People living on the territory of modern United Kingdom have been playing football for many centuries. The earliest records of a football match date back to 1175. There were very few rules in the game back then. Mostly, boys played football on the streets, which made the game very dangerous for the players, people around them, and the surrounding property, which is why football has been declared illegal in England several times during its history.
The first football club in the world appeared in England during the nineteenth century. Their founders were part of public schools, cricket clubs, and universities. Historians believe that by 1860, there were more than 50 football clubs all over England.
The first-ever football-only club in history that was not linked to a university, public school or a cricket club was founded in Sheffield. It was founded in 1857. The members of the Sheffield Club created their own set of rules and by 1860, played with another local team, called Hallam. Their rules of the game became known as the Sheffield Rules. Accrington Stanley Football Club has existed since 1891 when the original team was formed.
One of the problems in football in the nineteenth century was that different clubs and areas of the country had different rules for the game. Because of this, teams had issues when playing with one another. This issue led to several London-based football clubs meeting in 1863 and writing down a set of rules. This was the beginning of the Football Association. The goal of the association was to govern the rules of the game all over the country.
The governance did not happen overnight. For about a decade, the rules of the Football Association existed alongside the Sheffield Rules. However, as more and more clubs were joining the association, its rules were becoming more and more popular.