Southampton Football Club
is a professional football club that was formed in 1885
The roots of the club can be traced to members of St. Mary’s Church Young Men’s Association, who played their football at various venues in Southampton
for 13 years, prior to the move to The Dell in 1898
In 2001 the move from The Dell
to the new Friends Provident St Mary's Stadium
was deemed to be a spiritual homecoming for Southampton F.C., because of the new stadium's proximity to St. Mary's Church
, the church where the club was founded by members of the St Mary's Church of England Young Men's Association.
Their first match took place on 21 November 1885 on a pitch in Northlands Road, where the Hampshire Bowling Club was subsequently situated, close to the County Cricket Ground
; St Mary's won 5–1 against Freemantle
, with three goals from Charles Bromley and two from Arthur Fry.St Mary's Y.M.A.
, as they were usually referred to in the local press, played most of their early games on Southampton Common
, and games were not infrequently interrupted by pedestrian insistent on exercising their right to roam. More important matches, such as cup games, were played either at the County Ground, Northlands Road
, or the Antelope Cricket Ground
in St Mary's Road.
The club was originally known as St. Mary's Young Men's Association F.C.
(usually abbreviated to "St. Mary's Y.M.A.") and then became simply St. Mary's F.C.
, before adopting the name......