Members of Wrexham Supporters Trust voted last week on the facts put before them as recognising that Wrexham Football Club were actually formed in 1864, and to change year on the club badge accordingly.
It means that the club is now the oldest in Wales, and the third oldest professional club in the world behind Notts County (1862) and Stoke City (1863).
Supporters Trust Chairman Peter Jones said: ¢‚¬Å“The information came to light following the local newspaper of its time, the Wrexham Advertiser being put on line, and thus allowing one word searches, thus eliminating the needle in the haystack process of looking through the newspapers microfilm reels at the local studies centre.
¢‚¬Å“A member had contacted us to state that he had found evidence of the club playing in 1866, through to 1869. Further investigations were made, and it was found that the club had held its first annual meeting on 26th September 1865 in the Turf. We then looked further back, and found that at the annual dinner of the Denbighshire County Cricket Club, their secretary Edward Manners purchased a football for ¢‚¬Å“the great want of amusement in this town in winter time¢‚¬.
On Saturday 22nd October 1864, Wrexham Football Club played their first ever game against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade on the Racecourse where we still play today. It was advertised that the game was to be fifteen-a-side, but it turned out to be a ten-a-side game which resulted in an easy victory for the Fire Brigade, they winning the two first goals out of three.
In the Wrexham Advertiser dated 23rd September 1865, 'The First Annual Meeting' of Wrexham Football Club is advertised for members to attend at the Turf on Tuesday 26th September........
¢‚¬Å“What did cause us concern was the fact that we could not find any record to matches played between 1869 and 1872, but we also found no record of any football being played at that time in the newspaper.
However, further information came to light when Ken Davies of the excellent Penmon web site contacted us with a copy of the Montgomeryshire Express newspaper from the late Keith Hardings collection.
Mr. Harding was a former Chairman of Newtown, who had won the Welsh Cup in 1879, and the newspaper reported on that celebration dinner at which it was reported: ¢‚¬Å“We have got a gentleman here who can date back fifteen years as Mr Evan Morris is the vice-president (FA of Wales). He is more œ he is the president of the Wrexham Football Club. Evan Morris went on to state: ¢‚¬Å“Your worthy Chairman has spoken of me as President of the football club at Wrexham, which has existed for 15 years.
Further to that information; J.A. H. Cattons book The Real Football printed in 1900, was an amplification of a lecture given to the members of Notts County FC in November, 1890, and stated on page 200: ¢‚¬Å“Wrexham is quite an ancient home of the game, for a club was established there in 1864.¢‚¬
This proves beyond all doubt the continuity of Wrexham Football Club from its formation in October 1864. It also means that we can look forward to celebrating our 150th Anniversary in two years time.¢‚¬