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Ebenezer Morley, a London solicitor who formed Barnes FC in 1862, could be called the ‘father’ of The Association.

*Civil Service FC, who now play in the Southern Amateur League’s Senior Division One, are the only surviving club of the eleven who signed up to be FA members at that first meeting in 1863, when they were listed as the War Office.

The announcement of the birth of ‘The Football Association Challenge Cup’ ran to just 29 words: “That it is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete”. Charles Alcock, then 29, had been The FA’s secretary for just over a year when he had his vision of a national knockout tournament.

He had remembered playing in an inter-house ‘sudden death’ competition during his schooldays at Harrow and his proposal was swiftly agreed.

He wrote to The Glasgow Herald on 3 November 1870 to announce that such a fixture would be played at the Oval in 16 days’ time.

“In Scotland, once essentially the land of football, there still should be a spark left of the old fire”, he said.

It was a period of high ideals and ready compromise”.

The move which probably did most to broaden the outlook of The FA and spread its influence over a wider field was made at a meeting at the office of The Sportsman newspaper on 20 July 1871.

They were published by John Lillywhite of Seymour Street in a booklet that cost a shilling and sixpence.