Any football club worth it’s salt is bound to have a history that is inspiring and sure to have you hooked to the end. That is the case with Fulham Football Club, which has a history spanning 141 years. Let’s dig deeper into this:
1879 to 1907
Fulham came to be in 1879, and at the time, it was known as Fulham Saint Andrews Church Sunday school FC. Worshippers who were keen on playing cricket at the Church of England on Star Road are to thank for the formation of this team. You can take a walk down memory lane by visiting this church, the mother church to Fulham Football Club.
Here, you can come across the plaque that stands as a reminder of the team’s humble beginnings. It was not long after this team came to be that it started participating in small championships. At this time, the team players wore shirts that were half white and half red, with matching white shorts. This uniform was characteristic of the club in the 1886 to 1887 season.
Their efforts were not in futility, and the team won the West London Amateur Cup in 1887. That set the ball rolling for many other wins that were to come. The following year, the team changed its name to Fulham Football Club, putting their progress in full gear, in full anticipation of more wins. In 1893, they participated in the West London league for the first time and won.
All this time, Fulham had not had a home to call their own, and the team had moved from one field to the other. In 1894, the team representatives came across Craven Cottage, which had undergone destruction by fire. They worked on rehabilitating the field such that it was suitable to hold a game in 1896 when Fulham officially moved to these grounds. The first game was against Minerva, which took place in October that year.
While many football clubs exist in southern England, Fulham stands out as the oldest of these clubs to play professional football. The rest play in non-league championships. While some of these other teams are older, Fulham is the oldest of its kind to have professional status. It gained this status is in 1898 when it first joined the Southern League’s second division. They were the second Club from London to do this, and they followed in close pursuit of Arsenal. The latter club was known as royal Arsenal back then. For the 1896 to 1897 season, the club adopted a red and white uniform, quite different from the matching kit that they had a decade earlier.
The club went on to win several games and entered the southern League first division in the 1902 to 1903 season. They later adopted an all-white uniform in 1903, putting an end to their kit changes. They started adorning white shirts and black shorts, with either white or black socks. Nowadays, they mostly play with white socks, something which their fans have come to expect. The 1905 to 1906 and the 1906 to 1907 seasons favoured this club as it won the Southern League both times.
1907 to 1949
Having triumphed in the Southern League, the club was now ready to soar greater heights, and it joined the Football League. Their first league game in the second division was against Hull City in September 1907. They lost 1-0 to the opponent while playing at home, which was quite the loss. Their win came when they played at Derby County’s baseball ground, having a difference of one goal. Their 1907 to 1908 season ended with a club quite close to having snagged the 4th place.
The team was energetic and reached the FA Cup’s semi-final, where they lost 6-0 to Newcastle United. This loss stands as a record for any FA Cup semi-final game. The team did not give up, and in the 1909 to 1910 season, they emerged winner in the London Challenge Cup. Their performance in this period was as follows. Between 1907 and 1928, the club was in the second division of the Football League. They then held Division 3S and division 2, from 1928 to 1932, and 1932 to 1949, respectively.
1949 to 1970
From 1949 to 1952, the club held division one tier one, as was the case between 1959 and 1968. Between 1952 and 1959, and 1968 to 1969, the club fell in Division 2 tier 2. Johnny Haynes was the most influential character at this time. He made his first debut against Southampton at Craven Cottage in the 1951 – 1952 season. Fans regard him as the greatest player in Fulham history, having gained 56 caps for England. Stevenage Road stand was renamed in his honour after he died in a car crash.
1970 to 1994
The team held Division 3 tier 3 from 1969 to 1971 and 1980 to 1982, division 2 from 1971 to 1980, and 1982 to 1986. For the 1986 to 1994 season, the team held Division 3 and 2 tier 2.
1994 to date
Mohamed Al-Fayed took over the team in 1997 as it played in its Premier League years. Fulham later came to be established in the Premier League in the years between 2010 and 2013. It is now under Shahid Khan and is active in the EFL championship. There is definitely more in store for Fulham.