Wanderers Football Club is an English amateur football club based in London. Founded as Forest Football Club in 1859, the club changed its name to Wanderers in 1864. Comprising mainly former pupils of the leading English public schools, Wanderers was among the dominant teams of the early years of organised football and won the Football Association Challenge Cup (known in the modern era as the FA Cup) on five occasions, including defeating Royal Engineers in the first FA Cup final in 1872.
The club played only friendly matches until the advent of the FA Cup in 1871, with the rules often differing from match to match as various sets of rules were in use at the time. Even after the formation of The Football Association (the FA) in 1863, of which the club was among the founder members, Wanderers continued to play matches under other rules, but became one of the strongest teams playing by FA rules. They won the FA Cup three times in succession during the late 1870s, a feat which has only been repeated once. Among the players who represented the club were C. W. Alcock, the so-called "father of modern sport", and A.F. Kinnaird, regarded as the greatest player of his day. The club took its name from never having a home stadium of its own but playing at various locations in London and the surrounding area. By the 1880s the club's fortunes had declined and it was reduced to playing only an annual match against Harrow School, the alma mater of many of its founders.
The club was reformed in 2009, reportedly with the endorsement of the descendants of the Alcock family, for the purposes of fundraising for UNICEF UK. Since 2011, the revived club has competed in the Surrey South Eastern Combination.Close