Rugby’s rules in 1823 were quite simple. A touch line was clearly indicated on the ground but running towards the goal with ball in hand was not allowed. However, a 16-year old boy named Ellis continued running when he caught the ball instead of putting it on the ground as was usual. He ignored the rule. This is said to be the origin of rugby.
William Webb Ellis,
the inventor of rugby football
In November of 1823 at Rugby School, an independent school in England, a boy named William Webb Ellis, gripped by a great rush of enthusiasm while playing football, began to run toward the opposing team's goal but holding the ball in his arms, ignoring the basic 'no-hands' rule of football. Ellis was said to be the first person to perform such an absurd move, but it led to the subsequent establishment of rugby football.
This stone plaque commemorating the exploit of William Webb Ellis is still embedded in the redbrick wall by the front gate of Rugby School.