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FA to celebrate 150th birthday

The Football Association is celebrating its 150th anniversary this weekend in central London.

Last Updated: 25/10/13 at 12:38 Post Comment

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A gala dinner will take place on Saturday night at the Grand Connaught Rooms, the site of the Freemasons' Tavern where, 150 years ago, the FA was founded.

The original FA Minute Book from 1863 which laid down the first laws of the game drafted by Ebenezer Morley and his contemporaries will take pride of place.

Leading FA figures, along with famous England players from past and present, will attend while the event will highlight the FA's not-for-profit commitment which sees £100m re-invested into the game.

Guest of honour, FA President HRH the Duke of Cambridge said: "I am a football fan. I have loved the game from a very young age - as a player with my friends, and as a supporter of club and country.

"I consider it a huge honour to lead The FA - it is an organisation which reaches every community, bringing the simplest enjoyment to people of all ages and all abilities.

"Over 150 years, football has become part of the very fabric of our society and I hope the year ahead will allow us to celebrate every aspect of this great game.

"As many of you will know, The FA's work is far reaching.

"It is a diverse not-for-profit organisation, which invests over £100m into the game every year delivering facilities for grassroots football, coaching programmes for boys and girls, and development programmes for those with disabilities.

"It is a regulator of the game at all levels, ensuring that football is played in a safe, fun and welcoming environment for everyone - whatever their background.

"Our flagship facilities at St. George's Park and Wembley Stadium are the inspirational homes of 24 England teams and world leading coach education facilities.

"My hope is that our 150th year really shines a light on all of this great work."

Former FA chairman David Bernstein said: "Our 150th year is a major opportunity for us to showcase our work to the whole country and the wider world.

"From humble beginnings to today's global spectacle, we can be proud of this country's contribution to football.

"It is incredible to think how the game has developed from that very first meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern in October 1863.

"Those founding fathers had real foresight to bring order and organisation to the game.

"Still, despite their sporting values and vision, no one could have foreseen what football would come to mean for the nation."

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