October 26, 1863 – “Not Just A Football Association, It’s THE Football Association”

On 26 October 1863, English football’s governing body, the Football Association, held its first meeting, making it the oldest national football association in the world. The Football Association formed in England, standardizing soccer, splitting with rugby.

Twelve clubs sent representatives to the meeting, held at Freemasons’ Tavern on Long Acre, Covent Garden, London, in order to agree on a common set of rules. The clubs were Barnes, Civil Service, Crusaders, Forest of Leytonstone, No Names Club (Kilburn), Crystal Palace, Blackheath, Kensington School, Percival House (Blackheath), Surbiton, Blackheath Proprietary School, and Charterhouse (who declined the offer to join).

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