FINDING FOOTBALL'S FOUNDING FATHERS

The Football Association today (Tuesday) kicked off a nationwide search to find living descendants of the founding fathers of football.

The FA is calling upon upon the public to come forward with information on the eight men that established the world's most popular sport 150 years ago.

It is a search that the England squad is helping with, and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is hopeful of success.

'Football has taken me around the world with Chelsea and England and it is fantastic that the passion and love for the game is the same wherever you go.

'Everyone who loves football owes a thank you to the men who compiled the first laws. It would be so special, particularly in the FA's 150th year, if we are able to locate living descendants of the founding fathers.'

Hailing from across the country, surprisingly little is known about these trail-blazers who gathered together on 26 October 1863 in the Freemasons' Tavern, London to draft the 13 original laws of association football.

The Founding Fathers of football are:

1. Ebenezer Cobb Morley (1831-1924)

2. Arthur Pember (1835-1886)

3. Charles William Alcock (1842-1907)

4. Francis Maule Campbell (1843-1920)

5. John Forster Alcock (1841-1910)

6. Herbert Thomas Steward (1839-1915)

7. George Twizell Wawn (1840-1914)

8. James Turner

Living descendants that can be identified and located will be sent an invitation to a special ceremony at Wembley Stadium in October, where their ancestors will be honoured.

Jane Clayton, cultural historian from the International Football Institute, University of Central Lancashire who is leading the search said: 'This is an important historical search. We know so much about people who were pioneers in their chosen fields but surprisingly, little is known about the individuals responsible for gifting us the most popular sport in the world.

'We are confident that by October, through genealogical research and the public's help, we can trace some of the living descendants of the founding fathers of football.'

England manager Roy Hodgson added: 'We should all recognise not only the sporting contribution that these men have made but the impact that football has had in this country and around the world. Football is part of the fabric of our society and without the vision of these eight men 150 years ago, it may not have come to exist. It is only right that we honour the founding fathers of this nation's favourite game.'