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As part of its birthday celebrations the FA has been turning the clock right back to when the beautiful game was established.
150 years ago, eight men met in Holborn where the very first rules of the game as we know it today were created. Today, their relatives teamed up at Wembley, to unveil a blue plaque in their honour. Nick Thatcher went to meet them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rags Martel reported on the FA's search for living descendants of the founding fathers of the sport earlier this year.
The search has been successful and has unearthed London born descendants as well as people from as far afield as America and New Zealand.
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."
The founding fathers of football will have a blue plaque unveiled in their honour at Wembley Stadium later.
The families of the men who 150 years ago drafted the original laws of association football are due to attend the ceremony.
Prince William watched the first 20 minutes of the match today. There was also friendly banter between some of the supporters and the referee Howard Webb, with one spectator shouting at the official, who has a shaved head:
"Get the hair out of your eyes, ref."
At half-time, Polytechnic were leading 1-0.