Football in Ashton under Lyne takes us right back to 1878 when Hurst Football Club was formed with the earliest recorded report coming in 1879. A game played on the 16th March 1879 against Hurst Red Star FC in their then colours of black and white stripes. The Robins as they are known now were then the Lambs; and remained the lambs until 1923. Hurst FC better known as Ashton United Football Club played their first games at Holebottom in Smallshaw Ashton under Lyne, the ground was we assume on land adjacent to Holebottom and Coronation Road Ashton under Lyne.
The image shows the Hurst FC team that famously won the first ever staging of the Manchester Senior Cup in 1885. They beat the then Newton Heath Football Club (Manchester United) 3-0 in the final. In the same season they won a game in the second round of the FA Cup. Only to have the result annulled, losing their place in the third round of the competition; Hurst FC refused to play in a replay of the game. Only seven years later the club folded in 1892 after finishing ninth in the Ashton and District Football League.