English Football’s Ties with Freemasonry

English football’s association with Freemasonry goes back to 1863 when the Football Association was formed at the Freemasons’ Tavern in London – on Great Queen Street in London, now the New Connaught Rooms next door to Freemasons’ Hall.

After the very first match under the new football governing rules way back in January 1864, a toast was drunk – how very Masonic in itself – to ‘success to football, irrespective of class or creed’.

There are a number of Masonic Lodges named after their famous teams – Anfield Lodge, No. 2215, Everton Lodge No. 823 and more recently the Football Lodge No.9921.

There have long been myths about the colors, or rather colours, of the professional soccer team “Machester City FC” of the English Premier League. In 1894 the club was in a financial crisis and was bailed out by Masons, who asked that in return the team wear the Masonic colour of blue. 

“Sidney Rose was a medical doctor and a Mancunian(Manchester) Freemason, he had been a supporter of Manchester City since the 1920s. He was appointed the Director of the club from 1966 to 1986, after resigning as director he was given the prestigious position of life Vice President until his dead in 2014. He revealed that: “The real founders of the Club became involved in 1894 when there was sort of financial crisis, and that they were Masons, or certainly had close Masonic connection…that was why they started playing in pale blue, the colours of the freemasonry.” Although there were no corroborative documents to support his claims, his reputation makes his claim hard to be dismissed.”




Masonic Athletes

Many people have been members of the fraternity of Freemasons over the years. That includes people from all walks of life, including professional athletes. These men became brothers and shining examples of the positive impact that Freemasonry has on each member.

Famous Athletes who are Freemasons:

Arnold Palmer – Golf
1929 – 2016
Is a 33′ Mason who joined Loyalhanna Lodge No. 275 F&AM in Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Ty Cobb – MLB Baseball
1886 – 1961
Was a member of Royston Lodge No. 426 F&AM in Detroit, Michigan

Honus Wagner – MLB baseball
1874 – 1955
Became a Freemason at Centennial Lodge No. 544 F&AM in Carnegie, Pennsylvania

Shaquille O’Neal – NBA Basketball
Born 1972
Is a member of Widow’s Son Lodge No.28 PHA in Boston, Massachusetts

Scottie Pippen – NBA Basketball
Born 1965
Is a member of Unity Lodge No.454 PHA in Arkansas

James Naismith – Inventor of the Sport of Basketball
1861 – 1939
Became a Freemason at Russell Lee Lodge in Springfield, Massachusetts

Tim Horton – NHL Hockey
1930 – 1974
Was a member of Kroy Lodge No. 676 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

John Elway Jr. – NFL Football
Born 1960
Became a Freemason in January 2002 at South Denver Masonic Lodge No. 93 F&AM in Denver, Colorado

Sugar Ray Robinson – Boxing
1921 – 1989
Was a member of Joppa Lodge #55 PHA in New York City, New York

Manny Pacquiao – Boxing
Born 1978
Has been initiated as an Entered Apprentice in March, 2021 at Mamamayang Pilipino Lodge in the Philippines.

Joe Frazier – Boxing
1944 – 2011
Became a Freemason in March 2009 at M.B. Taylor Lodge No. 141 F&AM in Hammonton, New Jersey

Jack Dempsey – World Heavyweight Champion
1895 – 1983
Was a member of Kenwood Lodge No. 800 AF&AM in Chicago, Illinois


Tall Cedars of Lebanon

This is an appendant body, or side degree, of Freemasonry. It devotes itself to friendship and brotherly love towards fellow Masons and all mankind. They are currently over 10,000 members strong and their chapters are mostly located in the Northeast of the United States. The individual members are called cedars, who in turn meet in chapters called forests. The national body is named the Supreme Forest.

“It all started in 1843 with some very energetic and imaginative Master Masons who dreamed up the idea of a Tall Cedar Degree, and in those days the degree was called ” The Ancient and Honorable Rite of Humility.” The name “Tall Cedar Degree” does not reveal itself other than the possibility of a somewhat shorter title than the aforementioned, and this was to remain as such until we adopted the title of ” Tall Cedars of Lebanon of the United States of America” upon incorporation in 1902.”

The official creed is: ” Fun Frolic & Fellowship”

Like most appendant bodies in Freemasonry, there is a designated charity for this organization. The Tall Cedars support research into Muscular Dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases. It is estimated that the Tall Cedars have raised over $14-million for Muscular Dystrophy research. Each year, the Supreme Forest presents a check at the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon.



Tiler’s Sword

The tiler is an officer of the Masonic lodge. His duty is to guard the closed doors of the lodge room from the approach and attempted entry of all non-approved individuals. This constitutes mostly non-Masons. But it can also mean Masons that are not in good standing, or who are not of the appropriate degree. Not in good standing means that their dues are not current. Being of the wrong degree means that the lodge has been opened in a higher degree, such as Master Mason, and the person trying to enter not having attained that level yet.

One hypothesis of the origin of the word tiler is that it derives from the tiles used in operative Masonry, that were used to seal the structural masonry, whether they be on floors, walls or roofs. Likewise, the tiler seals the activities of the lodge.

The tiler uses a drawn sword to represent his office. This sword can not be in a scabbard. He proceeds at the beginning of the lodge meeting from the altar to his station outside the doors brandishing this weapon. Once outside he sets up, ready to defend the lodge.

Traditionally the tiler’s sword used to be a flamberge, a large bladed sword, also known as a flaming sword.
This is in allusion of the flaming sword that was placed at the East side of the Garden of Eden, which turned every way to keep the way of the Tree of Life. Genesis (iii, 4): “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim’s and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life;” or, as Raphael has translated it, “the flaming sword which revolveth, to guard the way to the tree of life.” Today most lodge use a regular straight bladed sword instead.

The Tiler has not been armed with a sword through all of Masonic history. In early Freemasonry, the Tiler was “armed with the proper implement of his office,” which was appropriately, a trowel used for setting tiles.