Some research on Arthur Wharton:
He was born in Jamestown, Accra, Ghana in 1865. At a young age he quickly developed an ability to run fast over short distances. In 1882 he moved to England to study but soon got distracted by his love of sport. Between 1886 and 1888 Wharton was the fastest man in the world, setting the first world record over 100 yards in 1886 and then retaining his title in 1887. In 1888 Wharton moved to Sheffield to become a professional runner.
However, due to his obvious talent, Wharton was handicapped in races, meaning other competitors were given a head start on him to make races more competitive.
In 1894 Wharton was asked to sign for Sheffield United of Division One. United’s manager at the time had also been Wharton’s running manager and so knew the goalkeeper well. Unfortunately for Wharton, in the same season Sheffield United signed a 19 year old goalkeeper called William ‘Fatty’ Foulke. Foulke was able to keep Wharton out of the starting eleven for most of the season, limiting Wharton to just three appearances, only one of these was a league match (Sunderland, away). By playing at Roker Park in 1895, Wharton became the first black professional footballer to play in the English top flight. United went on to lose the game 2-0 with Wharton at fault for one of the goals. Despite his achievement, Wharton continued to experience racism. He was known as ‘Darkie Wharton’ because of the colour of his skin.
Over the next 7 seasons Wharton went on to play for four more clubs, making only 12 appearances.
Wharton had many successes in his sporting career, not only the world record and world championships in running, but he also played in an FA Cup semi-final for Preston North End, as well as playing professional cricket in both Yorkshire and Lancashire.
Wharton died in 1930 and is buried in Edlington, South Yorkshire. His gravestone was provided by Football United Racism Divides (FURD) as he was initially buried in an unmarked grave for 67 years.
Rules of Football, Then and Now:
The Sheffield Rules of 1858
1. The kick off from the middle must be a place kick.
2. Kick out must not be more than 25 yards [23 m] out of goal.
3. A fair catch is a catch from any player provided the ball has not touched the ground or has not been thrown from touch and is entitled to a free-kick.
4. Charging is fair in case of a place kick (with the exception of a kick off as soon as a player offers to kick) but he may always draw back unless he has actually touched the ball with his foot.
5. Pushing with the hands is allowed but no hacking or tripping up is fair under any circumstances whatever.
6. No player may be held or pulled over.
7. It is not lawful to take the ball off the ground (except in touch) for any purpose whatever.
8. The ball may be pushed or hit with the hand, but holding the ball except in the case of a free kick is altogether disallowed.
9. A goal must be kicked but not from touch nor by a free kick from a catch.
10. A ball in touch is dead, consequently the side that touches it down must bring it to the edge of the touch and throw it straight out from touch.
11. Each player must provide himself with a red and dark blue flannel cap, one colour to be worn by each side
Rules of Football Now (as of June 2012)
There are 17 laws in total, some of which are briefly summarised below.
Field of Play. The game can be played on either natural or artificial surfaces, the surface must be green and rectangular in shape. The two long sides of the rectangle are called touch lines and the two shorter sides are called goal lines. The field is divided in half by the halfway line.
Ball. Must be spherical, made of leather (or similar) 68-70 cm in circumference and of a certain pressure.
Number of Players. Two teams of no more than 11 players (one of which is the goalkeeper). A game cannot start if either team has less than 7 players.
Equipment. Players must wear a jersey, shorts, socks, shin pads and boots.
Referee. The referee ensures the Laws of the Game are respected and upheld.
Duration of the Match. The game is played in 2 halves consisting of 45 minutes each.
Start and Restart of Play. A kick-off starts play at the start of the match or after a goal. A kick-off involves one player kicking the ball, from stationary, forward from the centre spot. All players must be in their own half prior to kick-off. After half time the teams switch direction and the other team will kick-off. After a goal is scored, the team which conceded the goal will kick-off to restart play.
Ball in and Out of Play. The ball is out of play once a goal has been scored or when the referee has stopped the game. The ball is in play at all other times.
Method of Scoring. The ball crosses the goal line inside the goal mouth.
Fouls/Misconduct. These are many and varied, broadly speaking it is an offence to use excessive force whilst playing the game either deliberately or undeliberately or to handle the ball (unless you are a goal keeper). The referee may show the yellow card to caution players for less serious offences and the red card for more serious offences resulting in the player being sent off. Two yellow cards are equivalent to one red card.
Free Kicks. Are given by the referee for fouls and misconduct. A free kick can either be direct or indirect. A goal can be scored directly from a direct free kick. A goal can only be scored from an indirect free kick if it touches at least one other player first. The free kick must be taken from a stationary position with that position varying depending on whether the free kick was given inside or outside the goal area and whether it’s direct or indirect. The opposing team must be a minimum of 9.15 m from the ball when the free kick is taken.
Penalty Kicks. Are given against a team when they commit an offence which would normally be awarded a direct free kick inside their goal area. The ball is kicked from stationary from the penalty spot. The opposing team must be outside of the penalty area and at least 9.15 m from the ball.
Throw-in. Used to restart play after the whole of the ball has crossed the touch line.
Goal kick. Used to restart play after a goal has been scored.
Corner Kick. Is given when the whole of the ball crosses the goal line and was last touched by a member of the defending team (and no goal was scored). A corner kick is taken from inside the corner arc closest to the point where the ball crosses the goal line. The defending team must be at least 9.15 m from the ball when the corner kick is taken.
A History of Sheffield and Hallamshire FA: