Belfast Telegraph

Grave of penalty inventor William McCrum to be restored

By Staff Reporter

World football governing body Fifa is to fund the restoration of the grave of William McCrum, the Armagh man who invented the penalty kick.

When McCrum, from the village of Milford, outside Armagh city, first proposed the idea it met resistance on the grounds that it was unsportsmanlike. But in reality, it was an idea whose time had come, and in 1890, the penalty became an indispensable part of association football.

The decision to fund the restoration of McCrum's grave was taken at an International FA Board (IFAB) meeting in Belfast at the weekend.

In a statement, the International FA Board said it "acknowledged the contribution of the late William McCrum, who, as a member of the Irish FA, proposed the idea of the penalty kick in 1890.

"FIFA has agreed to fund the restoration of William McCrum's grave, which has fallen into disrepair."

McCrum came from a family of wealthy mill owners but died "alcoholic, penniless and alone" at Christmas in 1932. He is buried in St Mark's Parish Church, Armagh.

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