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Retro: Walking app celebrates Sheffield's role as Home of Football

Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, 1890
Sheffield Wednesday Football Club, 1890
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Libraries are about to launch a free walking app tracing Sheffield’s unique role in the early days of football.

The mobile phone app, called Sheffield – The Home of Football, features lots of images from Picture Sheffield (www.picturesheffield.com) and historical details about the history of football in Sheffield and the world.

Bramall Lane saw what was probably the first football match played under floodlights, in 1878, between Sheffield F.C and Hallam F.C

Bramall Lane saw what was probably the first football match played under floodlights, in 1878, between Sheffield F.C and Hallam F.C

The free app will be available from tomorrow, Sunday, from www.situate.io/homeoffootball

On the two-and-a-half-hour tour, walkers will be introduced to the places and people that made Sheffield the home of Association Football.

Between 1857 and 1889, Sheffield had 95 football clubs and the app explores 10 locations associated with them.

Starting at Heeley Parish Church, where Nathaniel Creswick, the co-founder of the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC, is buried, it visits sites of the first-ever games of all the football clubs in Sheffield, on the way to the city centre.

The walking app celebrating Sheffield's role as the Home of Football

The walking app celebrating Sheffield's role as the Home of Football

Walkers can learn more about sites such as where the Adelphi Hotel stood, now the site of the Crucible Theatre, and where the famous Sheffield rules of football were set down 160 years ago this year.

Then, after a break in the city centre, the second leg takes walkers out past monuments and sites towards Highfield, ending at the library which is on the site of another early football ground.

To celebrate the launch of the app, there will be a free 4.7-mile walk through some of Sheffield’s historic football landmarks on Sunday, April 22.

Football historians will be present on route to answer questions and Martin Westby, author of A History of Sheffield Football – 1857–1889, will be signing books at Highfield Library at the end of the walk. Martin has been involved with designing the app, alongside Sheffield Libraries and Archives and local company, Llama Digital,

A Sheffield FC team photograph, possibly from the 1890s

A Sheffield FC team photograph, possibly from the 1890s

Fittingly, oranges will be served at half time and further refreshments will be available at the end of the walk. To book a place, visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/libraries-sheffield