Illustration of Old Etonians vs. Blackburn Rovers Football Match

Illustration of Old Etonians vs. Blackburn Rovers Football Match

license: public domain
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: S. T. Dadd

A black and white sketch shows about a dozen men playing football. In the center of the image, one man tackles another with his shoulder. A ball hangs in the air in the upper right portion of the drawing, with most of the men looking up at it.


Illustration: c. 1871


This illustration provides a snapshot of the development of football in England. It is cited as an early depiction association football, the rules for which were established in 1863 – eight years prior to the suggested date for this image. However, the use of tackling and the oblong ball in the image suggest this game aligned more closely with rugby football, or at least that the teams pictured had not yet completely adhered to the Football Association rules.

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History of Soccer | History of Rugby Football | History of Football (American) | History of Ball Sports


Guttmann, A. (2007). Sports: The first five millennia. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

Marples, M. (1954). A history of football. London: Secker & Warburg.