It’s hard to determine exactly how football became so popular in England in the 19th century, but the truth is that in the mid 19th century, almost every major town had a semi-professional football team. These teams were usually associations of workers from the same factory or institution or simply students at a local University.
Matches between those teams were played occasionally, with little to no prize, but only for competition’s sake. However, these matches were played without any rules or a referee and as football isn’t necessarily a sport that’s completely clean of violence, all it took was a harsh tackle or an argument about a particular rule to start a bloody fight between the two teams and their supporters.
But the year 1863 marked an extremely important chapter in English football history, as several football clubs from all over the country (prominently from London) met up in the English capital and set up a sort of “football constitution” called the Laws of the Game (a modified version of the original rules are still in effect today and are still called as such).
That was also the birth certificate of the Football Association, or simply FA that is still ruling over English football nowadays and had a tremendous importance throughout the history of football in England and the way it evolved.
English football History – Important Milestones
With England being rightfully considered the inventors of modern football, one would expect them to be amongst the most successful national squads in the World. However, despite having some world class football players throughout time and despite always being favourites for the competitions they start in, the English national squad only achieved few important milestones throughout the entire football history in England.
The apogee of English football and the most important chapter ever to be written in the entire history of football in England was definitely the successful World Cup run in 1966, a competition that was held on English ground, giving them the advantage to grasp their long-awaited trophy.
The 1966 team, captained by legendary Bobby Moore and with other key components such as Jackie Charlton or Geoff Hurst playing regularly, remains the best national squad in the entire English football history, especially since their success has not been equalled ever since.
English football History – Modern Era
England is still a top team in Europe and throughout the World and has some players that are considered having world class quality, but the national team still has moderate success, despite being star-studded.
Recently, the form of English clubs overshadowed the poor performance of the national team, as Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal continue to be heavy contenders for each year’s European Champion’s League, the most prestigious club competition in the World.
Despite being happy with the respect English clubs impose in Europe, fans are still yearning for that long awaited European or World Cup which could mark a new important chapter in the English football history.