Club of Pioneers

The Club of Pioneers is a worldwide network of the oldest continuing association football clubs from each country.

The Club of Pioneers was founded in 2013 by Sheffield FC, the first and oldest association football club in the world. The Club of Pioneers aims to discover and connect the world's oldest existing football clubs, to build a global network of like-minded football clubs to promote the importance of football history and the grass roots and amateur game.

Definition of PioneersEdit

According to today's historical knowledge and available sources of football history, the Sheffield Football Club Foundation awards the honorary membership within the Club of Pioneers to those football clubs, who....

  1. Still play football in amateur or professional football competition today.
  2. Have constantly existed as a sports organisation since their date of foundation. (exceptions for periods of inactivity due to external reasons, for example war.)
  3. Are by definition the oldest existing football club of their country, referring to the foundation date of a football team as part of a multi-sport club or as a proper football club, playing to association football rules.
  4. Live and support the values of the game and amateur football: Integrity, Respect, Community.

Current membersEdit

Club founded in Country Continent
Sheffield FC 1857, 24 October   England Europe
Wrexham AFC 1864, 4 October   Wales Europe
Queen's Park FC 1867, 9 July   Scotland Europe
Kjøbenhavns Boldklub 1878, 24 October   Denmark Europe
FC St. Gallen 1879, 19 April   Switzerland Europe
Koninklijke HFC 1879, 15 September   Netherlands Europe
Cliftonville FC 1879, 20 September   Northern Ireland Europe
Royal Antwerp FC 1880   Belgium Europe
Savages FC Pietermaritzburg 1882   South Africa Africa
Hong Kong F.C. 1886, 12 February   Hong Kong Asia
Yokohama C&AC 1886, 26 December   Japan Asia
Associação Académica de Coimbra 1887, 3 November   Portugal Europe
North Shore Utd 1887   New-Zealand Oceania
BFC Germania 1888 1888, 15 April   Germany Europe
Mohun Bagan AC 1889, 15 August   India Asia
Real Club Recreativo de Huelva 1889, 23 December   Spain Europe
St. George's FC 1890   Malta Europe
Albion Football Club 1891, 1 June   Uruguay South America
Santiago Wanderers 1892, 15 August   Chile South America
Genoa CFC 1893, 7 September   Italy Europe
Odds Ballklubb 1894, March 31   Norway Europe
First Vienna FC 1894, 22 August   Austria Europe
CS Fola Esch 1906, 9 December   Luxembourg Europe
FK Ljuboten 1919, 28 March   North Macedonia Europe
FK Sveikata 1919, 8 June   Lithuania Europe

(Update : August 2019)

Pioneers CupEdit

Members of the Club of Pioneers, can also take part in a Pioneers Cup: a football tournament where only 'oldest' clubs can participate, to showcase their pioneering heritage. The teams themselves do not play, but are represented by 'Pioneer' teams of fans, former-players, and staff of the club.

Pioneers Cup 2013 - Sheffield
Date 16 November 2013
Venue Sheffield F.C. Stadium - England
Participating teams Sheffield F.C. (England) with Chris Waddle, Carlton Palmer, John Beresford,
RC Recreativo de Huelva (Spain)
Genoa CFC (Italy)with Tomáš Skuhravý, Gennaro Ruotolo
Winners Sheffield F.C.
Pioneers Cup 2014 - Haarlem
Date 30 August 2014
Venue Haarlem - Netherlands
Participating teams Sheffield F.C. (England) with Chris Dolby
Koninklijke HFC (Netherlands) with Tom Van Schaick
Royal Antwerp Fc (Belgium)
Winners Sheffield FC
Pioneers Cup 2014 - Huelva
Date 6 September 2014
Venue Nuevo Colombino - Huelva - Spain
Participating teams RC Recreativo de Huelva (Spain)
Koninklijke HFC (Netherlands)
Genoa CFC (Italy)
Winners RC Recreativo de Huelva
Pioneers Cup 2016 - Antwerp
Date 21 May 2016
Venue Bosuilstadion - Antwerp - Belgium
Participating teams Royal Antwerp F.C. (Belgium) with Jonas De Roeck
Koninklijke HFC (Netherlands) with Tom Van Schaik, Paulo Meijnderhagen
CS Fola Esch (Luxembourg) with Pascal Welter
Winners Koninklijke HFC
extra info Pioneers Cup Ambassador : Laszlo Fazekas
Pioneers Cup 2019 - Haarlem
Date 31 August 2019
Venue Haarlem - Netherlands
Participating teams FK Sveikata (Lithuania) Gintaras Cibirka, Audrius Paškevičius
Koninklijke HFC (Netherlands)
Royal Antwerp Fc (Belgium)
Winners FK Sveikata