The Early History of Football
A brief history of football up to and including the formation of the Football League
Since the first ball was kicked in any form of competitive anger in medieval times, through to the first formal rules being formulated in England in the nineteenth century, the history of association football continues to generate a compelling story.
Differing rules had been used in different regions until, in 1871, former Harrow School pupil Charles Alcock proposed the first formal competition – the FA Cup.
Alcock also initiated the first-ever international match that was played between England and Scotland at the Kennington Oval in London in 1870.
The first league competition followed in 1888 when Aston Villa director William McGregor was one of the leading figures in forming the Football League.
With interest in the game spreading throughout the world, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris in 1904 leading to the first FIFA World Cup taking place in 1930.
Before that and ever since, football has created a long and ever-intriguing tale to tell.