The World’s first football club Sheffield FC has welcomed the latest member of the elite Club of Pioneers.
Netherlands’ oldest club Koninklijke HFC in Haarlem celebrated its 135th anniversary and were inducted into the elite Club of Pioneers, an initiative launched in 2013 by Sheffield to unite the oldest football clubs of every country in the world under one banner.
So far the first clubs from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Spain, Italy and Malta have joined the Club of Pioneers.
To mark the latest induction and celebrations Sheffield took part in a mini tour to Holland where the club was guest of honour. It took in two competitions, the Bekker Jubileum (Jubilee Cup), and the 2014 staging of the Pioneers Cup.
The Bekker Jubileum was contested by Sheffield’s first team including students of Sheffield Hallam University, under the tutelage of Hallam University and Staveley coach Jay Roper and Sheffield FC Foundation Director – and ex-club manager – Chris Dolby. Also in the squad were Sheffield FC veterans Kirk Jackson, Matthew Outram and Darryl Winter, giving the squad a mix of youth and experience.
Koninklijke HFC fielded a strong team, which played 48 hours later in their home debut in the Topklasse competition – a game they won 7-2 – and the Dutch ran out 3-1 winners to lift the trophy, Sheffield’s goal was scored by Jake Dale-Brown.
Sheffield’s Pioneers side, a mixture of staff, fans, ex-players along with ex-professionals Marcus Brameld and Andrew Kiwomya, competed in a three team round-robin against Koninklijke HFC and Belgium’s oldest club Royal Antwerp.
Defending champions Sheffield won the first game against Koninklijke HFC 2-1, Chris Dolby scoring early in the second half, and SFC Director of Football Paul “Buck” Rogers grabbing a last second winner. In the second game HFC beat Royal Antwerp 5-2, meaning Club only had to draw their last game to retain the trophy. They won the game with ease, with the battle-scarred Andrew Kiwomya, Darryl Winter and Marcus Brameld on the score-sheet in a 4-0 victory, and the final goal of the tournament coming from Lee Holland.