Rules may have stayed the same since 1992 but modern football’s best teams tend to have 11 outfield players, one of whom can use his hands
In January 1912, two members of the Football Association’s Rules Review committee went to White Hart Lane to watch Tottenham’s Division One match against Sunderland. The game finished 0-0, but the clean sheet wasn’t the aspect of the away goalkeeper Leigh Richmond Roose’s performance that caught the eye. At every opportunity, he had bounced the ball from his goal to the halfway line and launched it long into the Tottenham box. This, the rules men decided, wouldn’t do.
For Roose, this was nothing out of the ordinary. This was just what he did. The laws allowed him to handle the ball to halfway, although not to run with the ball, and he was prepared to dodge the barges of opponents to take advantage of that. It was only when he did it in London, where FA officials might take note, that it became an issue.