Westfield Sports College


Sheffield FC presentation by the Year 8 Football Team

On Tuesday 19th March we visited Sheffield FC and met with Richard Timms who gave us an excellent talk on the history of Sheffield FC. We had our meeting with him in the board room that is jam packed with footballing history.


As part of the Home of football project the Year 8 Football team at Westfield Sports College visited Sheffield FC and we were amazed to find out that Sheffield FC are the ‘grandfather of all clubs’ …….They started it all !!!!

Worlds first club

Logo 1857

Oldest Club

Here are some pictures from our visit!

pupils visit

Studying hard in the board room!


first clubrules pic


Thanks for reading our presentation and we hope you are proud of Sheffield’s place in football history. Harry Bembridge; Joe Simpson; Adam Pocock; Callum Turner; Oliver Greaves; Alfie Gleadall; Joe Fisher; Lewis Hallowes; Ben Jinkinson; Ross Booth; Ben Longden; Alfie Manthorpe

The Rules of Playing Football and the Development of Pitch Marking: A Timeline by Westfield Sports College 

– Up until the 19th century, football was played by dozens of players on each side attempting to get the ball in a goal such as a large tree, a pub door or a gateway.

– There was no pitch or rules and play was very rough

– Early in the 19th century, health and bodily fitness was important and there was a demand at British boys’ colleges to provide a winter sport after the summer cricket and athletics season.

– Each college decided to play a more refined form of football with defined rules, set number of players and a specific playing area .The pitch was a rectangular area of cut grass often as big as 200 x 100 yards, with goals represented by pairs of posts at each end.

– Each college had its own version of how the game should be played and as a result the “rules” varied from college to college.

– By the 1850’s the first generation of footballing college boys had returned to their home towns and some were keen to continue playing. So came about the formation of the first football clubs.

– Early club games were just between that club’s own members and to give some variation could for example be “married versus singles” or “first half alphabet surnames versus second half surnames”.

– Club football was like that at college, played as opposing packs trying to dribble the ball towards an opponent’s goal in order to kick the ball through. The contests were still quite rough and any appealed for infringement of the club’s rules of play were decided by the 2 captains.

– Sheffield F C was formed in 1857 soon followed in 1860 by Hallam F C and these remain the world’s two oldest football clubs.

A description of early rough football comes from the memoirs of W C Clegg of Sheffield of an incident in a match against Hallam: “Down one side of the field ran a stone wall only a foot or so off the touch line. I was running down the wing with the ball and after me came a great big fellow, twice my weight. I knew he was up to some mischief and suddenly he launched himself at me with all his weight. I swerved quickly to one side and he went smack against the wall with such force that he knocked several stones out of position!

– During the 1860s Football Associations were formed first in London then Sheffield and Glasgow but agreed rules did not develop until 1877

– The basic rules of playing football generally applied i.e., Kick off from the centre of the pitch, goal counted if ball kicked between posts, no handling of the ball and an attempt to define the tackling of an opponent deemed fair or foul.

The 1870s saw the various Associations agree new rules covering:

– Two handed throw ins from the “touch line”

– The “off side rule“ was accepted by all

– This period saw the introduction of pitch markings. This was done either dry with powdered lime or more economically the lime was mixed with water the resulting slurry being painted onto the grass.

– The pitch perimeter lines were marked together with a line across the middle of the pitch to aid the positioning of kick offs and restarts. Also short lines 6 yards in front of each goal helped the positioning of goal kicks

Season 1890/1891 saw another batch of rule improvements:

– Referees and 2 linesmen

– Direct and Indirect free kicks

– Penalty kicks

1891 Goal nets were first used

1903 The “advantage rule” was introduced.

1904 Players knickerbockers must cover the knees following reports of much shorter versions.

1909 Goalkeepers had to wear a coloured jersey for better identification.

1912 Goalkeepers  were now restricted to handling within their penalty area .

1913 Opponents of free kicks must stand at least 10 yards from the ball. The referee would “pace out” 10 yards from the ball placement. A 10 yards radius centre circle and 10 yards radius “Ds” were added to each penalty box

Here are some logos designed by pupils at Westfield Sports College:

Picture 11 Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3 Picture 4 Picture 5 Picture 6 Picture 7 Picture 8 Picture 9 Picture 10