Vampire Association Football Club

In the podcast I suggest that Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Vampire” may have been an inspiration for the club’s name.

The poem itself can be found on the website of the Academy of American Poets. It was written in reaction to a painting of the same name by Philip Burne-Jones.

Another possible source for the team’s name that I did not mention in the episode is Bram Stoker’s Dracula which was also first published in England in 1897. Although newspapers in San Francisco mentioned the appearance of the novel in the summer of 1897, the first edition to be published in the U.S. did not come until 1899.

Given that most of the Vampires came from Great Britain and that the men had contacts with British sailors and others it could be that they obtained a copy of the book sometime in 1897. Of course that timeline only works if the club was founded in 1897 and not in 1896 as some reports indicated. Stories about vampires had been published before 1897 and there was even an acrobat-contortionist performing in San Francisco around this time who billed himself as the “Golden Vampire.”

Perhaps the publication of two works by well-known authors in the same year would have been inspiration enough to use the name even if Kipling’s poem and Stoker’s novel themselves were not widely available.

Listen to the Vampire Association Football Club podcast here.

Podcast Sources

Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory. San Francisco: H. S. Crocker, Co., 1898.

San Francisco Call.

Spalding’s Official Soccer Foot-Ball Guide. New York: Sports Publishing Company, 1906-22.

Sound Clips in this episode from

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Halloween – Organ Music.mp3

Monster Mash by Peter Pan records and GOD available at