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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.
It took place at Hamilton Crescent, the Partick home of the West of Scotland Cricket Club, on 30 November 1872.
“In Scotland, once essentially the land of football, there still should be a spark left of the old fire”, he said.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. 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.The announcement of the birth of ‘The Football Association Challenge Cup’ ran to just 29 words: “That it is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete”. Charles Alcock, then 29, had been The FA’s secretary for just over a year when he had his vision of a national knockout tournament.He had remembered playing in an inter-house ‘sudden death’ competition during his schooldays at Harrow and his proposal was swiftly agreed.
A 4,000 crowd, including a good number of ladies, was present for a 0-0 draw that Bell’s Life saw as “one of the jolliest, one of the most spirited and most pleasant matches that have ever been played according to Association rules”.