Friendly Matches

More than 10,000 Friendly Match Details & Results

A season by season record of friendly matches played by Leicestershire clubs during the nineteenth century.



The first newspaper report of a game of football in Leicestershire, between Appleby and Ibstock, took place a field at Snarestone in front of several thousand spectators in 1822. The Challenge match – 12 guineas a side – was ‘not properly decided’.

Game played Good Friday 1864 on Market Harborough cricket field resulted in a fatal accident.

St Margaret’s Club played Belgrave in November 1871 – the earliest football match (found to date) played in Leicester.

The first game of football played on Victoria Park, Leicester was between members of the the Leicester Athletic FC in 1872.

The first known recorded game of Association Football involving Leicestershire clubs took place on 10 March 1875, when Ashby-de-la-Zouch FC and Leicester Athletic FC drew 1-1. The 12-a-side game was staged on the Baths Grounds in Ashby.

Other local football clubs which are known to have played Association Football during the 1870s include Thursday Half-Holiday, Coalville, St Margaret’s, Wigston, and Wyggestion School.

In late 1878 both Leicester and Loughborough staged exhibition football matches played under electric light.

Nottingham Forest played their first match in Leicestershire in 1879.

Leicester F.C. (Tigers) played matches under association rules.

Snibston Rising Star team was one of the best teams in the county. In their fourth year of playing they were defeated only three times.

A “deal of rowdyism” was displayed by the Earl Shilton players and their friends after Coalville scored again them in March 1881.

Hinckley entertained Walsall Swifts.

Quorndon’s first-ever game – which “excited a good amount of interest in the village.”

In November - “Leicester F.C. went out to play Ravenstone. The home team, having consented to play the Rugby rules instead of the Association, to which they had not been accustomed, the game proved very one-sided, and terminated in a victory for the visitors by two goals and twelve tries to love.”

Colville v Earl Shilton Rising Star inMarch - “One of the most unpleasant games ever played. Coalville could plainly see that the visiting team were getting the best of them and they did not like it, so they began to play as rough as they possibly could, and doing all they could to raise a dispute until their adversaries fairly obtained a goal, but the Coalville players claimed a foul, and so closed one of the most unpleasant games ever played, ten minutes before time.” After Green scored – “a deal of rowdyism was displayed by the Shilton players and their friends.”

Coalville FC played games on their new Fox and Goose Ground.

Ashby FC’s first-ever match.

The rule of off-side was observed in the match [between Ravenstone and Coalville], and in consequence the play was better and more interesting than is the case when Sheffield rules are played.

700-800 spectators watched a benefit game for Sheepshed’s aged poor- £5 15s 9d raised (after expenses).

Hathern remained unbeaten all season

Hugglescote Robin Hood had the reputation of being the “A1 team of the county.”

Sheepshed spectators pulled down the goal posts after Leicester scored their 3rd goal against them and the game had to be abandoned.

Hathern F.C. suffered their first defeat in 2 years

.Several games abandoned following disputes and burst balls.

Leicester Fosse’s first-ever game.

Croft spectators invaded the field following a dispute over a goal against Hinckley, causing the game to be abandoned.

Hinckley Trinity played Singers [aka Coventry City].

A match at Hinckley was abandoned after 15 mins play owing to ungentlemanly behaviour on the part of the Nuneaton players.

Six-a-side contests took place at Coalville, Kegworth, Markfield and Whitwick.

Fosse goalkeeper wore a “large overcoat” in a game against Leicester Association.

Derby County Reserves left the field of play after Castle Donington had equalised owing to “rough play.”

England international centre forward Dr Tinsley Lindley starred in an exhibition of Association Football played at Aylestone during the annual Cricket Week.

Leicester Fosse and Loughborough both entertained Notts County.

The first match of the County Football Association – between Leicestershire North and Leicestershire South – at Loughborough.

Castle Donington players - W Roulestone [full-back] and J. Lees [centre] accepted engagements with Derby County FC.

The first inter-county match played by Leicestershire.

Aston Villa beat Loughborough 4-1.

Game between Shepshed and Loughborough – attracted "1000s of spectators".

Loughborough ‘Town’ should have played Blackburn Rovers in Fairs Week – but was cancelled owing to a misunderstanding between the club secretaries.

Loughborough visited Yorkshire at the invitation of Rotherham Swifts – the latter winning 3-0, a match witnessed by over a 1,000 spectators.

Leicester Fosse played Notts County on the Trent Bridge ground – they were beaten 2-0.

Mill Hill House beat Hugglescote Robin Hood 5-0 away – a “sensational scoreline.”

Northamptonshire came from 2-0 0 to beat Leicestershire 6-2 at Aylestone-road Grounds

First match played at the Fosse’s Mill-lane enclosure.

Loughborough players left the field of play after questioning several of the referee’s decisions in an away game at Belper – with the score 2-2.

Hinckley Church Institute were the top footballing side in Hinckley.

Recreation Ground, Hemington, gifted to the parish by Mr Hugo Harpur-Crewe was officially opened.

Loughborough Town beat Everton Reserves 7-0.

Many teams arrived late, often short of players and had to seek substitutes.

Fosse beat Sheffield Montrose - Clifton Cup finalists.

A football special took supports from Coventry to Leicester for the Singer’s match at Mill-lane against the Fosse.

Leicestershire beat Huntingdonshire 5-1.

Thousands watched three encounters between Leicester Fosse and arch-rivals Loughborough Town.

London Casuals were beaten by the Fosse in a Christmas fixture.

Dick Pougher, the crack Leicestershire cricketer made his football debut, playing full-back for Leicester Fountain against Coalville.

Hinckley Town  surprisingly beat St Mary’s, a touring team of the London Football Association..

A large number of spectators watched a novelty game – between Melton Swifts and Ally Soper his family and friends.

Leicester Fosse played a number friendly matches at Grace-road- home of Leicestershire County Cricket Club, before moving to Mill-lane.

Midget Minstrels a travelling troupe, played several exhibition matches across the county.

Fosse Rovers v Loughborough Athletic advertised as the “Second team championship of Leicestershire.”

England international, A G Henfrey, played for Wellingborough Grammar School against Market Harborough.

Northamptonshire FA  slaughtered Leicestershire FA 8-1 at Hinckley.

A great deal of interest centred in the match between Leicester YMCA and Fosse Rovers, as it was “thought that this would settle the question which club was entitled to rank next to the Fosse premier club.”

Leicester YMCA played Sheffield YMCA at the Tigers Welford-road ground on the morning of Saturday 1 April and then travelled to play Hinckley Town in the afternoon. Leicester won both games.

Up to 13,000 watched the Fosse beat arch-rivals, Loughborough own 5-1 at Walnut-street.

Leicester Fosse hosted both Corinthian FC and the Casuals FC over Christmas. These matches became an annual event.

Derby County, Nottingham Forest, Notts County, Newcastle Unted, Middlesbrough Ironopolis, Stockport County and Wolverhampton Wanderers all played matches against Leicestershire opposition.

Fosse were beaten 2-1 at home by Glasgow Rangers – the first Scottish club to play in the county.

Fosse Rovers humiliated Woolwich Arsenal Reserves 8-1 at Plumstead.

Leicester Fosse and Loughborough own both beat the London Casuals during the Christmas holiday period.

Corinthian F.C. beat Leicester Fosse at Walnut-street.

Swadlincote played Pallissy Works in aid of the Audley colliery disaster fund.

Hinckley Town induced West Bromwich Albion to travel to Hinckley by guaranteeing them a “rather large sum.” Town won the game 3-2.

Exhibition match played between members of the British Ladies FC at Loughborough – the first recorded match of ladies football played in Leicestershire.

800 Hinckley supporters travelled from to Barwell to watch an exciting 1-1 draw.

The Fosse drew with Glasgow Rangers and beat Sheffield Wednesday in the last two matches of the season played at Walnut-street.

Coalville Town beat Birmingham Rovers 5-1.

Rough play by Castle Donington players resulted in Shepshed players being injured – including a severe arm injury and a broken leg.

Loughborough were beaten 7-0 away at Millwall Athletic on the opening day of the season.

Northampton travelled to Hinckley where they won 2-1.

Small Heath [Birmingham City] drew 1-1 with Hinckley.

Leicester Fosse drew 2-2 with First Division Stoke City.