The oldest football clubs

The oldest football clubs

At the moment the Union of European Football Associations or UEFA consists of 55 countries. In this article I want to talk about the oldest soccer clubs of these countries, even though some of them may have started their existence under other names or in countries that no longer exist on the map of Europe.

In this part the football old clubs from England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Germany will be presented.


“Sheffield” (English: Sheffield Football Club) is an English soccer club from the city of the same name, which is not only the oldest club in England, but the oldest soccer club in the world. It was founded in 1857 by Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest on the basis of the Sheffield Cricket Club. The status of the oldest club has been confirmed by UEFA. The club is often confused with Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, but these are different clubs. On December 26, 1860, the first soccer match between club teams in the world history was played between Sheffield and Hallam. However, the club has not achieved any great successes and has no significant trophies: FA Amateur Cup winner in the distant season 1903/1904, champion and winner of the Yorkshire Cup in the 70’s, etc. Now the club “resides” in the 9th strongest English division, playing at the stadium with a capacity of 1200 people.


“Hamburg” (German: Hamburger SV) is a German soccer club from the eponymous Hamburg, which is considered the oldest club in its homeland. Its history begins on September 29, 1887, when two clubs, Hohenfeider and Wandsbeck-Marenthaler, merged to form Sporting Club Deutschland. Under its current name, the club was formed in 1919 by the merger of three city teams, it happened against the background of the difficult situation of the city’s clubs after the First World War. “Hamburg” is the only club that participated in all the championships of the Bundesliga, created in 1963. During its long history, the black and blue won the national championship 6 times (1922, 1923, 1928, 1959/60, 1978/79, 1981/82, 1982/83), 8 times became vice-champions (1924, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1975/76, 1979/80, 1980/81, 1983/84, 1986/87), three times were winners of the German Cup (1963, 1976, 1987), twice won the German League Cup (1973, 2003). In the European arena Hamburg also have enough high achievements: in 1977 the team won the Cup Winners’ Cup, in 1983 won the European Champions Cup, and three more times won the somewhat forgotten Intertoto Cup (2003, 2004, 2007). Last season 2015/16 Hamburg finished in 10th place.


“Recreativo” (Spanish: RC Recreativo de Huelva) is a Spanish soccer club from the city of Huelva, in the province of the same name in the autonomous community of Andalusia, which in its home country is considered the oldest football club. It was founded on December 23, 1889 by two Scotsmen Alexander Mackay and Robert Russell Ross – doctors who worked in the Spanish mines. In Spain, the club is also called “El Decano” (i.e. the oldest). Despite such a long history, Recreativo cannot boast of any high achievements. In the 1910s, the club won the Andalusian regional leagues several times. The club from Huelva reached the Segunda (the second strongest Spanish division) only in 1940, and made its debut in the Primera in 1977/78 season. The best achievements of “Recreativo” are considered the final of the Spanish Cup in the season 2002/2003, 8th place in the Primera in the season 2006/2007, as well as victory in the Segunda season 2005/2006. Now the oldest club in Spain lives in the third strongest Spanish division (Segunda B) and hopes for a bright future!