By Tim Lambert

c 1200 BC The Egyptians enjoy swimming, boxing, wrestling and archery. The Egyptians also play a board game called senet.

776 BC The Olympic Games begin in Greece in honour of Zeus

246 BC The first gladiators fight

c 100 Gladiators are popular. So are chariot races. The Romans also play board games and gamble with dice.

c 1000 AD The Saxons enjoy storytelling and hunting with falcons. Wrestling is also popular.

1200 AD The upper class enjoy hunting. They also like hawking. People play chess and draughts.

13th Century The first recorded bowling green is laid out Southampton.

15th Century The Scots develop golf. In England people play card games.

c 1530 The Tudors play casting the bar, which involves throwing an iron bar. Tennis and bowls are also popular with the well off. Ordinary people like football, bear and bull baiting and cock fighting.

1727 The Jockey Club is formed

c 1750 The first cricket club is founded in Hambledon in Hampshire

1780 The Derby begins

1835 Bull baiting is banned in Britain

1845 The first written rules for rugby are drawn up

1848 The first recorded game of conkers takes place

1867 The Queensberry rules for boxing are drawn up

1869 Polo is first played in Britain

1872 The first polo club in Britain is founded

1873 Lawn tennis is invented

1875 Snooker is invented

1880 The Amateur Athletics Association is formed

1885 The safety bicycle goes on sale

1887 Softball is invented

1891 Basketball is invented

1888 Cheap cameras are introduced and photography becomes a popular hobby

1895 Volleyball and netball are invented

1896 The Olympic Games are revived

1913 The first crossword is published

1930 The first Football World Cup is held in Uruguay

1935 Monopoly is introduced

1949 Cluedo is introduced

1966 Twister is introduced

1973 The first World Hot Air Ballooning Championships are held

1982 Trivial Pursuit is introduced

1985 Pictionary is introduced

A history of Sports

A history of Toys

A history of Holidays

A history of Games