THE author of a book charting the history of 1874 Northwich Football Club has revealed his motivation behind it.

1874 fan James Wood spent almost a year producing the piece of work which was published last week and is entitled ‘The first club in England’.

Wood, 58, the retired former head of engineering at Manchester Airport, delves into the story behind the club’s formation in 2012, reviews the most memorable games, features season by season records, biographies of 32 of the club’s most influential players so far, commentaries from the three managers over the 11 seasons so far and much more, backed up by photographs in 208 pages.

“It’s been 11 months of hard work, but it’s now great to see it 'in the flesh' so to speak. Makes it all worthwhile,” said James, who is originally from Leftwich but now lives in the Castle area with his wife Claire.

Northwich Guardian: James Wood, proudly holding a copy of his bookJames Wood, proudly holding a copy of his book (Image: Contributed)


“I've always wanted to be a published author and many say if you want to achieve this aim then write what you know about, so I have done!

“In addition, and I know that you might say that I'm biased in this respect, I think that 1874 is a really special club and our history - as short as it may be - is a really great story!”

1874 were, of course, established in 2012 by disgruntled supporters of Northwich Victoria and are currently play in the Northern Premier League West based at Barnton Football Club’s Townfield Lane ground.

The supporters own the club, which is run by an elected board.

James added: “I've loved the game since I've been able to kick a ball and started to watch Vics in 1975 aged 10.

“From that point on I was a die-hard fan travelling the length and breadth of the country to support them.

“But the events that occurred at Vics in the first decade or so of this century left me utterly disillusioned with the club and I, along with many others, decided that we'd had enough and decided to create '74 in 2012. All these facts are covered in the book.”

Although this is his first book, he is no stranger to football writing.

“Apart from a three-season gap in the mid-90s, I was editor of the Vics' matchday magazine from 1986 to 2001, so not only have an excellent knowledge of the history of Vics, Witton, and non-league football in general, but I know what it takes to write articles and put together a periodical to tight deadlines.”

The name of the book could be considered confusing and James admits it has already created considerable controversy among fans of many clubs.

Clearly, when it comes to age, 1874 are far from being ‘The first club in England' as this record belongs to Sheffield FC who were founded in 1857, some 155 years before 1874.

But James provides a full explanation on page four.

The book costs £13.50 plus £4.25 postage and packing and can be ordered online at or it can be bought directly from the ground on matchdays.

The next two home games are against Mossley tonight and then Vauxhall Motors on Saturday.

Copies will also be available at the football quiz which is being staged as part of the joint Barnton CC/ 1874 beer festival on Thursday, October 5.