Before we reveal the top 10 free bets for football we thought a quick history lesson might be of interest.
Both rugby football and association football have common roots. A search back through the history books unearths at least half a dozen different games to which the historical development of football has been traced back to. Some of these roots are debatable but the fact remains that people have enjoyed kicking a ball about for thousands of years.
The very earliest form of the game for which there is definite evidence was an exercise from a Chinese military manual dating back to 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. It was called Tsu' Chu and consisted of kicking a leather ball filled with feathers and hair through a 30-40cm wide opening and into a small net fixed onto long bamboo canes. The player was not permitted to aim at his target unimpeded. He had to use his feet, chest, back and shoulders while trying to withstand the attacks of his opponents. The use of the hands was strictly prohibited.
Another form of the football - also with its orgins in the Far East - was the Japanese Kemari. The first evidence of Kemari is from 644 AD and it is still played today...mainly Shinto shrines for religious festivals. This variant of the sport lacks the competitive element of Tsu' Chu as there is no struggle for possession. The Standing in a circle the players have to pass the ball to each other trying not to let it touch the ground. Players may use any body part - with the exception of arms and hands – to keep the ball in the air. The ball - known as a Mari - is made of deerskin with the hair facing inside and the hide on the outside. The ball is stuffed with barley grains to give it shape. When the hide has set in this shape the grains are removed and it is sewn together.
The modern history of football spans more than 100 years. It all began in 1863 in England when rugby football and association football branched off on their different courses and the Football Association in England was formed...becoming the sport's first governing body.
Football was embraced with tremendous enthusiasm among the commoners in Britain but it had to withstand repeated interventions from the authorities who disapproved of the violent nature of early football. In 1314 the Lord Mayor of London issued a proclamation forbidding football within the city due to the chaos it usually caused. Any persons found breaking this law were immediately imprisoned.
During the 100 Years' War between England and France (1337 to 1453) football was frowned upon by the Royal Court. Kings Edward III, Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V all made the game punishable by law. Their problem with the game was the perception that it prevented their subjects from practising more useful military disciplines.
Every Scottish king during the 15th century deemed it necessary to prohibit football. Probably the most famous law passed during this time was when James I stated in 1424: "That na man play at the Fute-ball". Clearly though none of these legal efforts did anything to reduce the popularity of the football amongst the masses and their love of the rough and tumble aspect of the game grew and grew.
There is clear indisputable evidence that the game of football takes its roots from all over the world. However, the evolution of the modern game as we know it today definitely took place in Britain.
England was the first country in the world to develop widely agreed rules for football...mainly it appears from the desire of a number of public schools to compete against each other. The first attempts to come up with single codes of practice began in the 1840s with various meetings between school representatives attempting to come up with a set of rules with which all would be happy. The first attempt was The Cambridge Rules created in 1848. These rules were developed and adapted over the next couple of decades until they were eventually moulded into one set when the Football Association was officially formed in 1863.
Once the Football Association was formed the progress of the games really started to pick up pace. In 1861, only eight years after its foundation, The Football Association already had 50 member clubs. The first football competition in the world, the FA Cup, was established in 1872 and by 1888 the first league championship had started.
The first moves towards professional footballers came in 1879, when Darwin, a small club from Lancashire club, twice managed to draw against the supposedly invincible Old Etonians in the FA Cup, before the famous team of London amateurs finally scraped through to win at the third attempt. Two Darwin players - John Love and Fergus Suter, hailing from Scotland, are reported as being the first players ever to receive payment for their football talent. Other clubs realised that they could get the best playing talent to come to them if they paid...and so the practice of paying players grew rapidly. The FA initially wanted to keep the game as an amateur one but soon realised it was fighting a losing battle and had no real choice but to legalise professionalism in 1885.
The new breed of professional footballer needed more regular competition and this which led to the creation of the Football League in 1888 by Aston Villa director William McGregor. The early days of the Football League was dominated by those clubs who had supported professionalism. The 12 founding members consisted of six teams from Lancashire (Blackburn Rovers, Burnley, Bolton Wanderers, Accrington, Everton and Preston North End) and six teams from the Midlands (Aston Villa, Derby County, Notts County, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers). Preston North End won the first ever Football League championship without losing any of their 22 fixtures, and won the FA Cup to complete the double.
In 1892, due to the ever increasing popularity of the game, a new Division Two was added, taking in more clubs from around the country. Woolwich Arsenal became the first League club from the capital in 1893. They were also joined by Liverpool the same year. By 1898 both divisions had grown to 18 clubs.
From 1920 to 1923 the Football League expanded even further and two more leagues were added (Division Three South and Division Three North). All leagues now contained 22 clubs...taking the league participation to 88 clubs in total. In 1923 Wembley Stadium opened and hosted its first Cup final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United. Bolton won 2–0 and the day will be forever known as the 'White Horse Cup Final'.
The Football League steadily grew and grew for around 60 years until The FA Premier League was formed in 1992. This saw the top 22 clubs in English football break away from the football league in an effort to increase their incomes and make themselves more competitive on a European stage. The move was a massive financial success and, with the help of the vast sums of money paid by Sky Sport and other broadcasters for the broadcasting rights, the Premier League is now arguably the richest football league in the world.
Below is a list of what we believe to be top 10 free bets for football available online right now:
William Hill offer a number of excellent football betting offers. New customers can get a £30 free bet when they place a £10 bet. All customers can benefit from 'Acca Five Insurance'. Simply place an accumulator of 5 or more selections on applicable sports and markets, and if just one of your selections loses, they will refund your stake as a free bet (max £50).
We have managed to negotiate an EXCLUSIVE £100 free bet bonus from Jetbull. Online since 2007 and fully licensed in the UK and Malta, Jetbull is an exciting online gaming and betting brand that captures the essence of entertainment and skill.
King of the 'stunts' and 'banter' - PaddyPower - are offering all new customers a a £30 free bet when they place a £10 bet...plus a free £10 casino bonus.
Fred Done and his brother Peter started the chain with a single betting shop in Salford in 1967 and have since built it into the world's largest independent bookmaker. They pride themselves on being a fun and friendly company who do what's best for the customers and have made their name with their unique Double Delight & Hat-Trick Heaven promotion.
There are many reasons you should join Skybet. £20 free bet, Super 6 and Skybet Tracker to name just three!
bet365 claim to be the world's largest online gambling company. As well as Sports, they also have first-class Casino, Games, Vegas, Poker and Bingo rooms. Open an account with bet365 today and claim your 100% Deposit Bonus.
Betfair are best know for their betting exchange. However, they make our list of top ten free bets because they now also offer a more 'traditional' betting experience at their sportsbook. They started at #10 but have already moved up to #7 in the top ten free bets pyramid. Can they go all the way to #1? Only time will tell!
888Sport do not technically offer a free bet at all. However, we feel that their 'Treble The Odds' offer is definitely worthy of a spot in the top 10.
Marathonbet is an independent sportsbook operator established in 1997. They are going from strength to strength and are rapidly becoming a serious player.
bwin is big time sports, real action and more.
If you're looking for top 10 free bets for football then you've come to the right place. We have teamed up with a select number of the most trusted and established online bookmakers to provide you with free bets when you open an account with them. Just click on any of the links or banner on this page.
If you don't see an offer that takes your fancy then simply enter your details in the boxes below and join our free mailing list so we can keep you up-to-date with the latest top 10 free bets for football.
Our mailing list is managed by industry leading providers Aweber so you can rest assured that your details are safe and secure. We will not share your details with any third parties and you can easily unsubscribe from the mailing list at anytime by simply clicking on an unsubscribe link contained in every email we send.