Association Football - And How to Play it
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This book contains a detailed guide to the history, tactics, positions, and the contemporary state of football written by one of its earliest celebrities, John Cameron. Contents include: “Full-Back Play”, “The Middle Lineard Play”, “Training”, “Hints to Juniors”, “Captaincy”, “Refereeing”, “Football as a Profession”, “Continental Football”, “Football Reform”, “Present Day Football”, “Famous Cup-Ties”, and “Laws of the Game”. A classic guide to football not to be missed by collectors of vintage literature related to the subject. John Cameron (1872–1935) was a Scottish footballer and manager. He was a forward for Everton, Scotland and Queen's Park, as well as player-manager at Tottenham Hotspur who led them to victory in the 1901 FA Cup. He was appointed first secretary of the Association Footballers' Union in 1896 and was interned in a civilian detention camp in Germany during WWI after coaching Dresdner SC. When the war finished, he started a career as a football journalist, author and publisher. Macha Press is publishing this classic work now in a new edition complete with the original text and artwork for a new generation of football lovers.



Publié par
Date de parution 26 mai 2020
Nombre de lectures 4
EAN13 9781528790475
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 2 Mo

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First published in 1908

Copyright © 2020 Macha Press
This edition is published by Macha Press, an imprint of Read & Co.
This book is copyright and may not be reproduced or copied in any way without the express permission of the publisher in writing.
British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
Read & Co. is part of Read Books Ltd. For more information visit

A History of Football

J. Cameron
Saving a "High-Flyer"
Head ing the Ball
Ready for the Kick-off
Centring from th e Right Wing
Centring from t he Left Wing
Passing wit h the Instep
Shooting wit h the Instep

A History of Football
Football has an incredibly long and varied history. Various forms have been identified throughout times-past, as early as the second century in China. However the modern game as today's fans would recognise it, was officially codified in 1863 , in London.
According to FIFA the competitive game cuju was the earliest form of football. It is evidenced in the form of an exercise in a military manual from the third and second centuries BCE. This was a Chinese manual compiled by Zhan Guo Ce, and the game literally translates as ‘kick ball.’ It originally involved kicking a leather ball through a small hole in a piece of silk cloth, which was fixed on bamboo canes and hung about 9 metres above the ground. During the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 CE), cuju games were standardized and official rules were established.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans are known to have played many ball games, some of which involved the use of the feet. There are also a number of references to traditional, ancient, or prehistoric ball games, played by indigenous peoples in many different parts of the world. For example, in 1586, men from a ship commanded by an English explorer named John Davis, went ashore to play a form of football with Inuit people in Greenland. There are later accounts of an Inuit game played on ice, called Aqsaqtuk . Each match began with two teams facing each other in parallel lines, before attempting to kick the ball through the other team's line, and then at a goal. These games and others may well go far back int o antiquity.
Despite these early beginnings, the main sources of modern football codes appear to lie in western Europe, especially England. There, team football games were played in schools since at least 1581. England can also boast the earliest ever documented use word ‘football’ (1409) when King Henry IV of England issued a proclamation forbidding the levying of money for ‘foteball.’ In addition to this early evidence, there is also a Latin account from the end of the fifteenth century of football being played at Cawston, Nottinghamshire. This is the first written description of a ‘kicking game’, and the first description o f dribbling:
The game at which they had met for common recreation is called by some the foot-ball game. It is one in which young men, in country sport, propel a huge ball not by throwing it into the air but by striking it and rolling it along the ground, and that not with their hands but with their feet... kicking in opposite directions.
While football continued to be played in various forms throughout Britain, its public schools (known as private schools in other countries) are widely credited with three key achievements in the creation of modern football codes. First of all, the evidence suggests that they were important in taking football away from its ‘mob’ form and turning it into an organised team sport. Secondly, many early descriptions of football and references to it were recorded by people who had studied at these schools. And thirdly, it was teachers, students and former students from these schools who first codified football games, to enable matches to be played betw een schools.
The first set of football rules was drawn up at the University of Cambridge in 1848, and became particularly influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. Known as the 'Cambridge Rules', they were written at Trinity College, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Harrow, Shrewsbury, Rugby and Winchester schools, though they were not universa lly adopted.
Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to this codification. During the early 1860s, there were further and increasing attempts in England to unify and reconcile the various football games, especially in the industrial north, resulting in the ‘Sheffield Rules’ of 1857. In 1862, J. C. Thring, who had been one of the driving forces behind the original Cambridge Rules, was a master at Uppingham School and issued his own rules of what he called ‘The Simplest Game’ ( aka the Uppingham Rules). In early October 1863, a revised version of the Cambridge Rules was drawn up by a seven member committee, again with a distinguished membership representing former pupils of Eton, Harrow, Shrewsbury, Rugby, Marlborough and Westminster.
With all these different rules, there was great scope for confusion on the football field. As a result, one Ebenezer Cobb Morley, a solicitor from Hull, wrote to Bell's Life newspaper in 1863, proposing a governing body for football. Morley was to become the FA's first secretary (1863-66) and its second president (1867-74). He is also particularly remembered for drafting the first ‘Laws of the Game’ at his home in Barnes, London – that are today played the world over. For this, he is considered not just the father of the Football Association, but of Association Foot ball itself.
On 20th July 1871, C. W. Alcock, a gentleman from Sunderland and a former pupil of Harrow School proposed that ‘ a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the [Football] Association ’ an idea that gave birth to the competition. At the first FA Cup in 1872, the Wanderers (from London) and the Royal Engineers (an Army team) met in the final in front of 2,000 paying spectators. Despite the Royal Engineers being the heavy favourites, one of their players sustained a broken collar bone early on and since substitutions had not yet been introduced, the Engineers played a man down for the rest of the match – which they eventual ly lost 1-0.
During this period, the influence and power of the British Empire allowed these rules of football to spread all over the world. By the end of the nineteenth century however, distinct regional codes were already developing. These evolved into American football, Canadian football, rugby union and rugby league, which were often held in opposition to Association football, Australian rules football and Gaelic football, which made greater use of kicking rather than tackling. The need for a single body to oversee the worldwide game became apparent at the beginning of the twentieth century with the increasing popularity of international fixtures. This resulted in FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), an organisation founded by seven European countries in Paris, on 21 st May 1904.
Today, football is one of the most popular sports in the world, played all over the globe. The ‘beautiful game’ has truly stood the test of time; from the advent of ancient kicking games, through to the English uptake and codification of the sport in the nineteenth century – and through to the present day. It is hoped that the current reader enjoys this book on the subject.

Then strip, lads! and to it though sharp be the weather,
And if by mischance you should happen to fall,
There are worse things in life than a tumble in heather,
And life is itself but a game of football.

From the above quotation by Sir Walter Scott, it is evident that football is quite an ancient game. Time alters everything, and it has undoubtedly done so in football. Where one used to play with half the village on one side and the same on the other, it is now restricted to sides composed of eleven players. As I have been requested to write on the modern game it is not worth while dwelling upon how it was played a hundred years ago. Football is really supposed to be a Scottish game, but it was in England that a proper Association with defined rules was fi rst started.
This was in the early sixties, and since then the F.A. has grown to be one of the most powerful bodies connected with sport of any shape or form. They are a most wealthy association, and their power is paramount. It must be said that they have had everything to do with making the game what it is at present. Although autocratic, they deal thoroughly and honestly with both clubs and players, and it will be a bad day for the game when any body of clubs break away. At the time of writing rumours are very rife, but it is to be sincerely hoped that once again "rumour is a lying jade." Friendly matches were the order of the day in the early stages of the game. Then came the establishment of the English Cup Competition for all clubs in the Kingdom. This was in the year 1871, and it was only after eleven years had elapsed that the Cup went to the North, when Blackburn Olympic were the winners. May we say en passant that a Scottish club, namely, the Queen's Park of Glasgow, took part in the final contest in 1884 and 1885, but were beaten by the Blackburn Rovers in both cases. After that the Cup had a long sojourn in the North, and it was not until 1901 that my old club, Tottenham Hotspur, managed to bring it back to the South. Again, since then, the North have had a monopoly of it, and Southern enthusiasts are longing for it to have its resting-place somewhere i n the South.
Another epoch in the game was the starting of the League system of playing matches. The idea came from the fertile brain of Mr. W. MacGregor, who is familiarly known as the Father of the League. This system undoubtedly proved a great success, and although loyal amateurs still play in the same friendly style the public took to it immensely, as is well shown by the difference between the attendance at league and friendly matches. Senior, junior, and school-boys' are the names of the leagues now existing, not to mention tradesmen's and shopkeepers' Thursday afternoon associations. The mere fact that at Cup-ties and International matches the attendance has been over 100,000 is convincing testimony to the winter pastime's popularity. A record crowd assembled at Hampden Park, Glasgow, last April to see England v. Scotland, the attendance reaching 130,000, and the sight was a most magnificent one. Before the close of my preface I should like to express my regret at the separation of a portion of the Amateur Element from the Parent Body last year, and, personally, I could see no reason for their so doing—I can only say, "The pity of it." Again, football and charity are synonymous, and it would surprise many critics if the total amount of money collected by clubs and associations was reckoned up. The last match in aid of charity was played at Stamford Bridge, between Manchester United and Queen's Park Rangers, and realised over £1,000, and I think that speaks for itself.

J. Cameron

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