Global backing for £2m Sheffield FC homecoming plans

Sheffield FC's original home at Olive Grove Sports Ground in Sheffield
Sheffield FC's original home at Olive Grove Sports Ground in Sheffield
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A £2m campaign to return the world’s first football club Sheffield FC to their original home is receiving global backing.

Among the backers of the new campaign to get the club, who were established in 1857, back to Olive Grove Sports Ground are German football giants Borussia Dortmund.

News of the planned move has also made headlines in Austria, Switzerland and Argentina - with fans across the globe donating £9,000 so far in the first week of the appeal.

The switch back from Sheffield FC’s current home in Dronfield is expected to take a number of years, with improvements needed at Olive Grove, which is off Heeley Bank Road, to create a ground suitable for non-league football.

Money will also be spent on developing a community and history centre celebrating the role the club has played in the beautiful game.

Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims said: “We really are establishing a new spiritual home for football on the original ground and, as a charitable foundation, we will continue to protect and preserve the world’s first football club, back where it all began.

“Sheffield FC has played football without a permanent home and its own ground for more than 140 years. We’re looking forward to working with the city, the local community and schools in developing our plans for the site.”

Sheffield Council is backing the campaign and has created a partnership between the club and the Olive Grove Sports Club committee to facilitate safeguards, arrangements for existing users and a sustainable immediate future for the ground.

The move is also being back by the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

Executive director of the Sheffield Chamber Richard Wright said: “Sheffield FC is part of our rich heritage and this development is an important part of the city offer.

“The original home is not far from the city centre and we should use this to boost the tourism offer of the region.”

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