Oct 22 2014
Museums Sheffield’s Curator of Social History, Hannah Brignell, on how you can help us chronicle Sheffield’s sporting history.
Sheffield has a long history of remarkable sporting achievements. From being home to the world’s first football club to the fantastic Olympic success of a certain local heptathlete, the city has produced a remarkable sporting legacy.
The Social History collection cared for by Museums Sheffield tells the story of Sheffield and its people, but at the moment contains only a small range of objects relating to sport. With your help, we’d like to expand the collection to better celebrate the city’s sporting story in future displays and exhibitions at Weston Park.
We’d love to hear from anyone who might have an object they would be willing to donate to help us tell the story of sport in Sheffield – we’d be interested to receive anything from programmes, flyers and tickets to equipment, kits and clothing.
Football has been at the heart of Sheffield for many years and is unsurprisingly one of the areas that is well represented in the collection. We currently have quite a few objects relating to our exploits on the pitch, including memorabilia relating to both Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.
One of the lesser known aspects of sport in Sheffield is how the development of football in the city is closely linked to its cricketing past. In the early 1800s the city was the cricketing centre of Yorkshire. During the winters, cricket clubs played football to keep their teams together and in 1867 members of the Wednesday Cricket Club went on to form Sheffield Wednesday Football Club. Similarly, Sheffield United was formed in 1889 by members of Sheffield United Crickets Club.
The oldest sporting object we have in the city’s collection at present is a horseracing poster dating from 1777 advertising a race at Crookesmoor race course. Horseracing is thought to have begun in Sheffield in the early 1700s and by the 18th and 19th centuries there were three racecourses in the city, Crookesmoor, Redmires and Newhall.
It would be great to complement the objects currently in the city’s collection with artefacts and memorabilia representing the many other sports that have taken place in the city and those which continue to prove popular today. In particular, it would be wonderful to hear about any objects relating to rugby, basketball and ice hockey, as well as speedway, cycling and, of course, athletics.
If you have a sporting object which you’d be happy to donate to the city’s collections, please contact us on 0114 278 2644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Top - Poster advertising horseracing in Crookesmoor poster, 1777 (detail) © Museums Sheffield
Bottom - Autograph book, featuring Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday players inc Derek Dooley (pictured), mid 20th century © Museums Sheffield