The legendary story/myth about the origin of Rugby football — whereby a young man named William Webb Ellis "took the ball in his arms [i.e. caught it] and ran" while playing Rugby School's already distinctive version of football (not to be confused with association football, which was codified much later) in 1823 — has little evidence to support it. Pundits have dismissed the story as unlikely since it was first given the School's seal of approval following an official investigation by the Old Rugbeian Society in 1895. However, the story has entered into legend, and the trophy for the Rugby Union World Cup bears the name of "Webb Ellis" in his honour and a plaque at the School commemorates the "achievement".
Various kinds of football have a long tradition in England and football games had probably taken place at Rugby School for 200 years before three boys published the first set of written rules (in 1845). At the time, a set of rules would be agreed between two teams before a match. Teams which competed against each other regularly would tend to agree to play similar rules.