An article for Goalkeeper Magazine about the origin of the goalkeeper in Victorian times, it also profiles some of the best Victorian keepers.
“It’s difficult to imagine football without goalkeepers, but in football’s formative years the position didn’t exist. In the mid-19th century, before association football had been codified, there were numerous variations and sets of rules, but none of them accounted for a goalkeeper. The influential Cambridge rules, set out in 1848, stated that, ‘hands may be used only to stop a ball and place it on the ground before the feet.’ Any player could handle the ball, and therefore any player could keep goal, but there was no formal goalkeeping position.”
Read the full article in issue 5 of Goalkeeper Magazine.