Plaque for football founders

The founding fathers of football will have a blue plaque unveiled in their honour at Wembley Stadium later.

Football's Founding Fathers

Surprisingly little was known about Ebenezer Cobb Morley, Arthur Pember, Charles WilliamAlcock, Francis Maule Campbell, John Forster Alcock, Herbert Thomas Steward,George Twizell Wawn and James Turner – the men that gathered to form The FA and draft the original 13 laws of association football.

But following a four-month search the Football Association found 16 living relatives.

Founding father Charles William Alcock Credit: Football Association

From that point 150 years ago, football has grown immeasurably and The FA now helps to support seven million people playing the game from grassroots to elite level.

Founding father Ebenezer Cobb Morley Credit: Football Association

In theUK, it was discovered that Arthur Pember's family tree crossed with Charles Darwin's. In 1925, Pember’s great-niece marriedCharles Galton Darwin, the grandson of Charles Darwin and thus thecurrent Darwin dynasty is also related to one of football’sFounding Fathers.

Arthur Pember Credit: Football Association

JaneSleight, the great-great-granddaughter of Arthur Pember, and TomSteward, a relation of Herbert Thomas Steward, are the two relativesliving furthest away, hailing fromWashington DC and Auckland in New Zealand.

Founding father Herbert Thomas Steward Credit: Football Association
Founding father James Turner Credit: Football Association
Founding father John Forster Alcock Credit: Football Association
Blackheath Football Club, 1862. Francis Maule Campbell is fourth from the left Credit: Football Association

Blackheath Football Club were one of the founding clubs in the association and Francis Maule Campbell played for them.

It no longer exists but Civil Service FC - also founded around 150 years ago - are still playing. They were one of the teams involved in the very first football match to take place at Buckingham Palace - another event commemorating the FA's 150th anniversary - two weeks ago.

Francis Maule Campbell, who also played for Blackheath FC Credit: Football Association

Hunt uncovered 16 relatives

A worldwide, four-month hunt uncovered 16 relatives of the Founding Fathers of football Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

16 relatives of the Founding Fathers of football attended the ceremony at Wembley Stadium this morning.

Cultural historian Dr. Jane Clayton from the International Football Institute led a four month search for living descendants of the founding fathers.

The hunt has uncovered living descendants for six of the founding fathers.

The event today is the start of a week of celebrations for The FA’s 150th birthday, which will culminate in a Gala Dinner on the anniversary date itself this Saturday.

Advertisement

Plaque commemorates 150 years of the FA

The plaque, which was unveiled at Wembley today Credit: ITN/Nick Thatcher

A blue plaque was unveiled at Wembley stadium today, attended by the FA's Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking and 7 year old Isaac Lord; the great, great, great, greatnephew of founding father George Twizell Wawn.

Isaac is the youngest descendent of the eight men who drafted the original laws.

The plaque bore the following inscription:

"Commemorating the Founding Fathers of football to mark the 150th anniversary of The Football Association. Formed 26 October 1863."