CROYDON COMMON FOOTBALL CLUB
Croydon Common, and not Crystal Palace, was the first professional football club to be based in Croydon.
Prior to the First World War, the club played in the Southern League along with many of the household names of today, such as West Ham United, Norwich City, Southampton, QPR, Crystal Palace, Watford and Millwall. Indeed, 19 of the 20 clubs in Division One of the Southern League at the outbreak of war in 1914 later became long term members of the Football League. The only one not to do so was Croydon Common.
The club, nicknamed the Robins because of its first choice strip of claret shirts, was founded in 1897 and played in various local leagues before turning professional and joining the Southern League in 1907. The club was always in financial trouble and, when it finally folded in 1917, its ground in Selhurst, known as The Nest, was taken over by local rivals Crystal Palace and used until Selhurst Park was built.
The club had some memorable moments in its short life, such as beating Bradford Park Avenue of the Football League away in the F.A. Cup and taking Arsenal (then Woolwich Arsenal, but already well established in the top flight) to a replay in the same competition in both 1909 and 1913.
This site sets out some of the club's history and is dedicated to the memory of all who donned the claret shirt. Click on the badge below to read a 14,000 word short history of the club.
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