Where Did Soccer Come From?

There are many legends about the invention of soccer, but most people agree that the game began in England.

who invented soccer

According to one legend, English workers during the 11th century were digging on the site of an early battle against Danish invaders, when they found the skull of a slain Danish soldier.

The workers began kicking the skull around, and some boys who saw the workers made up a game to play with the skull. Later, a cow’s bladder was used instead of the skull. The game that grew up became known as “kicking the Dane’s head” or “kicking the bladder.”

During the next century, many towns held annual matches of the new game. Often, one town would play a neighboring town, with hundreds of players on each team. The team that kicked the bladder into the middle of the opposing team’s town was the winner.

The sport was very rough at the time, and English rulers tried to outlaw it. But the game continued to grow in popularity. New rules were established in the 19th century, and published as “Rules for the London Football Association.”

The game then became known as “association football,” and from “association” came the word “soccer.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

14 thoughts on “Where Did Soccer Come From?”

  1. Soccer as the Americans like to call it is wrong .Its FOOTBALL so please STOP calling it soccer.The reason its called FOOTBALL is because the 20 outfield players are not allowed to use there hands , SIMPLE really!

  2. hey British dude you’re wrong too its kick the danes head because you kicked a danish head SIMPLE really

  3. I think soccer/football is one of the greatest sports ever made whether the names football or soccer.

  4. But theres already a sport called football I understand that term but you might mix up the two.The one played in the superbowl and the one played in the world cup and vuvuzelas

  5. Is called football because is foot game. but the real thing is soccer. started in 1863 in england

  6. No need to say what the game is called. If u live in an area where call it this or that than just go with it cause all ur doing is wasting ur time saying its called this or its called that… I talk to older people and they all call it one name. I talk to younger people and they call it that name. I talk to alot of people and i hear all kind of name’s… Who care’s…. Do u want to kick a ball around? Pretty simple if u dont want to argue about it. Let them call it what they want…. As long as i get to kick a ball around.

  7. There is documentary evidence that a a game or skill building exercise, involving kicking a ball into a small net, was used by the Chinese military during the Han Dynasty – around the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC

  8. number 1) soccer is not stupid, why don’t you get a life! If you think soccer is stupid, that’s your opinion, but i don’t agree, if you don’t like soccer . . . don’t look at sites about soccer! 2) Does it really matter what it’s called?? As long as you enjoy what your doing then it doesn’t really matter!

  9. Soccer can be called soccer or football, nfl is junk and it should just be called “junk”. Gonna jam some fifa now.

  10. Seriously……… Football, soccer…………. who gives a crap!? But i kinda agree that it should be soccer because i barely hear people call it football… and i know you use only your “foot” to kick the ball, but it has to be soccer……… What else should we call the oval brown ball tackle-down game? Soccer?

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