Charles W Alcock – The Father of Modern Sports

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The sporting all-rounder who was the reckoning force behind the development of football and cricket

He was the founder of FA Cup and Test Cricket

Alcock was one of the organizers of early international football games

As a schoolboy Charles W Alcock had a very keen interest in football. He formed the Forest Club with his elder brother in 1859 at the age of 17. In 1863, he was the prime force in the formation of Wanderers F.C, the successor of Forest Club. It was considered as the Marylebone Cricket  Club (MCC) of football. He also captained England against Scotland. 

Alcock was one of the organizers of early international football games. On 20 July 1871, as the secretary of the Football Association (FA), Alcock announced the introduction of the Football Association Challenge Cup. It was the first knockout competition of its type in the world. Only 15 clubs took part in the first staging of the tournament. It was the world’s first-ever national competition between football clubs. He was also the pioneer of modern football styles that employed teamwork and passing. He was the first to advocate the predecessor of the modern passing style known as the combination game. 

In 1884, Alcock moved a resolution at the annual meeting of the Football Association that professionalism should be legalised in football. The proposal was rejected, but later in the same year payment of ‘wages lost’ was authorised. 

This was no remedy, and in July 1885, largely owing to Alcock’s exertions, the football professional was openly acknowledged. 

Alcock was also a noted cricketer. He captained Middlesex in the first county match. He was the secretary of Surrey. He arranged the first test match between England and Australia on English soil at Kennington Oval on September 6, 7, 8, 1880. He was the editor of the Cricket newspaper and wrote the book Football: The Association Game. He was also the person responsible for compiling the first Football Annual in 1868.

As a keen sports enthusiast, he contributed much to the development of modern football and cricket. He is considered as one of the founding fathers of modern-day football.

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