Extra-time for the oldest club

THE "world's oldest football club" is set to join an Edinburgh Sunday league after being reformed by a city youth worker.

The Foot Ball Club of Edinburgh, established in 1824 by student lawyer John Hope, is being resurrected by 27-year-old Kenny Cameron.

Strips have been provided by sportswear firm Umbro, and Fifa president Sepp Blatter is said to have given the initiative his seal of approval.

Mr Cameron, who was inspired by a visit to the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden, said: "John Hope set up the club to help local kids, and we want to keep that aspect going.

"It was something that has stayed in the back of my mind since I learned about it at Hampden, and we were wanting to start up a football club anyway, so this all made sense."

He added: "Mr Blatter said he would come over for our first dinner, which will probably take place in October."

Hearts fan Mr Cameron, along with friends Alex Collop and Alex Downie, plans to put local coaches through SFA qualifications and badges, and get as many young people as possible involved in matches and training.

The original team – made up of New Town lawyers, doctors and accountants – would meet on a Saturday morning and play against each other.

And as well as entry into a Sunday league, the new club will stage a weekly event at Leith Academy, echoing those early traditions.

"On a Saturday it will be a bit like a golf club where members come and play against each other," said Mr Cameron, who lives in Muirhouse and is a qualified football coach. "We are also going to pick two charities, one local and one international, that we want to donate to.

"There's no shortage of people wanting to get involved."

Sheffield FC was thought to be the world's oldest club, before the National Archives of Scotland discovered documents about the Foot Ball Club of Edinburgh.

Scottish Football Museum curator Richard McBrearty said: "This discovery has tremendous ramifications for Scotland's place in world football. What Mr Cameron is doing is terrific."


THE Foot Ball Club of Edinburgh was founded in 1824, 33 years before Sheffield FC – previously thought to be the world's oldest.

Set up by law student John Hope, the club's ethos was to help poor children in Dalry.

Although similar to today's game, any rules that were in existence were probably not strictly enforced and Hope's version of "foot ball" was much more rough and ready.

Tripping was banned, but pushing and shoving were allowed. Letters in the archives suggest up to 40 players were involved in one game, in which there was "such kicking of shins and such tumbling". Records of the club stop at 1841, and it is therefore not clear how much longer it carried on for.

Sheffield FC, although younger, is the world's oldest club which has continued throughout, and still plays its games in the city's Dronfield.