Bootle F.C. (1879)

Bootle Football Club was an English football club based in Bootle, Lancashire. Founder members of the Football Alliance, the club was one of the first two clubs to resign from the Football League.[2] and also one of only two clubs (the other being Middlesbrough Ironopolis F.C.) to spend a single season in the League.

Full nameBootle Football Club
Nickname(s)North Enders[1]
GroundHawthorne Road
LeagueSecond Division
18938th (resigned)


The Bootle team pictured in 1888

Bootle F.C. were formed in 1879 as Bootle St Johns AFC and played their first fixture in October 1880 against Everton.[2] Later that year the club changed its name to Bootle F.C. and then entered the FA Cup for the first time the following season.[2]

In 1887 Bootle signed former Scotland international Andrew Watson, the first black international player. If, as is likely, he was paid then he was the first black professional footballer in history, pre-dating Arthur Wharton.[3]

When the Football League was founded, William MacGregor invited Everton as the representatives of the city of Liverpool, rather than Bootle. Instead, in 1888-89 Bootle joined the Football Combination, and then in 1889-90 were founder members of the Football Alliance.[2] That season was their most successful as they finished league runners-up (winning every home match), and reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, where they lost 7–0 to Blackburn Rovers.[4]

However the club suffered when playing away from Hawthorne Road; in its second Alliance season, the club only secured 1 point away from home, and in the third and final season only 1 away win. At the end of the 1891-92 season, the club was in serious financial difficulties, owing £300 to lenders and £800 for the construction of new stands, against annual income of £2,000. In order to raise funds the club decided to form a limited liability company.[5]

When the Alliance merged with the Football League in 1892, Bootle became founder members of the new Second Division.[6] The club's crowds however declined from the usual 2-3,000 in the Alliance to just 1,000 by the end of its one League season. Despite finishing in eighth position, the club resigned, its last League action being supporting a resolution to increase the First Division to 20 clubs (opposed by Everton) to avoid Liverpool becoming a one-club monopoly. Bootle was one of the first two clubs to resign from the League, the other being Accrington F.C., and is one of only two clubs to have spent just one season in the Football League, the other being Middlesbrough Ironopolis.[7]

In its final season the club's expenditure was £2,198, half of which was due to wages, as against an income of £1,355 plus donations of £155.[8] The club did enter the FA Cup for 1893-94, and was drawn to play at Stockport County in the qualifying rounds,[9] but, on 28 August 1893, before the tie could take place, the club passed a resolution putting itself into liquidation.[10]

International playersEdit

Four Bootle players appeared for Wales:[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ McParlan, Paul. "Blink and you'll miss it, part 8". Football Pink. Retrieved 3 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bootle". Historical kits. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Fate of Scotland's first black footballer revealed". The Scotsman. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  4. ^ "The FA Cup Archive". The FA. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  5. ^ "Bootle Football Club". Liverpool Mercury: 7. 14 May 1892.
  6. ^ "WHAT'S IN A NAME: LINCOLN CITY". September 16, 2009. The Football League. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  7. ^ Yarden, Paul. "Football Trivia Question of the Day May 2013 Archive". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Bootle Football Club". Liverpool Mercury: 7. 24 July 1893.
  9. ^ "The Football Association". Liverpool Mercury: 6. 8 August 1893.
  10. ^ "Football". Liverpool Mercury: 7. 31 August 1893.
  11. ^ "Appearances of players of Bootle F.C." Archived from the original on 9 July 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2011.

External linksEdit