THE BIRTH OF FOOTBALL IN ENGLAND
It has been long argued that football began in England. With millions of fans all over the world it’s hard to think of a time before football. The modern game is now a multi-billion pound business empire. The game is no longer played by your average Joe from the pub. It is a game played by finely tuned athletes for astronomical amounts of money.
Now it’s more likely to hear a group of boys or girls talking about the latest boots or this year’s most expensive signing than how their local team got on, on the weekend. True loyalty and heart seems to be a slowly dying attribute of fans and unfortunately players to. Travel anywhere in the world and you will see your typical Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid or Barcelona shirts. People now support clubs for glory and status opposed to love and geographical alliance. It’s common to see a player kiss a badge on a Saturday and be demanding a move to a rival team by Monday for an extra 100,000 pound a week, and who could blame them.
I would like to take you back to a time before record signings. A time before World Cups, FA cups, League Cups or even leagues. Today’s blog shines light on the very birth of the beautiful game we call football. The story begins as all great tales in a pub in the heart of England back in October 1863.
THE BIRTH OF FOOTBALL
The story begins in central London back in 1863 in a little pub called the Freemason’s Tavern. Representatives from over 12 Schools across the borough gathered to try and come together with a set structure and rulebook for the game of football. The game had been played for many years before but under different rules and names. This meeting was a defining moment in the birth of modern football.
The game itself in some forms had been played for years in England. It’s earliest form called ‘mob football’ and played I the middle ages. During a game of ‘mob football’ large groups of men would battle through the streets of the village to carry the ball from one end to another. The whole event was rather barbaric with injuries and fighting a regularity.
THE LAWS OF FOOTBALL PASSED 1863
During the famous meeting at the Freemason’s tavern 14 laws were passed to unite the footballing schools present. The aim was to make it possible to matches and build leagues with all teams playing to the same rules. A few of the rules passed was pitch length, goal size, fair catch (aussie rules style). Amazingly team numbers were not included but hacking (medieval shin kicking) was banned, which saw the Blackheath Club stage a walk out.
COMBINATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF RULES
The meeting in 1863 was actually the second attempt of setting a guide line for the rules of football. Some clubs played to the rules set in 1857 six years earlier in Sheffield. It took until 1877 for the rules to be combined and developed into a more structured game. The popularity of the game was evident up north with the birth of the first Football League in 1988.