The History of Sport Played in China's Treaty Ports

More rules debate in December 1868 from the North China Daily News.

The match report from 19 December 1867 edition of the North China Daily News recording Mr Bird as the first named person to score a goal in a competitive football match in Shanghai.

Notice for a game of football against the Navy

Notice for a meeting to form the first football club in Shanghai published in the North China Daily News.

Letter written to the North China Daily news 18 Nov 1867 advocating establishing a football club in Shanghai.

The first Shanghai Football Club

  The first Shanghai Football Club was founded 25 November 1867. The initial football rules it used was based on those used at Charterhouse School. However throughout the life of this first SFC there was a lot of debate about which rules to use. Like many clubs in England the debate was whether to use the dribbling rules, ie more like association football or the handling rules most like rugby.

  The irony was that the week before, a letter written to the North China Daily News on 18 November 1867 by Balbus suggested that 'the rules are so simple that they can be learned in a short time'.

  A game was played on 19 November and was so agreeable that a meeting was called to form a club. The club was duly created and a game played immediately after the meeting.

  A series of games was arranged against the Royal Navy. All games were played inside the racecourse grounds on the site of the current day People's Square.

  The first named person to score a goal in Shanghai was a Mr Bird who made a little piece of history on 19 December 1867. The season finished soon after.

  The following season which ran from end November to end of December 1868 comprised eight matches played under various football rule books. The SFC1 carried on for another two seasons before playing its last game in December 1870.

   Shanghai had to wait another five years before the next organised football game was played, an ad-hoc fifteen-a-side game in November 1875. It would be a further six years before the second Shanghai Football Club was created in 1881.