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Old 19th October 2020, 21.57:54   #1-0 (permalink)
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Default 1864

Interesting to note that the following snippet appeared in the Wrexham Leader 10/10/1924
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"Can any reader inform us the date of the establishment of the first football club in Wrexham ? It has been given as 1864. What authority is there for this statement ? We shall be be glad to hear from any old followers of the game".

Having looked at the Leaders up until the end of that year there didnt appear to be any responses...

So as far back as the 30s there was a rumour if an 1864 formation..
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Old 24th October 2020, 13.22:22   #2-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1864

It wasn’t just the history of the football club that people were trying to find, previously, WAL.
Alfred Neobard Palmer had also placed an appeal in the local papers in the 1890’s, asking for information relating to the history of horseracing in Wrexham. Likewise, he didn’t receive a response, and so I have always assumed that this is the reason why he never wrote about The Wrexham Races in his books.

As for the history of the football club- we have the original report of the 1864 game against the Prince of Wales Fire Brigade and the report of the end of the cricket season dinner (08 October 1864) in which Edward Manners announced his intention to buy a football in the course of the week and he expected a great many down to the field next Saturday. There were no reports in the following weeks newspaper of any game played by the new club, although I assume that they had a kick around, which wasn’t recorded.

There was a report of a meeting in the 1890’s when it was stated that Evan Morris had been the first club chairman of the original football club. This was incorrect, as there was another chairman in the very early days (which is recorded somewhere on the history thread) but Evan Morris was involved right from the start.

The sad case of a founding members and player of Wrexham Football Club (Massive history thread!)

Both he and Charles Edward Kershaw (and a few others) had founded ‘The United Volunteer Services Club’ in October 1863, specifically to bring athletic sport to the masses in Wrexham, and particularly to the working class. Too many people were drinking themselves to death in the town and of course, this was greatly increasing poverty, public disorder and had a terrible affect on the women and children who were married to the men who were spending their wages in the public houses. This was not unique to Wrexham, but the town was very much affected and so the idea of introducing more athletic sport and gymnasiums to working class towns was widespread across the country.
Kershaw and Morris were both long term members of Wrexham cricket club and when Edward Manners made a speech that he was going to buy a football, you can hear the same terminology used by Manners that had been used in the inaugural meeting of The United Volunteer Services Cub a year earlier, and so it seems obvious to me that Kershaw and Evan Morris were the driving force behind bringing new forms of athletic sport to The Racecourse.

The United Volunteer Services Club had been trying to raise funds to purchase or rent a hall or building for the purpose of athletic sport, but when the cricket club bought a football and football was established on The Racecourse, then The United Volunteer Services Club, and particularly Evan Morris and Charles Edward Kershaw had achieved its/their aim, and so the club was disbanded in 1864. From memory, I believe that the Mayor at the time had also some involvement with The United Volunteer Services Club and Manners had also met the Mayor the week before buying a football. The Mayor had also said that he wanted to see an Athletic Club established; hence we were founded as Wrexham Football and Athletic Club, and the members all voted to use all of the profits to buy trophies for an athletic sports day at the end of each season.
It has all been recorded on the history thread, and while it is said that Wrexham Football Club was founded by Wrexham Cricket Club (or The Denbighshire County Cricket Club as they were called that year), the football club was really founded by The United Volunteer Services Club who used their influence in the cricket club, particularly Kershaw and Evan Morris, to bring new forms of athletic sport, including football, to The Racecourse.
Kershaw was club captain in our first ever game and later Vice Chairman of the Club while Evan Morris would also later become club chairman.

Last edited by eastsussex; 24th October 2020 at 13.31:27..
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