In July 1726 there was a summer fair held at Souhernhay, near Exeter, Devon in which the Siege of Troy was re-enacted.
During the afternoon’s event, for some unknown reason, residents of St Sidwell’s (outside the city walls) dressed up as Greeks, or Grecians.
By 1737 there was a tradition of football matches between the city people, who called themselves the Blues and their counterparts from St Sidwells’s known as the Greeks. A century later the name Greeks had been replaced by Grecians and the folk of St Sidwell’s clearly identified themselves as Grecians in letters to the local paper.
Thereafter, to people who resided in or around Exeter, a Grecian was identified as a St Sidwell’s resident.
Exeter City FC (The Grecians) turned professional in 1908 and eventually gained entry to the Football League in 1930 (Third Division South)
Courtesy of Tony Matthews
Football Historian and Author