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Photograph by Bob Cox-Wrightson

Cambridge Rules Football Monument

This large piece of public art was commissioned by Cambridge City Council, and celebrates the football rules written down by Cambridge students 170 years ago that have gone on to shape the modern game

The website states that:

“In 1848 a group of students from Cambridge University wrote a set of 11 rules which everyone could agree upon. Nailed to the trees surrounding Parker’s Piece, this was the first time that football as we know it had any formalised laws. It was the catalyst where, from this very specific patch of English landscape in the heart of Cambridge, the game spread to encompass every corner of the world.”

The original Cambridge laws are as follows:

  1. This club shall be called the University Foot Ball Club.
  2. At the commencement of the play, the ball shall be kicked off from the middle of the ground: after every goal there shall be a kick-off in the same way.
  3. After a goal, the losing side shall kick off; the sides changing goals, unless a previous arrangement be made to the contrary.
  4. The ball is out when it has passed the line of the flag-posts on either side of the ground, in which case it shall be thrown in straight.
  5. The ball is behind when it has passed the goal on either side of it.
  6. When the ball is behind it shall be brought forward at the place where it left the ground, not more than ten paces, and kicked off.
  7. Goal is when the ball is kicked through the flag-posts and under the string.
  8. When a player catches the ball directly from the foot, he may kick it as he can without running with it. In no other case may the ball be touched with the hands, except to stop it.
  9. If the ball has passed a player, and has come from the direction of his own goal, he may not touch it till the other side have kicked it, unless there are more than three of the other side before him. No player is allowed to loiter between the ball and the adversaries’ goal.
  10. In no case is holding a player, pushing with the hands, or tripping up allowed. Any player may prevent another from getting to the ball by any means consistent with the above rules.
  11. Every match shall be decided by a majority of goals.
The monument to Cambridge Rules Football on Parker's Piece.

Photograph by Bob Cox-Wrightson

The creators, Alan Ward and Neville Gabie, have engraved cut faces of the stone with the laws of the game in numerous languages and typefaces.

The monument was unveiled by Councillor Anna Smith on 12 May 2018.

The monument to Cambridge Rules Football on Parker's Piece.

Photograph by Bob Cox-Wrightson

For more information, visit


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