Let’s frame rules for one universal game

October 6, 1863
“Etonensis” complains that the game of football as played at Eton differs essentially in most respects from that played at Westminster, Rugby, Harrow, and most of the London clubs. This difference prevents matches being made or played between either school or club; and, furthermore, prevents a player from gaining the credit of playing well anywhere but among his own associates.

For instance, an Etonian who attempts to play at the Rugby game finds himself quite unable to touch the ball at all, and so vice versa. The Etonians have now for two years played against the Westminsters in Vincent-square; the game is a kind of compromise between the two; the display is therefore below mediocrity – neither of the sides can practice any of their favourite “dodges” without infringing the rules of the other, and an advantage gained by one side is not lawful by the rules of the opposite party.

“Etonesis” contends that these annoyances might be prevented by the framing of set rules for the game of football to be played everywhere. Say, let the captains of the football elevens at Eton, Westminster, and Rugby, and the presidents of one or two London clubs meet, with members of either University, and frame rules for one universal game.
(Source: London Daily News: October 6, 1863)

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