Sandygate Road is, in fairness, nothing much to look at. As with much of Sheffield's place in footballing history, it is kind of understated to the point of being ignored. The home of Hallam FC - the second oldest club in the world (only 3 years younger than Sheffield FC, with whom they regularly play the world's oldest football derby) - it looks like little more than a small non-league ground. There is very little on the surface to show off its 143 year history.
However, for football anoraks, it is worthwhile to go visit the ground on a Saturday or other matchday when Hallam FC are playing at home - and with a little imagination - envisage the early days of the game that eventually took over the passions of the English, and much of the rest of the world.
The Youdan Cup, the first organised cup tournament according to records, was won outright by Hallam FC in 1871 - and having turned up in an old antiques store north of the border in the last few years, has now come back to the club. This provides another point of interest.
Whenever I have visited the place, I have enjoyed a reasonably priced drink in the friendly clubhouse - which is adorned with shirts gifted by more famous clubs - and seeing football at grassroots level and at its most historic.
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