While the rest of the world waits for the outcome of FIFA World Cup matches in St. Petersburg and Moscow this weekend it was back to the beginning for the world's two oldest football clubs at The Coach & Horses on the Yorkshire/Derbyshire border in Dronfield on Thursday evening.
Sheffield FC The world's oldest club. www.sheffieldfc.com, formed in 1857, were entertaining cross town old friends and rivals Hallam FC, The Countrymen, who play at the worlds oldest football ground, SANDYGATE, since 1860. 158 years since the first derby on Boxing Day in 1860, now moved to a much warmer pre-season July date. Fans can buy a pie and chips with mushy peas and tea at the kiosk inside the modest stadium on Sheffield Road, or drink beer in the club owned pub attached to the ground before, at half time and after the match
CLUB, as SFC is known, were hoping for a 'THREE-PEAT 'after a pk win in 2016 and a 4-1 victory a year ago, but it was not to be. The blue shirted Countrymen won 2-0 with a couple of first half goals to win the Alan Cooper Memorial Trophy. www.hallamfc.co.uk
All over Europe we had the preliminary rounds of UEFA competition in Jeruselem, Sofia, Luxembourg, Tirana. Vilnius, Tallinn, Dublin, Famagousta, Podgorica, Belfast and elsewhere. At Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow there were 50,000 plus fans in a sold out stadium to watch The Light Blues and Steven Gerrard's first competitive match versus Shkupi of Skopje..now in renamed Northern Macedonia. The result 2-0 with the return fixture in the small 6,000 stadium next week.
In Belfas,t Clifftonville lost to FC Nordsjudland 0-1, In Rhyl, North Wales Connah's Quay Nomads lost 1-3 to Shakhtyr Soligorsk, in Londonderry, Derry City lost to Dinamo Minsk 0-2, Dundalk won by 1-0 over Levadia FC in Tallinn. In Dublin Shamrock Rovers were downed 0-1 by AIK. .In Edinburgh it was Hibernian 6-2 over Runavik.
Football is healthy all over. and...as PELE said at the 150th anniversery of Sheffield FC in 2007 at Bramall Lane. WITHOUT SHEFFIELD FC THERE WOULD NOT BE A ME.!!
AH !!! THE BEAUTIFUL GAME.