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Ticket Compare > 11 Oldest Football Teams in the World

11 Oldest Football Teams in the World

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, and has a rich history dating back many years. In 1888, the Football League was founded in England, which became the first of many professional football associations. 

Football is now played all over the world, with highly anticipated competitions like the World Cup, Euros and Champions League taking place around the globe in front of millions of fans. In this article, we take a look at the 11 oldest football teams in the world, and how they all played an important role in the development of the game.

11. Sheffield Wednesday 

First on our list is Sheffield Wednesday FC, who were founded in 1867 as an offshoot of The Wednesday Cricket Club. They were originally known as The Wednesday Football Club, before becoming Sheffield Wednesday in 1929.

Wednesday were founding members and inaugural champions of the Football Alliance in 1889, and joined the Football League three years later. They were also founder members of the Premier League in 1992. Over the years, the club have won four league titles, three FA Cups, one League Cup and one FA Community Shield. Their main rivals are neighbouring club, Sheffield United.

10. Queen’s Park

Queen’s Park FC is based in Glasgow and currently play in the Scottish Championship. Founded in 1867, Queen’s Park are the oldest association football club in Scotland. The club was fully amateur for 152 years, and was the only amateur club in the Scottish professional leagues, until this status ended in 2019.

Queen’s Park are the only Scottish club to have played in the FA Cup Final, which they did in both 1884 and 1885. The club has won the Scottish Cup the third most times, behind Celtic and Rangers

9. Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest is based in West Bridgford, Nottingham. Founded in 1865, the club have played at the City Ground since 1898. Forest secured promotion from the EFL Championship during the 2021-22 season, and they are the oldest club currently playing in the Premier League.

The club’s most successful period was in the late 1970s and early 1980s under the management of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor, which included back to back wins of the European Cup. The club have also won the UEFA Super Cup, one League title, two FA Cups, four League Cups and one FA Charity Shield

8. Wrexham AFC

Wrexham AFC was formed in 1864, and is the oldest club in Wales. The club compete in the EFL League Two, the fourth level of the English football league system. Wrexham is owned by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny.

Wrexham initially participated in friendlies and cup competitions, before entering a league and joining The Combination in 1890. The club won the Football League Trophy in 2005, the FA Trophy in 2013 and the Welsh Cup a record 23 times. The club also won the FAW Premier Cup five times out of the 11 years of its tenure.

7. Brigg Town

Brigg Town FC are based in Lincolnshire, and are currently members of the Northern Counties East League Division One. Brigg Town were founded in 1864 and entered the inaugural Lincolnshire Senior Cup in 1881-82, where they finished as runner’s up. 

Brigg Town played at the Old Manor House Convent playing fields until 1939, before moving to Brocklesby Ox in 1953. They moved to Hawthorns in 1959, where they still play. Their other wins include the Lincolnshire League, the FA Vase, the Lincolnshire Senior Trophy and the Lincolnshire Junior Cup.

6. Royal Engineers AFC

The Royal Engineers Association Football Club team represent the Corps of Royal Engineers and are based in Chatham in Kent. They were founded in 1863 and joined the 1888 Army Football Association.

The Royal Engineers was one of the strongest teams in English football during the 1870s, winning the FA Cup in 1875 and being Cup finalists in three of the first four seasons. Alongside Sheffield FC, Cambridge University, and Queen’s Park, The Royal Engineers were pioneers of the combination game (a style of football based around teamwork and cooperation).

5. Stoke City

Stoke City were founded in 1863, and compete in the EFL Championship. They were originally called Stoke Ramblers, before changing their name to Stoke in 1878 and then to Stoke City in 1925. Nicknamed The Potters, Stoke were one of the twelve founding members of the Football League in 1888.

The club is based in Staffordshire and their home ground is the bet365 Stadium, where they’ve played since 1997. Stoke’s main rivals are West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers, and they play against Port Vale in the local derby.

4. Notts County 

Notts County were formed in 1862, and are the oldest professional association football club in the world. Notts County compete in the EFL League Two, the fourth level of the English football league system. 

The club is one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888 and have played at Meadow Lane stadium since 1910. Notts County has seen success over the years, reaching the 1891 FA Cup Final and winning the 1894 FA Cup Final. Their main rivals are Nottingham Forest and Mansfield Town.

3. Hallam FC

Hallam FC was founded in 1860, and is based in Crosspool, Sheffield. The club has played at Sandygate stadium since their formation, and the ground holds the title of “The Oldest Football Ground in the World” by the Guinness Book of Records.  

Hallam play in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division at the ninth level of the English football league system. In 1867 the club made history by winning the Youdan Cup, which is said to have been the world’s first-ever football tournament.

2. Cambridge University AFC

Cambridge University AFC represents the University of Cambridge and currently plays in the Midland 1A of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS). The club also organises the intercollegiate Cambridge University Association Football League.

Despite claims that the club was formed in 1856, the date of establishment isn’t completely clear, and it’s therefore said to be somewhere between 1856 and 1866. Cambridge University AFC also runs two women’s teams, who are managed by a separate committee.

1. Sheffield FC

Top of our list, and recognised by FIFA as the oldest existing club in the world, is Sheffield FC. The club were founded in 1857 and currently competes in the Northern Premier League Division One East. Sheffield FC adopted the new FA rules in 1878, but prior to this they played their games under the Sheffield Rules.

Sheffield FC were given the FIFA Order of Merit in 2004, and were inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2007. The club compete against fellow historic club Hallam FC in the Rules derby. 

Final Thoughts

We’ve gone over the 11 oldest football teams in the world, and how they came to be. These historic clubs have all played a huge part in the evolution of the game, and their legacy continues to this day. 

Over the years, football has become one of the most popular sports in the world, and therefore tickets for matches can be difficult to obtain. At Ticket Compare, you can find tickets to all the top football events all in one place, including the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Champions League and FA Cup

Lydia Reynolds

Written by Lydia Reynolds

Lydia is a writer with a passion for sport. A lifelong fan of Sheffield United, she keeps close tabs on the Premier League, and loves digging into football data. She holds a degree in English Literature. When she's not writing, you'll find her swotting up on football transfers, or skiing in the alps.