Hull City to honour Founding Father Ebenezer Morley

Wednesday 11 Dec 2013
The FA has celebrated its Founding Fathers during the 150th anniversary celebrations

Hull City are to hold Ebenezer Morley Day on Saturday 14 December in recognition of Hull’s proud association with the Founding Father of world football.

Hull-born Ebenezer Morley was the man who 150 years ago led the group of men that founded The Football Association and penned the organisation’s first laws of the game.

A clergyman’s son born in Princess Street in the city, Morley’s vision and foresight paved the way for the only true global game we know and love today, a sport watched and played by billions of people.

His legacy as The FA’s first secretary has been commemorated across this year by The Football Association through its 150th anniversary celebrations.

The festivities have included the first-ever grassroots game at Buckingham Palace, a spectacular Gala Dinner and a special British Library exhibition of Morley’s first 13 laws as handwritten in the 1863 FA Minute Book.

Ebenezer Morley Day will coincide with the Barclays Premier League visit of Stoke City – also marking their 150th birthday in 2013.

The match comes five days before The FA commemorates exactly a century and a half since the first-ever FA fixture near Barnes Common on 19 December 1863. Morley’s final resting place is in Barnes Old Cemetery. 

Hull City intend to provide a permanent reminder of Morley’s legacy at the KC Stadium on 14 December, as well as using the club’s matchday programme and stadium screens to help tell Morley’s story.

Players will wear special T-shirts bearing Morley’s name during the warm-up, while a replica of the original FA Minute Book, valued at £2.5m, will be on show along with The FA Cup, as well as the 1966 World Cup ball.

Guests of honour on the day will include Chris Chilton and Ken Wagstaff, who were a part of the club’s 1965/66 promotion-winning squad.

Morley and his contemporaries from the first FA meeting on 26 October 1863 are football’s Founding Fathers. Since then, football has grown immeasurably.

A not-for-profit body investing £100m into the game annually, The FA supports seven million players - from the grassroots, helped by 400,000 volunteers, through to the elite level and 24 England teams.

The FA launched a search for descendants of the Founding Fathers this year and brought many of them together in October for a ceremony at Wembley Stadium.

Unfortunately Morley’s line died out in the 1920s, but The FA has ensured his memory will live on with a plaque at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London, the site of the original FA meeting.

To find out more about the search for living descendants of the Founding Fathers, please visit

If you have any information that can assist, please email

A video featuring England players talking about the search for the Founding Fathers of football can be seen here:

The Founding Fathers of football are:

1 Ebenezer Cobb Morley (1831-1924)

2 Arthur Pember (1835-1886)

3 Charles William Alcock (1842-1907)

4 Francis Maule Campbell (1843-1920)

5 John Forster Alcock (1841-1910)

6 Herbert Thomas Steward (1839-1915)

7 George Twizell Wawn (1840-1914)

8 James Turner (1839-1922)

By FA Staff