Synopses & Reviews
The City of Sheffield is rightly lauded as being the birthplace of association football, but in the early nineteenth century it was also the centre of cricket activities in the North of England, arguably contributing more to the advance of game, other than the Marylebone Cricket Club, than any other area. In 1820, six local Sheffield businessmen formed Wednesday Cricket Club and within a few years they rose to become the prominent team in the town. Their influence on the game of cricket was immeasurable and over the years they would boast many notable players, including Sheffield legend Tom Marsden. For the first time, those early deeds of the cricket club are covered in depth - including a look at the founding fathers - while the emergence of a football section, in 1867, opened a new chapter in the history of Wednesday, one which continues to be written today as Sheffield Wednesday FC approach their 150th birthday with the club's bicentenary just five years away. The football side has without doubt taken the club's unique name all over the world and The Origins of Sheffield Wednesday focuses, in great detail, on the players and officials plus the on and off the field events that helped to shape the modern-day multi-million pound football club.
Sheffield Wednesday FC was born out of the Wednesday Cricket Club, formed back in 1820, and was officially founded on Wednesday 4 September 1867 at the Adelphi Hotel. During the meeting, brewery traveler John Pashley rose to his feet and proposed that a football club be formed in connection with the cricket club, and that no body of persons shall be empowered to sever the two clubs without the unanimous consent of the general meeting, six days notice to be given to every member of the club . Around sixty members joined the fledgling club on the night, the colors of blue and white were adopted and plans were made to start the club s first-ever season. The club secured a playing field in the Highfields district of Sheffield and, after holding an inter-club practice game, The Wednesday played their first ever match, beating the Mechanics Club at Norfolk Park, in October 1867.
The popularity of association football had been growing steadily during the mid-1850s, and Wednesday arrived onto a thriving Sheffield football scene that included the likes of Sheffield FC, formed 1857, Hallam, Broomhall and Heeley. The city became the spiritual home of the sport and one of the first-known cup competitions further enhanced that opinion, the Cromwell Cup being offered as a prize in 1868. In The Origins of Sheffield Wednesday, Jason Dickinson, Wednesday s Official Club Historian, tells for the first time the in-depth story of the birth of Sheffield Wednesday FC."