See Southampton Heritage Guides – Sightseeing tours, tour guides and accessible tours

Football – The Saints

Southampton F.C. can trace their roots back to 1885. The nickname ‘Saints’ comes from its formation as a church football team. They were founded as St Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association (St Mary’s Y.M.A). The team has since played in red and white shirts. Away colours are blue or yellow. In 1898 they moved to the Dell in Milton Road in and to the present 32,500 capacity St. Mary’s stadium in 2001.

The Saints anthem is ‘When the Saints Go Marching In’ a traditional tune popularised by Louis Armstrong. Unlike other sports teams that use the tune the original lyric is not changed for the Saints.

The club has a long-standing rivalry with Portsmouth due to its close proximity and both cities’ respective maritime history.

The Saints were defeated in the FA Cup Finals of 1898 and 1902 finally winning 1-0 against Manchester United in 1976. Their highest-ever league finish was second in the First Division in 1983–84. Southampton were relegated from the Premier League on 15 May 2005 ending 27 successive seasons of top-division football for the club.

Southampton returned to the Premier League after a 7-year absence and have been playing there since the 2012–13 season.

The club has a noted Youth Academy producing talented players over many years such as Martin Chivers, Terry Paine, Mick Channon, Alan Shearer, Mat Le Tissier, Wayne Bridge, Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw.

Skip to content