Formed 1878. Wound up 1896.Founder member of The Football League 1888. Resigned 1893.
1888-1892 a b c
The original Accrington FC, known as Th' Owd Reds were founded in 1878. Their home ground was at Thorneyholme Road, still home to Accrington Cricket Club. They started out wearing red and black tops but in 1880 these were exchanged for plain red jerseys.
An intriguing item in the Athletic News (31 October 1883) reports "their brand new shirts of Turkey-red hung on their manly forms like wet sails." This suggests that they swapped their jerseys, worn since 1880, for baggy shirts for this season at least.
Ten years after thir formation they were one of the 12 clubs from Lancashire and the Midlands to form the Football League. Their first match was on September 8, 1888 at Anfield Road, then home to Everton, and they lost 1-2.
After applying for re-election in 1891 and 1892 in 1893 they finished in 15th place and had to take part in a series of test matches to decide relegation to the newly formed Division Two.
Their last game as a League club was a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield United at neutral Trent Bridge, Nottingham on April 22, 1893, a result that consigned the club to the new Second Division. Rather than accept relegation Accrington opted to withdraw and join the Lancashire League where travel costs would be considerably lower. After two seasons in the Lancashire League, Th' Owd Reds joined the Lancashire Combination but withdrew after five matches. They finally folded after suffering a 0-12 defeat at the hands of Darwen in the Lancashire Senior Cup in January 1896.
Accrington should not be confused with Accrington Stanley, an entirely different club.
- (a) Accrington Stanley Has It Gregery Lindberg's superb site has lots of information on Th' Owd Reds as well as Accrington Stanley.
- (b) Association of Football Statisticians - provided by Pete Wyatt
- (c) The Twelve Apostles: The Making of The League (Desert Island Football Histories - Thomas Taw 2006) provided by Ralph Pomeroy
- (d) Simon Monks
- (e) Football League Players - team line ups since 1888.
- (f) Charles Alcock's Football Annuals 1879, 1880 researched by Robin Horton
- (g) Athletic News (31 October 1883) submitted by Brian Webb