Rulebook Sold For £881,250

DESCRIBED AS an important historical document by Sotheby’s, an old football rulebook dating back to 1857 was sold for £881,250 to an anonymous bidder.

The 153-year-old handwritten pamphlet, which is thought to be one of the earliest instructions on the sport, was put to auction at Sotheby’s in London.

Sheffield FC – one of the original members of the football league, formed in 1857 – originally owned the rulebook, but they decided to sell the document to raise money.

The pamphlet introduces laws of the game that still exist today, 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.”

Sheffield FC chairman Richard Tims said there was “huge international interest, reflecting the truly global appeal of both the game itself and its remarkable evolution.”


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