Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Remembering a Forgotten Legacy to Our National Game; Honour for Man Who Had Idea for the FA Cup

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Remembering a Forgotten Legacy to Our National Game; Honour for Man Who Had Idea for the FA Cup

Article excerpt

Byline: Alastair Craig

THE name Charles William Alcock may not be as famous as Pel, Moore, Charlton, Cruyff and Maradona.

But his forgotten legacy to English and international football is as significant as that of any guardian of the beautiful game.

Now Sunderland, the city of Alcock's birth in 1842, is preparing to honour one of its most influential sons and raise public awareness of his life and achievements.

A founding father of modern football, he pioneered the first ever international match, England v Scotland in 1870, and established the FA Cup.

He was also a top player in his day and England's first international captain.

In recognition of his great work, Sunderland will unveil a blue plaque tomorrow to the sporting pioneer at his birthplace at 10 Norfolk Street.

The ceremony will take place with a host of dignitaries in attendance.

And by a fitting coincidence, the plaque's unveiling falls just days ahead of the 168th anniversary of Alcock's birthday on December 2 - when FIFA will decide if England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup has been successful.

On 20 July 1871, Alcock, in his position as FA Secretary, proposed: "It is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association, for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete".

Thus, the FA Cup was born - the world's first national football tournament - based on Alcock's experience of inter-house "sudden death" competition at his public school, Harrow.

And he played a major part in the competition he invented, captaining the Wanderers side that won the cup, beating Royal Engineers 1-0. Among those who have already lent their support to the campaign to honour Alcock are Sunderland AFC and Sunderland City Council.

Paul Watson, the council's leader, said: "Charles Alcock was a great man and son of Sunderland whose legacy has left an enduring mark on our sporting and indeed social history. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.