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By Emma Thom on

Here’s to 150 years of the Football Association

As the Football Association pays tribute to its founding fathers this week, we take a look at football photojournalism in our collection.

This Saturday is the 150th anniversary of the Football Association, which first met on the morning of 26th October 1863 at the Freemasons’ Tavern in Great Queen Street, London, and later created the first Laws of the Game.

While the history of football in England dates back to the 8th century, the Football Association’s formation followed other 19th century efforts to standardise the variety of football played in public schools around the country.

Arsenal FC in training, 1934 © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL A photograph of England and Arsenal Captain Eddie Hapgood (1908 - 1973) and his son as the Arsenal mascot, at Highbury, London.
Arsenal FC in training, 1934 © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection.
A photograph of England and Arsenal Captain Eddie Hapgood (1908–1973) and his son as the Arsenal mascot, at Highbury, London.

Whether you’re a fan of the sport or not, it’s a real treat to see these mid-20th century photographs of ‘the beautiful game’ taken from the Daily Herald Archive in our collection.

So here’s to the sport, the business, and the passion of football…

A shot heads for the camera, Manchester United vs Sheffield Wednesday, 1949, Bert Abell © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
A shot heads for the camera, Manchester United vs Sheffield Wednesday, 1949, Bert Abell © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Arsenal footballers Ted Drake and Alex James, 1936, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Arsenal footballers Ted Drake and Alex James, 1936, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Shrovetide football at Ashbourne, 1952, Bert Abell © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Shrovetide football at Ashbourne, 1952, Bert Abell © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Fulham footballers clear snow from their pitch before Cup tie with Bury, 1939, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Fulham footballers clear snow from their pitch before Cup tie with Bury, 1939, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Arsenal pay £9000 for player George Drury, 1938, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL A photograph of Arsenal Football Club Manager, George Allison and centre half, Herbie Roberts, greeting George Drury at his arrival at Arsenal's ground Highbury. Drury was signed from Sheffield Wednesday for £9000.
Arsenal pay £9000 for player George Drury, 1938, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection.
A photograph of Arsenal Football Club Manager George Allison and centre half Herbie Roberts greeting George Drury at his arrival at Arsenal’s ground Highbury. Drury was signed from Sheffield Wednesday for £9000.
Greenwich versus Walthamstow at Wembley, 1934, James Jarché © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Greenwich versus Walthamstow at Wembley, 1934, James Jarché © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Queens Park Rangers footballers doing physical training, 1939, George W Roper © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Queens Park Rangers footballers doing physical training, 1939, George W Roper © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Manchester City goalkeeper Frank Swift makes a save against Arsenal, 1934, George Woodbine © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Manchester City goalkeeper Frank Swift makes a save against Arsenal, 1934, George Woodbine © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Everton footballers in the bath after training, 1938, George W Roper © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Everton footballers in the bath after training, 1938, George W Roper © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Liverpool are League Champions, 1964, Ralph, National Media Museum, Bradford © Daily Herald / People
Liverpool are League Champions, 1964, Ralph, Science Museum Group collection © Daily Herald / People
Skillful footwork at after-school football training, 1957, National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL © Daily Herald / Fox Photos
Skillful footwork at after-school football training, 1957, Science Museum Group collection © Daily Herald / Fox Photos
Arsenal vs Aston Villa, 1934, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Arsenal vs Aston Villa, 1934, Harold Tomlin © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
The crowd at Arsenal vs Sheffield Wednesday, 1933, George Woodbine © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
The crowd at Arsenal vs Sheffield Wednesday, 1933, George Woodbine © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Police book Sunday football teams, 1962, Clements © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL Dore Juniors and Sheffield Rovers had held a 'disorganised' football game in the hope of beating the Corporation bylaw forbidding organised sport on Sundays.
Police book Sunday football teams, 1962, Clements © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection.
Dore Juniors and Sheffield Rovers had held a ‘disorganised’ football game in the hope of beating the Corporation bylaw forbidding organised sport on Sundays.
Jackie Charlton sits waiting for play to start again..., 1966, National Media Museum, Bradford © Daily Herald / BIPPA
Jackie Charlton sits waiting for play to start again…, 1966, Science Museum Group collection © Daily Herald / BIPPA
Matt Busby plays for Manchester City Football Club, 1932, White © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Matt Busby plays for Manchester City Football Club, 1932, White © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection
Young fans at Birmingham City vs Aston Villa football match, 1962, Terry Fincher © Daily Herald / National Media Museum, Bradford / SSPL
Young fans at Birmingham City vs Aston Villa football match, 1962, Terry Fincher © Daily Herald / Science Museum Group collection

The Science and Society Picture Library are also marking 150 years of The Football Association this week—take a look at their football-themed selection from our friends across the Science Museum Group and other UK archives.

3 comments on “Here’s to 150 years of the Football Association

  1. hi emma, i produce internal imagery at old trafford, and am trying to locate an image of uniteds 1952 league winners preferably with matt busby in. have you any in your archives

  2. The image titled Manchester United vs Sheffield Wednesday is actually the 1949 FA cup semi final between Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

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