Sheffield talk by Martin Westby celebrates city as Home of Football

An expert on football history is appearing in Sheffield to talk about the special place of his home city as the home of the ‘beautiful game’.

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 5:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 2:15 pm
An early Sheffield FC photo, believed to date from the 1890s

During the 19th century Sheffield led the world of Association Football and was a critical factor in the formulation of today’s worldwide rules and regulations.

Martin Westby was approached by Sheffield Libraries in 2017 to design and write the content for a free to download app that offers a walking guide to the heritage of Sheffield football, called Sheffield Home of Football.

Since its launch the app has been downloaded more than 2,000 times by people from all round the world.

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The Youdan Cup, football's oldest knockout tournament, on display at the Legends of the Lane Museum at Sheffield United FC

Martin has written a book, A History of Sheffield Football, 1857 to 1884, which is for anyone with an interest in how Association Football first started and then evolved.

It covers the rich history of the 95 Sheffield clubs that existed between 1857 and 1889, with special emphasis on today’s four surviving clubs.

It also looks in depth at the history of the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA, England’s first county football association.

Local amateur genealogists are finding the book a fascinating resource for investigating whether their ancestors were present when Sheffield was pioneering football.

Hallam FC's home at Sandygate is the oldest football ground still in use

Martin also has a new book out this summer called England’s Oldest Football Clubs 1815-1889.

It is a new chronological classification of early types of football – Folk, School, Military, County, Rugby and Association.

Sheffield-born Martin will be speaking and answering questions for the Bradfield Historical Society on Monday, October 7 at 7.30pm.

This talk will take place at Low Bradfield Village Hall and all visitors are welcome.

The cover of Martin Westby's book, A History of Sheffield Football 1857-1899

After the event Martin will be selling his book and will be happy to sign and write dedications if there is interest.

For more information, contact Malcolm Nunn on 0114 233 7463.

A banner designed to promote Sheffield as the Home of Football