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1860s in association football

The following the major events in association football (and Sheffield rules football) during the 1860s. All events occurred in England unless specified otherwise.


  • 1860 — Lausanne Football and Cricket Club is founded, the oldest club in continental Europe to later play Association football. Other clubs founded in 1860 include Cray Wanderers, Hallam F.C. (local rivals of Sheffield F.C.), Wanderers F.C. (future FA Cup winners) and TSV 1860 München (although they would not play football until 1899).
  • 26 December 1860 — The first match between Sheffield F.C. and Hallam F.C., the oldest derby in football, takes place at Sandygate Road.
  • 1862 — An assistant teacher of Uppingham School, John Charles Thring, published a code of rules "The Simplest Game".
  • 1862 — The latest version of the Sheffield Rules include references to half-time and crossbars.
  • 1862 — The formation of Notts County, later regarded the oldest professional club to play Association football.
  • 1863, 26 October — The Football Association was founded at Freemasons' Tavern, in Great Queen Street in London. The Freemasons' Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which eventually produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, who was the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club and Richmond FC from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting, the first which allowed for the running with the ball in hand and the second, obstructing such a run by hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins), tripping and holding. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA but instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under the charge of Ebenezer Cobb Morley, went on to ratify the original fourteen rules of the game. Despite this, the Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s.
  • 1866, 22 February — Sheffield FC play first match out of town, travelling to play against Nottingham Forest F.C., playing under Nottingham Rules.
  • 1866, 22 February — The FA adopts its second version of the Laws of the Game.
  • 1866, 31 March — The London v Sheffield match is played, under FA rules, in Battersea Park, London.
  • 1867, 12 February — 5 March — Final of the Youdan Cup is played at Bramall Lane, the world's first ever organized tournament in any code of football. Twelve Sheffield clubs, using the Sheffield Rules, took part: Broomhall, Fir Vale, Garrick, Hallam F.C. (the winners), Heeley, Mackenzie, Mechanics, Milton, Norfolk, Norton, Pitsmoor and Wellington. British railway workers play Argentina's first recorded football match.
  • March 1867 — Sheffield Football Association is formed with all the team that competed in the Youdan Cup being joined by Sheffield F.C. to becoming founder members.
  • 1868 — The corner kick is devised for use in the Sheffield Rules replacing rouges (touchdowns). The corner kick was adopted by the FA in 1872.
  • 1868, February — The second oldest football tournament in the world, the Cromwell Cup, also played under the Sheffield Rules, by four clubs: Sheffield Wednesday F.C. (the winners), Exchange, Garrick and Wellington.