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Fulham History – All about the Club

We’ll be diving into the details of Fulham History and all the things you need to know about the club.

Fulham is a professional football team located in Fulham, Greater London, England. They compete in the Premier League.

Since 1903, the team has adopted a white shirt and black shorts as their kit, which they continue to use.

Established in 1879, Fulham is the oldest professional football club in London.

They joined the Southern League in 1898, and some of Fulham honors include achieving success by winning two First Division titles (1905-06 and 1906-07), along with two Second Division titles and a Western League title.

In 1907, they were elected into the Second Division of the Football League and went on to win the Third Division South in the 1931-32 season, just four years after being relegated.

Fulham secured the Second Division title in 1948-49 but faced relegation again after three seasons.

They returned to the First Division in 1958-59, with the notable contributions of star player Johnny Haynes helping them maintain their top-flight status until suffering consecutive relegations in 1969.

The club experienced fluctuations between the second and fourth tiers until it was acquired by Mohamed Al-Fayed in 1997.

Under new ownership, Fulham won two divisional titles within three seasons, earning them a place in the Premier League by 2001.

About Fulham trophies history, they secured the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2002 and reached the final of the UEFA Europa League in 2010.

After enjoying thirteen consecutive seasons in the Premier League, Fulham faced relegation in 2014.

Since then, under the ownership of Shahid Khan, the club has moved between the first and second tiers.

They currently compete in the Premier League again after winning the Championship title in the 2021-22 season.

The History of Fulham Football Club

The History of Fulham Football Club
credit: mailexperiences.co.uk
  • Full Name: Fulham Football Club
  • Nicknames: The Cottagers
  • Year of Formation: 1879
  • Place of Origin: Fulham, Greater London, England
  • Home Stadium: Craven Cottage
  • Owners: Shahid Khan
  • Chairman: Shahid Khan
  • Head Coach: Marco Silva
  • League: Premier League
  • Market Value: €243.00m

The Beginnings

The Beginnings
credit: englishfootballretrotv.blogspot.com

Fulham Football Club was originally formed in 1879 as Fulham St Andrew’s Church Sunday School F.C. by worshippers, many of whom were skilled in cricket, at the Church of England on Star Road, West Kensington.

Fulham history tells us that the church where they originated still stands today and features a plaque commemorating the club’s establishment.

In 1887, Fulham won the West London Amateur Cup, and the following year, they changed their name to Fulham and won the West London League in their first attempt.

During the 1886-87 season, the club wore a kit consisting of half-red and half-white shirts with white shorts.

They began playing at their current stadium, Craven Cottage, in 1896, with their inaugural match against now-defunct rivals Minerva.

While Fulham is one of the oldest professional football clubs in southern England, non-league sides like Cray Wanderers from Kent are several decades older.

Fulham turned professional on December 12, 1898, the same year they joined the Southern League’s Second Division.

They were the third club from London to make this transition, following Arsenal (known as Royal Arsenal at the time) in 1891 and Millwall in 1893.

In the 1902-03 season, Fulham earned promotion to the Southern League First Division.

It was during this time that the club adopted an all-white kit, which they have worn ever since, with black shorts and variations in their socks.

They won the Southern League title twice, in 1905-06 and 1906-07.

Following their success in the Southern League, Fulham joined The Football League after their second triumph.

Their first league game in the 1907-08 season, competing in the Second Division, ended in a 1-0 home defeat against Hull City in September 1907.

FA Cup Semi-finals

Fulham history - FA Cup Semi-finals
credit: fulhamfc.com

However, they secured their first win a few days later with a 1-0 victory over Derby County at the Baseball Ground.

Fulham finished the season in fourth place, just three points shy of promotion.

They also made it to the semi-finals of the FA Cup that season, which included an impressive 8-3 away win against Luton Town.

Unfortunately, they suffered a heavy 6-0 defeat to Newcastle United in the semi-final, which remains the record loss for an FA Cup semi-final.

In the 1909-10 season, Fulham won the London Challenge Cup.

In Fulham history, after a strong first season in Division Two, they went on to achieve their highest league finish in 21 years in the 1927-28 season. Still, they were subsequently relegated to the Third Division South, which was established in 1920.

During this period, Egyptian forward Hussein Hegazi became one of the first non-British players to appear in The Football League, although he only played one game for Fulham in 1911 before joining non-league club Dulwich Hamlet.

Interestingly, businessman and politician Henry Norris, who served as the club chairman, indirectly played a role in the formation of Fulham’s local rivals, Chelsea.

When Norris turned down a proposal from businessman Gus Mears to relocate Fulham to the land where Stamford Bridge (Chelsea’s current stadium) is now situated, Mears decided to create his own team for that venue.

In 1910, Norris started simultaneously chairing both Fulham and Arsenal.

Fulham became the first British team to sell hot dogs at their stadium in 1926 and boasted notable international players like Len Oliver and Albert Barrett during the 1920s.

After finishing fifth, seventh, and ninth in their first three seasons in the Third Division South, Fulham clinched the division title in the 1931-32 season.

World War II and Subsequent Issues

World War II and Subsequent Issues
credit: lbhf.gov.uk

They achieved this feat by defeating Torquay United 10-2, winning 24 out of 42 games, and scoring 111 goals, thus earning promotion back to the Second Division.

In the following season, they narrowly missed out on a second consecutive promotion, finishing third behind Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City.

Fulham had a mixed performance in the league during this time, but they also reached another FA Cup semi-final in the 1935-36 season.

Prior to the annexation of Austria, the club drew with the Austrian national team in 1936.

Reading Fulham history, we realize that on October 8, 1938, Craven Cottage witnessed its highest-ever attendance during a match against Millwall, with a crowd of 49,335 in attendance.

The outbreak of World War II in 1939 severely disrupted both league and cup football, leading to the temporary division of the Football League into regional divisions.

There were also competitions like the Football League War Cup and the London War Cup.

Like many other stadiums, Craven Cottage was utilized for fitness and training purposes for the army youth reserves.

After the war, a full league program was restored for the 1946-47 season.

In the third season of what is now considered the modern era of football, Fulham finished first in the Second Division with a record of 24 wins, 9 losses, and 9 draws, matching the same record that had previously earned them promotion from the Third Division South 17 years earlier.

In 1948, John Fox Watson made a groundbreaking transfer to Real Madrid, becoming one of the first British players to sign for a prominent foreign club.

After gaining promotion to the top tier of English football, Fulham had a difficult start, finishing 17th and 18th in their first two seasons.

Johnny Haynes the Legend Joining the Club

Johnny Haynes Joining the Club
credit: fulhamfocus.com

Their third season in the First Division proved to be disastrous as they finished at the bottom of the 22-team league in the 1951-52 season, winning only eight out of 42 games.

However, during this period, they played one of their early games in North America, facing Celtic in an exhibition match in Montreal in front of 29,000 spectators.

One of the most influential figures in Fulham history is Johnny Haynes.

Haynes, also known as “Mr. Fulham” or “The Maestro,” joined the club as a schoolboy in 1950 and went on to have a remarkable career.

He played for Fulham for 18 years, making 657 appearances and setting numerous club records.

Haynes, considered by many as the greatest player in Fulham’s history, never played for another British team and earned 56 caps for England, 22 of which he captained.

Sadly, his career was marred by a car accident in 1962 that prevented him from regaining his form and fitness to play for England again.

After his death in a car crash in 2005, the Stevenage Road Stand at Craven Cottage was renamed in his honor.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Fulham had notable achievements, reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup in the 1957-58 season and gaining promotion back to the First Division as runners-up in the following season.

They also had a strong showing in the league, achieving their highest-ever league position of tenth in the 1959-60 season.

However, despite their cup runs and growing fan support, the club often found themselves battling against relegation and experienced narrow escapes.

In the 1965-66 season, Fulham faced a particularly challenging situation as they were at the bottom of the league with just 15 points from 29 matches.

Relegation

Relegation
credit: fulhamfc.com

However, a remarkable turnaround saw them win nine out of their last 13 games, securing their safety.

Nevertheless, the club suffered relegation in the 1967-68 season, and the following season proved to be catastrophic as they were relegated to the Third Division after winning only seven out of 42 games.

The club spent two seasons in the Third Division before earning promotion back to the Second Division as runners-up in the 1970-71 season.

During this time, Fulham participated in the Anglo-Italian Cup, drawing all four games in the 1972-73 season.

The mid-1970s saw high-profile signings for the club, including Alan Mullery and Bobby Moore.

Fulham’s most notable achievement in this period was reaching the FA Cup final in 1975, although they lost 2-0 to West Ham United.

They also reached the final of the Anglo-Scottish Cup but were defeated by Middlesbrough.

In the 1976-77 season, George Best played for Fulham, and Rodney Marsh, who had previously played for the club in the 1960s, returned for a brief spell.

However, despite these additions, the club faced relegation again in the 1979-80 season, resulting in the dismissal of manager Bobby Campbell.

In Fulham history, we see that they won promotion back to the Second Division in the 1981-82 season, but the tragic suicide of former defender Dave Clement overshadowed their joy.

During the 1980s, Fulham also ventured into rugby league by founding the club now known as the London Broncos.

Financial losses were incurred, and the rugby league team eventually separated from the football club in 1984.

In 1978, the club signed Gordon “Ivor” Davies, who became Fulham’s all-time leading goalscorer with 178 goals in all competitions.

Almost Out of the Picture

Almost Out of the Picture
credit: mylondon.news

Despite narrowly missing out on consecutive promotions to the First Division in the 1982-83 season, the club was plagued by financial difficulties and was eventually relegated to the Third Division in 1986.

In Fulham history 1987, an attempted merger with Queens Park Rangers almost led to Fulham going out of business. Still, thanks to the intervention of former player Jimmy Hill, the club was able to survive by forming a new company.

In 1992, the establishment of the Premier League and the resignation of 22 clubs from The Football League saw Fulham return to the Second Division.

However, they experienced another relegation and found themselves in the newly formed Third Division after a poor 1993-94 season, which led to the appointment of Ian Branfoot as team manager.

Following a disappointing 17th-place finish in the 1995-96 season, which was the club’s lowest-ever final league position, Fulham made changes to their managerial staff.

Micky Adams took over as player-manager in February 1996 and successfully improved the team’s form, helping them avoid relegation.

The following season, Fulham finished second in the league, narrowly missing out on first place due to a change in the goal difference system.

Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed purchased the club in 1997, bringing in Ray Wilkins and Kevin Keegan as part of a two-tier management structure.

Wilkins left the club in 1998, and Keegan took over as the full-time manager.

Under Keegan’s guidance, Fulham achieved promotion to the Premier League in the 1998-99 season, finishing with 101 points and signing Paul Peschisolido and Chris Coleman.

Keegan left to become manager of England, and Jean Tigana and then Paul Bracewell took charge.

Tigana led Fulham to their third promotion in five seasons in the 2000-01 season, securing top-flight status for the first time since 1968.

Returning to the Premier League

Fulham history - Returning to the Premier League
credit: fulhamfc.com

Fulham had a successful debut season in the Premier League, finishing 13th in the 2001-02 season.

They temporarily ground-shared with QPR while Craven Cottage underwent reconstruction.

In 2002-03, Fulham avoided relegation under the temporary management of Chris Coleman.

Coleman was appointed as the permanent manager and achieved a club-record ninth-place finish in his debut season.

However, financial pressure led to the sale of Louis Saha to Manchester United.

Coleman continued to guide Fulham to secure finishes in the following seasons until his departure in 2007.

Lawrie Sanchez briefly took charge before Roy Hodgson was appointed manager in December 2007.

Hodgson helped Fulham avoid relegation in the 2007-08 season and achieved their highest-ever league placing of seventh in the 2008-09 season, securing qualification for the UEFA Europa League.

In the 2009-10 season, Fulham reached the Europa League final, ultimately losing to Atletico Madrid after a strong campaign.

So about Fulham Champions League history, they have never been able to make it to the tournament.

Hodgson left the club at the end of the season to manage Liverpool.

Mark Hughes was appointed as Fulham’s manager on 29 July 2010, signing a two-year contract.

He had previously managed Manchester City, the Welsh national team, and Blackburn.

Hughes’ tenure began with a match against Bolton Wanderers, which ended in a draw.

Fulham history states that one of the season’s highlights was a convincing 4-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, with all goals scored in the first half.

However, Hughes resigned as manager on 2 June 2011, after less than 11 months in charge.

Fulham finished in eighth place in the league, securing qualification for the Europa League through Fairplay.

On 7 June 2011, Martin Jol took over as the manager of Fulham, signing a two-year contract.

A New Owner

A New Owner
credit: thesun.ie

Fulham advanced to the competition’s group stage but was eliminated after a draw in the last seconds of the match against Odense Boldklub.

In the 2011-12 Premier League season, Fulham had a mixed form, struggling with their away record.

They had a notable 6-0 home victory over QPR, with Andrew Johnson scoring a hat-trick.

Bobby Zamora left the club in the January 2012 transfer window, while Pavel Pogrebnyak joined from VfB Stuttgart.

In the New Year, Clint Dempsey scored two more hat-tricks for Fulham.

Pogrebnyak also made an immediate impact by scoring on his debut in a 2-1 win over Stoke City.

Another highlight was a 5-0 victory against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Pogrebnyak scoring a hat-trick.

We see in Fulham history that they ended their historic winless streak on Merseyside with a 1-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield.

They were only one point away from equaling their highest points total in the Premier League but fell short after losing their final game against Tottenham.

In the 2012-13 season, Fulham broke their seven-match winless run by defeating Swansea City 3-0 in the last game of the season.

They finished in 12th place in the league standings.

In July 2013, Shahid Khan became the chairman of Fulham.

However, after a poor start to the 2013-14 season, Martin Jol was dismissed as manager in December 2013, and Rene Meulensteen took over as head coach.

Meulensteen’s tenure was short-lived, as Felix Magath replaced him after just 17 games.

Despite the managerial changes, Fulham’s fortunes did not improve, and they were eventually relegated to the Championship after a 4-1 defeat to Stoke in May 2014.

During the summer following their relegation, Fulham broke the Championship transfer record as part of a squad restructuring under Magath.

Struggling for a While

Struggling for a While
credit: fulham.fandom.com

However, Fulham history shows that they had a disastrous start to the new season, collecting only one point from seven games.

Magath was dismissed in September 2014, and Kit Symons took over as caretaker manager.

Fulham finished the season in 17th place.

The following season started inconsistently, and after a 5-2 loss to Birmingham City and being in 12th place, Symons was dismissed in November 2015.

Slavisa Jokanovic was appointed as the new manager in December 2015.

Despite a challenging season, Fulham avoided relegation and finished 20th in the Championship.

In the 2016-17 season, Fulham showed significant improvement in both results and performances.

They finished in 6th place and entered the playoffs but lost to Reading in the semi-finals.

During this period, Tony Khan, the son of owner Shahid Khan, took on various roles within the club.

The following season, Fulham had a slow start but went on a club-record 23-game unbeaten run, finishing in 3rd place and winning the EFL Championship play-off final against Aston Villa, securing promotion to the Premier League in May 2018.

During their Premier League return, the team struggled, and Claudio Ranieri replaced Jokanovic in November 2018.

Results did not improve under Ranieri, and he left in February 2019.

Scott Parker took over as caretaker manager but couldn’t save Fulham from relegation in April 2019.

Fulham managers history shows that Parker was appointed as the permanent manager in May 2019.

Under Parker’s leadership, Fulham returned to the Premier League by winning the play-off final against Brentford in August 2020.

However, they were relegated again after one season in the top flight in May 2021.

Marco Silva took over as the manager after Parker’s departure.

Recent Times

Recent Times
credit: fulhamfc.com

Under Silva, Fulham secured promotion back to the Premier League as the Championship title winners in the 2021-22 season, with four games remaining.

In the 2022-23 Premier League season, Fulham had a strong start, sitting in 6th place at the halfway point.

Looking at Fulham history, we see that they achieved notable victories, including a 2-1 win over Chelsea, ending a 16-year winless streak against their West London rivals, and a run of four consecutive top-flight victories for the first time since April 1966.

If you are liking this style of an article so far, feel free to check out our Rangers F.C. History as well.

Fulham Kit History and Sponsorships

Fulham Kit History and Sponsorships
credit: apnews.com

Fulham made history in 2002-03 when they became the first English football club to secure a gambling sponsorship with Betfair.

This occurred prior to the Gambling Act of 2005, which allowed the industry to advertise on television and radio.

Within fifteen years, half of the Premier League teams followed suit and secured sponsorship deals with gambling companies.

Fulham jersey history tells us that on 27 July 2021, it was announced that World Mobile would become Fulham’s official principal partner for the next three years.

In July 2022, it was revealed that the gambling company W88 would sponsor the team as part of a kit deal for the 2022-23 season.

Fulham history informs us that this agreement involved featuring the betting firm’s logo on both the men’s and women’s kits.

The announcement of this deal coincided with a decline in gambling sponsors for Premier League teams.

Fulham Logo History

Fulham Logo History
credit: rare-gallery.com

The first official emblem of Fulham F.C. was created in 1898.

The emblem consisted of a shield displaying the letters FFC in red on a white background.

In 1972, a significant change occurred, introducing a new symbol for the club.

The emblem featured a black and white striped shield with an F at its center.

This design was inspired by the club’s nickname, “The Cottagers,” and represented their traditional colors.

Fulham history tells us that in 1977, the emblem reverted to a previous design, reintegrating the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s coat of arms.

It had a white background with a scroll displaying the club’s name below it.

In 1982, the emblem underwent another alteration, presenting a circular badge showcasing a stylized image of Craven Cottage with the club’s name encircling it.

Additionally, four stars above the badge represented the four divisions of English football that the club had competed in.

In 1995, the emblem was redesigned once more, utilizing a modern rendition of the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s coat of arms.

The emblem featured a blue background with a scroll displaying the club’s name below it.

In Fulham badge history, in 2001, after Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League, the current emblem was introduced.

The emblem embraces a contemporary design incorporating traditional elements from previous logos in a simplified and modern format.

It showcases a black and white shield with FFC at its center.

Fulham Stadiums

Fulham Stadiums
credit: fulhamfc.com

Craven Cottage, located in Fulham, West London, England, has been the home stadium of Fulham F.C. since 1896.

It has a capacity of 22,384, with the highest recorded attendance of 49,335 during a game against Millwall in 1938.

Situated next to Bishop’s Park along the River Thames, the stadium was originally a royal hunting lodge and boasts a rich history spanning over 300 years.

In addition to Fulham F.C., Craven Cottage has also been utilized by the national football teams of the United States, Australia, Ireland, and Canada.

Fulham history says that it was previously the home ground for the rugby league club Fulham RLFC.

The Hammersmith End, situated in the stadium’s northern section, is the closest stand to Hammersmith.

Its construction was financed by the sale of Alan Mullery to Tottenham Hotspur F.C. This section is traditionally occupied by enthusiastic Fulham fans who often stand at the back rows during matches.

When Fulham wins the coin toss, they typically opt to play towards the Hammersmith End in the second half.

The dedicated supporters gather in the back half of H6 and H7 zones, also known as ‘H Block.’

In 2004, the stand changed from terracing to seating to comply with league regulations.

The Putney End, located in the southern part of the stadium near Putney and backing onto Bishops Park, welcomes both home and away fans, with stewards separating them.

In the past, flags representing the nationalities of Fulham’s squad adorned the roofing, but they have since been removed.

Adjacent to the river, a plane tree can be found in the corner.

Stands and other Structures

Stands and other Structures
credit: fulhamfc.com

Originally consisting of terracing, the Riverside Stand is positioned along the Thames and elevated above pitch level.

It underwent a transformation into an all-seater stand in the 1971-72 season.

Although sometimes referred to as the Eric Miller Stand, its name was reverted to the Riverside Stand in the 1990s.

This section includes corporate hospitality seating and seating for Fulham fans.

With its distinctive hard lines and metallic and concrete finish, it stands adjacent to the Hammersmith End and the Putney End while facing the Johnny Haynes Stand.

The Johnny Haynes Stand, formerly known as the Stevenage Road Stand, holds the distinction of being the oldest remaining football stand in the Football League.

Constructed in 1905 and listed as a Grade II building, it features the ticket office and club shop, as well as original wooden seating.

The stand was renamed in honor of former player Johnny Haynes following his passing in 2005.

While the front now comprises plastic seating, it was originally a standing area.

Family enclosures can be found in the corners of the stand.

The Cottage Pavilion, built in 1905, serves as the changing room and is traditionally occupied by players’ families and friends who enjoy watching the game from the balcony.

The Cottage also serves as a venue for board meetings. It showcases a tapestry with the inscription “Still Believe,” commemorating a memorable moment when fans rallied the players during a crucial Europa League match against Hamburg SV. Corporate boxes, often referred to as “filing cabinets,” are located in the other three corners of the stadium.

Fulham Mascot History

Fulham Mascot History
credit: livescore.com

The official mascot of Fulham is Billy the Badger, whose design was selected as the winner of an online competition organized by the club.

Billy wears a Fulham shirt with the number 79, representing the year of the club’s founding in 1879.

In Fulham history, Billy the Badger faced some controversy during his tenure as the mascot.

Firstly, he attempted to cheer up Chelsea manager Avram Grant during a televised home match, which stirred up controversy.

Secondly, during a home game against Aston Villa on 3 February 2008, Billy was seen break-dancing in the corner of the pitch after the game had started and was subsequently sent off.

Billy attributed his actions to his badger hearing and eyesight and later apologized to referee Chris Foy.

On 11 March 2009, Billy walked across the goal during a match, although the incident went unnoticed by the referee.

Prior to Billy the Badger, the mascot for Fulham was Sir Craven of Cottage, the Knight.

The cheerleaders associated with the club were called the Cravenettes.

Fulham Rivalries History

Fulham Rivalries History
credit: totalfootballanalysis.com

Chelsea is widely regarded as Fulham’s main rival according to the fans.

Despite not playing each other frequently prior to Fulham’s rise to the top division, the proximity of Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge, which is located within Fulham and just 1.8 miles from Craven Cottage, solidifies this as a local derby.

Queens Park Rangers (QPR) is considered Fulham’s secondary rival.

We see in Fulham history that during the 2011-2012 Premier League season, Fulham achieved victories over QPR twice, winning 6-0 at Craven Cottage and 1-0 at Loftus Road.

The two clubs have faced each other on multiple occasions since then, primarily in the Championship.

Fulham’s third closest rivalry is with Brentford.

They defeated Brentford 2-1 in the Championship play-off final on 4 August 2020.

Fulham also has minor rivalries with several other London clubs, including Crystal Palace, although to a lesser extent.

Outside of London, some Fulham supporters still consider Gillingham as rivals, despite the two clubs not being in the same division since the 2000-2001 season.

Fulham and Gillingham have been involved in several heated matches in the lower leagues, with one unfortunate incident resulting in the death of a Fulham supporter.

Damian Cade
Damian Cade
He is an enthusiastic senior writer for Footbalium who leans towards writing and researching the history of football clubs and players' life stories.
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