Football club histories come in all shapes and sizes. They range from old, old football books and pamphlets, detailing the early days of a club's history to contemporary football books, offering an up to date profile of hundreds of football clubs, domestic and international. Sometimes the club history is harder to discover. A souvenir guide and football programme for a fund raising event in 1925 might contain details of stallholders and the programme of entertainment at the event. But it also turns out to contain a detailed and fascinating history of Bury Football Club in its first fifty years of existence too.
Although Thomas Elyot mentions football in his VERY old football book in 1531, "football is nothinge but beastlie furie and extreme violence"and we know that mention of people palying football stretches back to at least the 1100s, the Football Association first codified a uniform set of rules for football in England in 1863. Up until then there had been several versions of rules for football. The agreed, uniform codification of football rules coincided with, or most probably came out of the increase in numbers of new football clubs. Clubs, such as Sheffield, Hallam FC, Crazy Wanderers, Worksop Town, Notts County, Stoke City and Bradford Park Avenue all were born between 1857 and 1863. Some are as familiar to us today, some have become defunct. Defunct or still thriving, all these football clubs have fascinating histories of their rises and falls, ebbs and flows of progress in football competition.