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Here’s To 150 Years Of The Football Association

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This Saturday is the 150th anniversary of The Football Association, which first met on the morning of 26th October 1863 at the Freemasons’ Tavern in Great Queen Street, London, and later created the first Laws of the Game.

While the history of football in England dates back to the 8th century, The Football Association’s formation followed other 19th century efforts to standardise the variety of football played in public schools around the country.

Arsenal FC in training, 1934 © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL A photograph of England and Arsenal Captain Eddie Hapgood (1908 - 1973) and his son as the Arsenal mascot, at Highbury, London.

Arsenal FC in training, 1934 © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
A photograph of England and Arsenal Captain Eddie Hapgood (1908 – 1973) and his son as the Arsenal mascot, at Highbury, London.

Whether you’re a fan of the sport or not, it’s a real treat to see these mid-20th century photographs of ‘the beautiful game’ taken from the Daily Herald Archive in our collection.

So here’s to the sport, the business, and the passion of football…

A shot heads for the camera, Manchester United vs Sheffield Wednesday, 1949, Bert Abell © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

A shot heads for the camera, Manchester United vs Sheffield Wednesday, 1949, Bert Abell © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Arsenal footballers Ted Drake and Alex James, 1936, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Arsenal footballers Ted Drake and Alex James, 1936, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Shrovetide football at Ashbourne, 1952, Bert Abell © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Shrovetide football at Ashbourne, 1952, Bert Abell © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Fulham footballers clear snow from their pitch before Cup tie with Bury, 1939, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Fulham footballers clear snow from their pitch before Cup tie with Bury, 1939, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Arsenal pay £9000 for player George Drury, 1938, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL A photograph of Arsenal Football Club Manager, George Allison and centre half, Herbie Roberts, greeting George Drury at his arrival at Arsenal's ground Highbury. Drury was signed from Sheffield Wednesday for £9000.

Arsenal pay £9000 for player George Drury, 1938, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
A photograph of Arsenal Football Club Manager, George Allison and centre half, Herbie Roberts, greeting George Drury at his arrival at Arsenal’s ground Highbury. Drury was signed from Sheffield Wednesday for £9000.

Greenwich versus Walthamstow at Wembley, 1934, James Jarché © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Greenwich versus Walthamstow at Wembley, 1934, James Jarché © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Queens Park Rangers footballers doing physical training, 1939, George W Roper © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Queens Park Rangers footballers doing physical training, 1939, George W Roper © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Manchester City goalkeeper Frank Swift makes a save against Arsenal, 1934, George Woodbine © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Manchester City goalkeeper Frank Swift makes a save against Arsenal, 1934, George Woodbine © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Everton footballers in the bath after training, 1938, George W Roper © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Everton footballers in the bath after training, 1938, George W Roper © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Liverpool are League Champions, 1964, Ralph, National Media Museum, Bradford © Daily Herald / People

Liverpool are League Champions, 1964, Ralph, National Media Museum, Bradford © Daily Herald / People

Skillful footwork at after-school football training, 1957, National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL © Daily Herald / Fox Photos

Skillful footwork at after-school football training, 1957, National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL © Daily Herald / Fox Photos

Arsenal vs Aston Villa, 1934, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Arsenal vs Aston Villa, 1934, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

The crowd at Arsenal vs Sheffield Wednesday, 1933, George Woodbine © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

The crowd at Arsenal vs Sheffield Wednesday, 1933, George Woodbine © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Police book Sunday football teams, 1962, Clements © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL Dore Juniors and Sheffield Rovers had held a 'disorganised' football game in the hope of beating the Corporation bylaw forbidding organised sport on Sundays.

Police book Sunday football teams, 1962, Clements © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Dore Juniors and Sheffield Rovers had held a ‘disorganised’ football game in the hope of beating the Corporation bylaw forbidding organised sport on Sundays.

Jackie Charlton sits waiting for play to start again..., 1966, National Media Museum, Bradford © Daily Herald / BIPPA

Jackie Charlton sits waiting for play to start again…, 1966, National Media Museum, Bradford © Daily Herald / BIPPA

Matt Busby plays for Manchester City Football Club, 1932, White © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Matt Busby plays for Manchester City Football Club, 1932, White © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Young fans at Birmingham City vs Aston Villa football match, 1962, Terry Fincher © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

Young fans at Birmingham City vs Aston Villa football match, 1962, Terry Fincher © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL

The Science and Society Picture Library are also marking 150 years of The Football Association this week – take a look at their football themed selection from our friends across the Science Museum Group and other UK archives.

Written by Emma Thom

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  2. conrad davies

    hi emma, i produce internal imagery at old trafford, and am trying to locate an image of uniteds 1952 league winners preferably with matt busby in. have you any in your archives

  3. Anonymous

    The image titled Manchester United vs Sheffield Wednesday is actually the 1949 FA cup semi final between Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

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