Queen Victoria (1837-1901)
Sunderland Albion (1) : A fierce Victorian rivalry sprang up between two football teams from the industrial heartlands of the North East.
Sunderland Albion
Part one

Sunderland AFC is a team in the English Football League with a proud history, six times champions of the top flight and twice winners of the FA Cup. Their first trophy, Football League Champions, came in 1892, but in those days they were not the only league side from the busy industrial town on the Wear.

IN 1892, Sunderland AFC won the Football League title, but not everyone in the town was pleased. Sunderland Albion marked the occasion by disbanding.

Four years earlier, Sunderland AFC had been disqualified from the FA Cup for fielding ineligible players, and founder James Allan was so ashamed of his club that he established Albion as a rival, taking seven players with him. And the rivalry was fierce. When they were drawn against each other in the FA Cup and the Durham Challenge Cup in the 1888-89 season, AFC withdrew from both competitions, rather than let Albion’s board have much-needed gate receipts and buy their own ground.

Yielding to popular pressure, the clubs rearranged the matches on a friendly basis, at least in name. AFC insisted on donating receipts to charity, to keep them out of Albion’s hands, and their fans pelted the Albion team brake with stones. AFC won both games, courtesy of Scottish imports who could not have played in the official cup matches.

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Modern History (140) Sport History (12) Victorian Era (65) History (413)

Picture: By Thomas M. Hemy (1852-1931), via Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public domain. View original
‘A Corner Kick’ by Thomas M. Hemy (1852-1931) in one of the oldest surviving football paintings. It shows Sunderland AFC hosting Aston Villa of Birmingham at their ground on Newcastle Road, Sunderland, in 1895. Sunderland AFC won the title in the 1894-95 season, despite drawing 4-4 at home against Villa; the Villa won the League title following season, but lost 2-1 away at Sunderland. It was here at Newcastle Road that AFC had entertained Albion for those two grudging and bruising encounters in the 1888-89 season.
By Sir William Sterndale Bennett
Part Two

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