1857 – 1887

football match - 19th century

1857: Nine years after the first ever rules were drawn up by members at Cambridge University (the Cambridge rules), Sheffield FC were created by Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest, both members of Sheffield Cricket club who had previously organised informal kick abouts without any rules. The clubs inaugural meeting took place at Parkfield House on 24th October 1857.

1858: On 21st October 1858, Creswick and Prest draw up the clubs first set of club rules, these would be referred to as the Sheffield Rules.

1859: Forest Football Club, a team of former schoolboys from Harrow School is formed.

1860: Hallam FC, also from Sheffield are formed, playing their games at the Sandygate Road ground. Oswestry United are also formed. In Europe, two German sportsclubs TSV Hanau and TSV 1860 Munich are formed, although It’s not until years later that the clubs would associate themselves with football.

1861: Hallam and Sheffield play their first match between each other, the first time either side had played opposition, outside using their own members. Crystal Palace are formed, although the Crystal Palace side in 1861 would bare no resemblance to another Crystal Palace side that would form some 34 years later. Nottinghamshire based outfit Worksop Town are also formed.

1862: Notts County are formed. Members of twelve London based clubs meet to discuss the agreement of a common set of rules. Barnes, Civil Service, Crusaders, Forest of Leytonstone (formerly Forest Football Club), No Names Club of Kilburn, Crystal Palace, Blackheath, Kensington School, Percival House (Blackheath), Surbiton, Blackheath Proprietary School and Charterhouse School. Barnes Captain Ebenezer Cobb Morley plays a pivotal role in setting up the foundation of the Football Association, Charterhouse decline to join despite sending their captain B.F Hartshorn to the original meeting.

1863: Pupils of Charterhouse School form Stoke Ramblers whilst serving apprenticeships at the North Staffordshire Railway. The Football Association hold a first meeting at the Free Mason’s Tavern on 26th October 1863, over the coming weeks the first version of rules are drawn up for the modern game. However this didn’t please everybody, as the Blackheath club would soon resign following the majority of the clubs voting in favour of outlawing handing the ball and hacking at players below the knee. During this time Sheffield FC would join as members of the FA but continue to use their own club rules. On December 19th an experimental game using the new rules is played at Mortlake between Barnes and Richmond (who were not members of the FA) ends goalless.

1864: The first exhibition game under the FA rules is played on January 9th at Battersea Park, the members of the opposing teams would be chosen by the Football Association’s founder President A. Pember and it’s Secretary E.C Morley. Forest of Leytonstone change their name to the Wanderers after moving across London to Battersea Park.

1865: Sheffield FC play their first match outside the town against a Nottingham team under the ‘Nottingham Rules’ of eighteen players per side. Nottingham Forest are formed from a group of shinny players, taking their name from the local recreation ground that they play on.

1866: Upton Park FC are formed.

1867: Wednesday Cricket Club, named after the day of the week they played, agree to establish a football team to keep it’s players fit in the winter months. E.C Morley takes over from Arthur Pember as FA President. Rule changes proposed by Sheffield FC are rejected by the FA, the Football Association become reluctant to commit to any further fixtures played by Sheffield’s refusal to play under FA rules.

1868: One of the oldest football teams in Wales is formed, Caerleon AFC, Leyton FC are also formed as are Swifts FC, who would later produce several England International players.

1869: Goal Kicks are introduced in to the rules. Scottish side Kilmarnock are formed.

1870: Eleven players becomes the standard size for a football team. A representative game between players from England and Scotland takes place for the first time on March 5th 1870 after FA Secretary CW Allcock had placed an advert in some Scottish newspapers. The game is played at Kennington Oval and ends in a draw with Allcock captaining the English side with Arthur Kinnaird amongst the players in the Scottish team. Both teams made up of players from FA member clubs. Later on in the year (November) the two sides meet again with England winning 1-0.

1871: Goalkeepers become the only players allowed to handle the ball. The Football Association propose the Challenge Cup, the brain child of Secretary Charles Allcock is to create a knockout tournament for its member teams. Fifteen sides enter the competition with three withdrawing without playing a game. In the First Round, Barnes, Maidenhead and Clapham Rovers saw off Civil Service (2-0), Marlow (2-0) and Upton Park (3-0) respectively, Hampstead Heathens received a bye, both Wanderers and Royal Engineers received a walkover after respective opponents Harrow Chequers and Reigate Priory withdrew. Queens Park and Donnington School were both allowed through to the second round after failing to agree to an original date. Hitchin and Crystal Palace also being allowed through after their game ended 0-0. Of the four ties that did take place, all games where played on November 11th 1871.

1872: Wanderers win the first FA Challenge Cup final after beating the much fancied Royal Engineers 1-0 at the Kennington Oval on March 16th. Mathew Betts, a player originally registered with Harrow Chequers, scoring the only goal in front of a 2,000 crowd. Wanderers had reached the final through ‘scratch’ following an original scoreless tie in the semi final, they received a walkover because Glasgow based Queens Park could not afford to travel down to London for the replay. Elsewhere Corner Kicks are introduced for the first time. Whilst In November (30th 1872), the first ‘official’ international was played between England and Scotland at Hamilton Crescent, a cricket ground in Glasgow.

The game ended scoreless and was watched by a crowd of 4,000. FA Secretary Charles Alcock selected the English side, Scottish goalkeeper and Captain Robert Gardner the Scot’s team, that was largely from London based players. The match originally scheduled for 2pm was delayed for fifteen minutes due to fog, the Scots playing a passing game, uncommon to the English style of dribbling. On a heavily wet pitch due to continuous rain in Glasgow days before, Scotland had the better of the chances even having a goal disallowed by the umpires after they had claimed it had gone over the tape and not underneath, which acted as the crossbar and supported the goal posts.

Teams: Scotland: Robert Gardner (c), William Kerr, Joseph Taylor, James Thomson, James Smith, Robert Smith, Robert Leckie, Alexander Rhind, Billy MacKinnon, Jerry Weir, David Wotherspoon. England: Robert Baker, Ernest Greenhalgh, Coutenay Welch, Frederick Chappell, William Maynard, John Brockbank, Charles Clegg, Arnold Kirke-Smith, Cuthbert Ottaway (c), Charles Chenery, Charles Morice. Referee: William Keay (Scotland). Scotland played with two full backs, two half backs and six forwards whilst England, used only one full back, one half back and eight forwards. Barker in goal, swapping places with Maynard to play outfield during the game.

1873: England returned the favor of the previous international by hosting the Scots to a game little over three months after the first encounter when on March 8th 1873, Alexander Bonsor scored the first ever international goal in a 4-2 win for England at the Oval. The Scot’s passing game however would be influential on the game itself in England with many clubs realising that packing there teams with ten dribblers would not be the way to move forward. During the same month (of March) the Scottish Football Association is created with their very own cup competition. In the English FA Cup and as competition holders, Wanderers received a bye in to the 1873 final. They beat Oxford University 2-0 in a match that took place at 11am at Lillie Bridge due to it coinciding with the Boat Race.

1874: After a year at Lillie Bridge, the final is again played at Kennington Oval, Oxford University make amends after finishing as FA Cup runners up the previous year by beating Royal Engineers 2-0. In Birmingham, Cricketers at the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapel form Aston Villa FC. Whilst Nottingham Forest’s Sam Widdowson wears shin guards in a game for the first time.

1875: Blackburn Rovers are formed by ex public school boys. Small Heath Alliance, also form in Birmingham. A crossbar replaces the previous method of tape between the two goalposts. Royal Engineers beat Old Etonians 2-0 in a replay after the original Cup Final ended 1-1. The first time a show piece event would be decided this way.

1876: The Wanderers win an FA Cup that had increased to 32 teams, beating Old Etonians in the final 3-0 after a previous replay ended 1-1. A Danish football team called Kjobenhavns Boldklub (KB) is created by English residents in the town, KB becoming one of the first clubs outside mainland Britain to be formed. Wales play their first International Football match against Scotland in Glasgow losing 4-0.

1877: Wanderers beat Oxford University 2-1 for the first time, after extra time, to win the Challenge Cup for the second successive year. In the West Midlands, St. Lukes FC from Blakenhall are formed along with Crewe Football Club who set up as a separate organisation to the towns cricket side.

1878: St Domingo’s FC are founded, allowing the members of St Domingo’s Methodist Church to play sport in the non winter months. Wanderers win there third FA Cup final in a row (their fifth in total), after beating Royal Engineers 3-1. A whistle is used for the first time in a match at Nottingham Forest whilst Floodlights are first used at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane. Across the city, Sheffield FC finally agree to adopt the FA rules.

1879: St Domingo’s change there name to Everton after the region of Liverpool which they are based. Preston North End Cricket Club form a football team of the same name. Old Etonians end Wanderers early competition dominance by winning the cup for the first time. They beat Clapham Rovers 1-0 in the final. England beat Wales 2-1 in the first fixture between the two sides at the Kennington Oval. St Lukes FC change their name to Wolverhampton Wanderers after merging with local cricket & football club Wanderers.

1880: Clapham Rovers go one better than the previous year by beating Oxford University in the cup final 1-0. St Marks of West Gorton are formed by wardens of St Marks Church.

1881: In the last all amateur final, Old Carthusians win their first and only FA Cup after beating Old Etonians 3-0. A match umpire is given the power to order players off the field.

1882: Old Etonians win their second FA Challenge Cup after beating Blackburn Rovers, who include players, that are making a living from the game, in the final 1-0. England beat Ireland 13-0 in the two sides first ever encounter.

1883: With eighty-four teams now entering, The ‘plumbers & weavers’ of Blackburn Olympic become the first Northern side to win the FA Cup by beating the ‘gentlemen’ of Old Etonians, who suffered their fourth final defeat in history, 3-1 after extra time. New rules for throw ins require them to be two handed.

1884: Blackburn Rovers win their first of three successive cup finals against Scottish side Queens Park 2-1. Preston North End are earlier thrown out of the competition after illegally playing professionals in their side. Having lost seven of their last eight internationals against Scotland, the English team try a revolutionary formation with three half backs & five forwards as opposed to the customary two half backs & six forwards. The defensive approach restricts Scotland to a single goal win as the Scot’s greater cohesion and understanding is still superior to that of the England players individual skill.

1885: A repeat of the previous years FA Cup final ends with the same outcome as Blackburn Rovers beat Queens Park 2-0. Professionalism is legalised by the Football Association. Blackburn’s leaft half, 19 year old James Forrest becomes the first professional to play for England against Scotland, despite protests from the Scots that the teams should remain strictly amateur. In September, Arbroath beat Bon Accord 36-0 to set a British record victory. The away side played in their work clothes and without proper football boots had also replaced their unfit keeper with a half back who had never previously played in goal before. His opposite number did not touch the ball once and John Petrie scored 13 of his sides goals. Remarkably, on the same day, Dundee Harp beat Aberdeen Rovers 35-0.

1886: Blackburn Rovers win there third cup final in succession 2-0, after a replay held at the Racecourse Ground in Derby against West Bromwich Albion. Nottingham Forest players Fred Beardsley and Maurice Bates secure employment at the Woolwich Arsenal where they start a works football team. They even write to their old club to ask if there is any spare gear to help things get started, Forest oblige by sending them red shirts, as Dial Square FC is formed.

1887: St Marks change their name to Ardwick FC following their change of location. Aston Villa win their first FA Cup against Midland rivals West Bromwich Albion 2-0. A hotly disputed goal on the hour where Albion keeper Roberts allowed the Villa striker Hodgetts to score under the presumption that he would be called offside would anger the receiving side and it’s supporters. Villa Captain Archie Hunter eventually wrapping up the win. The competition is contested by 124 teams, six fewer than the previous year.

The FA Cup Results

1871/72WanderersRoyal Engineers1-0Kennington Oval
1872/73WanderersOxford University2-0Lillie Bridge
1873/74Oxford UniversityRoyal Engineers2-0Kennington Oval
1874/75Royal EngineersOld Etonians2-0 (1-1)Kennington Oval
1875/76WanderersOld Etonians3-0 (1-1)Kennington Oval
1876/77WanderersOxford University2-1 aetKennington Oval
1877/78WanderersRoyal Engineers3-1Kennington Oval
1878/79Old EtoniansClapham Rovers1-0Kennington Oval
1879/80Clapham RoversOxford University1-0Kennington Oval
1880/81Old CarthusiansOld Etonians3-0Kennington Oval
1881/82Old EtoniansBlackburn Rovers1-0Kennington Oval
1882/83Blackburn OlympicOld Etonians2-1 aetKennington Oval
1883/84Blackburn RoversQueens Park2-1Kennington Oval
1884/85Blackburn RoversQueens Park2-0Kennington Oval
1885/86Blackburn RoversWest Bromwich Albion2-0 (0-0)Racecourse Ground (Kennington Oval)
1886/87Aston VillaWest Bromwich Albion2-0Kennington Oval