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The first Crystal Palace Football club 1861-1876

Price: £19.95

by Stuart Hibberd

Crystal Palace Park has three claims to fame in English football history. It hosted the FA Cup Final for twenty years from 1895 to 1914, and in 1905 it was the first home of Crystal Palace FC. The third and less well-known but significant landmark goes back to the foundation of the modern game. It was the main home of the first Crystal Palace Football Club that existed from 1861 to 1876. This club was a founding member the Football Association in 1863 and its representatives sat at the table of committee meetings that determined the rules of the game. The first Crystal Palace FC played in the first FA Cup competition in 1871/1872 and its players represented England in the first internationals. They worked in the City, migrated across the Empire, and led varied and colourful lives. One was a star of the D’Oyly Carte Company, another was the stepbrother of Mrs Beeton.

In this period the Crystal Palace was of national and international significance. It attracted the best sportsmen, and some pioneering sportswomen, to compete in the park. Athletics, archery, cricket, cycling, swimming, and even croquet and baseball were to be seen and enjoyed. These sports are covered along with biographical details of prominent Victorian sportspeople who participated.

The book includes a summary of games played and results from 1861 to 1876, much previously unpublished material, most importantly extracts from the only known diary of a man who appeared for England in the first football international, and who played for Crystal Palace, Charles John Chenery.

Also included is a detailed bibliography and index.

Paperback 226 pages 187 illustrations and drawings