Wanderers FC5 Little Tin Idols
Wanderers Football Club was founded and captained by Charles W Alcock in 1859 as an amateur football and social club in London. Originally named Forest Football Club, the club changed its name to Wanderers in 1864. At that time the team was mainly comprised of former pupils of the leading English public schools, such as Harrow, Eton and Westminster schools.
They were among the founder members of The Football Association (the FA) in 1863, with Alcock acting as FA Honorary Secretary. It was he who proposed the idea for the FA Challenge Cup (FA Cup) in 1871, the oldest and best domestic Cup competition in the world.
Wanderers FC were among the dominant teams of the early years of organised football and won the FA Cup on five occasions. They won the first final 1-0 against Royal Engineers at Kennington Oval in 1872 and then went on to win 5 FA Cups in total (1871-78). They are still to this day the only team to have won the tournament three years in succession (1876-1878). The club's success was short lived and by the 1880s they were struggling to raise a team for their games. They eventually folded in 1887.
Alcock is considered to be a leading pioneer in the development of modern football. At the time the formations were 2-3-5 and it was all about dribbling and running with the ball without any definitive scheme of attack. That was until Alcock began to advocate what he called the 'combination game'. He attributed this style of play to Sheffield FC, who played an elaborate combination of simple passes that has evolved into the modern passing game.
It is undeniable that the passing game's new masters are Barcelona FC with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi playing the combination game with aplomb. They and the world of modern football owe a huge debt of gratitude to C.W. Alcock and Wanderers F.C. for their contributions to the beautiful game.
In 2009, Wanderers were reformed, with the endorsement of the descendants of the Alcock family, for the purposes of fundraising for UNICEF UK and achieved FA Charter Standard Club status in 2011. To celebrate this huge occasion they have collaborated with goalsoul to produce and sell a new Wanderers FC t-shirt to help raise money for UNICEF UK (find out more about the collaboration).
'It is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association, for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete.'
Charles W. Alcock, Wanderers FC Founder, England Centre Forward and creator of the FA Cup.