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They played for the game!

From the violence of ‘mob’ football on the High Streets  of Britain to the cloisters and fields of its public schools, football emerged as the winter sport of the nation. However, it took the formation of the Football Association in 1863 and the help of the city of Sheffield (home to the world’s oldest club), to give structure to a less violent sport that could be played by all.

Who invented offside, heading, passing, the overhead kick, goalkeeping and eleven-a-side formations ? Why was a small team in Scotland so important to the development of the game?

On the 16th October 1871 Charles William Alcock, the Honorary Secretary of the FA, put a proposal to the meeting:

 ‘That a Challenge Cup be given for annual competition, open to all clubs belonging to the Football Association.’

Only fifteen teams entered the inaugural FA Cup competition but disallowed goals, late kick-offs, extra-time, replays, disputed decisions, cup-tied players and teams playing ‘ringers’ ensured it would become the most famous domestic Cup competition in the world.   150 years later this is the story of the birth of football and of:

‘Charles Alcock & The Little Tin Idol’ 

Charles Alcock: Welcome
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