Joseph B. Wostinholm: Sheffield United’s first ‘manager’ died this day 111 years ago

According to the 1891 census Wostinholm  lived at 161 Sharrow Lane and listed his occupations as stockbroker, chartered accountant and collector of rents.

He was known as the ‘Father of Yorkshire Cricket’ due to his long involvement as secretary of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club from 1864 until 1902, working out his offices at Bramall Lane and his business practice at 10 Norfolk Row. It was at the latter where Sheffield United were formed in 1889 :

“Sheffield United Cricket Club. The committee have decided to form a FOOTBALL CLUB for next season, for Bramall Lane ground. Professionals may send testimonials and on or before, March 30th to Mr. J.B. Wostinholme, 10 Norfolk Row.”

Although the team was selected by a committee and coached by a trainer, Wostinholm undertook many of the duties currently associated with that of a football manager including player transfers and dealing with The Football Association.

His obituary in 1909 made no mention of his involvement with Sheffield United, instead concentrating on his 38 years of service to Yorkshire County Cricket. At the time of his death he lived at 343 Sharrow Lane and was buried at the City Road cemetery and left £54,822. Mention was also made of his involvement with the Masons and that he was a staunch Unitarian.