‘Oldest Soccer Club’ Claims Resulting Conflict
The players of any soccer club that was named the world’s oldest professional club should feel tremendous pride in their club. Since the beginnings of organized soccer in England, there have no shortage of claims to the headline of the oldest professional club. The Football Association was created in England in 1863 with the standardizing of the rules of the game taking place before the earliest competitions were created.
The Crystal Palace Football Club, one of the Premier League teams, is now claiming that they are the world’s oldest professional club. There is no doubt Sheffield FC is the world’s oldest soccer team having been formed in 1857, but until now Notts County was thought to be the oldest professional soccer team having formed in 1862. It may turn out that the London team could be the oldest professional soccer club as Peter Manning, the Crystal Palace official historian has discovered evidence to support this.
The Crystal Palace team was formed in 1861 as reported by the Sky Sports. The club initially formed as part of the world fair held on the Crystal Palace site under the leadership of the Crystal Palace Company and began playing games in 1862.
Even though the Crystal Palace team was originally formed to play cricket, they would schedule soccer games around the summer cricket season. Everyone assumed that the team stopped play in 1867 to prevent the cricket field form being damaged. According to Manning, there is new evidence that suggests the team continued to play soccer over what was an apparent 20 year break until the Crystal Palace Company built a dedicated soccer stadium for the team.
Peter Manning was praised by Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parrish for his impressive work on the history of the club that could add even more prestige to the Premier League team. The club has a rich history that dates back to the 1863 formation of The Football Association and played in the first FA Cup competition in 1871. The development of the Crystal Palace Football Club began in earnest when the cricket team merged with the legendary London County Cricket Club that was once the home of the iconic cricketer W.G, Grace.