Ebenezer Cobb Morley, one of the founding members of the Football Association, was born on August 16, 1861. Morley is often regarded as the father of modern football. On his 187th birthday, Google paid tribute to the man with a doodle. Morley was born in Hull and had shifted to London in 1858. Though he was a lawyer by profession, he had a passion for sports and often rowed on the Thames.
His love for rowing led to the creation of the Barnes and Mortlake Regatta in 1862. He had also participated at the Grand Challenge Cup in 1864. Morley however, is best remembered for his contributions to football, which was before him, a messy affair.
According to reports, football at the time had no organised competitions and had several variations which made it hard to take part in matches. Morley realised the need to create a standardised set of rules, much like cricket had the Marylebone Cricket Club. Thus the FA was born and eventually in 1863, the FA released a pamphlet titled Laws of the Game. Though the original draft had 23 rules, the final version of it consisted of 13.
The pamphlet covered a number of aspects of football. According to Time, it set in stone the length and breadth of the field, the number of players for each side, the types of fouls that can lead to penalties, the offside rule, and others. One of the rules even prevented players from wearing iron plates and nails on the soles or heels of their boots.
Many of the rules were since changed but Morley’s idea of standardising them helped football become popular across the planet. Morley died in November 20, 1924.