For all fans of cricket, football and pubs....
We are looking for your support to reopen our neighbourhood pub as both a traditional local and community asset. The Plough in the Sandygate area of Sheffield is a historic pub with a rich sporting heritage. The pub was closed last year by its owners, Enterprise Inns and is now on the market. Originally, our community group was looking to purchase the freehold but we have been approached by a private investor who is willing to buy the pub and lease it back to the community on favourable terms over a minimum 10 year period. We have formed the Plough Community Benefit Society to take on the lease and reopen the pub as both a traditional local but also as a community asset. The pub stands oposite Sandygate, the world's oldest football ground.
The Plough played a crucial role in the sporting history of Sheffield and the wider football and cricket communities:
1695 - the Plough opens as a public house and its title deeds include land associated with sporting activities and agricultural shows
1795 - the Hallamshire Enclosure Act recognises a cricket field owned by the Plough
1804 - Hallam Cricket Club reach an agreement with Mr. Creswick, landlord of the Plough, to use the pub and its outbuildings as a committee room and changing rooms
1860 - Hallam and Stumperlowe cricket teams meet at the Plough to form Hallam Football Club
1860 - Boxing Day - the Sheffield Rules Derby is played at Sandygate between Hallam FC and Sheffield FC According to many sports historians, this match was the start of the UK's tradition of Boxing Day being a major date in the calendars of many sports especially football:
'How Hallam FC began Feast of St Stephen's glut of Christmas football' (Barry Glendenning, The Guardian, Dec,2016)
1860 - 1880 - the early days of football were dominated by the power struggle between 'London Rules' and 'Sheffield Rules' - the Plough hosted many committee meetings where the 'rules' were discussed. Sheffield introduced corners, throw-ins, fixed goalkeepers and heading the ball into the modern rules of the game.
1867 - Hallam FC win football's first ever tournament, the Youdan Cup, with the final being played at Bramall Lane on Shrove Tuesday. Hallam's players were presented with the cup at a celebratory dinner held at the Plough.
1876 - Local cricketer,Tom Armitage tours Australia with the 'Lilywhites' in the first ever test matches between England and Australia
The Lilywhites cricket team, Tom Armitage is to the right of the back row wearing a tie.
1878 - using the money he earned from the Australia tour, Tom Armitage buys the Plough and remained landlord for many years. Armitage later emigrated to the USA as a professional cricketer and he remains the only player in the history of cricket to have played for both England and the USA.
1897 - Tennant Brothers acquire the lease to the Plough and the sports ground and it remains with them until it is assigned to Whitbread who become Patron of Hallam FC in 1969.
1929 - the Plough is rebuilt by local architect Wynyard Dixon
1940 - 1945 - the army use Sandygate to play football and drink and change in the Plough. Scotland international and future Blackpool and Stoke City player, Jackie Mudie, enjoyed many games at Sandygate and many pints at the Plough
1962 - future Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds manager, Howard Wilkinson, makes his debut for Hallam FC. Later that year, he scores for England in the British Youth Championship. Wilkinson remains the last English manager to win the English league title.
1981 - during a refurbishment of the Plough, the 1879 Skelton Cup is recovered and returned to Hallam FC
1991 - Hallam Sports Club obtain a 99 year lease for the sports ground - Ron Atkinson (SWFC) and Dave Bassett (SUFC) witness the signing of the lease
1995 - scenes from the Sean Bean movie 'When Saturday Comes' are shot at Sandygate Road
Hallam Hall of Fame - a few of the famous players who have played at Sandygate Road - Emlyn Hughes, Tony Currie, Chris Waddle, David Hirst, Peter Lorimer, Dean Saunders, Imre Varadi and current Sheffield United Manager, Chris Wilder
2015 - the Plough is listed as an Asset of Community Value
We are looking to raise £120,000 through a Community Share Issue but we need additional funding to help refurbish the pub and create space for an exhibition of sporting archives and memorablia.
Our vision for the Plough is as both a traditional family local pub and a focal point for community activites providing facilities and services for our diverse local community including older residents, younger families and local community groups and sporting clubs.
There is a minimum investment of £250 in shares in The Plough Community Benefit Society. Shares can also be purchased in batches of £500, £1,000, £2000, £5,000 and £10,000. Anyone making an investment of £250 or more will acquire a share and become a member of the Community Benefit Society. Donations of less than £250 will be recognised as an Associate Supporter of the Community Benefit Society
We appreciate all donations and every pound rasied will go directly to the project. Please help us save this important piece of social and sporting history.
We have opted for the flexible funding option so we will receive all donations made before the end of our appeal. If we do not reach our minimum target, all donations under £250 will be passed onto Hallam Sports Club to support their youth development programmes.
We have raised 50% of our target locally but we would like to offer people beyond our local community the opportunity to invest in a pub with such a strong sporting history.