Wanderers FC: The Original FA Cup Winners

Wanderers FC were a South London based football club who won the first two FA Cups in 1872 & 1873, and again on another three occasions that decade. Indeed, the early FA Cup was entirely synonymous with South London. The vast majority of pre-Great War finals were held at either the Oval or Crystal Palace. To me, the FA Cup and therefore the entire history of competitive football is a South London tradition cruelly snatched away by the British establishment in the monolithic form of Wembley Stadium – a symbol of imperial oppression.

The good news is that Wanderers FC reformed last year. They currently play exhibition matches to raise money for UNICEF – a noble cause, helping people in need all over the world, from Sierra Leone to Streatham. Please visit their website.

Sport is vitally important to a locality’s sense of identity. Just look at FC Barcelona in Catalunya. South London has some interesting football clubs, not least the phoenix-from-the-flames of AFC Wimbledon and the proud-to-be-hated Millwall FC – both of which point to our great half-city’s vividly truculent heterodoxy – what I like to call our revolutionary spirit.

But what we really need is a South London club to rise to the top. To dominate domestically and put us on the proverbial map internationally. Or is it a literal map? Anyway. Some neo-Stalinists on the FreeSouthLondon Politburo have argued for the enforced collectivisation of all South London clubs, all the way down to Corinthians-Casuals and Dulwich Hamlet, to form a huge South London United. I instead still maintain hope that one team can grow organically. So, good luck to all South London clubs. Especially Wanderers FC.

(Note: I am also attempting to open dialogue with Arsenal FC to fascilitate a move back to their spiritual home, Woolwich. Talks have been, shall we say, a little one-sided thus far. I’ll keep you posted.)



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