The club had to import their blue-and-white kits and a football from England, which they purchased with a donation of 20 Swiss francs. They played their first match in October 1886, a goalless draw with ETH Zurich.
They won their first league title in 1898 on their way to a record 27 league championships, the last of which came in 2003. They also hold a record 18 Swiss Cups, starting with the first Swiss Cup tournament in 1926.
Grasshopper plays in Switzerland's top tier, the AXPO Super League. They finished in fourth place in the 2008-09 season.
There has been no official explanation for the club's name, though it is rumored that it arose from the players' exuberant postgame celebrations.