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Morley wrote to Bell’s Life, a popular newspaper, suggesting that football should have a set of rules in the same way that the MCC had them for cricket.His letter led to the first historic meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, near to where Holborn tube station is now.
“In Scotland, once essentially the land of football, there still should be a spark left of the old fire”, he said.
Only 12 clubs actually played and there were just 13 matches in total but Wanderers beat Royal Engineers 1-0 before 2,000 spectators at Kennington Oval in a Final described by The Sporting Life as “a most pleasant contest”.
A match between ‘England’ and ‘Scotland’ was another good idea from Alcock.
The sticking point was ‘hacking’, or kicking an opponent on the leg, which Blackheath FC wanted to keep.
The laws originally drafted by Morley were finally approved at the sixth meeting, on 8 December, and there would be no hacking.
It was a period of high ideals and ready compromise”.
The move which probably did most to broaden the outlook of The FA and spread its influence over a wider field was made at a meeting at the office of The Sportsman newspaper on 20 July 1871.The FA was formed there on 26 October 1863, a Monday evening.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”.‘England’ won this unofficial international 1-0 and all the players, English and Scottish, lived in London.The Scottish FA hadn’t yet been formed but the Queen’s Park club agreed to organise the first official international between England and Scotland.The announcement of the birth of ‘The Football Association Challenge Cup’ ran to just 29 words: “That it is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete”. Charles Alcock, then 29, had been The FA’s secretary for just over a year when he had his vision of a national knockout tournament.