1867 - 1868

1867 - 1868 - Sheffield Wednesday F.C. History

Notes | Summary | League | Cup | Friendlies | Players | Context


The Wednesday Cricket Club had been in existence for nearly 50 years when they decided to create a football section to give them something to do over the long winter months. The momentous decision was made on Wednesday September 4th 1867 in the ubiquitous Adelphi Hotel - a Sheffield landmark that was knocked down to make way for the hideous Crucible Theatre. The Wednesday Cricket Club was one of the foremost clubs in the area and as such had a large membership which meant the football club was born with rock solid foundations. On the 12th of October 1867 a group of footballers collected on a field at Highfield between Abbeydale Road and Bramall Lane (possibly on the site of Highfield Library. This was the first practice of the Wednesday Football Club. It was necessary because a week later Wednesday played their first competitive match in Norfolk Park against the Mechanics Club. After a big win in their first match (by 4 goals and 3 rouges to nil) Wednesday suffered a couple of big losses including a severe drubbing by the Garrick club in Wednesday's first home match. The string of friendlies was broken by news of a competition to be contested by clubs who were no older than two years. This was only the second club football competition following the Youdan Cup, won by Hallam club the year before. Four teams entered; Wellington, Exchange, Wednesday and Garrick. The strongest team was the Garrick club who were expected to win. Since Oliver Cromwell, the theatre proprietor and sponsor of the competition was a frequenter of the Garrick club it was thought that he had devised the competition in the hope that his club would be victorious. In the semi-final round, Wednesday met the Exchange club on the Mackenzie club ground and cruised to a 4-0 win. Garrick meanwhile 'borrowed' seven players from Heeley club, one of the top local clubs and defeated Wellington to set up Wednesday's first match at Bramall Lane - set to be Wednesday's natural home until the building of Olive Grove twenty years in the future. The final attracted between 4 and 600 spectators to the Lane. This was a very different place to the current ground. The terraced housing had not yet completely surrounded the ground, which was still primarily a venue for cricket. The pitch would have been roped off and the only markings would be flags at each corner. The posts had no net and were set up for rouges.
The post layout was much as Aussie Rules. The inner posts were four yards apart, and if the ball passed through these and under the tape (which was 9 feet from the ground) a goal was given. If the ball passed through the outer posts, 4 yards distant from the inner posts, and was touched down by the attacking team (a la rugby) a rouge was scored. Rouges only counted if goals were equal. The spectators at Bramall Lane that day saw a 90 minute match end in a 0-0 draw. What followed was the first competition decided by a 'Golden Goal'. After around 10 minutes of extra time a Garrick defender huffed a clearance skyward. The ball came down, deflected off a shoulder and through the central posts.
Wednesday had their first cup, which their captain, John Marsh, collected from Mr. Cromwell's Theatre Royal. After collecting the trophy the Wednesday players retired to the Adelphi Hotel, presumably to get pissed.
The second number in the for and against column refers to rouges.

Notes | Summary | League | Cup | Friendlies | Players | Context

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against
11 4 0 4 9(13) 7(20)


Notes | Summary | League | Cup | Friendlies | Players | Context
1867 - 1868 - Sheffield Wednesday F.C. History
The Cromwell Cup

venue score
Cromwell Cup
1-Feb Exchange Mackenzie 4-0 (3-0) W
15-Feb Garrick Bramall Lane 1-0 (0-0) W Won with a golden goal in extra time
attendance - 4/600
Friendlies
12-Oct Practice Match Highfield
19-Oct Mechanics Norfolk Park 3-0 (4-1) w Wednesday's first ever match - United Mechanics housed in Surrey Street
23-Nov Heeley Meersbrook Park 0-1 (0-3) L Heeley would be main rivals until appearance of Sheffield United
7-Dec Garrick Highfield 0-1 (1-8) L
28-Dec Milton a ?
31-Dec Dronfield Dronfield 1-0 (0-4) W The Christmas fixture for the next 3 years & Dronfield's first ever match.
11-Jan Heeley Meersbrook Park 0-4 (1-4) L
27-Jan Broomhall Highfield ?
3-Feb Mechanics Highfield 0-1 (4-0) L
10-Feb Wellington ?


Notes | Summary | League | Cup | Friendlies | Players | Context

Historical Context
1867/68
1867 - 1868 - Sheffield Wednesday F.C. History
The founders of the Wednesday football club were closer in time to Waterloo than we ourselves are to the end of World War 2. Indeed the founders of the Wednesday Cricket Club could have, and given the size of the crowds at Darnall cricket ground probably did, play in front of veterens of that battle. 1867 was only 2 years after the end of the American civil war. Victoria has been on the thrown for 30 years - with another 34 to go.

The last Japanese Shogun abdicates

Last shipment of British convicts to Australia
1867 - 1868 - Sheffield Wednesday F.C. History

Garibaldi marches on Rome
Giuseppe Garibaldi

Emporer Maxamilian is overthrown and executed (Mexico)
[Manet - art print, picture - Execution of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico]

USA buys Alaska from Russia

The ‘Velocipede’ or ‘bone-shaker’ – first use of peddles (on front wheel), but suffered from having too low a ‘gear ratio’ (ratio of the distance moved by the Bicycle to the distance moved by the peddler’s feet). This, and its heavy iron frame and wheels (as much as 100 pounds) rendered it rather impractical. It was the first to have a hand brake (in this case, not very effective). Developed by Pierre & Ernest Michaux, Paris

1867 - 1868 - Sheffield Wednesday F.C. History
Karl Marx publishes volume 1 of "Das Kapital" 1867 - 1868 - Sheffield Wednesday F.C. History
1867 - 1868 - Sheffield Wednesday F.C. History

American, Christopher Sholes invents the first QWERTY typewriter

Notes | Summary | League | Cup | Friendlies | Players | Context

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