Historic Sheffield FC reveal how to donate to help bring 1859 rule book back home to city

The first donations in the campaign to return a copy of the original 1859 rules of football drawn up in Sheffield have been made – with one generous contributor alone putting forward £500.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 7:42 am

The Star launched its Bring it Home campaign this week, in support of Sheffield FC’s bid to buy back an original copy of the rules that the club produced more than 160 years ago in the city.

Now, a crowdfunding page is up and running as the club, the world’s oldest, attempts to raise the £50,000 it is estimated it would take to buy the pamphlet and bring it back to the city after it came up for auction this month.

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Sheffield FC Ground at Dronfield Sheffield

And messages of support for the campaign have begun to come into the Star.

The fundraising page has been set up on the Go Fund Me website, and donations can be made by logging onto https://www.gofundme.com/f/zd62m5-football.

Launching the crowdfunding page, chairman Richard Tims said the book was a members hand book printed in 1859 belonging to a club member at the time. It explains the early laws of the game and has a full list of members plus the end of season sports day results.

He said: “There is only one other copy in existence and is in private collector hands. It cannot be underestimated the importance of this item not only for the club but to be displayed to a wider audience.

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 NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

"After selling some of our collection during the last financial crises to secure our home stadium from the bank we now have an opportunity to rebuild our collection in time for the development of our new stadium and visitor centre/museum.

"What a great story for football if we can achieve this. A little piece of football truly comes home!”

One of the first donations was for £500 for an anonymous donor who wants to see the rules back in the city.

Meanwhile, Sheffield Hallam MP Olivia Blake has become the first high profile figure in the city to tell of her support for the campaign.

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 NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

She said: “With it looking more and more likely that football’s coming home, it’s only right that this copy of the original rules come home to Sheffield, the birthplace of the modern game.”

Contact The Star to express your support.