There has certainly been a large benjo around my way in the last few weeks with the World Cup matches and I have been watching them with great delight too. I am also enjoying the resurrection of the idea that “football is coming home”! Of course I remember when its home was first built in this great City of Sheffield.
Lest we forget it was Sheffield that began all of this in 1857 forming the oldest Football Club in the world, Sheffield FC, and codifying the “Sheffield Rules” in 1858, the first detailed sets of rules published by a club. These rules were adopted in 1867 by the Sheffield Football Association, the first county football association, and went on to influence the rules the whole world now play under! We also have the oldest ground in continued use (my beloved Sandygate, home of Hallam FC) and the oldest “derby” with the match between Hallam FC and Sheffield FC dating back to 1860. Let us not forget that we have the oldest Football cup in England too, the Youdan Trophy which predates the FA Cup by 4 years.. the World Cup would look fantastic standing next to it.
In this year of 2018 football could rightly be thought of as “coming home”. Unlike in 1966 and 1996 we have a strong presence from this great City of Sheffield and the surrounding region so they can truly bring football back to its home! It is time that we let Mr Walker, Mr Maguire, Mr Vardy, Mr Stones (Barnsley), Mr Rose (Doncaster) and Mr Cahill (Dronfield) take their place alongside Mr Creswick and Mr Prest (founders of Sheffield FC and codifyers of the Sheffield Rules) as greats of not only Sheffield but of World Football!