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Who Invented Football?

On November 12, 1892, the nation of America witnessed its first football game. The Pittsburgh Athletic Association and the Allegheny Athletic Association played in the match. William (Pudge) Heffelfinger was the football star of the day and received $500 for participating in the match, making him the first professional football player.
a picture of the balance sheet from the first professional football payment

However, it should be remembered that ball-kicking and ball-throwing games date all the way back to the ancient Greek and Roman eras. Animal skins were used in activities played by the Native Americans that involved kicking and throwing them. Football games have long been depicted in records and paintings from China and Japan.
A painting by Yuan dynasty artist Qian Xuan (1235–1305) showing Emperor Taizu of Song playing cuju (Chinese football) with his prime minister Zhao Pu and other ministries

But if you’re wondering when the game as we know it began to be codified, the earliest indication of football-like games being played at English public schools dates to around 1519. One of the oldest references to modern football is found in William Horton’s now-famous Latin textbook The Vulgaria, which was published that year. The phrase that reads, “We wyll playe with a ball full of wynde” is one of the most well-known Latin passages ever written. “There muste be a measure in gyuynge of remedies or sportynge to chyldren, lest they be wery of goynge to theyr boke if they haue none, or waxe slacke if they haue to many,” he said, praising the usefulness of sports in enabling kids find an outlet for their energy as a respite from their studies.

If you want to travel a bit further back in time, William FitzStephen, who lived from approximately 1174 to 1183, provided the earliest in-depth account of football in England. During the annual Shrove Tuesday festival, he detailed the actions of young people in London:

All of the city’s youth head out to the fields after lunch to play a game of baseball. Every student at every school is carrying their own ball, and every city worker is doing the same. You can feel their inner passions awakened as they watch the activity and become engrossed in the pleasure being had by the carefree adolescents as they arrive on horseback to watch their juniors compete and to relive their own youth. Older citizens, fathers, and wealthy citizens also attend.

Therefore, one must organize all of this facts and come to a choice in order to respond to the question of when football began.

The game of football as we know it has its start in England’s public schools about 1519. At this time, the laws that are recognizable to us today were developed.

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