Twelve affiliated clubs took part in the first competition run by the fledgling Association, with Shrewsbury defeating Wellington 1-0 in the final in April 1878, thus initiating the oldest foot-balling rivalry in the county, with that competition developing into the Shropshire Senior Cup. The original trophy is still competed for by the County’s senior clubs, making it the oldest piece of football silverware in the world.
By the turn of the century membership of the Shropshire FA had swelled to 66 clubs and by the outbreak of World War One that figure had risen to 116 clubs, 41 leagues and various competitions and 90 registered referees.
Now over one hundred years later the Association can still boast seven open-age adult leagues and five junior leagues, comprising of over 200 affiliated clubs, 330 registered referees and a total participation on an average weekend of over 10,000 people. Aside from the Senior Cup, the Shropshire FA also run six other county cup competitions, two Saturday, two Sunday, the Women’s Cup and Youth Cup which bring each season to an exciting climax.
While the number of open-age clubs has dropped from the levels seen in the 1980s and 90s, the Association have addressed the situation by introducing measures to assist and nurture clubs through the economic down-turn - and have been encouraged the downward turn in club affiliations has been halted with a slight increase recorded at the start of the 2011-2012 season.
The burgeoning world of football development has brought enormous participation in coaching, welfare and treatment of injury courses to ensure the long-term evolution of football in the county as the Shropshire FA moves forward in the 21st century.
From their origins at The Lion Hotel, the Association eventually moved its headquarters to the Albert Hotel in Shrewsbury, before taking residence in an office in Shrewsbury High Street. They remained there until 1997 when a new home was found in purpose-built offices at Gay Meadow, the former home of Shrewsbury Town FC, a year which also saw David Rowe become the first full-time administrator of the Shropshire FA, when he succeeded Alan Brett as County Secretary, a post Alan had held since 1977.
Ten years later in 2007 the Association were on the move once more, following Shrewsbury Town FC to their brand new stadium at Oteley Road and into a spacious office and administration centre that of January 2012 began housing the combined forces of both the Governance and Football Development staff – unifying the duties and intentions of the Shropshire FA as they embrace the challenges of the present with ambitions for the future.
When David Rowe retired in November 2010 the position of County Secretary had evolved to the title of Chief Executive, with Roy Waterfield appointed as his successor to lead the County FA forward in their on-going quest to provide the highest standards of administration and development.