England is known as the home of football, and it is a country where many clubs were formed before the turn of the twentieth century.
While many of these teams have ceased to exist, as we will see, there are plenty of clubs still playing today that celebrate their long and at times illustrious histories.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these clubs and where they are now.
Oldest Existing Football Clubs in England
|Sheffield Football Club||1857||The oldest football club in the world; currently playing in the Northern Premier League Division 1|
|Hallam FC||1860||Second-oldest club worldwide; currently playing in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, the ninth level of the English football league system|
|Notts County||1862||Playing in the National League, tier five of English football|
|Stoke City||1863||Originally formed as Stoke Ramblers before changing name|
|Wrexham||1864||One of five Welsh sides currently playing in the English football leagues|
|Brigg Town||1864||The Lincolnshire club play in black-and-white stripes and are known as The Zebras|
|Nottingham Forest||1865||Returned to the Premier League in 2022/23 after a 23-year absence|
|Sheffield Wednesday||1867||The League One club was founded as The Wednesday|
|Maidenhead United||1870||Currently playing in the National League; one of 15 clubs to play in the inaugural FA Cup in 1871/72|
|Marlow FC||1870||Lost to Maidenhead United in the first-ever FA Cup competition in 1871/72|
|Old Etonians||1871||The club plays in the Arthurian League, an English football league for teams consisting of old boys of public schools|
|Reading||1871||Having spent time in the English Premier League, Reading now play in the Championship, England’s second tier|
|Southall||1871||Based in Ealing, London, the club are currently members of the Isthmian League South Central Division|
|Uxbridge||1871||Like Southall, Uxbridge play in the Isthmian League South Central Division|
|Aston Villa||1874||Currently a Premier League side, and won the European Cup in 1982|
|Bolton Wanderers||1874||Based in Bolton, Lancashire, the club is currently in League One, England’s third tier|
|Grantham Town||1874||The club ply their trade down the English football pyramid in the Northern Premier League Division One East|
|Birmingham City||1875||The Championship club was founded under the name Small Heath Alliance|
|Blackburn Rovers||1875||Despite spending several seasons in the Premier League, and being English champions in 1995, the club are now in the Championship|
|Middlesbrough||1876||One of the founding members of the English Premier League in 1992, but have been in the Championship since 2017.|
Which is the Oldest Premier League Club?
Thanks to their promotion in 2021/22, Nottingham Forest now have the honour of being the oldest Premier League club, having been established in 1865.
Stoke City are the oldest club to have ever played in the Premier League, as they were founded in 1863, two years before Forest, but they now play in the second-tier EFL Championship.
First Football Club in England
The first football club established in England was Sheffield Football Club in 1857, with the club recognised by the world governing body FIFA as the world’s oldest existing club still playing football.
In 2004 they were given the FIFA Order of Merit – an award given to only one other club – Real Madrid – and in 2007 they were inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame to commemorate their 150th anniversary.
First Football Clubs in England
|Wanderers||1859 – founded as Forest Club; dissolved 1887|
|Crystal Palace||1861 – Not the current Crystal Palace, founded in 1905; dissolved 1876|
|Barnes FC||1862; dissolved, date unknown|
|Royal Engineers AFC||1863|
|Harrow Chequers||1865; dissolved 1891|
|Hertfordshire Rangers||1865; dissolved 1891|
|Uptown Park||1866; dissolved 1911|
|Leyton||1868; dissolved 2011|
|Swifts||1868; dissolved 1890|
|Clapham Rovers||1869; dissolved 1911|
|Abingdon Town||1870 – founded as Abingdon FC|