FA seeks descendants of football's founding fathers

The Football Association (FA) has launched a search for descendants of the eight men that helped establish the world's most popular sport 150 years ago. Can you help?

Freemasons' Tavern, birthplace of the FA
Freemasons' Tavern, birthplace of the FA ©Getty Images

The Football Association (FA) in England continues to mark its 150th anniversary in style as it gears up for May's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women's Champions League finals.

With the help of England captain Steven Gerrard, the FA is searching for living descendants of football's founding fathers, the eight men that helped establish the world's most popular sport a century and a half ago. Hailing from across the country, surprisingly little is known about these trail-blazers who gathered together on 26 October 1863 in the Freemasons' Tavern, London, to draft the 13 original laws of association football.

England manager Roy Hodgson said: "We should all recognise not only the sporting contribution that these men have made but the impact that football has had in this country and around the world. Football is part of the fabric of our society and without the vision of these eight men 150 years ago, it may not have come to exist. It is only right that we honour the founding fathers of this nation's favourite game."

The founding fathers of football are:
1. Ebenezer Cobb Morley (1831–1924)
2. Arthur Pember (1835–1886)
3. Charles William Alcock (1842–1907)
4. Francis Maule Campbell (1843–1920)
5. John Forster Alcock (1841–1910)
6. Herbert Thomas Steward (1839–1915)
7. George Twizell Wawn (1840–1914)
8. James Turner

Gerrard and other current England players have joined the hunt by starring in a video appealing for help. Perhaps their descendants settled elsewhere in Europe, in which case you can email the FA with any information. To find out more about the search, check out www.thefa.com/foundingfathers.

Visitors to Wembley around the men's UEFA Champions League final on 25 May will also be able to see the original FA minute book containing the first handwritten laws of the game in a special FA150 exhibition. "We are very proud to have the original FA minute book on show at Wembley," said Sir Trevor Brooking, FA director of football development.

"The work the founding fathers of football did in 1863 when they came together to lay down the first laws of the game was crucial in setting the game as we know it today on its fantastic journey around the world."