Written by IainB
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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

image for The Scottish Invented Football
The ball was once much smaller.

New research from Glasgow University has shown that football was invented in Scotland, and not, as the history books have it, in Cambridge.

"We have documentary evidence that football was being played in Glasgow as far back as 1066," said Scottish Football historian, Patrick Thistle. "This is eight hundred years earlier than previously thought, and makes Glasgow Celtic and Rangers the oldest football teams in the world."

The history books have association football rules being drafted in a pub in Cambridge in 1848, amalgamating the rules from several similar games being played in the area. This new evidence suggests that these similar games were variations on the game brought down from Scotland.

"We've already shown how cricket, golf and formula one were invented in Scotland during the early part of the eleventh century," said Thistle. "Football is just one more sport we have invented. I've a strong suspicion that the first Olympics was held in Edinburgh."

The research shows that football was played between Glasgow's rival churches, initiating the Owd Firm Derby centuries before anybody had previously guessed.

"Mary Queen of Scots was watching a game," said Thistle. "That's how old this game is."

The rules for the original football, which Thistle is hoping to resurrect, were eerily similar to association football, with a few key differences.

"There were twenty people on each team," said Thistle. "Given the size of the pitch this makes sense. Twenty-two people look lost on a modern pitch, forty would be about right. The game also lasted for two hours, there were two balls, and they were a quarter of the size of a modern ball."

Unfortunately, Thistle cannot determine who won the original Owd Firm Derby, as he can find no reference to goals. Not just goals scored, but he can find no reference to goals at all.

"It seems goals were introduced by the Cambridge lot," said Thistle. "Before they added this key difference, the games would have been a more friendly affair with nothing at stake as it would be impossible to take the lead."

Given the tension scoring goals creates, this was probably a good thing considering most of the crowd would have been armed to the teeth.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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