The Sheffield Rules were a code of football devised and played in the English city of Sheffield between 1857 and 1877. They were devised by Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest for use by the newly founded Sheffield Football Club, the rules were subsequently adopted as the official rules of Sheffield Football Association upon its creation in 1867. They spread beyond the city boundaries to other clubs and associations in the north, six years after the creation of the Sheffield Rules the Football Association rules were created. These were influenced by the Sheffield game but ongoing disputes meant that the Sheffield rules continued to be used, during this time many of the elements of the rules were incorporated into the association game. Regular games were played between Sheffield and London using both sets of rules and this led to an agreement on a single set of laws administered by the Football Association in 1877. The rules had a influence on how the modern game of football developed. Among other things they introduced into the laws of the game the concepts of corners, throw-ins, the abolition of the fair catch also led to their teams to be the first to head the ball. Games played under the rules are credited with the development of heading. The first inter-club football match and competitive tournament were played using Sheffield Rules. The oldest recorded football match in Sheffield occurred in 1794 when a game of mob football was played between Sheffield and Norton that took place at Bents Green, the game lasted three days, which was not unusual for matches at the time. It was noted that there were some injuries no-one was killed during the match. The Clarkehouse Road Fencing Club had been playing football since 1852, the city was home to a number of sports clubs and the popularity of cricket had led to the chairman of Sheffield Cricket Club to suggest the construction of Bramall Lane. By the 1850s there were versions of football played in public schools. Each school played by their own code despite an attempt by Cambridge University to unify them in 1848 and their rules were generally inaccessible outside of the schools. There the football tended to be unorganised and fairly lawless games known as mob football, although there are matches between small, equal numbered teams it remained a minority sport until the 1860s. During the winter months in 1855 the players of Sheffield Cricket Club organised informal football matches in order to retain fitness until the start of the new season, two of the players were Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest, both of whom were born in Yorkshire. Creswick came from a Sheffield family of silver plate manufacturers that dated back several centuries, after being educated at the citys Collegiate School he became a solicitor. Prests family had moved from York while he was a child and his father bought a wine merchants that William subsequently took over
The first edition of the 1858 rules.
Team photograph of Sheffield F.C. in 1890
The corner kick was first developed under Sheffield Rules.
Nathaniel Creswick, co-creator of the Sheffield Rules