Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fact about Ebenezer Cobb Morley

Ebenezer Cobb Morley (16 August 1831 – 20 November 1924) was an English sportsman and is regarded as the father of the Football Association and modern football.

Morley was born at 10 Garden Square, Princess Street in Hull  and lived in the city until he was 22. He moved to Barnes in 1858 forming the Barnes Club, a founding member of the FA, in 1862.In 1863, as captain of the Mortlake-based club, he wrote to Bell's Life newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport. This led to the first meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern, that created the FA.

He was the FA's first secretary (1863–1866) and its second president (1867–1874) and drafted the first Laws of the Game at his home in Barnes. This house, No 26 The Terrace, which had carried a blue plaque to Morley, collapsed "like a tower of cards" in November 2015 during building work.

As a player, he played in the first ever match under FA rules, against Richmond in 1863, and scored in the first representative match, between the clubs of London and Sheffield on 31 March 1866.

A solicitor by profession, Morley was a keen oarsman, founding the Barnes and Mortlake Regatta for which he was also secretary (1862–1880). He served on Surrey County Council for Barnes (1903–1919) and was a Justice of the Peace. Morley is buried in Barnes Cemetery, a now abandoned graveyard on Barnes Common, Barnes. He had no children.

Morley was the subject of a Google Doodle on 16 August 2018, the 187th anniversary of his birth.

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