Sheffield FCIn the mid-nineteenth century, a group of cricketers in South Yorkshire sat down to decide how to keep fit in the winter and changed the world forever.

They created Sheffield FC, the first and now the oldest surviving, football club in the world. Led by the indomitable Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest they founded Sheffield Foot-Ball Club on October 24, 1857 (Foot-Ball was how the game was commonly known in the early days).

Having created the world’s first club Creswick and Prest now had a problem on their hands. It wasn’t that they couldn’t find opponents but they couldn’t agree with them on the rules. Various idiosyncratic forms of the game were being played across the country and especially on the playing fields of the public schools and universities.

So having created the first football club Creswick and Prest went one better and created the original rulebook. Those rules were the rudimentary basis of those we know and argue about so much today and were set out and crucially shared by Sheffield FC in 1859.

The ‘Sheffield Rules’ were also a cornerstone of the creation of the Football Association.

On Boxing Day the next year, the club was instrumental in the first ever version of what is now the highlight of many a fans’ season: the derby match. On December 26 1860, Sheffield FC played the first known inter-city match under the new rules against ‘The Countrymen’, better known as local rivals Hallam FC. The fixture is still played every year making it also the oldest football derby match still played.

Thanks to the pioneering spirit of founders Creswick and Prest and the drive and ambition of current chairman Richard Tims, the club is still going strong and in 2004 was recognised by FIFA as the oldest in the world. The club was also awarded a Centennial Order of Merit, putting Tims and Sheffield in the illustrious company of CF Real Madrid, the only other club to receive the award.

Tims did an amazing job to stabilise the club when he took over and part of his vision was a move to a proper, suitable stadium. One with good facilities but one that was not too big to manage. The club took over The Coach and Horses Stadium from Norton Woodseats FC in 2001 and has been playing there ever since.

Tims’ avowed mission has always been to keep the club running and flourishing at the correct level. Believing that ‘the first football club’ in the world is one that should be recognised and cherished by the biggest sport in the world. He is not leading an egocentric drive to the Premier League, he is preserving history.

However the club now faces a challenge that Creswick and Prest could never have foreseen. They simply want to come home. The problem with the Coach and Horses Stadium is that it is not in Sheffield, in fact it’s not even in Yorkshire. Although only 20 minutes from the city, it is just over the border in Dronfield, Derbyshire.

So the club are on a mission to return to Sheffield and even better, their 'spiritual' and original home of Olive Grove.

As the home of the world’s first ever football club it could be argued that this is the true cradle of football. Olive Grove is still used for sport though now it is home to some muddy pitches and a local cricket club. Sheffield FC used the ground from their inception until about 1862 and now they want to return. However as it currently boasts nothing other than those empty goals and the cricket pitch, a new stadium needs to be built.

Never ones to let a lack of mere bricks and mortar be a barrier, the intrepid Tims and Co, have started a crowd-funding campaign #THEWORLDSFIRST with the aim of ‘bringing football home’.

They have raised £53,000 and so far have 1,441 supporters, a great achievement as the campaign only kicked off in July.

Here at Quickplay Sport we think it would be fantastic to see Sheffield FC back at Olive Grove, which could be a true monument to the creation of the world’s greatest game and an inspiration to other champions of grassroots football like us.

To get involved visit the Worlds First website, donate what you can and share the message.