The FA is celebrating its landmark 150th anniversary year and will cap the commemorations off with a major Gala Dinner in central London on Saturday 26 October 2013.
Taking place at The Grand Connaught Rooms, the very site where a century and a half earlier The FA was founded at a meeting which paved the way for the global game we all know and love today.
Pride of place will go to the original FA Minute Book from 1863 featuring the first laws of the game as drafted by Ebenezer Morley and his contemporaries. Leading FA figures and famous England names from past and present will be in attendance.
The FA is using the event - and the whole FA150 year - to underline its not-for-profit commitment to supporting football since 1863.
With £100m re-invested into the game annually; seven million diverse players, 400,000 volunteers, 300,000 coaches and 27,000 referees give their time every week for the nation’s favourite game. It is the unsung grassroots heroes who will rightly take centre stage for The FA in 2013.
FA President HRH the Duke of Cambridge said: “I am a football fan. I have loved the game from a very young age - as a player with my friends, and as a supporter of club and country.
“I consider it a huge honour to lead The FA - it is an organisation which reaches every community, bringing the simplest enjoyment to people of all ages and all abilities.
“Over 150 years, football has become part of the very fabric of our society and I hope the year ahead will allow us to celebrate every aspect of this great game.
“As many of you will know, The FA’s work is far reaching.
"It is a diverse not-for-profit organisation, which invests over £100m into the game every year delivering facilities for grassroots football, coaching programmes for boys and girls, and development programmes for those with disabilities.
“It is a regulator of the game at all levels, ensuring that football is played in a safe, fun and welcoming environment for everyone – whatever their background.
“Our flagship facilities at St. George’s Park and Wembley Stadium are the inspirational homes of 24 England teams and world leading coach education facilities.
“My hope is that our 150th year really shines a light on all of this great work."
Former FA Chairman David Bernstein said: “Our 150th year is a major opportunity for us to showcase our work to the whole country and the wider world. It is a terrific achievement for any organisation and I certainly hope it will capture the imagination in the way it has mine.
"From humble beginnings to today’s global spectacle, we can be proud of this country’s contribution to football.
“It is incredible to think how the game has developed from that very first meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern in October 1863. Those founding fathers had real foresight to bring order and organisation to the game.
"Still, despite their sporting values and vision, no one could have foreseen what football would come to mean for the nation.”
Supporting football since 1863
The FA is the not-for-profit, governing body of football in England. It grows participation, promotes diversity and regulates the sport for everyone to enjoy.
Seven million players of all ages, 400,000 volunteers, 300,000 coaches and 27,000 qualified referees help The FA keep the grassroots game going.
The FA runs 24 England teams, across men’s, women’s, youth and disability football, utilising the world-class facilities of Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park.