|1968||Accrington Stanley||Reformed, following the demise of a previous club of the same name in 1963|
|1976||Stevenage||founded following bankruptcy of a previous club|
|2002||AFC Wimbledon||viewed as a new club and not a continuation of Wimbledon FC|
|2004||MK Dons||Although the club was a continuation of Wimbledon FC (formed 1889), moving from Wimbledon to Milton Keynes in 2003, the club considers its foundation from when the club was renamed in 2004|
In the book "Forever Forest" by Don Wright, the "official Nottingham Forest club historian" states "Nottingham Forest are the second oldest football league club in the world (after Notts County, which began in 1862)". This is due to there being actual records of this date.
- "Calls for plaque to recognise meeting at city hotel which created Notts County FC".
- "Classic clubs:Stoke City".
- "1863-1888 In the Beginning". Stoke City F.C. Retrieved 18 September 2017.
- "The forgotten story of … Sam Weller Widdowson: footballer, cricketer, innovator".
- "Four clubs for Chesterfield".
- http://www.thestar.co.uk/sport/football/sheffield-wednesday/150-years-of-sheffield-wednesday-a-night-in-the-adelphi-where-it-all-began-1-8735374. Missing or empty
- "Pictures: Reading FC rubbishes rumours these could be next season's kits".
- "Rise and Fall of Aston Villa".
- "New book re-lives the story of lost Bolton Wanderers heroes and an age when the club was a giant of football".
- "How resilient district rose out of industrial decline".
- "Invincible team's march into football’s history books".
- "Bristol Rovers".
- "Coventry City: The Sky Blues' unhappy anniversary".
- "on this day:1889".
- BCFC. "A Potted History". www.bcfc.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
- "Crawley Town history".
- "The dates which shaped our city explored in new book".
- "Bradford City]]".
- "Keep Southend United's history alive".
- "Rochdale FC".
- "Ill health forces Fell out".
- "Profile on Morcambe FC".
- "Rotherham United".
- "Wigan Athletic".
- "Meet Eric Heath".
- http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/15196190.NOSTALGIA__48_old_pictures_of_Colchester_United_fans_and_players/. Missing or empty
- "Living the impossible dream".
- "Axed Stanley".
- "Stevenage facts".
- "ONLY ONE DON AFC Wimbledon refuse to recognise MK Dons in their official match-day programme as the two clash tonight at the Cherry Red Records Stadium".
- "MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon: Stuart Murdoch's story".