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Which is the he oldest football club in the world?

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Although football as a game can be dated back, in various forms, to thousands of years, it was really in the first part of 19th century, that clubs began to be formed, with the UK the original heart of the game.

 

There is some dispute also about the longevity of some clubs, with rugby teams sometimes just calling themselves football clubs to confuse the issue.

However, pride of place belongs to the Football Club of Edinburgh, with records that date back to 1824. The surviving rules refer to a game that consisted of up to 39 players, and, although tripping was not allowed, it was permitted to pick the ball up and to kick the shins of opponents.

 

In terms of clubs that still exist to this day, according the Guinness Book of Records, that honour belongs to Guys, Kings and St. Thomas RFC, founded by the staff at Guys’ Hospital in London, although the links with the present day club are tenuous.

 

Perhaps of more established claim is Sheffield FC, which was founded in 1857. Initially it followed its own rules – the Sheffield Rules of Football – although these were to have an influence on the later codified regulations, including such innovations as hand balls, throw-ins, free kicks and corners.

 

Although the club joined the FA in 1863, it would be another 14 years before they adopted the rules of association football. They currently play in the Northern Premier League in England, and have nothing to do with their more illustrious Premier League neighbours, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.

 

To commemorate their status as the oldest recognised football club, they were given the FIFA Order of Merit in 2004 – the only other club on whom it has been bestowed are Real Madrid. Three years later, on the occasion of their 150th anniversary, they were inducted into the English Football Hall of fame.

 

Notts County won the First Division three times and the FA Cup once, although the last of those triumphs is now a century ago.

 

Among the original founding members of the Football Association, the only one that still exists is Civil Service F.C. Based in London, several members of the club played a prominent role in organising the first ever international football match between representative sides from England and Scotland, made up primarily of civil servants.

 

The club currently plays in England’s Southern Amateur League, Senior Division Two.

In terms of professional football, the accolade of the oldest clubs belongs to Notts County, who were established in 1862, one year before the establishment of the FA itself. In 1888 they were one of the 12 Founding Members of the Football League, and would remain part of it until the 2018/2019 season, when they were relegated to the National League (the fifth tier of English football.

 

The club has played in black and white stripes since 1903, and Juventus took inspiration for their own home strip from them. In 2011, Juventus invited County to play a special exhibition match. The English side acquitted themselves creditably in a draw.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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