Two Sheffield teams are to face each other, in a friendly match, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the world’s first inter-club football match.
Hallam FC and Sheffield FC will play each other at Hallam FC’s Sandygate Road – which has been authenticated by The Guinness Book of Records as the oldest football ground in the world – on Monday 2 May, at 3.00pm, to mark a historic moment in football.
Sheffield FC, who were founded in 1857 and are the oldest football club in the world, and Hallam FC – who are recognised as the second oldest club in the world, after being founded in 1860 – first played each other on Wednesday 26 December 1860.
Strong ticket sales
The two teams were due to face each other on Sunday 26 December 2010, exactly 150 years since their first match, but it was postponed due to a frozen pitch at Sandygate Road. The match was re-arranged in January.
Dave Atkin, a committee member at Hallam FC, said: “May Bank Holiday Monday was the first date available that suited both clubs and Hallam Cricket Club, who have used the ground during the summer since 1804.
“Online sales of tickets – including sales to visitors who will be arriving from all over the UK, and as far away as Ohio and Finland, together with walk ups on the day – is likely to see a capacity crowd at Sandygate.
“Sadly a few tickets sold for the Boxing Day fixture have had to be returned for full refunds, but sales since Christmas have more than made up for those not able to attend.”
Benefiting two clubs
After Sheffield FC achieved a mid-table finish in the Evo-Stik Division One South and Hallam FC were relegated from the KoolSport NCEL Premier Division, the match will bring a positive end to the season for both clubs.
Mr Atkin said: “The benefit for the two clubs – apart from a great end of season party – is obviously the awareness by more and more people, both in Sheffield and across the country, of Sheffield’s place in the founding of the modern game.
“The amazing thing about Hallam FC and our World Famous ground is that more people know about it in other countries than in Sheffield itself – something we hope the 150th [anniversary] match will help to change very quickly.”
This news story was self-published in April 2011.