Following three days of researching the capital, I circle today’s date in my diary: 28 February 1872: Meeting Robert Smith at six o’clock; Football Association AGM.
Tonight is especially cold, as I meander my way through the City of Westminster to the Arundel Hotel, located at the South end of Arundel Street, Strand. Robert Smith arrives and we proceed into the hotel for a pre-meeting drink.
“How many people attend this?”, I ask.
“Last year more than sixteen teams sent representatives.”, Robert replied.
“I hear there is a fracas between Sheffield and London?”
“Yes. There have been two matches in the last three months. At Sheffield they played using Sheffield Association rules and the return match in London, using London Association Rules, much to the disgust of the Sheffield team. Alcock wrote to the papers about it and they have the final match next Tuesday.”
“Have they come up with a solution?”
“Yes, one half will be played using Sheffield Rules and the other half using London Rules.”
“Oh, it is. At half time they will have to change the height of the crossbar from nine feet to eight feet”.
We both started laughing.
“Gentlemen, please make your way to the meeting room”, announced Charles Alcock from behind us.
“This will be fascinating, Robert.”, I said smiling.
———————————- © Graeme Brown 2019 ————————————-