See It

Football's Original Rule Book

Fans, refs and John Terry can now refresh their knowledge of the rules with this artefact at the new National Football Museum. 

Somewhere in an expensively lit case at Manchester’s snazzy new National Football Museum, which opens this month, is a small leather-bound book that could arguably be the most important item in the building.

The 1863 Minute Book details the first laws of the game, transcribed from the six (possibly not entirely sober) meetings of the newly formed Football Association that took place in October of that year at the Freemasons’ Tavern in London’s Covent Garden.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The rules have changed a bit in the intervening 149 years — there were only 13 of them then, neither referees nor goalkeepers had yet been invented, and the only provision for safety was that players should not have “projecting nails” attached to their boots.

This will be a rare viewing of a footballing artefact that is usually buried away in the FA’s vaults — alongside Nobby Stiles’ original teeth, a vial of Paul Gascoigne’s tears and the last-known strand of Ray Wilkins’ hair — and will be on show for four months after the museum opens.

The National Football Museum, Manchester, opens on 6 July nationalfootballmuseum.com

What do you think?

Lil Wayne
Culture
Share
Lil' Wayne Officiated A Same-Sex Wedding While In Prison
​​As you do ​
Sam Allardyce
Culture
Share
Sam Allardyce Embarrasses The FA And Himself After Being Caught In Newspaper Sting
Why, Sam? Why?​​
Matt LeBlanc in Top Gear
TV
Share
Matt LeBlanc Signs Up For Another Two Series Of Top Gear
How you doin'? Pretty good actually​
Film
Share
Now Liev Schreiber And Naomi Watts Have Split Up
Tough times in Hollywood​
Film
Share
Turns Out Lupita Nyong'o Is A Pretty Awesome Rapper
​​The Oscar-winning actress heralds her latest social media milestone​
Tom Hanks wedding photo bomb
Film
Share
Tom Hanks Photobombs A Couple's Wedding Photographs, Because Of Course He Did
Life is like a box of chocolates after all​
Culture
Share
Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt Reportedly Have An 'Ironclad' Prenup
​Here's how they'll split $500 Million
Film
Share
Michael Bay Defends Covering Churchill's Birthplace In Nazi Flags. Says He Would "Smile" About It
Michael Bay is almost certainly wrong​
Culture
Share
Arnold Palmer: What I've Learned
​The then 82-year-old golfer on how staying with the classic styles helped him dress well his whole life​
In order to hide his Polio from the public, Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in New York via a secret extension of Grand Central Terminal underneath the Waldorf Astoria hotel. His abandoned train car—which is still there today—transported the president and his limousine directly up into the hotel's garage so he could come and go unnoticed.
Culture
Share
17 Photos Of The Most Eerie Abandoned Sites In The World
And in some cases, actually haunted