Ac Milan founder lived up the road from Wolverhampton
Alfred Edwards laid the foundations for one of Europe's best-ever teams (Getty Images/Chris Cole)

Born in 1850 in Skyborry in Shropshire, England, Alfred Ormond Edwards was an English businessman and a football pioneer. In 1899 he was one of twelve founding fathers and the first chairman of Italian giants AC Milan undergoing the original name of Milan Foot-Ball and Cricket Club.

 

Having moved to Milan, Italy for business, in December 1899 he was one of two owners of the football club Ac Milan, the other being Herbert Kilpin (who was the team's first captain). He was appointed the first chairman of the club, where he managed to win Milan three Scudetto, the decoration worn by Italian sports clubs that win the annual championship in (1900-01, 1905-06, 1906-07) and he served until 1909 when he went back to England.

To make things even more English, AC Milan didn't originally devote itself exclusively to football. It was founded in 1899 as the Milan Cricket and Football Club. Some sources claim it as Italy's oldest cricket club, but in fact, it is not so as that honour goes instead to the Genoa Cricket and Athletic Club, founded in 1893.

Edwards died in Bridgnorth in 1923, after a period of illness. He is buried in the local municipal cemetery with Grave No.2994D. His funeral was at St Leonard’s church in Bridgnorth. Death Notice and Obituary of Alfred Ormond Edwards in the 7th April 1923 issue of the Bridgnorth Journal.

The competition in which the club Edwards found has had the most success is the European Cup/UEFA Champions League, which they won seven times, the first in 1963, this win made them the first Italian side to win the European Cup. The other six victories came in 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003 and 2007.

This may seem like historic news now to some Wolverhampton Wanderers fans due to the recent signing of the first-ever Italian player at Molineux, Patrick Cutrone. As the closest club to Bridgnorth on the map would be either Shrewsbury Town or Wolverhampton Wanderers may be the signing was written in the stars.

A boyhood fan of Milan and had been at the club since he was nine years of age. None of this possible without the amazing work of the Shropshire born football businessman who found the Italian giants, Alfred Edwards. If Cutrone was to know this information you’d feel that the small town of Bridgnorth could grow closer to his Italian heart.

 

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