Melvyn Bragg’s list of twelve British books which changed the world includes The Rule Book of Association Football (1863). This rule book was strongly influenced by Sheffield FC who insisted on the ball being played with the feet and not with the hands signalling the divergence of association football and rugby.
There are also other historic contributions, including:
The world’s oldest football club – Sheffield FC 1857
The world’s oldest continuously used football ground – Hallam FC 1860
The world’s oldest football trophy – Youdan Cup 1867
First floodlit game – Bramall Lane
Sheffield United v Arsenal – First game on the radio 1927
Oldest schools trophy – Clegg Shield
Sheffield and Hallamshire FA – oldest local association
First intercity game – Sheffield v Nottingham
First Anglo-Scottish game – Sheffield v Queens Park
First compensation scheme for footballers
Introduction of crossbar, corner kick, arc on penalty circle, shin pads, whistles
This remarkable popular heritage is largely unknown to the general public. This project aims to involve pupils in original archival research under the guidance of football historians, local footballs clubs and support from the University of Sheffield.