By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies as provided in our policy.

Football Association Formation - Great Queen Street, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.937 W 000° 07.241
30U E 699774 N 5711096
Quick Description: This black plaque, attached to a building on the south east side of Great Queen Street, advises of the formation of the Football Association on 26 October 1863 and was placed on its 150th anniversary. The first set of 13 rules were created here.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 11/26/2014 2:20:22 AM
Waymark Code: WMMYW2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Norfolk12
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Football Association website tells us:

The Football Association, English football’s governing body, was formed in 1863. ‘Organised football’ or ‘football as we know it’ dates from that time.

Ebenezer Morley, a London solicitor who formed Barnes FC in 1862, could be called the ‘father’ of The Association. He wasn’t a public school man but old boys from several public schools joined his club and there were ‘feverish’ disputes about the way the game should be played.

Morley wrote to Bell’s Life, a popular newspaper, suggesting that football should have a set of rules in the same way that the MCC had them for cricket. His letter led to the first historic meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, near to where Holborn tube station is now.

The FA was formed there on 26 October 1863, a Monday evening. The captains, secretaries and other representatives of a dozen London and suburban clubs playing their own versions of football met “for the purpose of forming an Association with the object of establishing a definite code of rules for the regulation of the game”.

The clubs represented were: Barnes, War Office*, Crusaders, Forest (Leytonstone), No Names (Kilburn), Crystal Palace**, Blackheath, Kensington School, Perceval House (Blackheath), Surbiton, Blackheath Proprietory School and Charterhouse.

*Civil Service FC, who now play in the Southern Amateur League’s Senior Division One, are the only surviving club of the eleven who signed up to be FA members at that first meeting in 1863, when they were listed as the War Office. Civil Service FC are also celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2013.

**This club has no connection with the present Championship club.

There could be no authority without laws and six meetings took place in 44 days before the new Association could stand on its own feet. The FA was formed at the first. Its rules were formulated at the second. (There was an annual subscription of a guinea and alterations to rules or laws were to be advertised in sporting papers.) A useful discussion on drafting the laws took place at the third.

‘Football’, they thought, would be a blend of handling and dribbling. Players would be able to handle the ball: a fair catch accompanied by ‘a mark with the heel’ would win a free kick. The sticking point was ‘hacking’, or kicking an opponent on the leg, which Blackheath FC wanted to keep.

The laws originally drafted by Morley were finally approved at the sixth meeting, on 8 December, and there would be no hacking. They were published by John Lillywhite of Seymour Street in a booklet that cost a shilling and sixpence. The FA was keen to see its laws in action and a match was played between Barnes and Richmond at Limes Field in Barnes on 19 December. It was a 0-0 draw.

Bryon Butler wrote in an Official History published in 1991: “The FA’s early influence on the game at large was not dramatic or even widespread. Its membership was small and its authority and laws were often challenged and sometimes ignored. But its motives and ambitions were so honourably based that, like growing ripples on a still pond, its standing grew perceptibly. It was a period of high ideals and ready compromise”.

Blue Plaque managing agency: Football Association

Individual Recognized: Football Association Formation

Physical Address:
61-65 Great Queen Street
London, United Kingdom


Web Address: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
To log an entry for a "Blue Plaque," please try to include a picture of you next to the plaque!
Search for...
Geocaching.com Google Map
Google Maps
MapQuest
Bing Maps
Trails.com Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Blue Plaques
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Nearest Hotels
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.