Chariman of Sheffield FC
© Sheffield FC
We are most frequently known for Sheffield United (who still play at Bramall Lane, the oldest professional football ground in the world and first ground to ever play a floodlit match) and Sheffield Wednesday (whose stadium Hillsborough has been their home since 1899, still longer than most!).
The sporting accolades of those teams are celebrated and envied in equal measure depending on whether you are a Blade or an Owl in Sheffield - but they are eclipsed by one small fact that hardcore football followers and historians know but many fans don’t: Sheffield is, in fact, the Home of Football.
Sheffield FC are officially recognised by FIFA as the world’s oldest football club who host the original rules, and Hallam FC play on the world’s oldest continually used football ground. Alongside Real Madrid they are the only club in the world to have received the FIFA Order of Merit, showing that amidst the global corporations that preside over modern football, grassroots clubs can still share the same platform.
So it really makes sense that we are a football city, and for proudly quoting the world famous Pelé:
Richard Tims weaves all of this together and has travelled the world promoting the original ethics, community and spirit of the sport through initiatives like Boots for Africa. Watch this space for plans that are forming to help make more of Sheffield as the birthplace of the world’s biggest sport.
Sheffield will also play host to the UEFA European Women’s Championship in 2021 at Bramall Lane - the exact number of games is still to be decided.