A unique fans and legends match involving Borussia Dortmund and the world’s first club – Sheffield FC – will be one of the highlights of the World’s First Derby festival to be held at the Club’s ground this weekend.
The festival, to mark the latest staging of the first ever derby match between Sheffield FC and local rivals Hallam FC in 1860, is expected to attract football connoisseurs from around the globe.
Playing for the German side will be football legend Lars Ricken, renowned for a memorable long-distance goal in the 1997 Champions League for Borussia Dortmund against Juventus when he scored in a record- breaking 16 seconds after coming on as a substitute.
Up against Dortmund will be a Sheffield FC select side managed by ex-first team manager and current SFC foundation director Chris Dolby, who will have Andy Kiwomya, Chris Wilder, John Beresford in his squad.
The match on Sunday (1pm) at Club’s Coach and Horses ground at Dronfield will be followed at 3.30pm with the latest staging of the world’s oldest derby, Sheffield FC v Hallam FC.
Action gets under way the previous day at 3pm, when Mick Wadsworth’s first team face ASK-PSV Salzburg, the first time a Sheffield FC side has faced opposition from Austria. ASK-PSV play in the fourth tier of their national league structure, so should offer an interesting test in anticipation of the Evo-Stik Division One season.
Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims said: “What a way to start a new season! This will be all about the spirit of the game and promises to be a terrific weekend.
“Lars is a legend with Dortmund where he is now director of their football academy. He will be leading a fans’ team who we are sure will be bringing plenty of followers with them.
“It will be great to meet up with our neighbours again – Hallam – who we have played every year since 1860,” added Richard.
Sunday will also see the launch of Sheffield’s new kit following a new kit and technical partnership deal with global sports brand PUMA.
PUMA will supply kits for all the Sheffield FC teams as well as track suits and leisure wear. It’s another major boost for the Dronfield-based club following their appointment of the highly experienced Wadsworth as team manager during the close season.
PUMA will also back Sheffield’s charitable foundation with various projects to help protect the grassroots of football.
The partnership with PUMA has developed in the wake of Club’s flourishing relationship with PUMA sponsored Borussia Dortmund.
Late last year Sheffield chairman Tims visited the German super club for its anniversary celebrations where he became the first representative of another club to address the so-called yellow wall of fans.
Mr Tims said: “We are proud to work with PUMA, who have not only recognised our fantastic history and heritage but recognised that our brand, as the world’s first football club, is building across the globe.”
* Running alongside the football at Club’s stadium on Sunday from midday until 11pm will be the Dronfield Music Festival. Rhythm and Boots will feature 16 bands from Sheffield and Yorkshire playing live.