During the 19th Century the game of football became increasingly popular but there was no standardised set of rules. Public schools and universities each set their own rules for the game.
In 1855 members of the Sheffield Cricket Club began organising a series of ‘kick around’ games. Two of the members Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest decided to form a football club and the first meeting of Sheffield Football Club took place on 24th October 1857.
In 1858 Creswick and Prest drew up a set of rules for their club which have become known as the Sheffield Rules. The rules were the first to introduce free kicks for fouls and were adopted by the Sheffield Football Association when it was formed in 1867.
The Sheffield Rules together with the Cambridge Rules were used by the Football Association (FA) to develop a standardised version of rules in 1863. Although members of the FA, Sheffield continued to use their own rules until 1878.
In 1885 professional football was introduced and members of the Sheffield Football Club suggested to the FA that there should be a cup for amateur football clubs. The FA duly introduced the FA Amateur Cup which was won by Sheffield in 1904.