Football's founding rule book goes on public display

England manager Roy Hodgson and FA chairman Greg Dyke brushed up on the rules at the British Library display. Credit: FA

A book containing the 13 original laws of football has taken its place alongside the Magna Carta, the works of Shakespeare and Captain Scott's diary at a new display at the British Library to mark the 150th anniversary of the Football Association.

The 1863 FA Minute Book, valued at £2.5 million, records the formation of the Football Association, the creation of the FA Cup and details of the first international fixture, along with the rules that spawned the world's most popular game.

The display in London also includes a 1930s guide to referees, which includes 20 diagrams explaining the offside rule, an early 20th century book on the "football temperament" and a pocket rulebook for novice spectators.

FA chairman Greg Dyke, though, underlined the value of the oldest exhibit, saying: “The importance of the 1863 FA Minute Book cannot be underestimated. Without it, quite simply, the world would be without its most popular sport."