Civil Service FC - Non-League Day 2024

Civil Service FC - Non-League Day 2024

On 17 April 1911, Civil Service FC, one of football's oldest and most influential clubs, became the first English side to play Athletic Club

This is the first in a series of articles about seven of Athletic Club's past English opponents that are currently playing Non-League football. These clubs played a pivotal role, not only in Athletic's early years, but in helping football become a global sport.

On 17 April 1911, London-based outifit Civil Service FC became the first official English football side to take on Athletic Club.

It was the first of Civil Service’s four visits to Bilbao from 1911 to 1914. Athletic lost the three matches held at Jolaseta, but won the final encounter at San Mames.

A historic club in every sense, Civil Service were formed in 1863 and played a vital role in football’s early days as a sport. CSFC is the only remaining team of the 11 that founded the English Fotball Association in 1863 and were one of 15 sides to compete in the inaugural version of the FA Cup in 1871/72. They contributed players to some of the first ever international matches and took tours which spread football across Europe during the early 20th century.

Local papers said Athletic’s first clash against Civil Service FC as “undoubtedly the best match to have ever been played in Spain”. The fixture took place just two days after Athletic had won the Copa against RCD Espanyol.

The Londoners won 0-2 but Athletic received a lot of praise for going toe-to-toe with the strong Englishmen, who had beaten an ‘All-Paris’ XI by six goals to nil just a week before.

The next two matches were played over successive days in April 1912 with CSFC romping to 3-8 and 0-4 victories. The English side were described as a “tremendous team, with a rapid attack and stunning combination play”. Pichichi scored all Athletic’s goals in the first fixture.

The Lions finally got a win over Civil Service FC when the Londoners visited Bilbao again in April 1914. Athletic beat CSFC 4-2 at the recently opened San Mames stadium. Pichichi was once again Los Leones’ standout player, the forward scoring twice while Civil Service netted two own goals.

Modern Day

Civil Service have remained a staple of London’s amateur football scene, currently competing in Division 1 of the Southern Amateur League, where they are fourth placed on 21 points after 15 fixtures.

CSFC play their home matches at the Kings House Sports Ground and have 11 different sides in their ranks, including a veteran's XI and a women's team.

On Non-League Day, Civil Service will be taking on 1881 FA Cup winners Old Carthusians at King's House Sports Ground in the Amateur FA Cup, with the match scheduled to kick-off at 13:00 GMT.

Visit to Bilbao

From May 17-20, around 40 players and staff members from Civil Service will fly to Bilbao, where they’ll take a tour of San Mames, watch our home fixture against Sevilla FC and play a local side.

Flag exchange and retro jersey raffle

As part of Athletic Club’s collaborations with our historical opponents, we have sent each of the seven clubs in this series an Athletic flag to hang at their ground and a retro jersey to raffle off among their fans.

In return, each club has donated a flag to Los Leones. These colours will be on show at different grounds throughout Euskal Non-League Day and then given to the AC Museum.

Euskal Non-League Day

Drawing inspiration from the UK version, Athletic has organised Euskal Non-League Day with the aim of celebrating grassroots football in the Basque Country and recognising the important role our affiliated clubs play in their respective communities in addition to producing players for Athletic.

Coinciding with the Non-League day in the UK, on the weekend on March 23-24, 86 of our partner clubs will be participating in this second edition of Euskal Non-League Day.

Historical English opponents

Our future features on the seven English teams will be published in chronological order based on the date of their first match against Athletic.

(Click to read)
Monday 18th: Civil Service FC, United Hospitals
Tuesday 19th: Eastbourne Town FC
Wednesday 20th: Merton FC
Thursday 21st: Bromley FC
Friday 22nd: Dulwich Hamlet, Corinthian-Casuals FC

These are the details of the sides’ Non-League Day fixtures. If you’re an Athleticzale in England over the weekend of March 23-24, we encourage you to attend one of these matches.

Civil Service FC vs Old Carthusians. March 23, 13:00 GMT. King’s House Sports Ground
Eastbourne Town vs Shoreham. March 23, 15:00 GMT. The Saffrons
Merton FC vs Winchmore Hill. March 23, 14:00 GMT. Joseph Hood Recreation Ground
Bromley FC vs York City. March 23, 15:00 GMT. Hayes Lane
Bognor Regis Town vs Dulwich Hamlet. March 23, 15:00 GMT. Nyewood Lane
Corinthian-Casuals vs Badshot Lea. March 23, 15:00 GMT. King George’s Field