150 years ago in football this month : Leeds Football club

LEEDS FOOTBALL CLUB. – On Monday last, fourteen members of the above club went to Sheffield to play fifteen of the Norfolk Football Club in that town. Mr G. F. Curzon, of the Leeds Express, and Mr. W. Skinner president of the Norfolk Club, were the respective umpires. The match was played in Norfolk Park, and lasted half an hour and a quarter, at the end of which time Sheffield had obtained a goal and two rouges, Leeds players being unpractised in the Sheffield rules, nearly all of which were different from those which guide their own play on Woodhouse Moor. But we cannot help recording the really scientific play with the Sheffield men backed each other up, a point in which Leeds was visibly deficient, although perhaps the individual kicking of the latter was superior. Several of the best of the Leeds Club were absent, for reasons best known to themselves. After play was over, a sumptuous repast was partaken of at the Adelphi Hotel, Norfolk-street, and a pleasant evening spent. The Sportsman – Saturday 25 November 1865

Leeds Football Club would ultimately chose to play rugby and it would not be until 1904 that Leeds City was formed that would play association football from the remnants of Hunslett FC (1877). In 1919 Leeds City was wound up by the Football League due to illegal payments and the modern day Leeds United was born.

The confusingly named Norfolk FC (1861) is of course a Sheffield club.The Duke of Norfolk owned a considerable area of land in Sheffield  known logically enough as Norfolk Park;  which in the 19th century continued from its current location just east of the centre all the way towards the city centre including Bramall Lane. Norfolk FC club ceased around 1879.

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