History Group

 

Village Football

 

Benhall School Football Team in 1935-36

Benhall School Football Team in 1935-36, and the boys are, back row: J.Newson, Vic Stolley, C.Edmunds, G.Taylor and D.Samson; middle row: D.Bowers, R.Cunnel and R.Pears; front: H. Warne, B.Cable, A.Dalby and J.Cable. Photograph and  information kindly supplied by Henry and Dora Burch.   

Games involving kicking a ball about have been played for well over two thousand years in many parts of the world.  In medieval Britain, rivalry between villages was often fought out by the fittest men and boys trying to get control of a ball, using all the available open ground  - and there were no rules except that murder and manslaughter were forbidden! Such a mass game survives today in Orkney as an annual event - but it is much less violent now!

The modern game, played to very precise rules and on a restricted pitch,  dates from the middle of the nineteenth century and was developed mainly in the UK and Europe. Football teams were formed in schools and workplaces; some of today's famous teams originate in local factories; in villages, teams were organised around the church and the pub. Benhall St.Mary's team plays today out of the ex-Servicemen's Club, with a Reserve and Junior teams as well.

Benhall and Sternfield History Group, secretary Karen Howman 605709