England keeper Joe Hart had his hands on a significant piece of football history as he took a look through the handwritten ‘Minute Book’ containing the original laws of football, that began to be developed in 1863.
Today marks exactly one year to the day until The FA officially celebrates its 150th birthday, and Hart spoke of the importance of The FA Minute Book, which is valued at £1m.
Written by Ebenezer Morley, the first secretary of The Football Association, it features the 13 original laws of organised football and is the centrepiece for narrating the historical origin of the beautiful game that the world knows and plays today.
Interestingly, the laws outlined in the 1863 publication would not have favoured the Manchester City stopper. They not only stated that ‘no player shall carry the ball’ but the goalkeeper position didn’t even exist in the early days of the football.
Hart said: "It's important to honour the landmarks in history, and holding the original FA Minute Book that was written 150 years ago, did make me realise the significance and how long football has been part of our culture."
"Football has a great history in this country, you grow up with the traditions and rituals of the game being passed from generation to generation. My Dad would take me to football games and it is something that feels like it has been around forever.
“The FA’s 150th Anniversary will be a great year for everyone involved in the game, on and off the pitch.”
From January 2013, The FA will begin to celebrate its anniversary with a year-long calendar of events designed to showcase the heritage of the game and celebrate The FA’s support of football over the last century and a half.
This will include:
- Major England matches including Brazil, Scotland and Republic of Ireland, plus Brazil tour
- UEFA Congress and UEFA Champions League Final in May
- FA England Awards at St. George’s Park on Sunday 3 February
- 20 years of women’s football and UEFA Women’s Euro 2013 in July
- National Football Day on Saturday 10 August
- FA Gala Dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms on Saturday 26 October
FA150 - Supporting football since 1863
The FA is the not for profit, governing body of football in England, responsible for regulating and actively growing participation in the sport, for everyone to enjoy.
Through FA grassroots initiatives there are currently 7m active players; 400,000 volunteers; more than 300,000 coaches and 27,000 qualified referees; making football the nation’s favourite game.
Exciting and engaging activities will take place during 2013 as The FA calls upon the country to share in the celebration and grow football participation during its 150th anniversary year.
FA150 in Numbers
£1.1s: the per annum cost for a club to join The FA in 1863.
6: members of the Royal Family who have held the position of FA President
6: the number of meetings it took to develop the original laws.
11: the number of clubs who signed up when The FA was formed.
13: original laws of the game.
0-0: the score line of first game played under the original laws.
100: the maximum breadth (in yards) a pitch is allowed to be under the original laws.
200: the maximum length (in yards) a pitch is allowed to be under the original laws.
208: the number of national Football Associations created around the world since 1863.
4,000: attendance at the first official England international, played on 30 November 1872.
27,000: number of qualified referees in 2012.
300,000: number of qualified coaches today in 2012.
400,000: people volunteer their time for football in 2012.
7m: people play football on a regular basis in 2012.
The 1863 Rules
1 The maximum length of the ground shall be 200 yards, the maximum breadth shall be 100 yards, the length and breadth shall be marked off with flags; and the goals shall be defined by two upright posts, eight yards apart, without any tape or bar across them
2 The winner of the toss shall have the choice of goals. The game shall be commenced by a place kick from the centre of the ground by the side losing the toss, the other side shall not approach within ten yards of the ball until it is kicked off
3 After a goal is won the losing side shall kick off and goals shall be changed
4 A goal shall be won when the ball passes between the goal posts or over the space between the goal posts (at whatever height), not being thrown, knocked on, or carried
5 When the ball is in touch the first player who touches it shall throw it from the point on the boundary line where it left the ground, in a direction at right angles with the boundary line and it shall not be in play until it has touched the ground
6 When a player has kicked the ball any one of the same side who is nearer to the opponent’s goal line is out of play and may not touch the ball himself nor in any way whatever prevent any other player from doing so until the ball has been played; but no player is out of play when the ball is kicked from behind the goal line
7 In case the ball goes behind the goal line, if a player on the side to whom the goal belongs first touches the ball, one of his side shall be entitled to a free kick from the goal line at the point opposite the place where the ball shall be touched. If a player of the opposite side first touches the ball, one of his side shall be entitled to a free kick (but at the goal only) from a point 15 yards from the goal line opposite the place where the ball is touched. The opposing side shall stand behind their goal line until he has had his kick
8 If a player makes a fair catch he shall be entitled to a free kick, provided he claims it by making a mark with his heel at once; ad in order to take such kick he may go as far back as he pleases, and no player on the opposite side shall advance beyond his mark until he has kicked
9 No player shall carry the ball
10 Neither tripping nor hacking shall be allowed and no player shall use his hands to hold or push his adversary
11 A player shall not throw the ball or pass it to another
12 No player shall take the ball from the ground with his hands while it is in play under any pretence whatever
13 No player shall wear projecting nails, iron plates, or gutta percha on the soles or heels of his boots