Founded in 1876, Accrington F.C. was a founder member of the Football League. It is the only member of that exclusive club which no longer exists.

The club had been part of the revolt against the Football Association in 1884 over professionalism, after being expelled from the FA in 1883 for paying a player.

The club's best season saw it finish sixth in 1889–90. In the 1892–93 season Accrington finished fifteenth and was relegated after losing an end of season test match 1–0 against Sheffield United. They then resigned from the league rather than play in the Second Division, which they obviously saw as being beneath them. Thus Accrington were the first of the founding clubs to leave the League.

Soon, the club began to suffer financial problems, which eventually led to its demise. Accrington continued outside the league until 1896, when it finally folded following a humiliating defeat in the Lancashire Senior Cup.

Of course the town of Accrington was not just home to plain old Accrington FC. There is also the more famous, by dint of an 80s milk commercial, Accrington Stanley FC.

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