The Football Annual was a reference work published annually from 1868 to 1908. It reported on the various codes of football played in England, and also provided some coverage of the other home nations, supplemented on occasion by reports from around the world. While association and rugby football provided its main focus, it also included some material on public school football, Sheffield football (until that code merged with association football in 1877), and, on occasion, even Australian and American football. A typical issue would include laws of the various codes, a summary of the preceding season, a listing of football clubs in England (including such details as each club’s ground, secretary, and colours), and essays about aspects of the game.
The Football Annual was edited for almost its entire existence by Charles Alcock. Upon Alcock’s death in early 1907, the two final editions were edited by others. It ceased publication after the 1908 edition.
Collector Phil Martin has kindly loaned Sheffield Home Of Football (SHOF) his collection of 17 Alcock Annuals to be scanned as a first step to the goal of having a complete set digitised and available online for research.
Nick Partridge, SHOF Trustee, will be scanning the annuals using the Sheffield City Council Archives hi-resolution scanner with a grant from Sporting Heritage and the National Sporting Heritage Day 2023 sponsor, Microform. #NSHD2023
Phil Martin handing the Alcock Annuals over was a great step in opening up research into the origins of modern football to historians right across the world . Many thanks Phil for the loan, they are in safe hands.