“With an intelligent nonchalance, and in their tailored shirts and well-cut shorts, they brought a quality and culture to the game”
Founded in 1882, Corinthian FC were the world’s first iconic football club. Despite refusing to play for prizes or money – believing that all sport should only be played for the Love of the Game – they regularly bested the top professional and national teams of their day. At one point, the Corinthians fielded the captains of all four home nations and they remain the only club to have supplied the entire England national team - a feat they achieved twice.
Despite even practice being seen as unsporting, they boasted sublimely talented players – sporting polymaths who as well as playing football, would often be simultaneously captaining the England cricket team, setting Olympic athletic records, or winning Wimbledon.
The Corinthians played to win, but win in the right way. They were famous for epitomising Gentlemanly fair play - their own code of conduct that often transcended the laws of the game - and admired for their style both on and off the pitch.
Responsible for first exporting the game outside of Europe in 1897, they became footballing missionaries and their historic tours are credited with popularising the Beautiful Game around the world.
Despite choosing to play their last season in 1939, their legacy continues. Some of today’s most religiously supported clubs still play in white in their honour while other titans are even named after them. Their greatest legacy, however, is the Corinthian Spirit – that quintessentially British notion of sportsmanship and fair play - both on and off the pitch.