The Birth Of Southampton Fc
St Mary's Church of England Young Men's Associated met at the Grove Street schoolrooms and passed a motion to form an Association Football Club.
The very first game that Southampton St Mary's played was against Freemantle on 21st November 1885. It was played on the 'backfield' of the County Cricket ground and they beat Freemantle 5 goals to 1.
Southampton St Mary's Y.M.A FC was restricted to playing friendlies for a couple of years, until entering the Hampshire FA Junior Cup. This they duly won beating Southampton Harriers 2-1 in a replay at the County Ground.
The team was now being referred to as St Mary's F.C and the local press had begun calling the the 'Saints' as a nickname.
In 1890 the team entered the FA Cup for the very first time. They had won three consecutive Hampshire Junior Cups and The Hampshire Senior Cup at the first attempt.
The first Qualifying round they won 4-1 at Warmley near Bristol. This earned them a home draw against Reading which they won 7-0. Then followed a protest by Reading who claimed that Saints had played ineligible players. The claim was upheld and Reading were given their place back in the cup.
Undeterred Saints went on to win the Hampshire Senior Cup for the second year running. This brief precis is hopefully the first of many recounting our hallowed past.