Sheffield to auction earliest rules pamphlet on club football

Updated: 01 May 2011 14:18 IST

A handwritten pamphlet from 1858 on the rules of club football, believed to be one of the earliest instructions on the sport, will be put up for sale by Sheffield FC.

Sheffield to auction earliest rules pamphlet on club football

London:

A handwritten pamphlet from 1858 on the rules of club football, believed to be one of the earliest instructions on the sport, will be put up for sale by Sheffield FC.

The document will be auctioned as part of an archive belonging to the club.

The archive is expected to fetch up to 1.2 million pounds when auctioned in July, and was called an important historical document by auctioneers Sotheby's, the Financial Times said.

Sheffield FC is the world's oldest football club, formed in 1857.

The archive will being taken to Paris, New York and Doha before auction, BBC reported. "It reflects the fact that football is now truly a global game," said Gabriel Heaton, senior specialist in Sotheby's books department.

The pamphlet introduces laws of the game that still exist, such as the indirect free kick, the corner kick and the use of a crossbar.

Another rule states: "Pushing with the hands is allowed but no hacking or tripping is fair under any circumstances whatsoever."

Heaton said although the game was already being played in private schools and Cambridge university, under a variety of different rules, the Sheffield document introduced innovations and removed the game from the elite educational establishment for the first time.

Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims said the decision to sell the archive was a "tough" one, but had been taken to secure the club's future, the report said.

Tims said the decision to sell the archive was sparked by the sale at Sotheby's New York last December of an 1891 document spelling out the rules of basketball for USD 4.3 million, more than double its pre-sale estimate.

"If you are looking for a piece of footballing history, this is the ultimate prize," he said.

Topics : Football Sheffield United
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