Oldest football club selling archive in £1m attempt to finance future

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THE archive of the world’s oldest football club, including the first-ever copies of the rules of the game, is to be auctioned in an attempt to raise more than £1m.

Sheffield FC has engaged the services of international auction house Sotheby’s to sell the collection, which experts said should fetch between £800,000 and £1.2m.

Included in the sale will be the original handwritten draft rules, penned by members of the club in 1858, and the printed pamphlet, which was produced a year later.

According to Sotheby’s the Rules, Regulations and Laws of the Sheffield Foot-Ball Club (1859) provides “astonishing detail” of the setting up of the club and its early days.

Modern day chairman of Sheffield FC Richard Tims said: “The sale of this remarkable piece of sporting history will allow the club to develop facilities and secure it future as the home of grass-roots football.”

“The club is incredibly proud of its long history, and it is fitting that it has, until now, provided a home for the oldest recorded rules of club football.

“But together with its instrumental role in the in the evolution of the game we know and live today, the club has always placed a particular focus on developing the game for future generations.”