British inventors excelled in the second half of the 19th century. Sunderland’s Joseph Swan created the first light bulb in 1860, while Alexander Graham Bell of Edinburgh was awarded the first US patent for the telephone 16 years later.
Another element that would become a part of everyday life across the globe came into existence in that same period and land: the football club. The world’s oldest existing one was the brainchild of Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest, two cricketers from north England.
Its name was Sheffield FC, and though it has since fallen to the eighth tier of English football, the club has nevertheless remained in the limelight. Indeed, Sheffield’s honorary president is no less a figure than FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter; the club is one of only two, alongside the mighty Real Madrid, to have been bestowed with the FIFA Order of Merit; and to mark its 150th birthday celebrations, Sheffield lost 5-2 to an Inter Milan XI featuring Germany 2006 winner Marco Materazzi, Portuguese midfielder Pele and emerging forward Mario Balotelli. Furthermore, another Pele – he who won three FIFA World Cups™ in the No10 of Brazil – attended that match in a grand testament to the South Yorkshire club’s standing in the global game.
That match unfolded exactly five years ago to this Wednesday. To mark its 155th anniversary, the club that is a mammoth 48 years older than current Premier League leaders and reigning European champions Chelsea has enabled you to send it a birthday card through social media. Simply follow this 'Happy Birthday Football!' link to pass on your congratulations to Sheffield FC.