Ebenezer Cobb Morley

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Ebenezer Cobb Morley
Born (1831-08-16)16 August 1831
Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died 20 November 1924(1924-11-20) (aged 93)
Resting place Barnes, England
Nationality British
Occupation Solicitor
Spouse(s) Frances Bidgood
Parent(s) Ebenezer Morley and Hannah Maria[1]

Ebenezer Cobb Morley (16 August 1831 – 20 November 1924) was an English sportsman and is regarded as the father of the Football Association and modern football.

Morley was born at 10 Garden Square, Princess Street[2] in Hull[3] and lived in the city until he was 22.[2] He moved to Barnes in 1858[3] forming the Barnes Club, a founding member of the FA, in 1862.[3] 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.[3]

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. Morley is buried[4] in Barnes Cemetery, a now abandoned graveyard on Barnes Common, Barnes. He had no children.[4]

The grave of Ebenezer Cobb Morley in Barnes Cemetery, with a wreath commemorating 150 years of the FA.


  1. ^ "Findings on Ebenezer Cobb Morley (1831-1924)". The FA. 
  2. ^ a b "Memorial to FA founder Ebenezer Cobb Morley". Hull Daily Mail. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ a b Rudd, Alyson (7 April 2008). "The father of football deserves much more". London: Times Online. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
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