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Only known photograph of E. C. Morley

Ebenezer Cobb Morley (1831 – 1924) was an English sportsman and is regarded as the father of The Football Association and modern Football.

Morley was born in Hull[1] but moved to Barnes in 1858[1] forming the Barnes Club, a founding member of the FA, in 1862.[1] In 1863, as captain of the Mortlake-based club, he wrote to Bell's Life newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport, that led to the first meeting at the Freemasons' Tavern, that created the FA.[1]

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. As a player, he played in the first ever match, 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.


  1. ^ a b c d Butler, Bryon (January 2009). "Morley, Ebenezer Cobb (1831–1924)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 9 August 2009.  (subscription required)


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