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Saints: timeline

1885

NOVEMBER           

During a meeting of the St Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Asociation, at Grove Street School, it is resolved to form an Association Football Club.

21 NOVEMBER

St Mary’s Y.M.A. Football Club play their first match on the backfield of the Hampshire County Cricket Club’s new ground at Banister Park, defeating Freemantle 5-1

1887

5 SEPTEMBER

St Mary’s Y.M.A. F.C. Enter for the Hampshire FA Junior Cup

24 MARCH

St Mary’s FC win the Hants FA Junior Cup after defeating Southampton Harriers in a replayed final

1890

St Mary’s win the Hants FA Junior Cup outright after winning three consecutive finals.  

1891

14 MARCH

Saints win Hants FA Senior Cup, defeating the Royal Engineers (Aldershot) 3-1 in the Final

24 OCTOBER

Competing for the FA Cup for the first time Saints defeat Reading 7-0 in the second qualifying round – and are then expelled for the tournament for fielding two improperly registered players.  

1893

11 MARCH

Saints fail to win the Hants FA Senior Cup outright when, in their third consecutive final, they are defeated 2-1 by Freemantle.

1894 SUMMER

Saints become Southampton St Mary’s and join the newly formed Southern League.

1896-97

Southampton St Mary’s win Southern League championship.

JULY

Saints become a limited liability company and the Club’s name changed to Southampton F.C.

1897-98

23 MARCH

Saints reach semi-finals of the FA Cup and are defeated 2-0 in a replay at Cup Final venue Crystal Palace by Nottingham Forest, who score two late blizzard assisted goals.

1 MAY

Saints conclude their Southern League fixtures with a 1-0 defeat at Chatham, but retain the Championship for the second consecutive season.

1898-99

29 AUGUST

“The New Football Ground in the dell between Archer’s-road and Milton-road” is opened with a promenade concert and “athletics events”.

3 SEPTEMBER

Saints celebrate their first fixture at their new home “in the dell at Fitzhugh” with a 4-1 defeat of Brighton United; in the Southern League.

29 APRIL

Saints defeat Bristol City 4-3 at St John’s Road to clinch their third consecutive Southern League title.

1899-1900

21 April

FA Cup Final, at Crystal Palace: Bury 4 Southampton 0

1900-01

Saints win Southern League Championship for the fourth time.

1901-02

28 APRIL

FA Cup Final Replay at Crystal Palace: Sheffield United 2 Southampton 1


1902-03

Saints win Southern League Championship – again.  

1903-04

Saints win Southern League Championship for the sixth and last time.

1907-08

Saints reach FA Cup semi-finals and lose 2-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge

1885 to 1915

ABOVE: St Mary’s FC 1888, with Hants FA Junior Cup.

BELOW: St Mary’s FC 1890, with Hants FA Junior Cup.

Southampton FC 1899, with Southern League Shield and other nick-knacks.

1914

4 AUGUST

Germany invades Belgium, the “Great War” is underway.


1912

10 APRIL

RMS Titanic leaves Southampton on its maiden voyage. Five days later the port goes into mourning with the news that the great ship has sunk with the loss of 1,500 lives; 600 Southampton homes are bereaved.

1914-15

2 SEPTEMBER

Professional football kicks-off as normal. Saints draw three-all at The Dell with Luton Town.

St Mary’s Church, shortly after its complete reconstruction in the 1880s

LEFT (and holding the ball above): George Carter, an engraver at the Ordnance Survey, was among the most influential personalities in Saints early, amateur days.

The Titanic sets sail.

Canon Albert Basil Orme Wilberforce, rector of St Mary’s, a tireless advocate of the total abstinence movement and the president of the YMA’s football club. Among other distinctions “Basil” was a grandson of anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce and the son of Bishop Samuel Wilberforce.

The first match at Southampton’s new Football Ground, the home side beat Brighton United 4-1

RIGHT: CB Fry, a Saint between 1900 and 1902. He was arguably the most famous player ever to lace boots for the Club, being regarded as the greatest all-round sportsman of his generation.

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