History of Football in the UK

With thrilling, exciting, and heart-stopping actions that football has, it is not surprising why the world go crazy over this sport. And, when it comes to the solid support, football fanatics in the UK give more life to each game.

But, how does football started in the UK? If you are into football, you will love to hear how.


Did you know that Britain was considered to be the core of the development of modern sports between the 18th and 19th century? This is where the global spread of sports, like basketball and cricket, had started. Also, it is among the essential part of cultural legacies in the British Empire.

The first football match ever

The modern-day football game has originated in England where Football Associated became the first organization of the game. It was founded in 1863 in England. The very first football match was between England and Scotland, and then, the oldest rivalry in England and happened around 1872 in Glasgow.

During that time, the English fans of football can follow the three national divisions as well as the premiership. This celebrated premiership includes football clubs like Liverpool FC, Arsenal, and Manchester.

Scotland is composed of three national divisions and premiership featuring the Rangers and Celtic cubs of Glasgow. Northern Ireland and Wales also have their national teams. Both English and Scottish football national teams have a regular appearance in the international competitions. Then, in 1996, England became the host and won the World Cup. It is known to be the third host country to win the football championship.


When it comes to the countries that belong to the United Kingdom, there is a national football association for each that will handle the overall football management in the respective nation.

  • The Football Association (FA) – responsible for England and was founded in 1863
  • The Scottish Football Association (SFA) – responsible for Scotland and was founded in 1973
  • The Football Association of Wales – responsible for Wales and was founded in 1876
  • The Irish Football Association (IFA) – responsible for Northern England and was founded in 1880
UK Football Associations

The four football associations are considered to be the oldest national football association in the world. They have a vital part in the football worldwide because they have the 4 out of 8 seats in the International Football Association Board (FAB).


In the United Kingdom, there are several club cup competitions which are organised on a Scottish, English, Northern Irish, and Welsh basis. Qualification for the UEFA Europa Leagues was established for the winner.

Traditionally, the cup competitions are the most liberal when it comes whom they will accept where there are plenty of teams outside the nation that aims to enter.

Furthermore, other cup competitions have a stricter requirement, but they are less prestigious. This includes:

  • England – Football League Cup
  • Scotland – Scottish League Cup
  • Wales – Welsh Premier League Cup
  • Northern Ireland – Irish League

With the above information, there is no doubt why the current football cups are well loved by everyone because everything has started from a great passion for Sports. Thus, more amazing football events are supported even from the very start.