A list of 10 of the oldest football clubs and the year they were established

A list of 10 of the oldest football clubs and the year they were established

Steve Njuguna
February 22, 2023 at 10:36 AM

Football is the world's most popular sport, and fans all over the world pledge allegiance to their favourite clubs. Today we look at the 10 oldest football clubs and the year they were established.

Today we look at the top 10 oldest football clubs in the world
Wrexham AFC players pose before a game in 1961. Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive
Source: Getty Images

Association football has its origins in England and Scotland in the 19th century. The game spread across the world during Britain's colonial expansion. Let's look at some of the oldest football clubs in the world.

1. Sheffield Football Club (1857)

Members of the Sheffield Cricket club established Sheffield Football Club in 1857. The club is credited with setting the 'Sheffield Rules, ' a set of rules governing the play of football that was later integrated with the FA rules to produce the regulations that guide the game today. They play in the 7th tier of English football.

2. Cambridge University Association F.C. (1857)

Cambridge University formed a team in the late 1850s. Despite being a school-based club, it is among the top 3 oldest football clubs in the world. Some of its graduates started other clubs, such as Hallam FC.

Who are the 3 oldest football clubs in the world?
Cambridge United in action against Oxford University during a match in 1965. Photo by Evening Standard
Source: Getty Images

3. Hallam FC (1860)

Hallam FC was established in 1860. It is based in the Sheffield area, known for having many of the oldest clubs in England. It is also home to the world's oldest football ground.

Hallam FC is one of the oldest football clubs in England
Hallam FC's ground is the oldest football ground in the world. Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP
Source: Getty Images

4. Crystal Palace F.C. (1861)

Crystal Palace is the oldest team in the English Premier League. They play in Selhurst park in London.

Crystal Palace is among the top 10 oldest football clubs in the world.
Palace's home ground in London. Photo by Sam Mellish
Source: Getty Images

5. Notts County (1862)

Notts was one of the founding members of the English football association. They play in the 5th tier.

Notts is 6th on the list of oldest football clubs.
Notts County is one of England's historic clubs. Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto
Source: Getty Images

6. Stoke City FC (1863)

The club started as Stoke Ramblers before changing to Stoke City in 1925. The team is nicknamed 'The Potters' as the area used to be known for its ceramic industry.

7. Wrexham AFC (1864)

Wrexham AFC is the oldest club in Wales. The club is famous for being owned by Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Robert McElhenney. They play in the 5th division.

Wrexham is one of the oldest football clubs in Britain.
Wrexham is the oldest football club in Wales. Photo by Visionhaus
Source: Getty Images

8. Nottingham Forest (1865)

Nottingham is one of England's most successful clubs in the game's history. They won the prestigious European Cup as well as many other domestic honours.

Nottingham Forest won European honours twice
Nottingham Forest F.C. players celebrate winning the 1980 European Cup. Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive
Source: Getty Images

9. Queen's Park (1867)

Many people often ask who are the top 10 football clubs in Scotland. At the top of the list is Queen's Park, which was established in 1867. Here is the full list:


Year established

Queen's Park




Stranraer F.C


Dumbarton FC


Rangers FC


Hamilton Academical


Hearts of Midlothian


Hibernian FC


Falkirk FC


St Mirren


10. Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock is Scotland's second oldest club. They won the 2011-12 Scottish league cup.

What are the 10 oldest football clubs in Scotland?
Kilmarnock players celebrate winning the league cup in 2012. Photo by Ian MacNicol
Source: Getty Images

Football's roots run deep, and the game has now become a global phenomenon more than 150 years after the establishment of the first football club.

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