The most famous sport in the world boasts an extremely rich and impressive heritage. Traditionally, England is considered to be the birthplace of soccer, so it comes as no surprise that the first soccer clubs have originated in England. You are in the right place if you are eager to find out more about them.
Next, we’re going to take a quick look at soccer’s brief past to learn how the “beautiful game” came to be. Then we’re going to look at what five soccer teams are considered the first in history to be.
How Soccer Originated
Before we go into more detail about the first soccer teams, let’s see how this sport came into being.
According to some accounts, the soccer-like game that featured a ball made out of a rock, though) was first played around 1,000 BC in Mesopotamia. However this game was a long way from the fair play game we know today. The captain of the losing team would have been viewed as a sacrifice to the gods. Well. Yeah.
Similar games have also been played in ancient Greece, Rome and China. The team game, however with the most similarities to soccer, is synonymous with England and the 12th century. Besides kicking the ball, it also involved hitting it. (Yes, that’s also how rugby originated.)
In the mid-19th century, soccer and rugby were two separate sports, and it was then that the English Football Association was established. So it should come as no surprise that English soccer clubs are dominating our list of the first five soccer clubs in the world.
First Soccer Clubs
According to some historians, the first soccer club was set up in Scotland in 1824. However, both the English Football Association and FIFA consider the well-known English team that is still playing today as the first official soccerclub.
It’s pretty convenient that the first soccer team in the world comes from England. After all, this is the nation in which the team sport, as we know it, originated today. According to some claims, a soccer club representing Cambridge University was set up in 1856. That’s why some people remember it as the oldest club in the world.
Some scholars, however, claim that this club was formed much earlier. Whatever the case may be, one of the most prestigious universities in the world can claim to be the location where the first soccer club was set up.
This isn’t meant to be a surprise. Many English public schools have seen games reminiscent of soccer being played on school grounds. So the students who went to college decided to play them, too. However each school had its own rules, so playing a uniform game was a little troublesome.
So when Cambridge University came up with a list of soccer rules in 1856, it changed everything. There are a number of documents testifying to the fact that Cambridge’s Blues was the first team to play in a structured manner. Each player was given a field of pitch control and had a role in the team that based the game on throwing the ball around.
Protection and attack tactics were invented, as was the pyramid formation – two defenders, followed by three middlemen and five strikers. Since this formation became very popular, it was quickly adopted as a soccer norm.
Another of our first soccer teams, Sheffield F.C., came into being on October 24, 1857. Even though this club is now located in Derbyshire, Sheffield is the place where it was formed. There is also some controversy about which club is known to be the first – Sheffield F.C. Or the University of Cambridge. However, Sheffield was remembered as the oldest soccer team still in existence.
The Football Association was established six years after the founding of the club, but there were no widely agreed rules at the time. Which meant that the club had to come up with its own set of rules. These rules, called the Sheffield Rules, are considered to be the first set of written soccer rules created by the soccer team.
Today, Sheffield F.C., dubbed The Club, is playing in the Northern Premier League (Division One South East). Their greatest success in modern history came in 1977 when they were runners of the FA Vase.
The rules are between Sheffield F.C. Oh, and Hallam F.C. (This is also going to make an appearance on our list) is a town derby that was first played in 1860. This occurrence is often considered to be the oldest fixture in the world. The last time these two teams met was in 2012 since they have competed in separate leagues since then.
Another English club that is proud to have a long history is Hallam F.C. Founded in 1860, this soccer club is considered to be the second oldest soccer club in the world.
All the great soccer rivalries involve two teams, normally originating from the same area. (Although there are still others featuring two of the most successful teams in the world. Do we need to say more than El Clásico? Well, Hallam F.C. is pushing this a step further The club was founded to be Sheffield F.C.’s competitor, since this team has been established three years ago! As we have already said this competition led to the formation of its own soccer derby called the Rules.
Hallam F.C. had quite a few good seasons in its early years. The team also won the Youdan Cup in 1867, which was perceived to be one of the world’s first soccer tournaments.
And here’s a fun thing about the award for the Youdan Cup. It happened to be lost, and no one knew where it stood for more than a century. Then it happened in 1997 that an antique dealer sold it to the club. How it fell into his hands, and where it had been for more than a hundred years, is still a mystery.
The Countrymen made their first appearance at the Amateur Cup in 1911. And though the First World War began in 1914, the club continued to play until 1917. After a two-year absence, Hallam returned in 1919 to produce one of the best results in club history in 1925. The win over Bishop Auckland, five-time Amateur Cup champions in front of 2,000 strong crowds, is now considered to be one of their most important achievements.
Notts County F.C.
Established in 1862, Notts County Football Club is another English club on our list. There are only 12 soccer teams that would claim to be the founders of the Football League in 1888. Notts County is just one of them.
However, their initial season wasn’t that good –they finished in eleventh place. Their biggest league result came in 1891 when they finished seventh, and the results were repeated ten years later, in 1901.
Nicknamed the Magpies because of their black and white shirts, the team played on several fields before transferring to Meadow Lane in 1910, where they now play their home matches. An fascinating bit of knowledge is that the famous Italian Series A club, Juventus, derived their jersey color combination from Notts County’s.
Now, let’s see some fascinating facts about one of the best soccer clubsin the country. Their best win was in 1885 when they won an unprecedented 15-0 over Rotherham Town in the Cup. But the 11-1 victory over Newport County in the League in 1949 is almost as remarkable as it is.
The most legendary Notts County player is possibly Albert Iremonger, who had as many as 564 appearances with the black and white kit. He played for the soccer team for 22 years, from 1904 to 1926. Towering the top scorer list is Les Bradd, who managed to find the net 125 times in his nine seasons in the club.
Stoke City F.C.
Perhaps you don’t know that Stoke City F.C. It was originally known as Stoke Ramblers back in 1863 when it was formed. The first name change occurred in 1878 when the club became Stoke after the Stoke Victoria Cricket Club, and then Stoke City in 1925.
Along with F.C. Hallam. And the other ten teams, the Potters were the founder members of the Football League. The first two seasons have been quite unsuccessful, to put it lightly. On both times, Stoke finished in the last place. However in the years to come, certain impressive victories were to be ensured. Right now this team is playing in the English second-tier soccer competition, the Championship.
The biggest achievement was in 1972 when Stoke City managed to beat Chelsea in the League Cup final with 2-1. In 2008, the club officially joined the Top League for the first time and remained there for ten uninterrupted seasons. One of the best andmost impressive achievements during this time is the second position in the FA Cup Final 2011.