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FA conclude celebrations

The final event of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations took place on Thursday.

Last Updated: 19/12/13 at 11:28 Post Comment

FA chairman Greg Dyke was in attendance at Barnes Common

FA chairman Greg Dyke was in attendance at Barnes Common

A century-and-a-half ago, the FA was founded and the first official laws of the game were drafted by a group led by Ebenezer Cobb Morley, who would become the organisation's first secretary.

The first match under those rules was played at Limes Field on 19 December 1863, with Barnes and Richmond drawing 0-0.

To mark the anniversary of this date, current FA chairman Greg Dyke was present at a ceremony at Barnes Common to dedicate the grave of Morley.

"Today is a fitting final act of the FA's 150th anniversary and a magnificent example of how far the game has come," said Dyke.

"Throughout the year we have celebrated the Football Association's rich heritage and looked to the future through the wonderful array of grassroots initiatives the FA and its county FAs help to run week in, week out.

"All year we have been celebrating 150 years of The FA, and of football, but none of this would have been possible without Morley. We all owe him a great debt. What he did to set football on its incredible journey to become the only true global game was a truly remarkable achievement."

The FA launched their 150th anniversary celebrations on 16 January with a special event at the Grand Connaught Rooms, which is the site where the Freemasons' Tavern stood - the venue where Morley and his colleagues formed the organisation.

As part of the year-long celebrations, the FA organised a number of events, including February's England awards, at which Liverpool's Steven Gerrard was named his country's player of the year, a British Army v FA Legends charity fixture at Wembley and the very first football match played on the grounds of Buckingham Palace between Civil Service FC - one of the FA's founding member clubs - and Polytechnic FC, set up in 1875.

"I thought the match at Buckingham Palace was the highlight (of the celebrations) because I thought it was so bizarre that it was wonderful," said Dyke.

"The idea that the Queen would let you use her lawns to replicate one of the early football matches was gratifying.

"Prince William was there to give medals to people from all parts of life. For a lot of people it was really exciting."

In addition, the senior England side played a friendly international against Germany at Wembley, in a repeat of the 1966 World Cup final, which the home side won 4-2 to lift the global trophy for the only time in its history.

It was a bad night for England, though, as Per Mertesacker's headed goal gave Germany a 1-0 win and consigned Roy Hodgson's side to back-to-back Wembley defeats for the first time in 36 years following an earlier 2-0 loss to Chile.

The FA also recently released an official poem to honour its anniversary; Ode to Football written by poet and sportswriter Musa Okwonga.

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