FA search for 'founding fathers' ancestors

30 April 2013 08:55

The Football Association is to conduct a search for the living descendants of the eight 'founding fathers' of the game to take part in its 150th anniversary celebrations.

The FA has taken on a cultural historian to lead the search for relatives of the eight men who gathered at the Freemasons' Tavern, London, on October 26 1863 to draft the 13 original laws of association football.

Surprisingly little is known about some of their individual histories, and descendants who are identified and located will be invited to a special ceremony at Wembley in October.

The 'founding fathers' were: Ebenezer Cobb Morley (1831-1924), Arthur Pember (1835-1886), Charles William Alcock (1842-1907), Francis Maule Campbell (1843-1920), John Forster Alcock (1841-1910), Herbert Thomas Steward (1839-1915), George Twizell Wawn (1840-1914) and James Turner.

Jane Clayton, the cultural historian from the International Football Institute at the University of Central Lancashire who is leading the search, said: "This is an important historical search.

"We know so much about people who were pioneers in their chosen fields but surprisingly, little is known about the individuals responsible for gifting us the most popular sport in the world.

"We have initiated the historical search and whilst information is limited, we have a good base upon which to work. We are confident that by October, through genealogical research and the public's help we can trace some of the living descendants of the founding fathers of football."

England manager Roy Hodgson added: "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."

Anyone with information about descendants should email: foundingfathers@thefa.com.

Source: PA