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The Oldest Derbies In Football History

With another Soweto derby around the corner, we take a look at the oldest derbies in football history.

Click through the gallery above to see images of the oldest derbies in football.

The battle between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates was first contested on 24 January 1970, and has fascinated football fans in South Africa ever since.

However, there are many fierce rivalries in the game that are much older. The oldest derby in football is the so-called Black Country derby between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion, according to The Stats Zone.

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It was first played on 20 January 1883, in the third round of the Birmingham Cup, with West Brom beating Wolves 4-2.

Second on the list is the Old Firm derby between Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers. The two clubs have met more than 400 times, with the first derby dating back to 1888. The name "Old Firm" reportedly derives from the fact that commentators of the two side's initial match referred to the teams as "like two old, firm friends".

Just six years later, the very first North-West derby between Manchester United – then still known as Newton Heath – and Liverpool took place. After the Reds beat their counterparts in 1894, which ensured that Newton Heath were relegated to the Second Division, one of the biggest rivalries in world football developed.

Read: Highest Attended Football Games In History

Of the 10 oldest derbies in football history, six take place between rivals based in the United Kingdom – you can find all of them in the gallery above!

Which game do you think is the biggest derby in football? Have your say in the comments section below.


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