WE all know that Northwich Victoria were formed in 1874, making it one of the oldest football clubs in the world, but 1874 was also the year that one of it’s greatest ever players, Billy Meredith, was born.

Billy only made 11 appearances for Vics, scoring five goals back in the 1894 season before moving to Manchester City and later on in his career Manchester United, playing over 300 games for each of them.

He also represented his country, Wales, 48 times – not a bad career for someone who had started at Vics.

There aren’t many players who have started in non-league and gone on to playing for their country and Jamie Vardy is probably the most notable example of this recently as he started his career at Stocksbridge Park Steels.

This got me thinking about ex-Vics players who had gone onto bigger and better things (if you can get bigger and better than playing for Vics!) and being an international player.

Two current internationals came to mind, firstly Alec Mudimu who had one season at Vics in 2016/17 and became a Zimbabwean international in 2018 whilst playing for Cefn Druids.

Alec definitely had a bit of class, being a silky midfielder and now has 18 caps to his name. He is currently playing in Moldova for Sherriff Tiraspol.

The other current international is Mo Ali, a solid reliable full-back who played 54 times for Vics between 2014 and 2016.

He in fact gained his first call up for his country Somalia whilst he was at Vics in 2015 and his most notable moment came in 2019 when he was named man of the match against Zimbabwe as Somalia gained their first ever win in a World Cup Qualifier.

Mo, has just signed for National League North side, Southport.

Going back a little further, another Vics full-back, Ian Nolan, went on to gain international honours.

Ian was at Vics at the start of his career, back in 1988, aged just 18 and he played 49 times for the Trickies, before earning a move to Tranmere Rovers and then Sheffield Wednesday where he was called up by Northern Ireland for the first of his 17 caps in 1996.

Now for a quiz question. Who was the first Liverpool player to gain international recognition?

The answer is Harry Bradshaw who gained his first, and only England cap on the 20th February, 1897 against Ireland.

Now, what has this got to do with Vics I hear you say?

Well, he started his career at Vics of course back in 1891. Harry was an inside forward (remember them?) and spent two years playing for the Green and Whites before going to Liverpool , and then Tottenham Hotspur.

He tragically died aged just 26, a short but illustrious career.

I’m sure I must have missed some players out so why not let me know.