An emblematic figure in football history, Ebenezer Cobb Morley is not a well-known name. Yet this English lawyer revolutionised the game of football.
If you hear the name Ebenezer Cobb Morley, few people would know who this is. And yet, he is one of the creators of the game of football as we know it today and his impact on the sport is still felt by all football lovers today.
Establishing the rules
Before joining the world of football, Cobb Morley was an English lawyer, but also a huge sports supporter. Born in 1831, he was part of the era where sports clubs were beginning to appear throughout the UK.
During this period, football clubs each had their own respective rules. Often founded by churches or villages, it was difficult to figure out the rules of the game. Thus in 1863, the lawyer and some other sports lovers decided to create the 13 basic rules of football: The Laws of the Game.
From this moment on, everyone began to play by the same rules, with no tackles above the knee, and by respecting the offside rule. Of course, this rule had nothing to do with that of today’s.
2nd President of the FA
With the rules established, Ebenezer Cobb Morley was able to take on a larger role and entered the Football Association. He created a system of contact between clubs and promoted the creation of competitions (the FA Cup for example).
From then on, football became a sport in its own right, clearly distinguishing itself from its cousin, rugby. Those who did not want to adopt this new system created the Rugby Football Union, the first federation for this sport.
From 1867 to 1874, Cobb Morley was president of the FA. He was the second president in the history of the federation. He died on November 20, 1924, at the age of 94 and left behind the legacy of advancing the sport of football. Football is what it is today thanks to this man, the creator of the rules of the most played sport in the world.