Saints History

A brief history of Southampton Football Club

In 2001 the move from the Dell to the new St Mary's Stadium was something of a spiritual homecoming for Southampton Football Club.

The team that play in red and white today can trace their roots back to the club formed in 1885 by members of St. Mary's Church Young Men's association who played their football on the banks of the Itchen for 13 years before moving on.

Originally called Southampton St. Mary's, the club joined the Southern League in 1894 and won the championship for three years running between 1897 and 1899 and again in 1901, 1903 and 1904.

That success spanned some major changes for the Saints as they moved to a newly built £10,000 stadium called The Dell in 1898.

Although they would spend the next 103 years there, the future was far from certain in those early days and the club had to rent the premises first before they could stump up the cash to buy the stadium outright in the early part of the next century.

Southampton Football Club's historical content is provided by our Official Historians, at Hagiology Publishing. Details of their work and publications can be found at