Foote Balle - cuttingEngland’s Oldest Football Clubs: A chronological history of Association football told through the story of early football clubs.

To enable me to write this book on Sheffield football, I had to first analyse the thousands of English football clubs that were founded between 1857 and 1889. The ranking of all English Association Football Clubs from 1857 to 1889 (current and defunct) has never been done before because for you to find out that your team is, say, the 13th oldest in England and the oldest in your county has been impossible because, to do that, all the other thousands of football clubs have also to be assessed.

That full reclassification is now complete and the findings are too extensive for one volume so I am breaking down the histories into geographical areas starting, logically enough, with Sheffield.

The reclassification gave me a framework against which to measure the accomplishments of the Sheffield game and what is clear is that 2017 is a very important anniversary year for Sheffield football and Association football in general.

I run a website called “Soccerbilia” that specialises in vintage football newspapers, periodicals and magazines and they carry a rich contemporary story of how the game and clubs grew, giving a story of the game that has not been written before. In the future I plan to use this data to release further books on early football in other English locations.

Brand new book available in the Summer 2017:
A History of Sheffield Football 1857-1889: Speed, Science and Bottom