Football: The Harrow Game

by Dale Vargas 


  • How did football start?
  • How did a small, poorly-endowed grammarschool come to be rated alongside Etonand Winchester as one of the “great public schools”?
  • How was it that the rules of the game played at Harrow infuenced the rules for the Football Association founded in 1863?
  • Why is a Harrow football such an odd shape?
  • The FA Cup competition was frst played in 1872; was it really based on Harrow House matches?
  •  What were the origins of the names “footer”, “soccer” and “rugger”?
  •  Why did most public schools adopt Rugby football?
  • What parts did Charles Vaughan (Head Master), Charles Alcock (Old Harrovian) and Edward Bowen (Assistant Master) play in the evolution of Harrow football?
  • How has Harrow football survived when no other school plays it?
  • Was it only the mud at the foot of Harrow Hill that prevented the School adopting Rugby or Association football before 1927?

Football: The Harrow Game by Dale Vargas – aims not only to answer these questions but to trace the evolution of Harrow football over 200 years. It tells how it lent to, and borrowed from, other school games, infuenced but did not join the Football Association, and how it ploughed its own furrow through the Harrow mud. This is a social history rather than a book about games and should appeal to those interested in the history of sport as well as those who have experienced  “the toil and the tussle, the batter of ankle and shin.”


See also the author’s page on Amazon –