Tim Learns The History of Soccer

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Tim is a very curious tadpole, and so the other day when Bertie was trying to kick a piece of round slime about, he asked what the purpose of soccer was...

As it happens, the most popular game in the world has a long and interesting history.

We present a short history for kids of the game that some people call soccer, but which Bertie and his friends call "footie."

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Proofread by Claire Deakin. Read by Natasha.

A History of Soccer for Kids

Hello everybody. My name is Natasha, and I'm dropping by to tell you the true storynory of the history of soccer, or the game which Bertie and his pond life friends call "footie."

As you probably know, Bertie the frog used to be a handsome prince - and in those days he was the top goal scorer on the palace team. But now he's a frog, he doesn't find it so easy to kick a ball, because his legs are too bendy - but at least he's better than his friend, Tim the Tadpole, who hasn't got any legs at all, and can only do headers.

Tim is a very curious tadpole, and so the other day when Bertie was trying to kick a piece of round slime around, he asked what was the purpose of soccer.

"Why?" Boomed Bertie. "If you didn't have football, what would we watch on TV?"

"But didn't it start before TV?" Said Tim.

"Er, well, maybe," said Bertie, starting to wonder what life was like before TV was invented. "Maybe Natasha knows."

And indeed I do, but only because I went and asked the palace teacher who knows all about everything.

Football, like cricket, came from England. Some historians think that the game goes all the way back to time of the ancient Romans, who lived a long time ago and spoke Latin, and who once conquered Britain.

Some people think that the Celts, who lived in England at the time, used to play football to celebrate each time they won a battle against the Romans - which didn't happen very often. The England football team has continued to this day with the tradition of noble defeats.

After the Romans left, football became more and more popular. In the year 1477, a law was passed banning it, because it distracted boys from practising with bows and arrows. They soon found that not even the law can stop a boy kicking a ball.

It wasn't much like the football we watch today. It was really just a disorganised game, with groups of boys kicking a ball from side to side. In fact, modern football emerged in the nineteenth century at British schools, such as Eton, Rugby and Charterhouse.

The trouble was that all the schools developed slightly different rules. At some, you could pick up the ball with your hands. At others that was considered to be cheating. Indeed, that is where the idea of half-time came from. Often, the first half would be played to one set of rules, and the second half to the another.

It was all very confusing. Then in 1863, which is an awfully long time ago, there was a meeting in London, the capital of Britain. At the meeting The Rule Book of Association Football was drawn up.

There were only 13 rules, which makes it easy-peasy to understand. There are 11 people on each team, and you have to try and kick the ball through the other team's goal. Nobody is allowed to touch the ball with their hands except for the goalie.

If you push someone over, you get in trouble. Of course Bertie never pushed anybody - except when the referee wasn't looking.

And that is the true storynory of where football comes from. Except some people call it soccer - which is short for 'As-soc-iation' from that very first rule book written nearly 150 years ago.

I'll be back soon with another story. And don't forget, you can hear all of Bertie's stories at www.storynory.com. So tell all your friends to drop by too.

.Until then, from me Natasha…bye bye.