Since www.cambridgerules1848.com launched on 15th of last month, we’ve been delighted by the interest and response to our call for your stories and photographs about the beautiful game. We’ve had everything from a retro Fluminense shirt from a street market in Rio de Janeiro to a picture of Shanghai Shenhua supporters at the 2015 Chinese FA Cup Final. Closer to home, the stories of a schoolboy keeping the mud flicked up from George Best’s boot at Portman Road, Ipswich and the excitement a Spurs-supporting teenager felt when he realised they had a famous footballer in the family are all highlights of our ever growing archive of what football means to the masses.
We always hoped that the Cambridge Rules 1848 project would have this kind of impact, and now the website is online and work on the physical, sculptural element of the commission has begun, we’ve also begun to enjoy some media coverage too.
Naturally, given Cambridge Rules 1848 is commission from Cambridge City Council, Cambridge News were intrigued by the launch of the website, which they called an “exciting public art project for Parker’s Piece.” Later in launch week, Alan went to ITV’s studios in Salford Quays to talk about Cambridge Rules 1848 for a news story broadcast on ITV Anglia later that night. “The design [of the stone] is meant to reflect that at that point, the rules were cast in stone forever,” he explained.
The BBC have also been encouragingly supportive of Cambridge Rules 1848. After a story on the BBC News website highlighted our celebration of football’s global reach, Alan travelled to Cambridge to appear on Dotty McLeod’s BBC Radio Cambridgeshire breakfast show (go to 1hr 47mins). He did so from a freezing cold Parker’s Piece at 745am – but it must have hit some sort of chord: we had a Cambridge-based stonemason get in touch!
Then Alan was off to appear on BBC Radio Norfolk’s football magazine show The Scrimmage to talk about Cambridge Rules and encourage his fellow Norwich City fans to contribute to the site. Which they certainly have – we particularly like the tale of a teenage boy being wowed by the crowds at a record-breaking FA Cup tie in the 1960s.
And the interest continues. Arsenal FC got in touch this week to say they would be featuring Cambridge Rules 1848 in a future match-day programme, and so far we’ve had visitors to our site from most of mainland Europe, both North and South America, Africa and the Far East.
So if you haven’t contributed yet, please do. It’ll only take a few minutes – and just like the rules on the stone, your story will be immortalised forever in the world’s widest football archive.