Join the FA's search for founding fathers

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

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

Now 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.

Hammers legend and FA Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking is getting involved with the search.

He said: "We are very proud to have the original FA Minute Book on show at Wembley. It is important that we take time in our 150th year to honour the achievements of the past and those individuals that have played a major part in making The Football Association what it is today.

"The work the Founding Fathers of football did in 1863 when they came together to lay down the first laws of the game was crucial in setting the game as we know it today on its fantastic journey around the world.

"A century and a half on from that very first FA meeting, it is also vital we continue to focus on what makes the game great in this country; the grassroots. We must help as many people as possible to enjoy the game and for youngsters in particular to get the coaching and encouragement they need."

The Founding Fathers of football are:

Ebenezer Cobb Morley (1831-1924), Arthur Pember (1835-1886), Charles William Alcock (1842-1907), Francis Maule Campbell (1843-1920), John Forster Alcock (1841-1910), Herbert Thomas Steward (1839-1915), George Twizell Wawn (1840-1914) and James Turner

Any 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 is leading the search.

She added: "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 have initiated the historical search and whilst information is limited, we have a good base upon which to work so we are confident that through genealogical research and the public's help, we can trace some of the living descendants of the founding fathers of football."