A year to remember as FA marks 150th anniversary

Tuesday 31 Dec 2013
On 26 October The FA celebrated its 150th birthday

The Football Association celebrated its landmark birthday on 26 October back where it all began 150 years earlier.

The Grand Connaught Rooms near Holborn Station in central London, formerly the site of the Freemason's Tavern where The FA was founded in 1863, hosted a gala dinner to mark the anniversary of the nation's favourite sport. 

Here we take a look back at a fantastic year of events commemorating the beautiful game...

The FA

The FA 150 crest mosaic


  • The Football Association kicked off its 150th year back where it all started – at the site of the old Freemasons’ Tavern in London in January. England managers past and present joined football’s biggest names to pay tribute to The FA. 
  • The England Awards debuted in February at St. George’s Park. It proved a night to remember, with Steven Gerrard, Dave Clarke and Steph Houghton all bagging gongs.
  • England welcomed Brazil to Wembley, with Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard netting to seal a 2-1 win.
Wigan Athletic

Wigan Athletic beat Manchester City in The FA Cup Final


  • Bobby Moore took centre stage again in February – 20 years after we said goodbye.
  • March saw old friends Euesbio and Bobby Charlton reunited at Soccerex, while the Three Lions put on a gr-eight display in San Marino, but could only draw against Montenegro.
  • Wembley marked its 90th year in style as FA Cup fever took hold with Man City and Wigan Athletic booking their spots in the Wembley showpiece. It was Ben Watson who emerged as the hero of the day in May, with his late header ensuring a fairytale Final victory for Latics.
  • The FA’s search to find relatives of the Founding Fathers of football captured the world’s imagination and proved Ebenezer Morley really is the daddy
Stamp of approval for The FA.

Football received a stamp of approval


  • Eleven more big names came under the arch in May when the Royal Mail launched a special collection. John Barnes, Gordon Banks and Sir Bobby Moore were among those gaining the stamp of approval.
  • FA legends returned to the pitch for an unbelievable army charity match at Reading – and Ben Shephard stole the show with a cracking strike.
  • Congress and the Champions League Final were perfect birthday gifts from UEFA, with a Dutch flyer settling a thrilling all-German contest in at Wembley. FA President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, hailed the occasion as a true festival of football.
  • After a 22-year absence, the Irish returned to Wembley on Ashley Cole’s big night, and was followed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s magic moment at the Maracana a few days later.
  • Rachel Yankey became England’s most-capped player as the women’s game marked 20 years as part of The FA.
  • After David Bernstein bowed out, Greg Dyke checked in as FA Chairman. And we also thanked Stuart Pearce and Hope Powell for their excellent service.
Barn Elms

Grassroots football was celebrated in 2013



  • Sir Bobby Robson National Football Day lived up to the billing, with tens of thousands turning out at 150 grassroots events across the country in August.
  • Manchester United beat Wigan in the Community Shield before Scotland headed to Wembley for the Teenage Cancer Trust international, recognising the official 150th charity partner. But the auld enemy reckoned without Rickie Lambert edging a five-goal thriller.
  • Move over Shakespeare and Co – a date at the British Library saw The FA minute book containing football’s original laws take pride of place.
  • World Cup matters resumed in September with Moldova dispatched and a point gained in Ukraine, where Frank chalked up his century for England.
Buckingham Palace played host to The FA

Buckingham Palace opened its gates for 150 grassroots heroes


  • Liverpool Ladies won The FAWSL and a special map marked 150 years of football and the London Underground.
  • October was a Royal celebration with the Duke opening up the Palace for 150 grassroots heroes and the first-ever match in the Queen’s back-garden!
  • Roy’s boys booked their place in Brazil with convincing wins over Montenegro and Poland.
  • HRH The Duke of Cambridge, revelling in his role as The FA’s President, and The FA’s Chairman Greg Dyke, played hosts at a glittering gala dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms in central London on 26 October to celebrate The FA’s 150th anniversary, back on the exact site where it all began in 1863.
  • FA150 ambassador Michael Owen took the organisation’s best wishes to meet the troops on an impromptu end of year trip with the Prime Minister to Afghanistan.
Michael Owen & David Cameron present a shirt to representatives of the Afghan FA.

Michael Owen and David Cameron visit Afghanistan



  • FA Chairman Greg Dyke rounded off 2013 with a special service at Morley’s graveside at Barnes Common, site of the first match played to FA rules. On 19 December 1863, Barnes and Richmond played out a goalless draw at Limes Field.
  • By year’s end we had raised more than £300,000 for our official charity partner Teenage Cancer Trust with staff taking part in a whole range of activities, from sky diving to bike riding to marathons to cake baking.

Here’s to another 150 years…

For more about The FA’s 150th Anniversary visit www.TheFA.com/FA150

By FA Staff