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A History of Sheffield Football - Second Edition - by Martin Westby
A History of Sheffield Football – Second Edition – by Martin Westby

ISBN: 978-0-9556378-2-7
Pages: 288
Dimensions: 168mm x 245mm
Illustrations: 42 plus 3 maps

This book provides a comprehensive review of the Sheffield football scene from 1793 until 1889, using research, some of which never before seen in the public domain. The book analyses all ninety-five clubs that existed during the period when Sheffield led the world of Association football and was a critical factor in the formulation of today’s world-wide rules and regulations.

This book first came out in 2017 and quickly sold out which gave me the opportunity to fully revise and update the book throughout in late 2018. The second edition has 28 extra pages, 20 new images and a new fold out map.  New chapters were added celebrating the 160th anniversary of the 1858 Sheffield Rules and the argument why Sheffield can legitimately call itself the ‘Home of Football’.

As well as examining early Sheffield football this book also features other local clubs’ early histories from the surrounding area; Leeds, Bradford, Chesterfield Rotherham, Rawmarsh, Staveley, Elsecar, Mexborough, Worksop, Barnsley, Eckington and Doncaster.

This book is not just for South Yorkshire and Derbyshire football fans, it is for anyone with an interest in how Association football first started and then evolved.

This book is not available at Amazon and can only be purchased from this site and selected book shops.


Map: The Birth of Sheffield Football

Chapter One: The Search for a Universal Playing Code
Cambridge Rules 1848
Surrey Football Club Rules 1849
Sheffield Rules 1858
Sheffield Rules 1862
The Simplest Game Rules 1862
Cambridge University Rules 1863
Football Association Laws of 1863
The Football Annual 1868

Chapter Two: Sheffield Schools
Collegiate School
Wesley College
Penistone Grammar School

Chapter Three: Sheffield Volunteer Movement
Tom Vickers
Hallamshire Rifles

Chapter Four: Sheffield Football Association
England’s First County Association
Sheffield New Football Association

Chapter Five: The Golden Age of Sheffield Amateur Football 1857-1876
1857: Sheffield FC
1858: Dingley Dell FC
1859: Crusaders FC, Forest FC, Mincing Lane FC
1860: Hallam FC, Youdan Cup, World’s Oldest Football Ground
1861: Norfolk FC, Pitsmoor FC, Norton FC
1862: Firvale FC, Heeley FC, Mackenzie FC, Milton FC,
Howard Hill Steel Bank FC
1863: Broomhall FC
1864: The Sheffield Great Flood, Leeds FC, Bradford FC
1865: United Mechanics FC
1866: Oldest Association Football Clubs by Country, Garrick FC, Wellington FC, Chesterfield FC
1867: Wednesday FC, Exchange FC, Dore FC
1868: Dronfield FC, Brincliffe FC, Engineers FC (Volunteer Movement) 142
1869: Oxford FC, Parkwood Springs FC
1870: Attercliffe FC, Surrey FC, Rotherham FC, Perseverance FC, Walkley New
Connexion FC, Crookes FC, Thursday Wanderers FC, Gleadless FC,
Lockwood Brothers FC, Alliance FC, Talbot FC
1871: Kimberworth FC, Millhouses FC, Exchange Brewery FC,
All Saints’ Night School FC
1872: Brightside FC, Norfolk Works FC, Albion FC, Eldon St Jude’s FC,
Pye Bank FC
1873: Worksop Town FC, Owlerton FC, Philadelphia FC, Endcliffe FC,
Rawmarsh FC, Sharrow Rangers FC, Holmes FC, Ecclesfield FC
1874: Providence FC, Handsworth Woodhouse FC, Carnforth FC,
Woodseats FC, Spital FC
1875: Elsecar FC, Whittington Moor FC, Staveley FC
1876: Darnall FC, Newfield FC, Mexborough FC, Phoenix Bessemer FC

Map: Sheffield Football Clubs 1857- 1873

Chapter Six: The Decline of the Old Order 1877-1887
1877: Sheffield New Football Association, Barnsley Wanderers FC, Eckington FC,
Hunslet FC
1878: The start of the Passing Game, Floodlights at Bramall Lane
1879: White Cross FC, Zulus FC, Sheffield Wanderers FC, Doncaster Rovers FC
1880: Eckington Works FC
1881- 1886 Sheffield resists professionalism
1887: Barnsley St. Peters FC

Chapter Seven: Football Professionalism and the Football League
Lancashire takes over
Football Association Challenge Cup Winners
The Football League

Chapter Eight: Sheffield embraces Professionalism
The near extinction of Wednesday FC 1887
Sheffield Rovers FC
Looking for a League
Sheffield United Cricket and Football Club 1889
The Wednesday reach the F.A. Cup Final 1890
Sheffield FC to amalgamate? 1890
The First United v. Wednesday derby 1890
Professionalism wins an F.A. Cup for Sheffield 1896

Conclusion: Sheffield the Home of Association Football

Table One: Sheffield Football Clubs

Table Two: Sheffield Football Clubs by date of formation

Appendix One: Rules Chronology

Appendix Two: Classification Rules for English Football Clubs 1857-1889


Bibliography and Acknowledgements


What people are saying about “A History of Sheffield Football 1857-1889… ‘Speed, Science and Bottom”

“The book should stand as a reference work on the early days of association football for a long time. You should be extremely proud of what you have produced”

Professor Wray Vamplew. Emeritus Professor of Sports History.

“There is new research which I would say means the club has a better understanding of its own history and place in the development of the game as a result of your book”.

Andy Dixon Sheffield F.C.Historian

‘Martin’s new book feels like a complete life’s work and is brilliantly researched. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down -A wonderful book’. 

Steve Basford (Chairman of Hallam Football Club)

“This well written and comprehensively researched book will become one of the must read books for all researching football’s true origins”.

Clive Nicholson (Co-author of Flying Over an Olive Grove: The Remarkable Story of Fred Spiksley)

“The book is obviously a labour of love and Martin Westby deserves congratulations on producing it in a nice edition”.

Flashing Blade Fanzine No. 161 October 2017.