FA Chairman David Bernstein addressed guests at the Grand Connaught Rooms for the launch of FA150.
He said: "I am delighted to see so many friends and outstanding personalities from our game at the Grand Connaught Rooms to celebrate The FA's 150 th aniversary launch.
"They include Sir Bobby Charlton and his fellow 1966 heroes Martin Peters and George Cohen; England’s most capped player, Peter Shilton and England’s record goal scorer and Paralympic hero Dave Clarke. We are in the presence of footballing legends.
"Stephanie Moore and Bobby Robson’s sons Mark and Paul are also with us. Bobby Moore and Sir Bobby Robson were giants and gentlemen of football. We continue to honour them through our charitable endeavours.
"I am also delighted to welcome Roy Hodgson and 4 past England managers. They represent an important part of our recent history.
"It was on this very site 150 years ago that Ebenezer Cobb Morley and his friends met in what was then the Freemasons' Tavern. They changed the world by producing the first laws of the game. Their original handwritten minute book is on display here today.
"The modern game of football was born that day and its subsequent journey across continents and cultures has been extraordinary. Throughout that journey the FA has continued to sit at its heart.
"We should never underestimate The FA’s role and the importance of maintaining our strong relationships across the game.
"Internationally, despite occasional frustrations, we have always and will continue to play our full part in influencing the development of world football through UEFA and FIFA.
"Domestically, while The FA must lead, everyone involved in football has a responsibility to support the game, from promoting fair play and positive behaviour to encouraging equality and inclusion.
"With the UEFA Champions League Final returning to Wembley in May, an exciting men’s senior programme, the Women’s squad participating in the UEFA Euro 2013 Finals in Sweden; development tournaments in Israel and Turkey and fabulous domestic fixtures the professional game will continue to excite and entertain.
"But even after 150 years, there remains a simple beauty to the universality of football. From Wembley to parks pitches an invisible, unbreakable thread runs through. Through hope, ambition and a love of the game it links us all every player, coach, official and fan.
"It is why The FA, a not for profit organisation, fundamentally exists to support football at all levels.
"It is also why in our 150th year, we will continue to embrace the power and magnetism of the professional game, and use it to shine a light on the efforts taking place in the wider world of football – the grassroots.
"The bedrock of English football are the over 2 million people who play the game at least once a week in 29,000 clubs, competing in more than 1100 Leagues across every County in the land.
"I am particularly passionate about the strong progress in our disability programme. Over 115,000 participants take part in some form of disability football every week, making it the seventh most popular team sport in the country. It is also appropriate that women’s football (the third biggest participation sport in England) will take a central position during 2013.
"Every year we invest £100m into this amazing pyramid of football striving towards our vision of football for everyone.
"But the heartbeat, the glue, the selfless heroes of our game are over 400 000 magnificent volunteers. The original game makers. We will recognise them this year through our 150 grassroots heroes programme supported by our President, the Duke of Cambridge. I would like to pay tribute to him for his unstinting and valuable support. On behalf of all at The FA I thank him and the Duchess and wish them well for a happy and productive 2013.
"It is important at this time of celebration that we reflect on the difficult times. Terrible tragedies including Hillsborough and Valley Parade, the days of darkness. These events, their victims and their lessons must never be forgotten. They are an indelible part of our story.
"Finally, I would like to pay tribute to football’s relationship with our armed services. They are historic and close friends of the game and I am delighted we can in our own small way repay their great service to us through initiatives such as Tickets for Troops who are represented here today.
"It has been quite some 150 years. The minutes from that original meeting pinpointed the three values at the heart of football. Vision, commitment and team work. They remain our inspiration.
"May I thank you all for being here and for everything you have done and continue to do to support our wonderful national game."