1860s in association football
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- 1860 — Lausanne Football and Cricket Club is founded, the oldest club in continental Europe to later play Association football. Other clubs founded in 1860 include Cray Wanderers, Hallam F.C. (local rivals of Sheffield F.C.), Wanderers F.C. (future FA Cup winners) and TSV 1860 München (although they would not play football until 1899).
- 26 December 1860 — The first match between Sheffield F.C. and Hallam F.C., the oldest derby in football, takes place at Sandygate Road.
- 1862 — An assistant teacher of Uppingham School, John Charles Thring, inspired by the Cambridge Rules, devised an influential code of football, "The Simplest Game".
- 1862 — The latest version of the Sheffield Rules include references to half-time and crossbars.
- 1862 — The formation of Notts County, later regarded the oldest professional club to play Association football.
- 1863, 26 October — The Football Association was founded at Freemasons' Tavern, in Great Queen Street in London. The Freemasons' Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which eventually produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, who was the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club and Richmond FC from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting, the first which allowed for the running with the ball in hand and the second, obstructing such a run by hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins), tripping and holding. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA but instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under the charge of Ebenezer Cobb Morley, went on to ratify the original fourteen rules of the game. Despite this, the Sheffield FA played by its own rules until the 1870s.
- 1866, 22 February — Sheffield FC play first match out of town, travelling to play against Nottingham, playing under Nottingham Rules.
- 1866, 22 February — The FA introduce resolution requiring tape between the goal-posts.
- 1866, 31 March — A match takes place between the a FA representative side and Sheffield F.C. under FA rules. The FA side won by two goals and four touchdowns to nil.
- 1867, 12 February — 5 March — Final of the Youdan Cup is played at Bramall Lane, the world's first ever organized tournament in any code of football. Twelve Sheffield clubs, using the Sheffield Rules, took part: Broomhall, Fir Vale, Garrick, Hallam F.C. (the winners), Heeley, Mackenzie, Mechanics, Milton, Norfolk, Norton, Pitsmoor and Wellington. British railway workers play Argentina's first recorded football match.
- March 1867 — Sheffield Football Association is formed with all the team that competed in the Youdan Cup being joined by Sheffield F.C. to becoming founder members.
- 1868 — The corner kick is devised for use in the Sheffield Rules replacing rouges (touchdowns). The corner kick was adopted by the FA in 1872.
- 1868, February — The second oldest football tournament in the world, the Cromwell Cup, also played under the Sheffield Rules, by four clubs: Sheffield Wednesday F.C. (the winners), Exchange, Garrick and Wellington.
- 1862, January 21 – William Bromley-Davenport, English footballer
- 1862, July 31 – James Brown, English footballer
- 1862, August 30 – John Brodie, English footballer
- 1863, January 9 – David Danskin, English footballer and co-founder of Arsenal F.C.
- 1863, February 14 – William Arthur, English footballer
- 1863, August – Jem Bayliss, English footballer
- 1863, September 20 – Andrew Amos, English footballer
- 1863, date unknown – Edward Brayshaw, English footballer
- 1864, February 14 – Richard Baugh, English footballer
- 1864, April 13 – Albert Aldridge, English footballer
- 1864, date unknown – William Betts, English footballer
- 1865, March 18 – Frank Burton, English footballer
- 1865, April 23 – George Brann, English footballer
- 1866, October 5 – John Barton, English footballer
- 1867, January 19 – Henry Allen, English footballer
- 1867, April 7 – Albert Allen, English footballer
- 1869, January 27 – William Bassett, English footballer
- 1869, May 29 – Richard Barker, English footballer