History of Football in the UK

Football as we know it today originated, not surprisingly, in England. It actually dates all the way back to medieval times (i.e. around 1200) at which point, it was only played once a year on what was known as Shrovetide. Despite football being known nowadays as a relatively harmless sport, in those days, it was violent and aggressive.

Between 1200 and the mid-1600s, football evolved but was actually outlawed in the UK because it caused chaos in the cities when it was played. 1660 saw the first recorded civil and regulated game of football that was actually and formally referred to as football. From this point onward, football was no longer outlawed and quickly spread across the country between the remainder of the 17th century.

Through the early 1800’s, rules and regulations for the game of football continued to develop and UK became the first country to bring the regulated game to schools where they competed against one another. This was around 1840. At this point, a Football Association was created to help try and create unified and consistent rules and terminology. It was around 1860 that England took football over to France where the game was played in Paris, and the first ever French football club was created.

The later part of the 1800s was when football became more international and organised tournaments started getting recognised as formal rules were in place to help regulate the sport. In fact, 1872 marked the first official international football match.

The international and widespread interest and passion for the game lead to the creation of the Football League in 1888, whereby a group of football enthusiasts created a league to bring together teams from all over the world to help create awareness and regulation to improve it for all those involved in any way.

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