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The original Wanderers existed from 1859 to 1887 during the birth of the modern game of football and can be accredited with contributing to the foundation of the world's oldest knock-out tournament, the FA Cup, the Football Association itself, the London FA and international football.

When Charles William Alcock finished his schooling at Harrow, he found there was no way to continue his sporting pursuits. With his brother, John Forster Alcock, J Pardoe and brothers A Thompson and WJ Thompson, he set about creating Forest Forest Club, who would go on to become the Wanderers Club.​ Forest's first recorded game was 15-a-side against Crystal Palace Club on the 15th March and ended in a 1-0 victory - proving to be no fluke, the rematch three weeks later was a 4-0 win!

On the 26th of October 1863, AW Mackenzie and Charles Alcock were present at the founding of the Football Association, along with 10 other clubs, who formally adopted the rules created by students at Cambridge University. The following year, 'Wanderers', led by Charles Alcock, beat No Names Club of Kilburn 1-0 on 2nd April 1864, the first goal scored by AM Tebbut.

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