Football clubs

An overview of some of the most merited football clubs in the history of the game.

Football clubs ordered after establishment

The oldest football clubs were founded in the middle of the 19th century. Some of the oldest clubs no longer exist. The list below is a compilation of clubs that were established in the 19th century.

Founded Name Country Notes
1857 Sheffield Wednesday England Founded as Sheffield Club
1859 Wanderers FC England Dissolved in 1887
1862 Notts County England  
1863 Stoke City FC England Founded as Stoke Ramblers
1863 Royal Engineers  England  
1864 Brigg Town England  
1864 Wrexham AFC Wales  
1865 Nottingham Forest England  
1866 Cambridge University AFC England  
1867 Queen's Park FC Scotland  
1869 Clapham Rovers England Dissolved in 1911
1869 Kilmarnock FC Scotland  
1870 Abingdon Town England Founded as Abingdon FC
1870 Maidenhead United England  
1870 Marlow England  
1870 Stranraer FC Scotland  
1871 Reading FC England  
1871 Old Etonians England  
1872 Dumbarton FC Scotland  
1872 Rangers FC England  
1872 Renton FC Scotland Dissolved in 1922
1872 Third Lanark AC Scotland Dissolved in 1967
1874 Arthurlie FC Scotland  
1874 Aston Villa England  
1874 Bolton Wanderers England  
1874 Greenock Morton Scotland  
1874 Hamilton Academical FC Scotland  
1874 Heart of Midlothian FC Scotland  
1875 Birmingham City England Founded as Small Heath Alliance
1875 Blackburn Rovers England  
1875 Beith FC Scotland Dissolved in 1938
1875 Hibernian FC Scotland  
1875 Newtown AFC Wales  
1876 Falkirk FC Scotland  
1876 Middlesbrough FC England  
1876 Old Carthusians FC England  
1876 Partick Thistle FC Scotland  
1877 Abercorn FC Scotland Dissolved in 1920
1877 Blackburn Olympic England  
1877 Clyde FC Scotland  
1877 St Mirren Scotland  
1877 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC England  
1878 Accrington FC England Dissolved in 1878
1878 Airdrieonians Scotland Founded as Excelsior FC, dissolved in 2002
1878 Alloa Athletic FC Scotland  
1878 Arbroath FC Scotland  
1878 Everton FC England  
1878 Grimsby Town England  
1878 Ipswich Town England Founded as Ipswich Association FC
1878 Manchester United FC England  
1878 Royal Albert Scotland  
1878 West Bromwich Albion FC England Founded as West Bromwich Strollers
1878 Blackburn Olympic FC England Dissolved in 1889
1879 Ayr FC Scotland Dissolved in 1910
1879 Cliftonville FC Northern Ireland  
1879 Fulham FC England  
1879 Montrose FC Scotland  
1879 Sunderland AFC England  
1879 Swindon Town FC England  
1880 Dykehead FC Scotland Dissolved in 1928
1880 Preston North End England  
1880 Manchester City England Founded as St. Mark's
1881 Berwick Rangers FC Scotland  
1881 Colwyn Bay FC Wales  
1881 Cowdenbeath FC Scotland  
1881 East Stirlingshire FC Scotland  
1881 FC Girondins de Bordeaux France  
1881 Leyton Orient FC England Founded as Glyn Cricket and FC
1881 Watford FC England Founded as Watford Rovers
1882 Albion Rovers FC Scotland  
1882 Bo'ness FC Scotland Dissolved in 1945
1882 Burnley FC England  
1882 Glentoran FC Northern Ireland  
1882 Racing Club de France France  
1882 Liverpool FC England  
1882 Tottenham Hotspur FC England Founded as Hotspur
1883 Coventry City England Founded as Singer’s FC
1883 Raith Rovers FC Scotland  
1884 Bristol City England  
1884 Derby County England Founded as Bristol South End
1884 Leicester City FC England Founded as Leicester Fosse
1884 Stenhousemuir FC Scotland  
1884 St Johnstone FC Scotland  
1885 Bury England  
1885 Clackmannan FC Scotland Dissolved in 1931
1885 Luton Town FC England  
1885 Millwall FC England  
1885 Southampton FC England  
1885 Újpest FC Hungary  
1886 Arsenal FC England  
1886 Ayr Parkhouse FC Scotland Dissolved in 1910
1886 Linfield FC Northern Ireland Founded as Linfield Athletic Club
1886 Motherwell FC Scotland  
1886 Queens Park Rangers FC England  
1887 Académica de Coimbra Portugal  
1887 Athlone Town AFC Ireland  
1887 Barnsley England  
1887 Blackpool England  
1887 Celtic FC Scotland  
1887 Hamburger SV Germany  
1888 MTK Budapest FC Hungary  
1889 Brentford England  
1889 Sheffield United England  
1889 Wimbledon FC England Milton Keynes Dons since 2004
1890 Bohemian FC Ireland  
1890 Sevilla FC Spain  
1890 Standard Athletic Club France  
1892 Newcastle United FC England  
1892 Pro Vercelli Italy  
1893 Bathgate FC Scotland Dissolved in 1938
1893 Dundee FC Scotland  
1893 Elgin City FC Scotland  
1893 Genoa CFC Italy  
1893 FC Mulhouse France  
1893 Oxford United FC England Founded as Heddington
1893 FC Porto Portugal  
1895 Oldham Athletic England Founded as Pine Ville
1895 FC Roubaix France Dissolved in 1964
1895 Shelbourne FC Ireland  
1895 West Ham United FC England  
1896 Udinese Italy  
1897 Juventus FC Italy  
1897 Northampton Town FC England  
1898 Portsmouth England  
1899 TSV 1860 Munich Germany  
1899 FC Barcelona Spain  
1899 Cardiff City Wales  
1899 AFC Bournemouth England  
1899 Ferencváros Hungary  
1899 Olympique de Marseille France  
1899 AC Milan Italy  
1899 Shamrock Rovers FC Ireland  
1899 SV Werder Bremen Germany  

Other clubs

Additional clubs presented on the site: Atalanta BC, Bradford City, Bologna FC, Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Cagliari Calcio, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Huddersfield Town, Hull City, Lille OSC, OGC Nice, Norwich City, Swansea City, Udinese Calcio, Wigan Athletic.

Dissolved clubs

It is remarkable how many old football clubs that still exist. Yet, some have dissolved during the years. Some clubs of historical significance that no longer exists are presented here.

Queen’s Park
Founded in 1868 and by that being Scotland’s oldest football club. The side was characterized by a passing game opposed to the dribbling game practiced by English teams. Queen’s Park joined the FA in 1870, since they wanted to get more opponents and from that adopted by the different kind of offside rule that was practiced by the FA. When the first national matches between Scotland and England was played, the Scottish team was represented by Queen’s Park. The club also did exhibition tours in Scotland and was important for the early development of the game.

Darwen FC
Founded in 1870, dissolved in 2009 after bankruptcy, but was reconstituted as AFC Darwen. The club was a part of the early English Football history and played in The Combination 1888-1889 and Football Alliance 1889-1891 before being a member of Football League in 1891. After 1899, however, it would be in non-professional leagues. The best result in Division 1 was a 14th place in 1892 and best result in FA Cup was semi-finals in 1881.

Accrington FC
The English Accrington Football Club was founded in 1878. The club was thrown out from FA 1883 after using a paid player (only amateurs were allowed at the time). Was one of the team in the English Football League when it started in 1888 and reach a seventh place in the first season. Accrington played in the league five seasons, but when it was relegated to the second division the club decided to leave the league all together and a few years later the club was dissolved. Accrington F.C. should not be confused with Accrington Stanley FC.
1982 European Cup final

Blackburn Olympic
Less known than Blackburn Rovers is Blackburn Olympic that existed from 1877 to 1889. Blackburn Olympic won the FA Cup in 1883.

Bradford AFC
Founded 1907 and dissolved 1974. Not to be confused with Bradford City. Originated from the rugby club Bradford RC. Became a member of the Football League 1908-1970. The best result was a ninth place in Division 1 in 1915. After relegation from division 4 to the Northern Premier League in 1970, the road to bankruptcy began.