1862 saw football played at the ground for the first time when Sheffield Football Club went up against Hallam Football Club... this is a proven fixture that took place.
Our claim is "Field Mill has been used as a football ground since 1861" says who? where is the evidence, has anyone actually proven this?
No. Our claim is that it is the oldest PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL ground in the world. For as long as we remain a professional club, this is true. (It's well documented if you care to look, and is accepted by the EFL as the oldest ground in the Football League) It is confirmed that football has been played at Field Mill since 1861, intially by Greenhalgh's FC, who owned the now demolished mill behind the QLE.
Sandygate Road first hosted football in 1860 and is now the home of Hallam FC. However, they aren't a professional team.
Bramall Lane first hosted football in 1862, a year after Field Mill - but was a sporting venue from 1850, hosting cricket and other sports. It is therefore the second oldest *professional* football ground in the world.
Molineux (Wolves) also opened in 1860, but wasn't used for football initially (it had an ice skating rink though!)Quote from the EFL:Mansfield Town took over the Field Mill ground in 1919. The ground had previously been used for football since 1861 by various teams and is the second oldest football ground in continual use after Sandygate in Sheffield, the home of Hallam FC, which is older by a few months.
For what it's worth I think it's all a bit pants and steeped in semantics. And what's an 'amateur' ground anyway? How long has the Manor Complex in Woodhouse been going?
However, phrased the way we do, it is absolutely true. I'd suggest we'd use 'Oldest ground in the Football League' ... but that might well be tempting fate, as County found to their peril!...
If you're that bothered - check out a book by Simon Inglis - Football grounds of England and Wales (1983). Might be able to get it on Amazon... really interesting and contains a lot more detail on this.