Tuesday, April 10, 2012

10 April 1897 - Genoa's Genesis

On 10 April 1897, the Genoa Cricket and Athletic Club expanded into football, making them the oldest existing team in Italy.

At the time, the only other football teams were in Turin--Internazionale Torino and FCB Torinese. Genoa, founded in 1893 by British expatriates, initially devoted their attentions to cricket, considering football to be suitable only for the lower classes.

But in 1897, James Richardson Spensley (pictured), an English doctor and football enthusiast, persuaded the club to open a section devoted to football. He also served as the team manager.

The team was immediately successful, winning their first Italian championship in 1989, then winning five of the next six (losing out to Milan in 1901). Meanwhile, Internazionale Torino dissolved in 1900 and Torinese followed in 1906.

In all, Genoa have won a total of nine league titles, though the most recent was in 1924. They have also won an Italian Cup (1937) and, most recently, the Anglo-Italian Cup (1996).


  1. The text is totally wrong! There are many italian sources (e.g. the club site) explaining that Genoa have practised football officially since 1893, together with cricket, even though it became the principal sport of the society only in 1897, thanks to Spensley. Correct the article, please.

  2. According to the club's website (http://genoacfc.it/genoa-c-f-c/1893-1897-le-origini/), the football side didn't begin officially until 1897. Before then, some of the younger members played football, but not in any organized manner. That started with Spensley.