Birthplace of world's second oldest football club saved after community campaign

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Historic significance: the Plough in Sheffield has been saved after campaigners highlighted its role in modern football and potential for community use (image: David M Goodwin, Geograph)
Historic significance: the Plough in Sheffield has been saved after campaigners highlighted its role in modern football and potential for community use (image: David M Goodwin, Geograph)

Related tags: Sheffield, Property, Community

Supporters of a historic football pub in Sheffield have welcomed the news that city councillors have kicked proposals to demolish it into touch.

The Plough Inn, found opposite the historic Hallam FC stadium in Crosspool, Sheffield, closed a few years ago and has since faced threats of demolition.

However, Sheffield City Council’s Planning and Highways Committee voted down a recommendation from planning officers to raze the site to make way for housing.

The pub was designated an ‘Asset of Community Value’ in 2018 after briefly being removed from the register. It has remained vacant since 2016, though campaigners hope they can now attempt to revive the pub for the community. 

It is rumoured that the ‘Sheffield Rules’ of modern football were devised on the site of the pub, in addition to the link to the nearby stadium, which is the world’s oldest football ground.

Vital role

MP for Sheffield Hallam, Olivia Blake, has backed the campaign to save the pub and wrote to the committee about the site’s historical importance, ahead of their vote.

She wrote: “Sheffield is the home of modern football, and the Plough played a vital role in the formation of the game. The world’s second oldest football club, Hallam FC, was founded at the site; and similarly the oldest football ground in the world was established—and remains to this day—on the site.”

“It would be tragedy for Sheffield and for sport if this site, a site of huge historic significance and so central to the history of sport, is allowed to be torn down.”

Highly symbolic

Ruth Milsom, one of the campaigners for the preservation of the pub, said the move was a positive sign.

She said: "An 'Asset of Community Value' is exactly that: an amenity that is there for the benefit of the people. But it is people - us - who are too often overlooked as the least important consideration when a developer buys up a piece of land, focused solely on the profit that can be derived from it.

"With the Government poised to change planning legislation to make it very easy to wreck sites of historic and aesthetic value, it is highly symbolic that the Plough has been given a reprieve.”

“We must all now get to work to devise a really prosperous future for The Plough as an attractive modern asset in the community."

The Government has said pubs will be among a number of types of businesses to be excluded from changes to planning regulations that would make changing the use of buildings easier.

Related topics: Property law

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