Football rules pioneer gains blue plaque tribute

A blue plaque has been unveiled in Sheffield to commemorate a "founding father" of football's rules.

Sir Nathaniel Creswick co-wrote the so-called Sheffield Rules at 9 East Parade in 1858.

They went on to influence the Football Association (FA), says Sheffield Home of Football, which organised the plaque.

The group described the location as "the birthplace" of the modern sport adored around the world.

Sheffield Home of Football wants to highlight the city's contribution to the development of the sport and describes Sir Nathaniel as a football "founding father".

Group trustee Steve Wood said 9 East Parade was "probably the world's most important surviving building related to the development of association football".

It was used to organise the first matches of what is now association football, he said, as well as hosting the earliest conversations about the game's first written rules.

"These Sheffield Rules went on to influence the fledgling FA and its own rules in late 1863 and continued that influence up to 1877 when the two codes became amalgamated into the game we play today," he said.

"It is the birthplace of our modern, organised game."

The earliest account of 9 East Parade being used to organise football was from a letter written on 9 October 1858, Mr Wood said.

Sir Nathaniel's great-great nephew, Col Geoffrey Norton, unveiled the plaque at a ceremony on Saturday.

Other football firsts for Sheffield include being home to the world's oldest football club, Sheffield FC, which Sir Nathaniel co-founded.

The city is also home to Sandygate, home of Hallam FC, which is widely recognised as the oldest football ground in the world.

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