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Sheffield FC, the world's oldest still-active football club, have revealed plans for a new multi-sports ground in conjunction with a local rugby league side.
The new Sheffield FC stadium has grand plans, including a multi-sports stadium, an indoor sports hall, a cricket pavilion and much more.
Football Ground Guide details everything you need to know in this fan-led, regularly updated guide below…
- 1 New Sheffield FC stadium: The key facts
- 2 What will new Sheffield FC stadium be like?
- 3 Where do Sheffield FC currently play?
- 4 The history of Sheffield FC
- 5 ‘The Home of Football'
- 6 Artists' impression of new Sheffield FC stadium
- 7 Reaction to the new Home of Football
- 8 Fan reaction to new Sheffield FC stadium plans
New Sheffield FC stadium: The key facts
- 5,000-capacity football and rugby league stadium adhering to Football League and Super League regulations.
- Sheffield FC working in partnership with rugby league club Sheffield Eagles.
- Stadium to be built on the site of the former Sheffield Transport Sports Club at Meadowhead.
- Sheffield FC foresee the stadium and wider site becoming an international visitor attraction.
- Sheffield FC were formed in 1857 and are the oldest still-active football club in the world.
- A planning pre-application has been submitted to Sheffield City Council. A full application is set to be submitted in January.
- New site would also include a football museum.
- Hopes that the project can be completed before the 2025/26 football season.
What will new Sheffield FC stadium be like?
It looks an impressive complex. A 5,000-capacity stadium – an increase of 2,000 on Sheffield FC's current home – centres the plans. It will be home to both the Sheffield Football Club and the Sheffield Eagles rugby league club. The stadium will have four stands of differing sizes, including one dominant Main Stand. Unique floodlights are pictured in the artists' impression and the Main Stand will be wrapped in what looks like wooden poles.
Elsewhere on the site will be a cricket pavilion, a football museum – likely called ‘The Home of Football' – and an indoor community sports hall.
Where do Sheffield FC currently play?
This is a key point. Although founded in Sheffield itself – hence the name – the club currently plays its home fixtures in Dronfield, North Derbyshire. The Home of Football Stadium in Dronfield has a capacity of 2,000 and two covered stands. This new Sheffield FC stadium project will act as a “long-awaited homecoming.”
The other sports club involved, the Sheffield Eagles rugby league club, currently play home games at the Olympic Legacy Park in Attercliffe, which is in the north of the city, seven miles away.
The history of Sheffield FC
Formed in 1857, three years before long-standing rivals Hallam FC, Sheffield FC were created on East Bank Road, playing on an adjacent field. Their influence was enormous, with the club's members writing up what became known as the ‘Sheffield Rules', introducing many innovative additions to the game, including corner kicks and throw-ins.
The club, understandably, emphasises their unique history to a great deal. On the anniversary of their founding recently, they simply tweeted: “Happy Birthday Football.”
‘The Home of Football'
Several stadiums claim to be the ‘Home of Football', including Wembley, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium (bafflingly) and West Ham United. But Sheffield FC have the best claim to be ‘The Home of Football' and they thus officially call their stadium by this name.
Recently, however, there have been greater developments around the name.
A charity named ‘Home of Football' has been formed with the intention of creating a football museum/heritage centre in Sheffield to tell the story behind the sport's foundational years.
The charity was launched in October 2023 with several notable attendees, including former player Tony Currie and referee Keith Hackett.
At the time, chair of trustees Denis Fox spoke of the search for a suitable building.
“We are appealing to anyone with suitable premises in the centre of Sheffield to come and speak to us,” she said.
Well, a location seems to have been found, and a good one at that.
“Once we know the location and cost of this, we will launch a public appeal for support and put bids in to the National Lottery, private trusts and other funders to really accelerate our fundraising to make it a reality,” Fox continued. You'd think those processes will now begin.
Artists' impression of new Sheffield FC stadium
Reaction to the new Home of Football
Sheffield FC Chairman Richard Tims said: “Welcome to a new era of Sheffield FC, the world’s first football club.
“We are pleased to announce our vision for the future: a new stadium back in the Steel City, a joint venture with Sheffield Eagles and a world-class facility, which will benefit the whole community.
“Following years of discussions, we are finally starting to see our plans really gathering pace and have a fantastic project team who are totally committed to making our supporters’ dreams turn into reality.
“This will be somewhere to which the football’s three billion fans can make a pilgrimage and pay homage to the city which gave the world the beautiful game as well as a venue for the local community to utilise and enjoy a variety of sports.
“It doesn’t matter whether you support Sheffield United or Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield FC or Sheffield Eagles this is about being proud of the region’s sporting heritage and making it a hub for sporting excellence and community engagement in Sheffield and the South Yorkshire region.
“Our target is for the project to be ready for the start of the 2025-26 season. We need everyone to get behind this and once and for all put Sheffield sport well and truly on the map.”
Sheffield Eagles Director of Rugby Mark Aston commented: “Sheffield Eagles are very excited to be part of this joint venture with Sheffield FC and to be at the heart of this world-class development, which at the heart will have a stadium that meets the Super League criteria to assist us in our aim to return to the top flight.
“Sheffield Eagles have grown immensely in the last three years thanks to the work of the Eagles Foundation and the planned facilities will also be a home for our Women’s, Wheelchair, Learning Disability and Physical Disability teams. It will also allow us to further develop homegrown talent and provide a base for our already large community programme.
“The development will bring very valuable sporting facilities to the Sheffield sports scene and open up several opportunities for sports outside of football and rugby league to be involved and provide enjoyment as both spectators and participants.
“With Sheffield FC being the world’s first football club and Sheffield Eagles about to celebrate its 40th anniversary, both clubs have an enormous amount of heritage to bring together and I am pleased that the plans will see that history captured under one roof.
“With league positions making up only 20 per cent of the RFL’s Club Grading Scoring matrix, the development of facilities and the ability to improve our commercial footing and build a solid base for the community aspects of our operation are an absolute priority for us. This development gives us an opportunity to drastically improve our grading and we hope that the entire city can get behind and share in the initiative!”
Fan reaction to new Sheffield FC stadium plans
Reacting on X, fans said this is “as close to perfect as it gets” and “this looks incredible.”
“What a great setup,” a Tottenham Hotspur fan remarked, reflecting the wider football community's interest in the fortunes of Sheffield FC, the sport's oldest club.
The reaction from Sheffield residents was overwhelmingly positive, too.
“This needs the support of our great City & its residents,” Bob Dyson said.
“Now is the time to build on the regeneration & show the World the true home of our wonderful global game.”
Steve Johnson said: “Wow. This looks an incredible development. A ‘Home of Football' museum is the icing on the cake.”
“Really rate this,” Tom Clayton tweeted. “A brilliant hub for sport for Sheffield, away from the usual Hillsborough, Brammall Lane etc. Looks very tidy.”
The plans are certainly impressive and with two clubs, a charity and local councils involved, there doesn't seem much room for opposition here. However, there will always be community considerations to be made, and there's plenty of work to do to turn these initial plans into a full application and then into reality. Good luck, Sheffield FC!