Brighton & Hove District Schools FA

Football Education and Development

BHDSFA History

A brief history of Schools’ Football...

Schools’ football in England had its beginnings in the latter part of the 1900’s. With the great idea of education for all brought about by the social reformers of the 20th century, the realisation that exercise was good for health soon followed. There was no provision for games in the 1870 Education Act so any physical activities were introduced voluntarily by teachers outside of school hours.

Football was being played in schools from the early 1880’s with the first cup competitions starting around 1885. There were a number of competitions starting about this time in Liverpool, Birmingham, Brierley Hill, Preston, Shadwell and South London. With the teachers in South London and Aston organising themselves into Schools’ FAs, schools’ football was beginning to get organised.

There are numerous claims to have been the first to organise an inter district schools’ match but most point to the game between Tower Hamlets and South London in December 1888 for the honour. Sheffield and Manchester were soon to follow and from then on the numbers throughout the country began to increase.

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