Mob Football, a part of the History of Football in England
when the English Football Association has established yet the history of this popular game stretch back centuries.
The rules of mob football were not defined. The game was extremely violent and it was often played between villages at the time of celebration.
A common way of playing was when two teams of villagers tried to force the ball into the village square.
Teams could have any number of players, and often there were many more players on one team than the other.
There are records of severe injuries and even fatal incidents that occurred during mob football matches.
Mob football was so popular that even Shakespeare mentioned it in his Comedy of Errors (Act II Scene 1):
That like a football you do spume me thus?
You spume me hence, and he will spume me hither,
If in this last service, you must case me in leather”
King Edward II was one of the first to issue a proclamation that despised this violent entertainment.
On April 13 1314, he announced: “For as much as there is a great noise in the city caused by hustling over large balls, of the King.
On June 12, 1349, King Edward III banned mob football because it distracted the public from practicing archery, which was essential for the war. Although the game was persistently forbidden for hundreds of years, it was never entirely suppressed.
There are several theories as to how mob football came about. One theory says that the game is Anglo-Saxon in origin.
A local legend, from both Kingston-on-Thames and Chester, tells that the game was played there for the first time with the severed head of a Danish Viking.
Anyway, this is an important part of the history of football in England and an important step towards the game that so many love.