The home of football

Whilst we are most frequently known for Sheffield United (who still play at Bramall Lane, the oldest professional football ground in the world and first ground to ever play a floodlit match) and Sheffield Wednesday (whose stadium Hillsborough has been their home since 1899, still longer than most!), our story is one of fundamental importance to the beautiful game.

Basically, without Sheffield, the modern game of football wouldn't be here. Sheffield is, in fact, the Home of Football, and the world's oldest cup competition, the Youdan Cup, took place in Sheffield (with the trophy apparently being worth about £100,000!).

Back in 1857 Sir Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest devised 'married v singles' and 'professionals v the rest' games at their local cricket club, and formed Sheffield FC. It was shortly afterwards that they drafted the club's rules of play - including the ball being allowed to be headed, wooden crossbars introduced, free kicks and corners being introduced, and the concept of playing under floodlights.

Hallam FC quickly followed suit and opened the world's first football ground (up until then matches were played at cricket grounds) in 1860 - which also led to the world's first inter-city club game being played on Boxing Day of the same year.

Whilst in 1878 there was eventually an amalgamation of rules with London rules (up until that point there were many different rules in different regions and even club across the country), it is widely credited that the Sheffield Rules helped shape the modern game.

As a result, Sheffield FC are officially recognised by FIFA as the world’s oldest football club, and alongside Real Madrid they are the only club in the world to have received the FIFA Order of Merit, showing that amidst the global corporations that preside over modern football, grassroots clubs can still share the same platform.

Yes, it is true...

“Without Sheffield FC, there wouldn’t be a me.”

Pele, 2007