Football’s first ever administrative base

East Parade (2)

The most important surviving building in the history of association football?

Nathaniel Creswick had his solicitors offices at 9 East Parade for many years. This included the period during which he co-founded the world’s first ever association football club Sheffield FC in October 1857. Creswick established Sheffield FC along with fellow Sheffield Cricket Club member William Prest who owned a wine merchants around the corner on the High Street.

We know that in the very earliest years of Sheffield FC‘s development, as the club’s first Honorary Secretary, Creswick used his business premises to administer the young developing sporting organisation. Letters were written by Creswick to organise some of the earliest football matches ever played. These letter were addressed from 9 East Parade. The offices were also used for meetings including the clubs early AGM’s. 

We know the earliest rules written by a football club anywhere in the world were discussed at these meetings prior to their later final publication at the Adelphi Theatre in October 1858. In addition, some of the earliest members of the world’s first ever football club lived very close to this building. In St Peters Church opposite, in Paradise square and on St James Row. Two very early Sheffield football club members actually worked at 9 East Parade with Creswick. These were John and Charles Appleton from Worksop. John Appleton is mentioned in the very earliest record we have of passing or combination play in the game. Wouldn’t you just have loved to have been sat in these offices listening to the early conversations that took place about how football was evolving and developing in the city?

Do you have more information about this that we could add? Are any of the facts wrong? Please get in touch if so.

Source: Steve Wood
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