Historical Football Kits

 

Eminent Victorians (Southern England)

forest fc 1863It is no coincidence that Association Football was born in southern England. It is here that the sons of the aristocracy and gentry were educated and where education pioneers conceived of vigorous, even brutal, sporting endeavour as an essential ingredient in the building of character essential to the administration of empire. Football was, in its formative years, the pursuit of gentlemen players who played the game under the unique rules of their public school.

When these young men went up to Oxford and Cambridge intent on continuing their interest the resulting confusion over the rules led to the first attempt to draw up a unified code at Cambridge University in 1848. The formation of the Football Association in 1863 created what were intended as universal rules. On 19 December 1863 Barnes played Richmond in the first match ever to be played under the new FA Rules. The club provided the FA with their first three secretaries. While teams in the south adopted the FA Rules, in the midlands and north the older Sheffield Rules continued to be observed until 1877.

Army sides are evident in these early years and reflected the social divisions of the period. The famous Royal Engineers were a team of officers and gentlemen whereas the Royal Artillery, formed 20-odd years later, was made up from the ranks, trained by NCOs and led by an officer. In addition there were Volunteer Rifle regiments made up of part-time citizen soldiers.

There were no registration rules so players could represent several teams with interesting consequences when the FA Cup was introduced. For example, Harrow Chequers scratched from their tie with the Wanderers in November 1871 because most of their players had been picked for the Wanderers' team. (Indeed the Chequers entered the FA Cup twice more and scratched on each occasion. Their record as the Old Harrovians is rather more distinguished.)

Southern teams dominated the FA Cup until the early 1880s when working class teams from Lancashire, who subverted the amateur rules of the time, soon dominated the game. Professionalism was recognised by the FA in 1885 but it took years for this new reality to penetrate the amateur ethos of the southern clubs. When Royal Arsenal turned professional in 1891 they were expelled from the London FA and their attempts to form a professional league fell on stony ground.

Sources: Peter Ferrette, Charles Alcock's Football Annuals 1873, 1876, 1877, 1879, 1880, 1881 researched by Robin Horton, Lost Teams of the South (Mike Bradbury 2019)..

Southern England | The Midlands | Northern England | Scotland | Wales | Overview

1859-1878
1st surrey rifles

1st Surrey Rifles

1873
Unknown
21st Essex Rifles

21st Essex Rifles

1873
1879-??
acton fc 1879

Acton

1879
1825-
aldenham school

Aldenham School

1825
Unknown
Amateur Athletic 1873

Amateur Athletic

1873
1862-Unknown
Barnes fc 1872

Barnes

1872
1874-Present
biggleswade 1876

Biggleswade

1876
1874-Present
bishops stortford fc 1876

Bishop's Stortford

1876
1858-Present*
Blackheath 1863

Blackheath

1863
Unknown
braintree fc 1880

Braintree

1880
??-c1897
brentwood fc 1879

Brentwood

1879
Unknown
brondesbury fc 1872

Brondesbury

1872
1856-Present
cambridge university fc 1873

Cambridge University

1873
1883-1939
the casuals 1883

The Casuals

1883
Unknown
Chatham Excelsior fc 1890

Chatham Excelsior

1890
1887-1912
chesham generals 1887

Chesham Generals

1887
1863-Present
Civil Service fc 1873

Civil Service

1873
1863-Present
Civil Service fc 1893

Civil Service

1893
1869-1911
Clapham Rovers 1880

Clapham Rovers

1880
1877-Present
clapton fc 1878

Clapton

1878
Unknown
clarence fc 1879

Clarence

1879
1878-Present
coggleshall fc 1880

Coggleshall

1880
1873-1937
colchester town fc 1877

Colchester Town

1877
1882-1939
Corinthian fc 1882

Corinthian

1882
1860-Present
Cray Wanderers fc 1860

Cray Wanderers

1860
Unknown
cricklewood fc 1876

Cricklewood

1876
1897-1917
croydon common fc 1898

Croydon Common

1898
1861-1876
Crystal Palace fc 1871

Crystal Palace

1871
Unknown
downs fc 1880

Downs

1880
Unknown
dreadnought fc 1879

Dreadnought

1879
Unknown
edgeworth fc 1880

Edgeworth

1880
Unknown
excelsior westminster 1880

Excelsior Westminster

1880
Unknown
farningham 1873

Farningham

1873
1874-1991
finchley fc 1877

Finchley

1877
1874-1991
finchley fc 1879

Finchley

1879
1859-1864
Forest fc 1859

Forest

1859
Unknown
forest school fc 1873

Forest School

1873
1869-??
Forrest fc 1872

Forrest

1872
1863-c1878
Gitanos fc 1873

Gitanos

1873
1870-Present
great marlow fc 1873

Great Marlow

1873
Unknown
gresham fc 1876

Gresham

1876
Unknown
grey friars fc 1877

Grey Friars

1877
Unknown
Hackney Black Rovers c1875

Hackney Black Rovers

c1875
1875-Present
hanover united fc 1880

Hanover United

1880
1865-1891
harrow chequers fc 1873

Harrow Chequers

1873
Unknown
harwich fc 1876

Harwich

1876
Unknown
hawks fc 1877

Hawks

1877
Unknown
hendon fc 1876

Hendon

1876
1871-Present
henley fc 1880

Henley

1880
Unknown
hermits fc 1877

Hermits

1877
Unknown
hertford town 1876

Hertford Town

1876
1865-1898
hertfordshire rangers 1865

Hertfordshire Rangers

1865
1865-1898
hertfordshire rangers 1873

Hertfordshire Rangers

1873
1865-1898
hertfordshire rangers 1876

Hertfordshire Rangers

1876
1880-Present
heybridge fc 1881

Heybridge

1881
Unknown
high wycombe fc 1877

High Wycombe

1877
1865-1915
hitchin fc 1869

Hitchin

1869
1865-1915
Hitchin fc 1873

Hitchin

1873
Unknown
holt fc 18

Holt

1873
1878-1896
Hotspur fc 1879

Hotspur

1879
1881-1979
ilford fc 1881

Ilford

1881
Unknown
kidlington fc 1876

Kidlington

1876
Unknown
kidlington & bicester fc

Kidlington & Bicester

1877
Unknown
kildare fc 1879

Kildare

1879
1875-Present
kington fc 1879

Kington

1879
Unknown
lancefield fc 1877

Lancefield

1877
Unknown
langley united fc 1880

Langley United

1880
1866-1881
lausanne 1870

Lausanne

1870
Unknown
leominster fc 1879

Leominster

1879
1868-c1898
Leyton fc 1873

Leyton

1873
1885-1939
london caledonians 1885

London Caledonians

1885
1870-Present
maidenhead fc 1876

Maidenhead

1876
Unknown
maldon fc 1879

Maldon

1879
Unknown
malvern fc 1880

Malvern

1880
1865-Present
Malvern College 1900

Malvern College

1900
1871-Present
marlborough fc 1873

Marlborough

1873
1870-Present
Marlow fc 1894

Marlow

1894
1876-c1913
minerva fc 1877

Minerva

1877
1876-c1913
minerva 1891

Minerva

1891
Unknown
mosquitoes fc 1876

Mosquitoes

1876
Unknown
norwich fc 1873

Norwich

1873
1880-1914
old brightonians fc 1881

Old Brightonians

1881
1880-1914
old brightonians c1890

Old Brightonians

c1890
1876-Present
Old Carthusians 1894

Old Carthusians

1881
1892-1895
old castle swifts 1892

Old Castle Swifts

1892
1871-Present
Old Etonians 1875

Old Etonians

1875
1871-Present
Old Etonians fc 1882

Old Etonians

1882
1864-Present
old foresters fc 1879

Old Foresters

1879
1880-1915
old st stephens 1880

Old St Stephens

1880
1876-Present
old wykehamists 1876

Old Wykehamists

1871-Present
oxford university fc 1874

Oxford University

1874
Unknown
panthers fc 1877

Panthers

1877
c1870-c1885
Pilgrims fc 1873

Pilgrims

1873
Unknown
ramblers fc 1876

Ramblers

1876
Unknown
reading abey fc 1880

Reading Abbey

1880
Unknown
reading hornets fc 1876

Reading Hornets

1876
1870-Present
Reigate Priory fc 1871

Reigate Priory

1871
1876-1911
romford fc 1877

Romford

1877
1894-1901
Royal Artillery fc 1894

Royal Artillery

1894
1863-Present
Royal Engineers 1872

Royal Engineers

1872
1877-1905
runnymede fc 1877

Runnymede Rovers

1877
1872
saffron walden fc 1876

Saffron Walden

1876
Unknown
saxons fc (Brixton) 1876

Saxons

1876
c1870-c1880
south norwood fc 1873

South Norwood

1873
1871-Present
southall fc 1873

Southall

1873
Unknown
southill park fc 1880

Southill Park

1880
1880-1899
at Albans fc 1880

St Albans

1880
Unknown
sta albans pilgrims fc 1873

St Albans Pilgrims

1873
Unknown
st james fc 1877

St James

1877
Unknown
st martins fc 1876

St Martin's

1876
Unknown
st peters institute fc 1880

St Peter's Institute

1880
??-1879 See Acton
st stephens westminster 1876

St Stephen's

1876
Unknown
suffold wednesday 1881

Suffolk Wednesday

1881
c1868-1890
swifts fc 1873

Swifts

1873
c1868-1890
swifts fc 1877

Swifts

1877
Unknown
trojans 1873

Trojans

1873
Unknown
union fc (highbury) 1876

Union

1876
Unknown
unity fc 1877

Unity

1877
1866-1887
Upton Park fc 1866

Upton Park

1866
1871-Present
uxbridge fc 1873

Uxbridge

1873
1864-1887
Wanderers fc 1864

Wanderers

1864
Unknown
watford united fc 1879

Watford United

1879
Unknown
west end fc (shepherds bush) 1881

West End

1881
c1894-1913
west hampstead fc 1894

West Hampstead

1894
1867-1874
west kent fc 1873

West Kent

1867
1867-1874
west kent fc 1874

West Kent

1874
1886-1939
west norwood fc 1886

West Norwood

1886
Unknown
weybridge fc 1880

Weybridge

1880
Unknown
Weyside fc 1870

Weyside

1870
c1870-1882
windsor home park fc 1877

Windsor Home Park

1877
Unknown
woodford bridge fc 1881

Woodford Bridge

1881
1868-c1877
woodford wells fc 1873

Woodford Wells

1873
Unknown
woodgrange-1876

Woodgrange

1876