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Football and its Buckley roots

Football as we know it soon rose from the birth of the industrial revolution sometime in the mid 19th century. The game had been played for centuries earlier in many different forms mainly in connection with rugby football and in most cases forbidden by the ruling class.

It was in 1863 that the Football Association was founded, and the game took on new rules and its popularity grew. Sheffield FC is known as the world’s oldest club forming in 1857 although that is disputed with Cambridge University AFC who formed at approximately the same time. Other clubs emerged, like Hallam FC, Cray Wanderers and Wrexham AFC were to be the trendsetters.

As football in and around North Wales grew it wasn’t until the middle of the 1880s that Buckley had a taste of the action. With the lord of the manor Philip Bryan Davies-Cooke prohibiting the establishment of goalposts, the Buckley common was used as a makeshift pitch where jumpers were really used as goalposts. With the area being so close to the Belmont Brickworks, the Belmont Swifts were the first team up and running playing only for the love of the game.

Originally soft rubber balls, pigs’ bladders and stockings where used until the kind introduction of a “football” from a Liverpool clergyman with the surname Shields. Heading into the 1900s football became more accepted and the game progressed more into a competitive sport. 

Early clubs to exist in Buckley included Buckley Engineers, The Square, Nant Mawr Jolly Boys, Lane End Corinthians, Buckley Co-Op Wednesday, The Albion and many more local amateur football teams. Buckley Town (pre-war), Burntwood Rovers and Buckley United are remembered for having great sides and then after the second world war the Buckley Rovers and the Buckley Wanderers flood many memories from Buckley’s footballing past. 

Up the Bucks…

Reproduced at the courtesy of The Buckley Society