Football Facts from History Any Die-hard Fan Should Know

Football, or soccer to some, is no doubt the world’s most popular sport with the world cup amassing over half of the entire planet’s population as viewers. And of these people, a lot would bet on us that they’re a certified die-hard. Care to prove it?

We’ve listed down a few of the many football facts from our archives. If you’re the die-hard fan that you say you are, you need to know at least half from this list. Go on. It’s a dare.

  • A traditional soccer ball has a total of 32 panels which represents each country in Europe, the continent where it was believed to have originated and where it has gained initial widespread acceptance. It’s also not a perfect sphere but the panels create the illusion of such.
  • Earliest forms of the game got way out of hand easily. There were no rules, not even a definite set of players. At times, entire villages would play against each other with the goal of forcing the ball into the center square of the opponent. These often ended up in violence and chaos although murder and manslaughter were prohibited.
  • Soccer came from the abbreviation of “association football”. But it’s the British that coined it and not the Americans contrary to popular belief. In 1880 England, people used to shorten words and then adding “er” to the end (e.g. brekkers for breakfast). “Assoc” eventually became “assocer” before it became “soccer”.
  • The “Olympic goal” was coined after Cesareo Onzari of Argentina who was the first to score a goal directly from a corner kick in 1924 in a match against Uruguay.
  • The first soccer balls were made of an inflated animal bladder, often that of a pig. They were sturdy enough for the game and were easy to source. However, they can get worn out after a single match and their irregularity in shape makes it hard to control. Eventually, a leather skin was made to protect it. It wasn’t until 1855 that _38414379_149-0_300rubber balls were possible thanks to Charles Goodyear. He discovered vulcanization, a method of treating rubber so it becomes more solid and durable.
  • The highest score ever made in a soccer game was 149-0. It was an association football match in October of 2002 between AS Adema and SO l’Emyrne in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

So which of these football facts rang a bell?

 

The Link Between Health and Football

football ukHealth is wealth. This adage never goes old and is true in its entirety. But there’s more to being healthy and we know by now that involves a good combination of the right meals, rest and exercise. But that last one always seems to get people raising their eyebrows. Exercising isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but there are ways to do it that makes it fun. Take football for instance.

Football, also known as soccer in America, is the most popular of all ball games all over the globe. It’s been around for centuries with a lush and interesting history behind it. But that’s not what we’re here for. Today, we’ll all find out why this sport is not only fun but it also promotes a healthier body and lifestyle.

The sport helps improve one’s aerobic capacity and better cardiovascular health. An average player runs 7 to 9.5 miles per game. It involves a lot of cardiovascular workout from all the walking, jogging and running. This helps keep the heart rate up, strengthens the heart, reduces blood pressure, burns calories, helps resists plaque build-up in the coronary arteries and improves blood circulation to name a few.

It’s also known for reducing body fat and developing strong and lean muscles. As mentioned, it’s a great overall workout which burns fat and cholesterol all while building muscle. This is highly attributed to the constant need of players to switch between aerobic and anaerobic movements repeatedly. Plus, the movement required for the various parts of the body promotes overall strength.

Football also strengthens the bones. As we grow old, the skeletal frame tends to weaken and go brittle. But it’s not the same for athletes. The game exposes the bones to several and repeated weight-bearing loads during a match which over time fortifies it and helps keep and maintain bone density even as one ages.

It helps alleviate and relieve one’s unsteadiness and tottering. The sport promotes body coordination. Hand-eye coordination is one. The movements required to play the game requires a combination of complex movements. For instance, kicking a goal will not only necessitate movement from the foot but also of the entire body from the legs, to the eyes, to the arms that keep one’s balance. The more we play, the more the body gets accustomed to these movements thus improving our coordination. Health-wise this is great because we get to avoid accidents and develop faster reflexes.

Football Through the Ages

Football, or soccer to some, is no doubt the most celebrated and loved sport around the world. Sure, there are many others that rank high in the list but this ball game claims the top spot without a shadow of a doubt. How it came to be is a long and winding story but we’ll try to tell it in as best as we can.

Evidence from various sources prove that many versions of “kicking” games were already present in many of the early civilizations.

episkyrosIn China, military forces during the Han Dynasty enjoyed a game called “Tsu Chu” that involved a fur or feather-stuffed leather ball. The aim was to kick it into a small net fixed onto bamboo canes. Even Japan had an early version of it called the “Kemari”. In Egypt, the tomb of Baqet III portrayed images of women enjoying a similar game. Greece n the other hand called theirs the “Episkyros” where the ball was to be thrown overhead the other team.

It was not until the 700s when a version of the sport developed in Europe. Legend has it that after winning a war, locals of an east English town celebrated by kicking and passing the severed head of a Danish prince they defeated. It was a very violent act that often resulted in injury and commotion. But not long after, the practice was abolished and lost.

Historians however validated that early English townsfolk would play a game similar to today’s football. It often involved an inflated pig’s bladder, sometimes covered in leather, which was to be passed around without the use of hands. There were no official rules or number of players and the only objective was to bring the ball to the goal. It became so popular that massive numbers of people would come to play even in public places and roads. At times, the number of players would be so huge that the matches often end up in brawls.

Football became so popular that in the 1300s, King Edward II forbade it in all of England. He feared that people would lose interest in practicing and honing archery, something that would prove to be detrimental in the war against Scotland. Still, people found ways to play the game. It wasn’t until the 1605 that it officially became legal again.

It was only in 1848 in Cambridge, where the first formal rules about football were drafted. This involved the rules and standards regarding goal kicks, throw-ins and goalie’s rights. The rest, as they say, is history.

UK’s Well Loved Sports

The United Kingdom is known not only for its beautiful tourist and historical destinations, its famous universities, its massive economy and its rich history. The country is also known to be home to one of the world’s most avid sports fanatics. Care to know the sports that have the UK up on their toes? If you do then this list will surely be of interest. Take a look!

1.    FOOTBALL

Undoubtedly the most popular sport in the UK is football. This team sport that requires kicking and passing a ball across a huge field has captured the country so much that it has become one of their most celebrated athletic events. The game follows a traditional league system and there are over a hundred different teams all over the country with the premier league consisting twenty of the best ones. The more popular teams are those from Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. The Football Association, the governing body of the sport is one of the oldest in the world. If the Americans have basketball, the British have football.

cricketuk2.    CRICKET

Although football may be considered the most popular in the United Kingdom, it is not its national sport. That title goes to cricket. It is an outdoor sport played by two teams of eleven players using a flat bat, a small hard ball, and wickets. A player scores by batting the ball and running, while the defenders can get a player out by bowling and hitting the wicket, catching a hit ball, or running the player out.

3.    RUGBY

Run by the RFL (Rugby Football League), are more popular in some parts of the country than others. In the earlier times, it is a sport played mostly by the elites but it has long since become one of the most played sports in the UK. Rugby is a team sport in which players run with an oval ball, pass it laterally from hand to hand, and kick it to score more points than the opposing team.

4.    BADMINTON

The sport overshadows tennis and others in the racket category. Badminton has long been engraved in the country’s history with the Badminton Association of England established back in 1893. It uses rackets to strike a shuttlecock back and forth across a high net.

Football, cricket, rugby and badminton are four of the well loved sports in the UK. How about you? Which one is your favorite?

Tony Bloom: A Timeline with the Albions

tony-bloom-brightonianAnthony Grant “Tony” Bloom is known among others to be the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman since 2009. But what many people do not realize is that his association with the club began way before his appointment. Don’t believe us? Here, take a look at this timeline.

  • 1970 – Anthony Grant or Tony Bloom was no doubt born to a family of Seagulls fans in the small seaside resort town of Brighton in the seventies. The Blooms were known to have ardently and publicly supported the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club as early here on.
  • 1970 – In the same decade, Harry Bloom, Tony’s grandfather and well-known hotel owner and motor trader, was appointed as vice-chairman of the Albions or Seagulls. The chairman at the time was Mike Bamber. This was also the period when the club reached the old first division back in 1979.
  • 1980 – As a child, Tony was often brought by family to the Goldstone Ground to watch the matches. His usual company would be his father, grandpa and brother. It was since then that he realized his passion for football was more than sport and entertainment. It was a family affair, hereditary even.
  • 1980 – A second generation of the Blooms became affiliated with the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. This time it way Harry’s son and Tony’s uncle Ray who served as the club’s director.
  • 2000 – Tony became one of the club’s major investors and stockholders. He continued to become a benefactor years after too, helping fund various projects and advocacies some of which were even out of his own pocket.
  • 2008 – One of the projects that he helped personally fund was the old Falmer’s stadium and now called the American Express Community Stadium or the “Amex”, the home of the Albions. Construction began in December of 2008 and was spearheaded by the KSS Design Group as the architectural firm and the Buckingham Group as the general contractor.
  • 2009 – Succeeding Harry Dick Knight, Tony became the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s chairman up to the present day. It was also during the same year when he was awarded “Brightonian of the Year” for his numerous achievements and contributions.
  • 2011 – With over £93 million of construction costs, the 30,750 seater American Express Community Stadium opened its doors.
  • 2014 – Tony Bloom also helped finance the construction of the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre, a training ground, which was opened only two years ago.