Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How it all began. FA celebrates 150 years

Football is today the largest sport in the world. However, this sport would not have been the global force that it currently is, without the intuition and commitment of one man, Ebenezer Morley. On Monday 26th October 1863, in the heart of London, a city of oil lamps, hansom cabs and top hats, Ebenezer Morley, a solicitor and sportsman living in Barnes in south-west London, believed that football should have a set of rules in the same way that the MCC had them for cricket.
Therefore, the captains, secretaries and other representatives of a dozen London and suburban clubs met at the Freemason’s Tavern in Great Queen Street, near to where Holborn Underground Station is located today. Their goal was to form an Association with the object of establishing a code of rules for the regulation of football.

The FA’s intention was to standardise the rules to iron out differences, not to create a new game. Morley became The FA’s first secretary, later its president and he drafted modern football’s first rules at his Thames-side home. Football owes its current identity to the ideas and actions of this man.
It took six meetings for the FA to finally approve those rules. The first match under them was played at Limes Field, a couple of minutes’ walk from Morley’s house, on Saturday 19 December 1863. Barnes and Richmond drew 0-0 after 90 minutes of play. Before these regulations and the formation of The FA, football was in a hybrid state. Today it spans a world that is caught up in its magic.  
This year the FA is celebrating its 150 years of life, emphasising how football plays a central part in sports, not only in Britain but worldwide.

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