Charles Clegg: Sheffield Football’s most important man?

Charles and his brother William  were both solicitors by trade; both played for Sheffield FC, Sheffield Football Association, Wednesday FC, Albion FC and England and both acted as Umpires in important games. After hanging up his boots, William Clegg became Lord Mayor of Sheffield as well as president of Wednesday and Vice President of the Sheffield Football Association.

Charles Clegg was a fierce proponent of the amateur game and strongly against all forms of professionalism. Over time he mellowed and oversaw Wednesday’s transition to professionalism and was involved in the foundation of Sheffield United in 1889, a club designed to be professional from the start. Charles was chairman of Wednesday and of the Sheffield Football Association and the most powerful man in English football between 1890 and 1919 in his capacity at the Football Association as the first and longest-standing chairman. He refereed both the 1882 and 1892 F.A. Cup Finals and in 1899 became chairman of Sheffield United; he became President of the club in 1924. He was knighted in 1927 and his club Presidency only lapsed on his death in 1937.

Both brothers are buried in the family tomb at Fulwood cemetery

The Sheffield and Hallamshire Football Association is based at Clegg House, 204 Meadowhall Road and there is a fine plaque of the man in reception.

If you have a spare £1.3m you can buy the 7-bedroomed house on Whiteley Wood Road that Leonard Johnson Clegg built in 1898 (the younger of the three Clegg brothers). If you go to the listing there is a photograph of a stained-glass window that depicts the Mayoral Crest featuring the lion rampant.

There is a lot more information on the Cleggs in my new book