great places to visit off the beaten path.
The Freemasons Arms, in Covent Garden, claims a unique place in soccer history – that it was here in 1863 that the Football Association was founded. This claim is debatible as some sources claim the Football Association was founded in the Freemasons Tavern – where now the Grand Connaught Rooms (a conference centre) is located – at 61-65 Great Queen Street. Also nearby is Freemasons Hall – possibly connected in some way – also on Great Queen Street. The current pub, the Freemasons Arms, is close to the location of the old Tavern, but it is located at 81-82 Long Acre. Whether here or there, the Freemasons Arms lays claim to being the site where a series of meetings led to the formation of Football Association rules and the split from rugby football rules in 1863. In the downstairs bar, the pub boasts a fine array of soccer memorabilia – perhaps after a few drinks the exact location becomes less significant. Food is served and, as expected, TVs show most live football matches.
For those interested in the history of football please see my post on the first ever FA Football game played in London (click here) approximately 150 years ago.
Also, of note a recent article I read asserts that the word ‘soccer’ comes from an derivation of ‘Association’ football, as compared to ‘rugby’ football. Comments welcome to further the debate.
Located at: 81-82 Long Acre, London
Closest tube: Covent Garden