Sheffield Wednesday FC’s 150-year-old football history started with a less than punishing schedule

Sheffield Wednesday celebrate their 150th birthday next week and face a more challenging match schedule than their forefathers. Whilst modern day Wednesday FC will have completed more than thirty matches by Valentine’s Day next year, their founding fathers had an easier schedule of just seven games over a similar period. The lack of matches clearly didn’t detract from their performance with their seventh match culminating in the club’s first trophy; the Cromwell Cup.
(There is much more detail on the Cromwell Cup and Wednesday’s early history in my newly released book A History of Sheffield Football 1857-1889: Speed, Science and Bottom )
Let’s start at the beginning. In an earlier blog, I discussed whether Wednesday’s actual foundation date is the 4th or the 5th of September ( but it still took until the 19th of October 1867 to play their first ever match against a team called United. (No, not that United but the United Mechanics FC who had been formed in 1865 from well-to-do engineers from various Sheffield firms.)
They maintained a leisurely one match per month schedule (Heeley FC in November, Dronfield FC in December and Heeley again in January 1868) and they finally played a competitive match on the 1st of February against Exchange FC in the semi-final of the Cromwell Cup. Only four teams entered the tournament with Garrick FC and Wellington FC contesting the other semi-final, with Wednesday and Garrick meeting in the final on the 15th February 1868. Wednesday won by one goal over the much-fancied Garrick FC to claim the world’s second oldest Association football trophy (after the Youdan Cup of 1867 (See )
I am told that the cup is currently on display in Mr Dejphon Chansiri’s (Club owner) office.
Why not join in Wednesday FC’s birthday celebration this Sunday (3rd September) at the Owls in the Park event where I will be selling my book at a special discount on stall 15.