Sheffield FC, the oldest football club in the world, has detailed plans to move to a new 4,000-seat stadium in the city.
Sheffield FC currently plays in the eighth-tier Northern Premier League Division One South East, with its home stadium located in Dronfield in nearby Derbyshire.
The club was formed in 1857 and initially played its home games at East Bank stadium. From 1873 to 1889, Sheffield FC played at Bramall Lane, the current home of Premier League club Sheffield United.
Sheffield FC went on to play at a number of different grounds before moving to the new Abbeydale Park stadium after the First World War. The club stayed there for over 60 years before moving on to Hillsborough Park, Don Valley Stadium and then the smaller Owlerton Stadium.
Sheffield FC has played in Dronfield since 2001 but the club is now hoping to return to its home city. The new stadium, which will be based at Sheffield Transport Sports Club, will be known as The Home of Football and will host all of Sheffield FC’s many teams.
It is hoped that the site can become an international visitor attraction for football fans and provide an insight into the history of the club. An artist’s impression video has been released to showcase the club’s plans.
Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims said: “Welcome to a new era of Sheffield FC, the world’s first football club. We are pleased to announce our vision for the future: a new stadium back in the Steel City, and a new membership scheme where fans from every club and country can show their respect for the heritage of the game.”
Sheffield FC’s new membership scheme has been opened up to football fans around the world and includes three tiers. Depending on the tier, benefits of the scheme will include discount on merchandise, letters from the chairman and a Sheffield FC heritage shirt.
In an interview with the Sheffield Star newspaper, Tims added: “St Andrews is known around the world as the home of golf, Lord’s is the home of cricket, and we want Sheffield to get the recognition it deserves as the home of football. This will be somewhere to which the sport’s three billion fans can make a pilgrimage and pay homage to the city which gave the world the beautiful game.
“It doesn’t matter whether you support Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday, this is about being proud of the region’s sporting heritage. We need everyone to get behind this and let the world know Sheffield is where football kicked off.”
The Star reported that Sheffield FC will fund the new stadium by building homes on the site of its current home in Dronfield. The club is currently preparing a planning application to submit to North East Derbyshire District Council.
The club would then submit plans for the new stadium to Sheffield Council and the ground would take around a year to build.
Image: Sheffield FC