Ebenezer Cobb Morley
Ebenezer Cobb Morley
|Died||20 November 1924 (aged 93)|
|Resting place||Barnes, Richmond, London, England|
|Parent(s)||Ebenezer Morley and Hannah Maria|
Morley qualified as a lawyer in 1854, and in 1858 he moved to the London suburb of Barnes to practice as a solicitor in the capital. He founded Barnes Football Club in 1862. In 1863, as captain of the Mortlake-based club, he wrote to Bell's Life newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport. This led to the first meeting of the FA at Freemasons' Tavern, on October 26th, 1863. At this meeting, Morley was elected the first secretary of the association. He created the first draft of the rules, that were considered on the FA meeting of November 10th of that year. It was Morley, along with John Alcock and Arthur Pember, who led the move to eliminate rugby-style carrying of the ball and "hacking" (kicking opponents' shins) from the draft rules before they were published in December 1863.
Morley continued to serve as FA secretary until 1866. He resigned as secretary that year on account of the demands of his business, but subsequently served as that body's second president, from 1867 to 1874.
A solicitor by profession, Morley was a keen oarsman, founding the Barnes and Mortlake Regatta for which he was also secretary (1862–1880). He was also a keen fox hunter, keeping his own pack of beagles.He served on Surrey County Council for Barnes (1903–1919) and was a Justice of the Peace. Morley is buried in Barnes Cemetery, a now abandoned graveyard on Barnes Common, Barnes. He had no children.
The house at which Morley created the first draft of the FA's laws (No 26 The Terrace) carried a blue plaque to Morley. It subsequently collapsed "like a tower of cards" in November 2015 during building work.
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- Butler, Bryon (January 2009). "Morley, Ebenezer Cobb (1831–1924)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 9 August 2009.
- "Meeting of Captains". Bell's Life in London: 10. 1863-10-31.
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- Media related to Ebenezer Cobb Morley at Wikimedia Commons