The Alcock Football Annuals


The Football Annual was a reference work published annually from 1868 to 1908. It reported on the various codes of football played in England, and also provided some coverage of the other home nations, supplemented on occasion by reports from around the world.

The Football Annual was edited for almost its entire existence by Charles Alcock. Upon Alcock’s death in early 1907, the two final editions were edited by others. It ceased publication after the 1908 edition. We have kindly been loaned 17 of the 41 annuals by collector Phil Martin to scan and preserve with a grant from Sporting Heritage. Our aim is to eventually have a complete digitised and searchable set of ‘Alcocks’ for research purposes.

While association and rugby football provided its main focus, it also included some material on public school football, Sheffield football (until that code merged with association football in 1877), and, on occasion, even Australian and American football. A typical issue would include laws of the various codes, a summary of the preceding season, a listing of football clubs in England (including such details as each club’s ground, secretary, and colours), and essays about aspects of the game.

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