Quill and Quire

Book news

« Back to
Quillblog

Original soccer tell-all to hit shelves

Last autumn, Melvyn Bragg, Lord of Wigton (his name makes us titter), presided over the British television series 12 Books That Changed The World, giving shout-outs to Blighty faves like the Magna Carta, the King James Bible, and Shakespeare’s First Folio.

But pish-posh to those dusty tomes — Brits (and many others) only care about getting their hands on world-changer The First Rule Book of the Football Association, and, according to an article in today’s Guardian, now they can.

Oxford University’s Bodleian Library is publishing in full the original 1863 manuscript “Rules of Association Football.” It covers, says the Guardian, “everything from the length of a regulation football pitch and the definition of a free kick, to the disgrace of wearing football boots with projecting nails which could injure another player.”

These rules were key in defining soccer — er, football — as we know it, and this is the first time the manuscript will be published in full. While a must-read for soccer freaks, layfolk can enjoy the Victorian illustrations, which include lots of bewhiskered and mustachioed men in pointy caps. Goal!

Related links:
Head on over to the Guardian article here