Back campaign to bring historic Sheffield FC rule book back to the city

Sheffield FC has a unique place in sporting history – and today we are launching a campaign to help bring some of that history home to the city.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 1:16 pm

This week, the club, the oldest football club in the world and dating back to 1857, confirmed to The Star that it hopes to buy a copy of first ever rules of football that its members printed in 1859.

And today, we launch a campaign to support their bid.

Star editor Nancy Fielder said: “The 1859 Sheffield FC rules are a piece of footballing history that belong in this city. It may be a short time frame, but The Star will campaign to help Sheffield FC bring this booklet to its rightful home.”

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Undated Sotheby's handout photo of a copy of the earliest printed rules of football, which will be auctioned later this month and is expected to fetch more than ??50,000. Issue date: Tuesday July 6, 2021. PA Photo. One of two surviving copies of the rules printed in 1859 by the world???s first football club, Sheffield Football Club, will be sold at Sotheby???s on July 20, with online bidding opening from July 12. See PA story SALE Football. Photo credit should read: Sotheby's /PA Wire
Undated Sotheby's handout photo of a copy of the earliest printed rules of football, which will be auctioned later this month and is expected to fetch more than ??50,000. Issue date: Tuesday July 6, 2021. PA Photo. One of two surviving copies of the rules printed in 1859 by the world???s first football club, Sheffield Football Club, will be sold at Sotheby???s on July 20, with online bidding opening from July 12. See PA story SALE Football. Photo credit should read: Sotheby's /PA Wire

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World's oldest football club Sheffield FC hopes to buy back copy of historic 162...

We will print messages of support and updates on their efforts over the next couple of weeks in support of their fundraising as they bid to raise the £50,000 that the 16 page pamphlet is expected to fetch at auction.

Sheffield FC decided to try to buy the book on Wednesday when they heard it was on the market. The club is currently planning a new stadium and heritage centre at Meadowhead.

Club chairman Richard Tims said: “We were surprised to hear it was for sale, because we thought there was only one copy in existence. There were a number of members who had them in 1859, but the chances of it surviving seem so remote. They are only strung together with a piece of cotton!

“We’re very excited that it’s turned up. We’ve had a meeting and we’d like to buy it if we can raise the money. We’re going to set up a crowdfunding page and use our international network to see if we can get it.”

In 2011, the club sold what it thought to be the only copy of the rules at auction, part of a package of memoribilia to raise money to keep the club’s current ground, in Dronfield. The sale of all the items raised £891,000.

“It was nice to have a piece of paper, but we’re a football club, and we needed somewhere to play,” said Mr Tims. “But I think the public of Sheffield would expect us to try to bring it back to the city.”