Royal Engineers AFC

Royal Engineers Association Football Club was founded in 1863 and played a significant part in the early history of English football. They were one of the main developers of the passing game, which was proved superior to the dribbling game style in the 1870s.

Basic facts

Founded: 1863
Country: England
City: Chatham

Main trophies

FA Cup: 1


The club was founded in 1863 in Chatham, Kent and emerged from a corps of the British Army.

In the first FA Cup contested by twelve sides, the Royal Engineers ended up in the historical final at the Kennington Oval. In the matched played 16 March 1872 and seen by approximately 2,000 people, the Engineers were defeated 1-0 by Wanderers.

The Royal Engineers would participate in the following FA Cup competitions and reached the final again in 1874 (they lost 0-2 to Oxford University). In 1875, in their third final, they become the winners by defeating Old Etonian 2-0 after two goals by Henry Renny-Tailyour (known as the only player to represent the Scottish country in both football and rugby).

Royal Engineers wouldn’t reach any more FA Cup finals and they participated in the competition for the last time in the 1882-83 edition. The place among the dominant teams would soon be lost when they didn't took the step to professional football. They have remained an amateur team far form the center of attention in British football in the 20th and 21st centuries.

By Oscar Anderson