Ebenezer Cobb Morley

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Ebenezer Cobb Morley (born August 16, 1831 in Kingston upon Hull , † November 20, 1924 in London - Barnes ) was a British athlete and founder of the English football association Football Association . He is celebrated among sports enthusiasts as the "father of modern football ".

Life and family

Morley was born in Kingston upon Hull and lived there until he was 22 years old. He was married to Frances Bidgood and had no children. Morley was buried in the now-abandoned Barnes Cemetery.

Professions and club activities

Morley moved to Barnes in 1858, where, according to various sources, he founded the Barnes Club in 1862 , now a rugby club. His proposals to set up an umbrella organization for the sport led to various assemblies, in the course of which in 1863 the Football Association was founded. Morley wanted to introduce binding standards and a general set of rules. The main reason was that different clubs from different regions and provinces played according to no less different, "homemade" rules. When rival football clubs then let their players compete, this often degenerated into wild brawls because each team insisted on their rules. Although the brawls attracted numerous gawkers and other brawlers, the games, on the other hand, were ruined. And not infrequently they went goalless. This should be remedied by universal rules and dress codes across the country. Morley sent first drafts to the popular weekly magazine Bell's Life in London, and Sporting Chronicle . Together with eleven other club presidents from other British football clubs, he founded the Football Association in 1863. From 1863 to 1866 he was the first secretary of the association, from 1866 to 1874 he was the association's president. As a player, he was involved in the first ever football game against Richmond to be played according to modern rules in 1863 and scored a goal in the first representative game played between the clubs of London and Sheffield FC .

Morley was a full-time solicitor ( lawyer ) and avid rower , which is why he founded the regattas of Barnes and Mortlake. He sat for Barnes on the Surrey County Council and served as Justice of the Peace . In Great Britain, Morley has a similar position within football as William Webb Ellis has within rugby.


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


  • Malcolm Walker: The Birth of Football . BookBaby, Cork 2017, ISBN 148359565X .
  • Doug Lennox: Now You Know Soccer (= Now You Know Series, Volume 14). Dundurn, Toronto (Ontario) 2009, ISBN 9781770704077 .

Web links

Commons : Ebenezer Cobb Morley  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Ebenezer Cobb Morley , Barnes History. Retrieved August 16, 2018. 
  2. ^ Bryon Butler: Morley, Ebenezer Cobb (1831-1924) . In: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . Oxford University Press. January 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  3. Ebenezer Cobb Morley: Animated Google Doodle for the 187th birthday of the 'father of modern football' . In: GoogleWatchBlog . August 16, 2018 ( googlewatchblog.de [accessed on August 16, 2018]).