“In Scotland, once essentially the land of football, there still should be a spark left of the old fire”, he said.
‘England’ won this unofficial international 1-0 and all the players, English and Scottish, lived in London.
The captains, secretaries and other representatives of a dozen London and suburban clubs playing their own versions of football met “for the purpose of forming an Association with the object of establishing a definite code of rules for the regulation of the game”.
The clubs represented were: Barnes, War Office*, Crusaders, Forest (Leytonstone), No Names (Kilburn), Crystal Palace**, Blackheath, Kensington School, Perceval House (Blackheath), Surbiton, Blackheath Proprietory School and Charterhouse.
The Football Association, English football’s governing body, was formed in 1863.
Players would be able to handle the ball: a fair catch accompanied by ‘a mark with the heel’ would win a free kick.
The sticking point was ‘hacking’, or kicking an opponent on the leg, which Blackheath FC wanted to keep.
His letter led to the first historic meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, near to where Holborn tube station is now.
The FA was formed there on 26 October 1863, a Monday evening.
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The first Cup season turned out to be quite truncated with withdrawals and byes.