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Football Association Forms In England (1863)

Football Association Forms In England (1863)

Ebenezer Morley, a successful London solicitor, is generally credited as being the ‘father’ of modern football. Morley formed Barnes FC in 1862, causing excitement but also some strife as there was much argument about how the game should be played and how the club should be organised. Dismayed by the fighting, Morley wrote a letter to the popular 19th Century newspaper Bell’s Life suggesting that there be uniform rules to the game that could be shared between all clubs and put an end to any disputes. Morley argued that if it was possible for cricket then it should be possible for all sports, leading to the first-ever meeting to establish a football league at the Freemasons’ Tavern in Great Queen Street. The Football Association was established on a Monday evening in 1863 and managers, secretaries and players from clubs throughout the London boroughs joined together. One of the main disagreements was whether the practice of ‘hacking’ (kicking your opponent’s legs) would be banned, clubs like Blackheath FC wanted to keep the move whilst others felt that it made football less legitimate and more violent. At first, The Football Association was not celebrated, with the newspaper The Sportsman only announcing its arrival in a 29-word article. However, when Charles Alcock proposed a national tournament that would pit different teams against each other, the FA became extremely popular and powerful. The FA has continued its influence, today representing around 38,000 clubs and approving rules and regulations for all English teams.

Learn more about the ‘beautiful game’ with these activities!

Activity Ideas:

  • Get together for a game of Slipper Soccer Shootout – here
  • Print off and enjoy our Sports Activity Book – here 
  • Have a go at our fun football drills – here
  • Get moving with this football themes exercise session – coming soon!
  • Have a reminiscence session with this Football Reminiscence activity – coming soon!
  • Challenge yourself with our advanced sports word search – here