The Origins of Football
It all started with 3 men called John…
Three key people had an important effect on the formation Sheffield Football Club, the world's oldest football club - John Shaw, John Marsh and John Ness Dransfield, all of whom attended Penistone Grammar School.
Football games had been arranged as early 1844 by a John Marsh specifically stating that they wanted to play “foot ball” not “hand ball”.
John Marsh was captain of the Sheffield FA team who played the London FA in January 1874. He was born in Thurlstone in 1843 and was educated at Penistone Grammar School. John Marsh became an engraver in Sheffield and was apprenticed in the same company where Nathaniel Creswick was Director. Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest started an independent football club on 24 October 1857 with Creswick as Honorary Secretary and Treasurer. (extract from Sheffields contribution to the origin of football debate)
The Club Badge
The club’s badge includes 3 Martlet birds - a nod to the Town’s emblem and the Penistone Grammar School’s (formed in 1392) that had 6 silver Martlets on a red field. The myth is that Martlet Birds never stop flying.
Penistone Church Football Club was formed in 1906 from Penistone Choirboys and Penistone Juniors who amalgamated to form Penistone Church FC. The club played on the grounds west of the Spread Eagle pub, roughly where the showground pitches are today.
Penistone is situated on a high ridge, which is believed to be the source of its name. Penistone derives from penn in Old Welsh, which means head, end, top, height or hill, and the Old English ing, a place-name forming suffix and tun, an enclosure, farmstead, village or estate. (extract from Wikipedia) The Ground is just under 230 metres above sea level it is always colder here than you’d expect.
In 1909 Penistone Church FC became the first winners of the Sheffield Junior Cup. They had to use public transport to get home from the game and they arrived back in Penistone at 8-55pm to be met by a crowd of over two thousand people.
PENISTONE CHURCH FC POST-WAR
In 1948 Penistone Church FC were the first ever opponents of Sheffield Wednesday's youth team in a Hatchard League fixture. When the Hatchard League merged with the Sheffield Association League, Penistone Church FC were founder members of the new Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League. The club move to the DSM Memorial ground when it was gifted to the town to ensure a sports facility for the community following the two world wars.
Penistone Church FC first reached the Premier Division in 1995 and were something of a yo-yo club during the 1990s, flitting between the Premier Division and Division One on numerous occasions.
Penistone Church FC finished as, Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League Premier Division, runners-up in 2003, but would later spend yet another year in Division One after relegation in 2007. Penistone Church FC finally became established as one of the top sides in that league during the early 2010s.
In 2014 Penistone Church FC were promoted to the Northern Counties East League Division One, having made their FA Vase debut in 2013.
In 2016 Penistone Church FC qualified for the inaugural Division One play-offs, but missed out on promotion to the Premier Division after losing the semi-final against AFC Emley.
In 2017 Penistone Church FC beat AFC Emley in a semi-final before going on to beat Grimsby Borough in the final to win promotion to the Premier Division. In the same 2017 season we also won the NCEL League Cup Final against Premier Division Side Bridlington winning 4-1 in front of a 300-strong crowd at Bramall Lane.
Having finished 7th in 2017-18 (our inaugural season in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division) we appeared a Bramall Lane in May 2018 losing 4-3 to Shaw Lane in the Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Cup in front of a crowd of 671.
In 2018-19 Penistone Church FC finished second in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division, our highest ever league position. That season is summarised here.
For a more detailed history of the club’s first team performance over all the seasons see the FCHD site here