October 2007 is the 150th anniversary of the founding of Sheffield FC and there will be considerable celebrations both in England and among the wider footballing and sporting community, with Inter Milan, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona keen to be involved. ?In recognition of their unique position as the world’s oldest football club, Sheffield FC were awarded a FIFA Centenary Order of Merit in 2004. Only one other team in the world have been similarly honoured: Real Madrid. ?Recently The Club, as it is universally known, has attracted a host of celebrity sporting figures as members, including Sven Goran Eriksson, Michael Vaughan, Sepp Blatter, Eric Cantona, Sir Bobby Robson, David Blunkett, Kenny Dalglish, Gordon Banks, Chelsea FC and Def Leppard. ?Sheffield is the true birthplace of football, having had a huge influence on the Football Association. The Sheffield Football Association was once a rival to the game’s ruling body and had a large say in the forming of the Laws of the game. ?Unfortunately Sheffield decided not to embrace professionalism in the late 19th century and so allowed the rise and growth of Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. But they have kept going and in 2007 were promoted to the Unibond League Division One South. ?Unusually there are two forewords. One from Geoff Thomson OBE, chairman of the FA who has also been chairman of the Sheffield & Hallamshire FA, and the other from the Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP, the MP or Sheffield Central, and the former Minister for Sport.