Happy Anniversary Southampton Football Club
Thursday, 21st Nov 2019 11:57
It was on 21st November 1877 that Southampton FC played their first ever game of football, find out a little bit more about that momenous day that changed all our destiny's before we were even born.
In 1885 the Reverent Sole Chaired a meeting in a room in Grove Steet behind St Mary's Church in Southampton which lead to the formation of what is accepted as the modern day Southampton Football Club, although historians will point out that the origins of that formation go back to Deanery FC formed in 1880.
On 21st November 1885 the newly formed Southampton St Mary's would play it's firstmatch against Freemantle, perhaps the most prominent team in the then Town at that time and nicknamed the Magpies.
The Saints as they would be nicknamed turned out in white shirts with a diagonal red stripe, the earliest pictures os this kit show that the stripe went in different directions varying from shirt to shirt and was not consistent in one as was the 125 Anniversary 2010 kit.
The game was played on a patch of grass in Northlands Road only a couple of hundred metres from what would become the Dell, the site is now occupied by Hampshire Bowling Club.
Saints won 5-1 and would enjoy a health rivalry with Freemantle in the coming years, the Hampshire Chronicle commented that Saints "had the material to form a fairly strong club"
The players were varied in their occupations but seemed to have more than their fair share of Schoolteachers.
For the rest of the season Saints played Friendlies and ended the season playing five, winning four and drawing one to be unbeaten.
The Rev Sole was the club's first President, but did not last long in the role perhaps paying the price for failing to invest the collections from St Mary's Church in the transfer market and a concerted campaign on the then social media outlet at the time, the local pub toilet wall.
Or maybe he just got a promotion in the Church as he moved to Winchester with his place being taken a Dr Bencraft.
Happy Anniversary Saints, the last 134 years have been turbulent at times but enjoyable, where would we all be without the memories and the friends we have made through following Saints.
Photo: Action Images
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