Says Violation of Soccer Rules One Hundred Years Ago Led to Origin of English Rugby and American Football

"This year is the centenary of the founding of Rugby football from which American football originated," said General Sir Percy Sykes, famous Persian traveller, who has always been interested in the game since his undergraduate days and whose family has been actively interested in the sport during the entire century. He did not fail to see the University-Yale encounter last Saturday. He continued:

"The originator of the sport was a Rugby School boy named William Webb Ellis, who one day a century ago on the football (soccer) field of the famous grade school in England, violated the rules of the game (similar to modern soccer) by picking up the ball and running with it. Here the idea of Rugby, the origin of the popular American game, was conceived.

"In honor of the centenary of Rugby football, the English and Welsh team recently met the Scotch and Irish team at the famous Rugby field. After a hard, dramatic game, the English-Welsh team won.

"In the wall of this field there has been placed a tablet in honor of William Webb Ellis."

William Sykes, father of Sir Percy Sykes, was on the committee that drew up the first Rugby football rules in 1846. General Sykes still possesses the printed copy of these rules.

Recommended Articles