Thursday Legends - Nathaniel Creswick
This week's Thursday Legend is the original pioneeer in Sheffield Football Club - Nathaniel Creswick - born on July 31st in 1831 in Sheffield. The boy grew up in a family of silver-plate manufacturers and attended Sheffield Collegiate School. The Creswicks were an old Sheffield family, their business tracing back to the 14th century, when they had premises near Fargate.
During his education in the Church of England school institution between 1839 and 1847, Creswick absorbed the school's sport activities. More than in any other time in history, teachers were eager to educate the youth by sports, especially physically rough games like rugby or early forms of football.
Creswick completed his studies to become a solicitor and was soon working as chairman for a local silver-plate company.
Nathaniel lived a public life and was known for forming the Hallamshire Rifles, aside becoming a person of history and a football hero when he and his best friend William Prest founded the first official football club in the world.
It was on October 24th, 1857, that Sheffield Football Club was founded by the two pioneers Creswick and Prest. The inaugural meeting of Sheffield FC took place at Parkfield House in the suburb of Highfield. The club was civic from its core, 17 of the club's inaugural 57 members were schooled at Sheffield Collegiate School. Both Prest and Creswick played key roles in the formative years of the new club, becoming vice-president (Prest) and treasurer (Creswick).
Until 1858, the two friends seemed to work constantly on new football rules, adjusting and revising the inspiration they had received from public schools as well as mixing their experiences from Sheffield.
The annual general meeting of SFBC on October 21st, 1858 made history when the two football experts presented their rule set in the local Greenhouse, which later came to be known as the Sheffield Rules and played a major part in the rule set of the newly formed Football Association in 1863.
It was not least the desire to impress the love of his life, a young and beautiful girl named Emma, that drove Creswick to do something special and unique, and to do it for the sake of the Sheffield community. This something turned out to be nothing less than the new game of football. Three years later, Nathaniel got married and was knighted in 1897 in recognition of his community services.
Nathaniel and his wife lived on happily for many years, very close to the current stadium of Sheffield FC in Norton Green, the south-east of the city. At the age of 86, Nathaniel Creswick died in the month of October in the year of 1917, exactly 60 years after his gift to football, the legacy of 1857.