Life in the Northern Counties East League Division One has offered variety to the newly reformed, FC Humber United. The club collected a well-deserved victory on the opening day in a 7-1 drubbing of Dronfield Town. FC Humber then went on the road, heading to the southern reaches of Barnsley; in a battle of the early leaders against Worsbrough Bridge Athletic, FC Humber unfortunately came away worse off after a 5-2 defeat.

FC Humber United then returned home and faced Glasshoughton Welfare; The club came away from the tie on the wrong end of a 4-0 score line, in what perhaps should have been a points gatherer for the club. The Club have since visited Ollerton Town and then hosted landlords, Selby Town in a three-all draw and 4-6 defeat respectively. In the club’s most recent outing, a visit to the Dransfield Stadium and North Ferriby bore witness to further rejuvenation within FC Humber, the game ended 2-0 to the hosts, but Humber were perhaps unfortunate not to leave points after another decent display. 

Taking a view on Saturday’s opposition, Hallam FC like Humber have seen variety in their opening fixtures of the season, despite being early favorites for promotion. The club began their campaign with a 3-3 draw away to Nostell Miners Welfare. Hallam were then on the road for a second straight game, playing Rainworth Miners Welfare; the game was abandoned after a medical emergency involving a match official. 

Hallam then returned to Sandygate and faced Rossington Main; the game offered the footballing neutral a fine display of non-league football and despite a relatively even affair, then game ended with Rossington Main run away to a 2-5 victory. Hallam then fell to another defeat on the road against Brigg Town and then defeated Hall Road Rangers 7-0 after a sublime second half showing. 

FC Humber have the opportunity to size up their opposition once more as the club look ahead to their fifth league fixture of the season. With the season now seeing it’s fourth week coming to an end, the club closed out their efforts with a league fixture at home, against Hallam FC in a 3.00pm Kick off at the Fairfax Plant Hire Stadium.

With the season now in full swing, the opportune moment is upon us as FC Humber to learn from their positive efforts in recent game’s and continue to move forward. Quoting the official Hallam FC website, FC Humber extend an opportunity in viewing a brief history of the team they face Saturday:

Located in a leafy suburb of Sheffield 10 to the West of the city centre and some 800 feet above sea level lies Sandygate Road, officially the oldest football ground in the World and home of Hallam FC since 1860, thus making them the second oldest football club in the World to Sheffield FC.

After the formation of Hallam Cricket club in 1804 by the landlord of the Plough Inn the club blossomed. By the 1850’s it had in excess of 300 members. Many of these members, familiar with the team football being played by Sheffield FC (formed in 1857), wished to create a less exclusive club led by cricketers. Thus in 1860, Hallam FC was born.

The first ever challenge match took place against Sheffield FC on Boxing Day 1860 at Sandygate Road. This is still believed to be the first ever Inter Club game and the oldest to survive until today.

John Shaw who was the founder and captain of Hallam FC represented the Sheffield Football Association and along with Charles Alcock of the Football Association of London created a nationally accepted set of rules of playing the game. The two gentlemen in fact both captained their respective teams in the first all Sheffield match with London in 1871 in which they experimented with the new rules.

In 1867 Hallam went on to win the Youdan Cup named after a local football enthusiast Thomas Youdan. This is believed to have been the first cup competition and the oldest football trophy in the World. Although lost for a number of years it resurfaced with a Scottish antique dealer in 1997.

As professionalism grew within the game and more clubs were formed Hallam struggled to compete, they were content to retain their amateur status and still enjoyed success in local league and cup competitions. A crowd of over 2000 spectators filled Sandygate as they defeated Bishop Auckland in an FA Amateur cup game in 1925.

Hallam progressed through the senior local leagues and had the opportunity to play more famous clubs in the FA Amateur Cup competition. One such cup match against Dulwich Hamlet in 1953 was played at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium and attracted a crowd of over 13,000 spectators. Hallam went on to win the Sheffield senior cup four times during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

With the restructure of the amateur leagues in 1982/83 season Hallam had to make extensive fundraising efforts to meet the requirements of the new ground grading system which was as influential on promotion as the team’s performance itself and to pay a premium for the 99 year extension of the ground lease which had to be met within 12 months of being agreed with their landlords, a burden to be shared by the cricket club. The ground lease is due to expire in 2088.

Necessary improvements to the ground included the provision of floodlights, first used in 1992, a 250 seat stand and a covered standing area to house 100 spectators. The fund-raising was boosted by a legacy from a late supporter and the two new stands were completed for the 1999/2000 season. New changing rooms were then built behind the main stand and the old ones were refurbished internally to create a licensed clubhouse.

During season 2000/2001, Hallam FC received two certificates from the Guinness World Records organisation, which recognised that Sandygate was the Oldest Football Ground still in use and that Hallam FC possesses the World’s oldest “knock-out” cup, namely the “Youdan Cup” of 1867.Both certificates can be seen proudly displayed in the entrance porch of the 1860 suite.

In the 2003/04 season a barren spell of 36 years without a trophy was ended as the club beat Mickleover Sports 1-0 in the NCEL cup final at Buxton.

2009/2010 season saw the club’s 150th anniversary season celebrated with a Dinner and the replay of the first inter club match with Sheffield FC which was delayed until May Day 2011 due to a heavy snow cover on the Sandygate Road pitch on Boxing day itself. The closely fought game watched by a crowd of over 500 spectators saw Sheffield win 2-1 to take home the Alan Cooper Memorial Trophy. A special 150th anniversary edition of “The Countrymen” the official History of the club written by John A. Steele was also published to mark the anniversary. 

In 2011-12 the marvelous legacy left to the club by lifelong fan Roger Bell allowed the facilities to be upgraded in line with the modern day league requirements and to refurbish the clubhouse which was officially re-opened by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who was the local MP for Sheffield, Hallam, on the 13th April 2012 as the “1860 Suite”.

Recent seasons have seen an upturn in performances with both 2015-16 and 2016-17 being rewarded with play-off semi-final places under Manager Ryan Hindley. In 2017/8, the club remained in contention for promotion until the last week of the season, eventually finishing third. The club also reached the second round of the FA Vase.

Over the summer, ahead of the 2019/20 season Steven Whitehead took sole control of first team management, assisted by Wez Hill and Coach Simon Mirfin; and in January of 2020, former Manager Ryan Hindley rejoined the club as Joint Manager alongside Stephen, with Danny Cardwell joining as Assistant.

Last Season

FC Humber United 

The club made a good start to the 2020-21 season, collecting two victories from their opening three games. Collecting a 1-0 victory at home to Armthorpe Welfare on the opening day; the very same score line appeared a week later when away to Worsborough Bridge Athletic, A 6-2 defeat to Retford FC separated victories. The then East Hull, would go on to collect one further point thereafter in a 2-2 draw at home to Worsbrough Bridge Athletic. 

Prior to the prematurely curtailed season, FC Humber or East Hull as they were then known closed out the season in 18th place above Worsbrough Bridge Athletic and Selby town, having collected seven points from their ten games played. 

Hallam FC

Despite only picking up a point from their opening two games of the 2020-21 campaign, Hallam had looming reasonably decent until the season was cut short. Hallam then won their next three games, beating FC Humber/East Hull 5-3 at home, then came a 4-2 away victory at Hall Road Rangers before beating Nostell MW 4-1 at Sandygate. Hallam then lost at home for the first time, in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Emley AFC, followed by a 4-2 defeat on the road at Rossington Main. Hallam’s last fixture of the season saw them defeat Brigg Town 3-2.

Prior to the prematurely curtailed season, Hallam FC closed out the season glued to the foot of the table in 11th place, one point above Nostell MW, having collected thirteen points from their eight games played. 


Tale of the Tape

When it comes to FC Humber United Versus Hallam FC, the two sides have only met in competitive action on five occasions. Through the short period FC Humber have existed in their many forms, five occasions they have met Hallam and as the record stands, FC Humber have picked up zero victories and one draw, whilst Hallam have won on four occasions. However, after much improved performances of late, FC Humber will certainly feel up to a competitive fixture against Hallam and perhaps feel they can take something from it. 

Of the five fixtures FC Humber and Hallam have met in competitive action, there have been eighteen goals between the two; six from FC Humber and twelve from Hallam FC. The last time these two met, 3rd October 2020, the tie ended in an exciting 5-3 victory for Hallam, so it would be suffice to say that FC Humber will have their sights set on bettering that in their favour. 

Tom Devereux | Media Executive | FC Humber United

August 27, 2021