The Opening Game

Watch and Play Football in Battersea Park as we toast the great game

Pitch 2 in the middle of Battersea Park
This Sunday, March 24th 2002
Kick Off 2pm

Map of Battersea Park

We will be playing football in Battersea Park in honour of the first ever game under FA rules, which took place in 1864 and the ball we take to the Opening Ceremony will be kicked for the first time. ANYONE is welcome, however good or bad you are, wherever you come from and whichever sex you belong to. So come on down and watch or play. If you want to play please get to the pitch 1.30pm. We are hoping to get hold of 22 old style strips but in case we don’t, please bring along a dark and a light coloured shirt with your oldest looking shorts, we’ll pick teams, however big (playing a tag substitute system) and kick off at 2pm. No rules first half and then a referee for the second! See you there. If it looks like rain… bring an umbrella!

Of course football has been played for years. The Chinese have been playing for two thousand years… and for a few hundred here in Britain, there have been marauding games down high streets, between villages and anywhere there was room for a mob and a ball.

The Football Association itself grew from a small group of players who, tired of the broken arms, endless arguments (not to mention endless pitches) drew up some rules to level the stakes. The evening of that first game, they made this toast- “Success to Football, irrespective of class and creed”. We will be adding “sex” and “talent” to the list, and generally getting right into this footballing occasion.

So the game in Battersea Park will honour the FA and mark the start of our journey to the World Cup, the very pinnacle of footballing excellence. Just grab your footballs and join in at the other end of the scale.

After all is done, football will remain.

Written by on Tuesday, March 19th, 2002

13 comments on this post

  1. Can someone please E-Mail me with a webpage, or some basic rules of the Mob football I hear so much about? I would appreciate it. Thanx.

  2. Um, Gav, surely the point of “mob football” is that there are no rules ;-)

  3. hi.im tryna pass my A levels and i need as much info on mob football as possible so if you could be so kind and sound and send me sum info i would really appriciate it. thanks .

  4. The only rule in mob football is, the first village or town to get a sheep’s bladder from one town/village to the other wins. Mob football is a very violent game and it caused many injuries to the people who took part.

  5. Cheers for that Paul… I wasn’t very clued up about “mob” football, partly because every game I play in seems to end up like that – for a long time I thought it was just the way a normal game was played ;-)

    A good site for this sort of information can be found here.

  6. Hello!! Very intersting web site, but i’m also doing my a-levels and need as much info on Mob football as well!! please e-mail me!! Thanx

  7. You can find some useful information at:

    Association of Football Statisticians History of Football

    Hope it helps.

  8. hi,

    would it be possible for you to send me all of the information on mob football as possible, as it is vitall for my ‘A’ level P.E. course.

    thanks a lot.

  9. Natalie,

    Did you actually read any of the comments on this page?

    [sigh]

  10. Hey there, i’m an A level student and were currently doing Mob Football. I cant really find anything on it so would it be possible for some info, like where, when, why, and the rules. cheers. Top site by the way. Keiron

  11. i am doing my a levels and need some info on mob football could you help me out? jason

  12. Could you please send me as much informaion on mob fotball as you can please

  13. I am in y7 and i have 3 questions, where is it played? how do you get points? what are the rules?

    get me bak by 2moz or i am done!

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The Ball 2014 left England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.