Foot-Ball Club

The Foot-Ball Club was a football club, in Edinburgh, Scotland, formed in 1824.[1] The club met in the summer months to play a form of football that did not resemble association football.[1] Nevertheless, the organisation can claim to be the earliest recorded club playing football of any kind.[2] A modern association football club with the same name was formed in 2007, in an attempt to revive the legacy of the old club.

Foot-Ball Club
Full nameFoot-Ball Club
Founded1824; 196 years ago
Dissolvedc. 1841; 180 years ago (1841)
GroundDalry Park (1824–31)
Greenhill Park (1831–41)


The Foot-Ball Club of Edinburgh is thought to be one of the oldest recorded football clubs in the world with records going back to 1824.[3][4]

Four small pocket books and three bundles held in the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) contain the membership lists and accounts of an Edinburgh football club between 1824 and 1841. The Foot-Ball Club may be the earliest known football club in the world.[1]

Founded by John Hope in 1824, the club played its games in the city's Dalry Park until 1831, when they moved to Greenhill Park.[3] The club appears to have met and played every summer, but there is no record of it after 1841.[3]

In 2017, a brief set of handwritten rules was found on the back of the club's 1833 budget statement. This has been described as the earliest known written rules of football.[5][6][7]


In 2007, an association football club with the same name was formed by Kenny Cameron, a community coach at Spartans, after a tour of the Scottish Football Museum.[8] The club's men play in the Edinburgh Sunday Premier League and the Ladies play in the Scottish Women's Football League Second Division South East Division.


  1. ^ a b c "News: "Such kicking of shins and such tumbling"". The National Archives of Scotland. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  2. ^ Lambie, Derek (11 November 2007). "Football Club of Edinburgh in the News: Scottish Sunday Express". Sunday Express. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Hughes, Mark (15 April 2008). "Edinburgh takes on Sheffield in 'oldest club' row". The Independent. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  4. ^ Boyle, Mark (15 April 2008). "Oldest football club". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
  5. ^ Hope, John. Papers of Messrs D and JH Campbell, WS, solicitors, Edinburgh, ID: GD253/183/7/3. National Records of Scotland.
  6. ^ "Historic 'foot-ball' rulebook found". BBC News. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Playing the game in 1833 - the world's earliest known rules of football". 15 May 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  8. ^[bare URL]


  • 1824: The World's First Foot-Ball Club, John Hutchinson and Andy Mitchell. Andy Mitchell Media, 2018. ISBN 978-1-9866-1244-9.