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    0 0
  • 03/22/15--11:01: All Together Boys!

  • Charlie Roberts, Alex Downie and George Wall have a trot round Old Trafford, The Crewe skipper still has a love for his old clubmates and their new quarters.
    Dundee Evening Telegraph 14.02.12

    Glaswegian Alex Downie played for Third Lanark, Bristol City and Swindon Town before joining Newton Heath in 1902. The following year the Heathens underwent a change of name  and became Manchester United.  The half back played 191 games for the club before moving on to Oldham Athletic, United were still playing at Bank Street when he left the club.
    At the time Downie was at Crewe Alexandra (1911-12) they were playing in the new Central League. They had been a League club between 1892 and 1896 and rejoined with the expansion in 1921-22.



    0 0
  • 03/23/15--13:34: A 'League Table' for 1885
  • Imagine the speculation over the relative merits of various clubs before the existence of leagues.
    Cricket had come to terms (to some extent) of deciding which was Champion County, but in football the only honours available were cups decided on the knock out basis. (The challenge aspect of the Football Association Challenge Cup was short lived- Wanderers received a bye to the 1873 final).
    On March 7th  1885The Preston Chronicle  published a League table.
    The selection is broad:  There are 34 teams: 8 of the original 12 League clubs (no West Bromwich Albion, Stoke, Everton, Derby County); The Universities; 6 Scottish clubs; 4 'Old Boys' clubs. 13 of the teams came from Lancashire.

    Ingeniously the compiler devised a system ('average to 1') of goal ratio by which to rate the teams. So a stingy defence was rewarded.


    P

    W

    D

    L

    F

    A

    ave

    Cambridge University

    20

    18

    1

    1

    93

    15

    6.20

    Wolverhampton Wanderers

    25

    17

    6

    2

    103

    18

    5.72

    Walsall

    24

    16

    2

    6

    110

    23

    4.78

    Preston North End

    37

    25

    7

    5

    137

    40

    3.42

    Hibernians

    25

    20

    1

    4

    119

    37

    3.21

    Oxford University

    18

    12

    1

    5

    58

    19

    3.05

    Bolton Wanderers

    41

    31

    2

    8

    165

    55

    3.00

    Great Lever

    34

    24

    3

    6

    135

    45

    3.00

    Queen’s Park

    25

    18

    5

    2

    80

    29

    2.75

    Blackburn Olympic

    32

    19

    5

    8

    142

    52

    2.73

    Notts Club (County)

    29

    20

    4

    5

    90

    34

    2.61

    Accrington

    28

    23

    1

    4

    82

    33

    2.48

    Blackburn Rovers

    37

    23

    7

    7

    128

    55

    2.32

    Upton Park

    21

    12

    4

    5

    65

    29

    2.27

    Vale of Leven

    23

    13

    5

    5

    61

    28

    2.17

    Glasgow Rangers

    26

    16

    3

    7

    90

    44

    2.05

    Church

    27

    16

    4

    7

    80

    45

    1.97

    Burnley

    44

    25

    6

    13

    105

    62

    1.89

    Walsall Swifts

    29

    14

    7

    8

    70

    44

    1.89

    Nottingham Forest

    23

    16

    2

    5

    63

    40

    1.57

    Old Foresters

    25

    13

    3

    9

    66

    42

    1.57

    Aston Villa

    32

    17

    6

    9

    87

    60

    1.45

    Darwen

    30

    10

    7

    13

    68

    48

    1.41

    Wednesbury Old Athletic

    24

    13

    3

    8

    71

    51

    1.39

    Halliwell

    31

    14

    3

    14

    87

    65

    1.33

    Pollockshields Athletic

    20

    14

    0

    6

    45

    34

    1.32

    Padiham

    29

    17

    4

    8

    74

    53

    1.32

    Old Carthusians

    12

    8

    0

    4

    33

    28

    1.21

    Old Westminsters

    23

    11

    4

    8

    51

    53

    1.0

    Wednesday

    28

    12

    5

    11

    55

    59

    0.93

    Blackburn Park Road

    23

    7

    7

    9

    44

    50

    0.88

    Witton

    28

    12

    1

    15

    51

    59

    0.86

    3rd Lanark RV

    24

    9

    5

    10

    37

    48

    0.77

    Old Etonians

    17

    5

    3

    9

    36

    51

    0.70


    One big name from this era not included was Corinthian FC. Granted, Corinth was still a relatively new outfit. I looked at their fixtures from September 1884 to March 1885. The figures were not impressive:

    Corinthian FC
    10
    3
    1
    6
    24
    34
    0.70


    I have redone the table using a points system (3 for a win and 1 for a draw) and determined what percentage of the points available each team obtained. Cambridge still come out clear winners, but there are significant differences in the placements of some of the other teams.

    %


    91.66

    Cambridge University

    83.33

    Accrington

    81.33

    Hibernians

    78.66

    Queen’s Park

    77.23

    Bolton Wanderers

    76

    Wolverhampton Wanderers

    73.87

    Preston North End

    73.56

    Notts Club (County)

    73.52

    Great Lever

    71.66

    Upton Park

    70

    Pollockshields Athletic

    69.44

    Walsall

    68.51

    Oxford University

    68.46

    Blackburn Rovers

    66.66

    Old Carthusians

    65.38

    Glasgow Rangers

    64.58

    Blackburn Olympic

    64.19

    Church

    63.76

    Vale of Leven

    63.76

    Nottingham Forest

    63.21

    Padiham

    61.36

    Burnley

    59.37

    Aston Villa

    58.33

    Wednesbury Old Athletic

    56.32

    Walsall Swifts

    56

    Old Foresters

    53.62

    Old Westminsters

    48.80

    Wednesday

    48.38

    Halliwell

    44.44

    3rd Lanark RV

    44.04

    Witton

    41.11

    Darwen

    40.57

    Blackburn Park Road

    35.29

    Old Etonians










































    The success of the team had an impact on the sporting culture of the Universities.  On 5.3.85 at the Cambridge Union Society's Debate it was agreed to promote Football to a 'full blue' (elevating the  game to the same exalted level as athletics, cricket and rowing).
    This is the Cambridge team for the 1885 Varsity Match:


    GK
    M.J Rendall


    FB
    A.M Walters

    9 England appearances (1885-90)


    FB
    H. Buckley


    HB
    A. Amos

    2 England appearances (1885-86)


    HB
    T.W Blenkiron


    HB
    F.E Saunders

    1 England cap (1888) when playing for Swifts


    F
    B.W Spilsbury

    3 England caps, 5 goals (1885-86)


    F
    T.H Marsh


    F
    T.Lindley

    Later played for Nottingham Forest and won 13 England caps (1886-91) scoring 14 goals. England’s top scorer before Bloomer.


    F
    W.N Cobbold

    Also of Old Carthusians- 9 England caps (1883-87) scoring 6 goals.


    F
    F Marchant






































    I've scoured the newspaper archives in order to try and identify the 20 matches that the compiler had drawn Cambridge's record from ('up to the end of February 1885').
    I could only find the following :

    01.11.84 
    Cambridge University
    13
    0
    Swifts
    ??.11.84
    Cambridge University
    2
    0
    Old Foresters
    15.11.84
    Cambridge University
    6
    2
    Sussex
    19.11.84
    Cambridge University
    5
    0
    Corinthian FC
    22.11.84
    Brentwood 
    0
    2
    Cambridge University
    29.11.84
    Cambridge University
    12
    1
    Carthusians
    11.12.84
    Cambridge University
    4
    0
    Middlesex
    13.12.84
    Aston Villa
    3
    1
    Cambridge University
    ??.12.84
    Cambridge University
    5
    2
    Nottingham
    04.01.85
    Stoke
    1
    2
    Cambridge University
    08.01.85
    Liverpool Ramblers
    2
    2
    Cambridge University
    12.02.85
    Cambridge University
    9
    0
    Brentwood
    14.02.85
    London 
    0
    4
    Cambridge University
    16.02.85
    Cambridge University
    1
    1
    Aston Villa
    21.02.85
    Cambridge University
    4
    0
    Clapham Rovers
    25.02.85
    Cambridge University
    1
    0
    Oxford University

    These results compute as:

    P
    W
    D
    L
    F
    A
    ave
    Points %
    16
    13
    2
    1
    72
    13
    5.53
    85.41


    Which would still place Cambridge at the top of the table.



    0 0
  • 03/25/15--14:04: 05.04.02






















  • Full House- the game in progress

    In July 1902 Alexander McDougall, a building contractor and timber merchant of Partick, appeared at Glasgow Circuit Court charged with Culpable Homicide.
    In 1899  Glasgow Rangers had decided to invest £12,000 on ground improvements at Ibrox (the eventual cost was £20,000).  McDougall had submitted an estimate of £5280 to construct timber terraces in the ground. The charges were based on the assertion that McDougall had used inferior pine in the construction and had not built the beams and joists in the requisite manner. After a 2 day trial a unanimous verdict of not guilty was delivered.
    This, of course, was a postscript to the Ibrox Disaster. The collapse of the terracing during the Scotland v England match on 05.04.02 had led to the deaths of 25 spectators and more than 500 people had been injured.




    Remarkably, reports of the abandoned match appeared in the press. The opening line of the account below beggars belief. 


    Incidentally- this was the first occasion on which both nations had fielded exclusively professional teams.
    In the first half of the match Scotland were attacking the western end of the ground at which the accident occurred. There are conflicting accounts of the incident. It would appear that the terrace collapsed after about 15 minutes play, and that play was suspended for about 20 minutes before the decision was made to play on.
    Officially the match is recorded as abandoned and does not count towards the official records of the Football Association of the Scottish FA.































    0 0
  • 03/26/15--14:32: Fall River

  •  Fall River is a city in Bristol CountyMassachusetts, associated with the textile industry. In 1880 the population was 48,961. The American Soccer History Archives list no fewer than 30 Association  football teams being formed in Fall River during the period 1882-87. Many of these appear to be 'works' teams.


    1882-83

    Fall River East Ends

    Fall River Old Roads

    Fall River North Ends


    1883-84

    Fall River Bowenville Globes

    Fall River County St. Rovers

    Fall River Flint Mills

    Fall River Rovers


    1884-85

    Fall River Barnaby Mills

    Fall River Canonicuts

    Fall River King Phillips

    Fall River Lindsay St. Rovers

    Fall River Main Streets 

    Fall River Mechanics

    Fall River Merry Boys

    Fall River Osbornes

    Fall River Parks

    Fall River St Patricks


    1885-86

    Fall River Chace St. Rovers

    Fall River Rangers


    1886-87

    Fall River Allarounds

    Fall River Chelseas

    Fall River Harrisons

    Fall River McLaughlins

    Fall River Pilgrims

    Fall River Pleasant St. Rovers

    Fall River Pleasant Views

    Fall River Shrove Wanderers

    Fall River Tower St. Rangers

    Fall River Tremonts

    Fall River Wamsuttas

    Fall River Weetamoes



    Between 1888 and 1892 teams from Fall River won the American Cup five times in succession.

    American Cup Winners:
    1888

    Fall River Rovers


    1889

    Fall River Rovers


    1890

    Fall River Olympics


    1891

    Fall River East Ends


    1892
    Fall River East Ends




    Rovers 

    1896

    Fall River Olympics - American Cup Finalists


    1909

    Fall River Rovers - New England League Winners

    Rovers played 2 matches against the Pilgrims (England) tourists- drawing 1-1 and winning 2-1.

    1910

    Fall River Rovers - Eastern Soccer League I Winners


    1916

    Fall River Rovers- National Challenge Cup Finalists

    Rovers’ Tommy Swords captained the USA in their first ever international.





















    Swords


    1917

    Fall River Rovers- National Challenge Cup Winners, Times Cup Winners


    1918

    Fall River Rovers - National Challenge Cup Finalists


    1921

    Fall River Rovers dissolved

    Fall River United founded

    Fall River United draw 2-2 with Third Lanark (Scotland)


    1922

    United become Marksmen




    Marksmen

    Sam Mark took over the ownership of Fall River United in 1922 and named them the Marksmen. He was also behind the construction of the Mark's Stadium, one of the first 'Soccer specific' stadiums in the USA. This venue was in North Tiverton, Rhode Island, as Massachusetts law prohibited the playing of  commercial sports on Sundays.
    The Marksmen featured former Chelsea player Harold Brittan; Scottish born goalkeeper Lindy Kerr; James White, Tommy Martin ( both ex Motherwell), Bill McPherson (Beith) and Charlie McGill (Third Lanark).
    Brittan

    1924

    Fall River Marksmen - American Soccer League I Winners, National Challenge Cup Winners


    1925

    Fall River Marksmen - American Soccer League I Winners


    1926

    Fall River Marksmen - American Soccer League I Winners

    Marksmen beat the touring Sparta Prague 3-2.


    1927

    Fall River Marksmen - National Challenge Cup Winners


    1928

    Marksmen played 2 touring sides. They defeated Brazil’s Palestra Italia 4-2 but lost 3-0 to Glasgow Rangers.

    Fall River Powers Hudson Essex shared the National Amateur Cup following a drawn final.


    1929

    Fall River Marksmen - American Soccer League I Winners




    1930

    Fall River Marksmen - Atlantic Coast League Winners, American Soccer League Winners, National Challenge Cup Winners.

    Fall River Rafferty - National Amateur Challenge Cup Winners





     Billy Gonsalves and Bert Patenaude  of the Marksmen were leading figures in the USA World Cup Squad in 1930,

    The Marksmen played 2 Scottish touring teams in 1930: Kilmarnock were beaten 3-0 whilst Glasgow Rangers enjoyed 3-2 and 6-1 wins. 


    The club also undertook a tour of Central Europe:


    20.08.30
    Slavia Prague
    2
    2
    Fall River Marksmen
    Prague

    23.08.30
    Wiener A.C.
    6
    0
    Fall River Marksmen
    Vienna

    24.08.30
    Austria Vienna
    1
    3
    Fall River Marksmen
    Vienna

    28.08.30
    Slavia Prague
    4
    0
    Fall River Marksmen
    Prague

    30.08.30
    SK Bratislava
    0
    3
    Fall River Marksmen
    Bratislava

    31.08.30
    Ferencvaros
    6
    2
    Fall River Marksmen
    Budapest


    In 1931 The Marksmen relocated to New York City, merged with New York Football Club and became New York Yankees (although they still played Cup matches as Fall River Marksmen).

    1931

    Fall River Football Club ( #1) - National Challenge Cup Winners
    Fall River F.C.( #1) 5- Verez Sarsfield (Argentina) 2

    The Yankees in turn moved to New Bedford where they merged with Fall River F.C (#1) to become the New Bedford Whalers. 

    New Fall River based clubs emerged in the 1930s. In 1932 Fall River Football Club  (#2) won the 'fall' edition of the American Soccer League.
    In the following seasons the New England Division of the American Soccer League featured Fall River Rovers and Fall River United.
    The Fall River All-Americans reached the National Amateur Challenge Cup Final in 1935.
    In 1937 Fall River Americans played in  the New England Division of the American Soccer League

    The 1930s  also saw the development of another Fall River club that would go on to great success (but outside our chosen era)- the amateur Ponta Delgada Soccer Club, based in the city's Portuguese community. 


    0 0
  • 03/28/15--06:15: Archie Hunter Memorial Match

  • Archie Hunter died in Novenber 1894 at the age of 35. 
    In a League match against Everton at Anfield on 4th January 1890. Torrential rain and a quagmire of a pitch, the game reduced to 35 minutes each way.  Hunter had collapsed at half time (with Villa 4-0 down, reduced to 10 men they eventually succumbed 7-0). Press reports were that he had 'fainted' or 'had a fit'.Heart trouble appears to have been the reason for this collapse.
    Hunter never played again.


    Birmingham Daily Post - 16.01.90

    The match advertised, 'for the benefit of his widow', was played on September 23rd 1895.
    The teams lined up as follows:

    Aston Villa


    West Bromwich Albion

    Wilkes
    G
    Reader
    Welford
    B
    C. Perry
    Crabtree
    B
    Williams
    Reynolds
    HB
    Higgins
    Jimmy Cowan
    HB
    Banks
    Burton
    HB
    T.Perry
    Athersmith
    F
    Bassett
    Devey
    F
    McLeod
    Campbell
    F
    Hutchinson
    Hodgetts
    F
    Saunders
    John Cowan
    F
    Edwards

    Jack Burton, Jimmy Cowan, Harry Devey and Denny Hodgetts had been in the Villa side the day that Hunter was taken ill.  The Baggies took the lead through  Saunders but Villa came back with 2 goals by Johnny Campbell.                                                       
    It was a  busy week for Albion , having played this match on the  Monday, they faced  Walsall away on Tuesday and Aberystwyth Town away on Wednesday.



    0 0
  • 03/29/15--11:53: Germany v England 1930

  • It was 1930 before England fielded a full international side against Germany. Between 1899 and 1901, prior to the formation of a German national team, there were five unofficial international matches between  teams representing the 2 nations  (the English  sides won all 5 with an aggregate of 52-4) . Between 1908 and 1913 the England Amateur XI had played Germany  4 times (3 wins, 1 draw , for 19, against 3) By 1930 however, the British were beginning to acknowledge the advances made by continental sides and were prepared to meet them on an equal footing, a fact borne out by The Football Association selection committee's decision to field the XI that had beaten Scotland in April for the friendlies against Germany and Austria. 
    In the days leading up to this match the German media took the stance  that Germany would not capitulate to the English, and that if they approached the match with self belief that they could win.  
    The match was played at Berlin's Grunewaldstadion (Deutsches Stadion) watched by a crowd of 50,000. Germany played in red jerseys and England wore their usual white. 

    Germany
    England
    Willibald Kreß
    Rot-Weiß Frankfurt

    G
    Harry Hibbs
    Birmingham

    Franz Schütz
    Eintracht Frankfurt

    RB
    Roy Goodall
    Huddersfield Town

    Hans Stubb
    Eintracht Frankfurt

    LB
    Ernie Blenkinsop
    Sheffield Wednesday

    Conny Heidkamp
    Bayern Munich

    RH
    Alf Strange
    Sheffield Wednesday

    Ludwig Leinberger
    SpVgg.Fürth

    CH
    Maurice Webster
    Middlesbrough

    Hugo Mantel
    Eintracht Frankfurt

    LH
    Billy Marsden
    Sheffield Wednesday

    Josef Bergmaier
    Bayern Munich

    OR
    Sammy Crooks
    Derby County

    Josef Pöttinger
    Bayern Munich

    IR
    David Jack
    Arsenal

    Ernst Kuzorra
    Schalke 04

    CF
    Vic Watson
    West Ham United

    Richard Hofmann
    Dresdner SC

    IL
    Joe Bradford
    Birmingham

    Ludwig Hofmann
    Bayern Munich

    OL
    Ellis Rimmer
    Sheffield Wednesday



    Joe Bradford gave England the lead in the 11th minute. Richard Hofmann leveled 10 minutes later, only for Bradford to restore England's lead after 25 minutes. 
    Marsden suffered concussion, and did not come out for the second half.  With England reduced to 10 men Hofmann netted twice (49th and 60th minutes) to complete his hat trick. David Jack headed the equaliser 8 minutes from time. 


    Hofmann
    Hofmann was a prolific scorer: 24 goals in 25 Internationals. In September 1930 he surpassed Gottfried Fuchs' record (15). The hat trick against England was his third. He scored 5 international hat tricks in successive seasons (1928-32).


    0 0

    Deerstalkers were popular with referees.

    When the Football Association’s Laws of the Game were drawn up in 1863 there was no mention to referees, umpires or any arbiters. However, by the 1870s it was common for association matches to be overseen by two umpires and a referee. This practice is traditionally ascribed to the advent of competitive football with the introduction of the FA Cup in 1871. Of course most football was still played by the class of men who would never knowingly seek to gain unfair advantage or deliberately transgress.
    In the Alcock Internationals we see the casual approach to officialdom in keeping with the 'scratch' nature of the matches, the personnel being:
    Match 1-No mention  made of Umpires and Referees, the assumption being that disputes were settled by the captains.
    Match 2-Umpires - Morton Peto Betts (England) and Alexander Morten (Scotland)
    Match 3-Umpires - Robert Barker (Hertfordshire Rangers, England) and William Wallace. (Wanderers, for Scotland) Referee - Charles Mansfield Tebbut (Wanderers).
    Match  4- Umpires - Alfred Stair (Upton Park, England) and Gilbert Kennedy (Wanderers, for Scotland).
    Match 5-Only one Umpire known - Alexander Morten  (taken from Andy Mitchell's First Elevens).

      In practice each side would nominate an Umpire to whom the captains could appeal regarding any situation that arose during play. This situation was usually adequate, although the Umpires were later described in the press as 12th men on each side who could harass the Referee with pleas and arguments.
    One Umpire operated in each half of the field (or more accurately each side of the field- for this purpose the field was divided lengthwise). The Referee could operate from the sidelines, but was often to be found on the field of play.

    If we look at the officials involved in the England  vs Scotland internationals during the Umpire / Referee era we see a veritable Who's Who of Victorian football.  Prominent football administrators and international players past, present and future fulfilled the roles.



    Referee
    Umpires


    England
    Scotland
    1872
    William Keay (S)
    (Hon. Treasurer- Queen's Park)

    C.W. Alcock*
    (Wanderers & Hon. Secretary FA)


    H.N. Smith
    (President - Queen's Park)


    1873
    Theodore Lloyd (E)
    (Crystal Palace)

    C.W. Alcock*
    (Wanderers & Hon. Secretary FA)


    Archibald Rae
    (Queen's Park)


    1874
    Archibald Rae (S)
    (Queen's Park)

     Alexander Morton*
    (Crystal Palace)

    William Keay
    (Queen's Park)


    1875
    Alfred Stair (E)
    (Upton Park)


    Major Francis Marindin
    (President - FA)

    J.C. Mackay
    (Hon. Sec.- SFA)

    1876
    William C Mitchell (S)
    (Queen's Park)

    J. Turner
    (Swifts)


    Robert Gardner*
    (Clydesdale)

    1877
    Robert A.M.M Ogilvie (E)*
    (Clapham Rovers)


    Hubert Heron*
    (Wanderers)

    William Dick
    (Hon. Sec.- SFA)


    1878
    William A Dick (S)
    (Hon. Sec.- SFA)

    G. Turner
    (Edinburgh University)

    R.B. Colquhon
    (Vice-President- SFA)


    1879
    Charles Wollaston (E)*
    (Wanderers)

    A. F. Kinnaird*
    (Treasurer- FA)

    R.B. Colquhon
    (Vice-President- SFA)


    1880
    Capt. Donald Hamilton (S)
    (Vice-President- SFA)

    W. Pierce-Dix
    (Hon. Sec.- Sheffield FA)


    J. Nicholson
    (Vale of Leven)

    1881
    Major Francis Marindin (E)
    (President-FA)


    E.H. Bambridge*
    (Swifts)

    Capt. Donald Hamilton
    (Vice-President- SFA)

    1882
    John Wallace (S)
    (Vice-President- SFA)

    Segar  Bastard*
    (Upton Park)

    Thomas Anderson
    (Renfrew)


    1883
    John Sinclair (I)*
    (Hon. Treasurer- Irish FA )

    J.C. Clegg*
     (President -Sheffield FA)
    Thomas  Lawrie
     (President- SFA)


    1884
    John Sinclair (I)*
    (Hon. Treasurer- Irish FA )

    Major Francis Marindin
    (President-FA)

    Thomas Lawrie
    (Vice-President -SFA)


    1885
    John Sinclair (I)*
    (Irish FA)

    M.P. Betts*
    (Old Harrovians)


    J. E. McKillop
    (Scottish FA)

    1886
    Alexander Hunter (W)*
    (Secretary-Welsh FA)


    N.L. Jackson
    (Corinthians & Hon. Sec.- FA)

    Alexander Stuart
    (Vice-President- SFA)

    1887
    John Sinclair (I)*
    (Irish FA)

    R.P. Gregson
    (Sec- Lancashire FA)


    R. Browne
    (Queen's Park FC)

    1888
    John Sinclair (I)*
    (Irish FA)

    M.P. Betts*
    (Old Harrovians)

    A Mc Kennedy
    (President- SFA)


    1889
    John Sinclair (I)*
    (Irish FA)

    J.C. Clegg*
     (President -Sheffield FA)
    J.A. Crerar
    (Third Lanark FC & President -SFA)

    1890
    John Reid (I)*
    (Irish FA)

    R.P. Gregson
    (Sec- Lancashire FA)


    Charles Campbell*
    (President- SFA)

    1891
    William J Morrow  (I)
    (President- Irish FA)


    S.W. Widdowson*
    (Nottingham Forest)

    T.R. Park
    (SFA)


    *denotes an international player.

    The inauguration of the British Home Championship in 1883 saw the introduction of neutral referees.
    The 1891-92 season saw the Umpires rendered obsolete- replaced by linesmen whose powers were relatively limited, the Referee, by now, having become at least in theory, omnipotent.



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    Società Ginnastica Andrea Doria was founded at Genoa's Swiss College in 1895. They were named after a great Genoese admiral and warlord of the 16th century. The main focus of the club was gymnastics, but informal games of football were played from the outset, and a football section was formally instituted in 1900.
    The club first participated in the  Campionato Federale di Football in 1902, their debut being a 3-1 defeat at the hands of neighbours Genoa.


    The colours were blue and white
    Andrea Doria were winners of the Federazione Ginnastica Nazionale Italiana's Campionato Italiano di Calcio on 3 occasions (1910, 1912 &1913) and shared the title once (1902).

    1924

    Under the fascist regime Società Ginnastica Andrea Doria underwent an enforced merger with Società Ginnastica Comunale Sampierdarenese to form a short lived team called L'Associazione Calcio La Dominante (1927-1930).



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  • 04/03/15--08:36: The Great Victory

  • I have seen all the best sides in Football but I have never seen a side that compared to Preston North End at their best. We beat them but I do not pretend for a moment that we deserved to beat them.
    Billy Bassett



    The FA Cup Final, 1888. Preston North End were strong favourites to win the match. From September 1887 to March 17th 1888 they had won every game. On March 17th they had drawn 1-1 with Crewe Alexandra.
     In the eyes of  the FA president and match referee Major Marindin Preston North End were a Bad Thing- he disapproved of their supposed reliance on Scottish imports. Now the Preston players incensed him further by asking to have a team photograph with the cup before the match. 
    Anecdotally West Bromwich Albion players refused to bet with their Preston North End counterparts on the outcome of the match. The team featured the majority of the players that would go on to feature in the Invincibles squad the following season. Add to that impressive pool of talent the name of  Nick Ross, probably the best defender of his era.

    West Bromwich Albion
    Preston North End
    Bob Roberts
    GK
    R.H Mills-Roberts
    Albert Aldridge
    RB
    Bob Howarth
    Harry Green
    LD
    Nick Ross*
    Ezra Horton
    RH
    Bob Holmes
    Charlie Perry
    CH
    David Russell*
    George Timmins
    LH
    Johnny Graham*
    George Woodhall
    OR
    Jack Gordon*
    Billy Bassett
    IR
    Jimmy Ross*
    Jem Bayliss
    CF
    John Goodall
    Joe Wilson
    IL
    Fred Dewhurst 
    Tom Pearson
    OL
    George Drummond*

    * Scottish players. Mills-Roberts was Welsh. Mills-Roberts and Dewhurst were amateurs. The majority of the  West Bromwich players  were born in that town, with others from nearby Walsall, Tipton and Handsworth. 

    Contemporary reports condemn the Preston forwards for their profligacy. Each of the 5 North End forwards was guilty of at least one serious error in front of goal, and Nick Ross was reported as having said at half time 'our forwards will cost us this match',

    Preston North End

    Bayliss put Albion ahead in the 20th minute, shooting home from a Bassett cross. Dewhurst equalised in a scramble 7 minutes into the second half, and after Jimmy Ross had hit the post West Brom got a winner with just over 10 minutes left to play. 
    Modern references credit the winning goal to Woodhall, but most contemporary
    newspaper reports I have read give the winning goal to Bayliss, heading in after Woodhall had shot against the post. Another account has a shot by Woodhall being deflected in off Bassett's knee. The Birmingham Daily Post infers that Woodhall was responsible for the goal.  Such was life before the action replay.

    Bayliss

    Woodhall

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  • 04/06/15--08:25: Jack Thomas
  • Jack Thomas was born in County Durham.
    He played for Brighton and Hove Albion in the Southern League before joining Newcastle United for the 1911-12 season.
    He made one first team appearance, playing at inside right in a 1-1 draw away to Manchester City.
    Thomas then returned to Spennymoor United, the Northern League club where his career began.
    Pretty unremarkable.
    During the 1914-18 War however Jack Thomas was involved in a series of remarkable exploits.
    Captured by the Germans he was involved in attempt to tunnel out of the prison camp. He eventually escaped and made use of a compass smuggled in a cake to return to Britain. He was then sent back to Europe to work as a spy.

    Credit

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  • 04/07/15--13:28: Football In Many Lands







  • Nottingham Evening Post 23.05.30

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  • 04/08/15--13:39: English High School AC
  • Alexander Watson Hutton
    When the Scottish educationalist Alexander Watson Hutton became aware that the Saint Andrew's Scots School (Buenos Aires) of which he was director, had insufficient funds to promote sporting activities he resigned and established his own institution - The Buenos Aires English High School.
    Watson Hutton was such a strong believer in the importance of sports in education that he even 'imported' a Scottish football coach- a certain William Watters of whom I can find no further information. The claim that Watters brought the first footballs to Argentina is spurious, as games were played as early as the 1860s 

     In February 1893, Watson Hutton was responsible for the foundation of a second incarnation of The Argentine Association Football League.
    English High School won its first title in 1900. That year also saw English High School awarded the Herald Trophy. This was an award by the Buenos Aires Herald newspaper based on a readers' vote for the most popular team in Buenos Aires.
    The result was :
    English High School AC - 6,942 votes
    Quilmes - 3,467 votes
    Belgrano Athletic - 3,358

    In 1901 the Association rules were changed- it was stipulated that teams must not have the names of schools. Consequently the club members chose a new name- Alumni AC (alumni is Latin for former pupils).

    Alumni dominated Argentinian club football for the following decade. 




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  • 04/09/15--13:26: The Dooley Fitba' Club

  • Fitba' is a Scottish colloquialism for 'football'. 
    Within 25 years of the foundation of the Football Association, our game had evolved into a form of mass entertainment in which millions of Britons engaged to some degree, Historians often measure football against Music Hall in order to gauge lucrativeness, economic, social and cultural impact.  Music Hall was a phenomenally successful source of mass entertainment in the pre cinema era.
    Music Hall and Popular Culture were synonymous.
    It is not surprising that football found its way onto the Music Hall stage.
    The above song is an example (according to some sources, the first). It is a Scottish dialect number concerning fanatical devotion to the game, and survived into the modern era in the form of Football Crazy, recorded by Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor in 1960, often played on Ed Stewart's Junior Choice when I was a boy.


     James Curran ( aka Currin) was a popular humorous songwriter. An alcoholic, he died in poverty. 

     Music Hall legend Harry Lauder described J.C McDonald as 'the leading comedian in Scotland and a tremendously popular personage throughout the length and breadth of the land'. 
    Patter (where the performer addresses the audience in a spoken aside- a staple of Music Hall performances).


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    Of the 12 teams that took part in the inaugural season of the Football League 10 are still playing League football , and Stoke, reformed in 1908, did their very best to carry on seamlessly where the original club left off.
    So, how many of those 11 grounds have hosted League football for 127 years? And what has become of the grounds of 1888 which are no longer used for football?

    Accrington - Thorneyholme Road
     Thorneyholme Road was a cricket ground when Accrington FC was formed. It is still in use as a cricket ground, and the area where the football pitch was is now tennis courts. The last League match at the ground was played on April 15th, 1893.

    Aston Villa - Wellington Road (Perry Bar)
    Villa acquired the ground, then undeveloped, in 1876, It remained their home ground until 1897. Wellington Road hosted 2 FA Cup semi finals and an England international, but the playing surface was poor and Villa wanted a more commodious stadium.  The last League match was played at Wellington Road on 22nd  March 1897. The land was built over and no trace of the old ground remains. 


    Blackburn Rovers - Leamington Road
    Rovers moved into this, their third ground, in 1881. Leamington Road hosted 2 England internationals. The last League game played there was on January 4th 1890, after which the club moved to Ewood Park. The Leamington Road ground was built over and is now the site of rows of charming red brick houses.



    Bolton WanderersPikes Lane
    Bolton's first regular home venue. The club remained at Pikes Lane from 1880 until 1895, the last game being played on 13th April 1895. The ground was reputedly unpopular with players and spectators alike due to the bumpy pitch and poor facilities. It is now the site of terraced housing. 

    Burnley - Turf Moor
    Burnley moved into Turf Moor in 1883 and remain there to this day.

    Derby County - The County Ground
    The County Ground (aka The Racecourse) is still a County Cricket Ground (no longer used for horse racing!). Derby County played there until 1895 when they moved to the Base.ball Ground. The County ground was the first provincial ground to host an FA Cup Final (1886) and also staged an England International.

    Everton - Anfield
    Anfield is still a League venue of course, but with different tenants.  Everton played their last match there in 1891 before moving into their grand purpose built stadium at Goodison Park.

    Notts County - Trent Bridge
    Continuing the theme of cricket grounds. Trent Bridge hosted Notts County matches in the 1860s, but it was the primary venue for Nottingham Forest until 1883. Forest relocated and County moved in, staying until  1910, when they moved to Meadow Lane. 

    Preston North End - Deepdale
     North End was primarily a cricket club when they first leased the land on Deepdale Farm in 1875. Their winter game was Rugby football. Association was first played at Deepdale in 1878, and it remains the home of Preston North End to this day.



    Stoke- The Victoria Ground
    Football was originally played in Stoke at the Victoria Cricket Club, but this was not the same venue. Stoke moved across the road from Sweetings Field to the Victoria Ground in 1878. At the time it was still known as The Athletic Club field, but was later named after a pub built on the Sweetings Field  that Stoke had vacated. The Victoria Ground was the home of Stoke and their successors until 1997.
    The site is now wasteland.



    West Bromwich Albion -Stoney Lane
    Stoney Lane was Albion's 5th ground. It was their home from 1885 until 1900. The site is now a housing estate.



    Wolverhampton Wanderers - Dudley Road
    Home to the Wanderers from 1881- 1889, the last match being played on 2nd  March 1889. Now a housing estate. 



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    The number of clubs in the Football League in 1919 was 44. In 1921 that number had grown to 86. This expansion was completed by the formation of the northern section of the Third Division in March 1921.
    There had been reservations from the Football League management Committee regarding both the playing standards and financial security of the Northern clubs. The original Third Division had been largely formed of established Southern League Clubs. In addition to the £100 registration fee and the 10 guineas a year membership, each of the Northern Clubs had to pay the League a guarantee of £50. The grounds of the applicants were subjected to inspection.
    This was an austere period in the nation's history, with football affected as much as any other area of society. League membership was often perceived as being a guarantee of financial security. 
    None of the clubs listed below has ever reached the top tier of the English game (14 of the 22 clubs that made up the previous season's almost exclusively southern Third Division have reached that level, and 4 are currently in the Premier League).   

    The following 20 teams made up the Third Division North for the 1921-22 season:
     

    Accrington Stanley
    The name lives on.The 'Owd Reds were formed in 1891 and joined the Lancashire Combination in 1900. 1921-22 was their first season in the Football League. They remained in the Third division until 1960, when they were relegated. During their second season in Division Four they resigned from the Football League. Returning to the Lancashire combination the club folded in 1966. The current League Two club were founded in 1968 and joined the Football League in 2006. 

    Ashington

    The Colliers were founded in 1883. 1921-22 was their first season in the Football League.
    They were relegated from the League at the end of the  1928-29 season. They currently play in the Northern Football League. (9th tier of the Pyramid).


    Barrow
    Founded in 1901. Joined the Lancashire Combination in 1903.1921-22 was their first season in the Football League. They spent 51 seasons in the League (11 in Division 4) and failed re election in 1972. They currently play in the Conference North (6th tier of the Pyramid). 

    Chesterfield
    Formed in 1919 after a previous League (1899-1909) club of the same name had entered into liquidation in 1915. 1921-22 was their first season in the Football League. 

    FA Cup semi-finalists in 1996–97. Currently in League 1 (3rd tier).

    Crewe Alexandra

    Founded in 1877. previously in Division Two of the Football League (1892-96). Before their return to the League in 1921-22 they played in  The Combination, Lancashire league , Central League Birmingham & District League,  Currently in League 1 (3rd tier).

    Darlington

    Founded 1883. Founding members of the Northern League in 1889. 1921-22 was their first season in the Football League. They slipped out of the League in 1989 but returned after just one season. they were relegated out of the League again in 2011 and wound up in 2012.


    Durham City
    Formed in 1918. 1921-22 was their first season in the Football League. In 1928 they failed to gain re-election to the league and returned to playing in the North Eastern League, Disbanded in 1938,

    Jimmy Carmichael of Grimsby Town was the season's top scorer with 37 goals 

    Grimsby Town

    Grimsby joined the Football  League in 1892-93. They were formed as Grimsby Pelham in 1878. They had been relegated out of the League in 1910-11, playing in the Midland League and returning after one season. They finished bottom of Division 2 in 1920-21 and were relegated into the new Third Division North. Remained in the Football league until 2010 and now play in the 5th tier.

    Halifax Town
    Founded in 1911, 1921-22 was their first season in the Football League.They retained League status until 1993 and 1998-2002. Dissolved in 2008. 

    Hartlepools United

    Founded in 1908. In 1968 they dropped the 's' and the 'United'. The 'United' was revived in 1977. 1921-22 was their first season in the Football League and they have spent their entire history in the bottom 2 divisions of the Football League. Currently in League 2 (4th tier).

    Lincoln City

    When it comes to League membership Lincoln City (founded 1884) are in and out like the tide. Joining the Third Division North in its inaugural season marked the beginning of their 3rd spell as a League club. They are currently in their 2nd spell in the Conference (5th tier).

    Nelson
    The Admirals currently occupy the 9th tier of the Pyramid. The club, founded in 1881 was dissolved in 1900 and again in 1916.  The current incarnation (1918) played in The Central League. 1921-22 was their first season in the Football League and they were members until 1931. 


    Rochdale
    The Dale were formed in 1907. They played in the Lancashire Combination- winning the title twice.1921-22 was their first season in the Football League. They finished bottom and had to apply for re election. They currently play in League 1 (3rd tier) and have never escaped the bottom 2 divisions of the Football League.

     Southport 
    Founded in 1881 and known at various times as  Southport Central (1888) and Southport Vulcan (1918). They played in the Central League before joining the Third Division North in its inaugural season. Remained in the Football League (bottom 2 divisions) until 1978. Currently in the 5th tier. 

    Stalybridge Celtic
    Founded in either 1906 or 1909 the Celts were the first of 1921's new league clubs to leave the League,resigning after 2 seasons.
    They previously played in the Lancashire Combination the Central League, and the Southern League. they currently play in the 6th tier.

    Stockport County
    Heaton Norris Rovers were founded in 1883. In 1890 they adopted the name Stockport County. They joined the Football League in 1900 and were members for 110 years. Currently in the 6th tier. They won the Third Division North in its inaugural season.





























    Tranmere Rovers

    Belmont Football Club changed their name to Tranmere Rovers in 1884, one year after their formation. They have played in the 3rd tier for the majority of their time in the Football League, but at present lie in the 4th tier. 


    Walsall

    Walsall Town was founded in 1877 and Walsall Swifts in 1879. These clubs merged to form Walsall Town Swifts in 1888. In 1892 the club joined the Football League and in 1896 changed its name to Walsall FC. 


    Wigan Borough

    Wigan United were founded in 1919. In 1920 they were embroiled in a scandal over broken time payments whilst playing in the Lancashire Combination, leading to a name change to Wigan Association. This name was soon changed to Wigan Borough. Borough were elected to the new Third Division North despite finishing next to bottom of the Lancashire Combination. They resigned from the League in 1931 having succumbed to financial difficulties. They had spent their 10 years as a League club in the third division. 


    Wrexham

    North Wales' Wrexham are a truly ancient outfit founded in 1864. This was their first season of League Football.They survived until 2008, and currently play in the 5th tier. 



    The following were the unsuccessful applicants:

    Castleford Town
    Castleford was a Rugby stronghold. Town had played in the Midland League since 1909. They went out of business in 1936.  

    Rotherham Town

    The Midland League club were the second team to bear the name. In 1925 they merged with Rotherham county to form Rotherham United. 

    Blyth Spartans

    A name that is almost synonymous with non  league football due to the FA Cup exploits of the Tyneside club down the years. They are currently in the 7th tier of the pyramid. 

    Gainsborough Trinity

    Former league members  (1896 -1912). Currently playing in the 6th tier. 

    Doncaster Rovers

    The Midland League side replaced Stalybridge Celtic for the  1923–24 season. Currently in the 3rd tier. 

    West Stanley

    From a  County Durham mining village . The club ceased to exist in 1959.

    Wakefield City

    Another Rugby stronghold, Wakefield is the largest city in England never to have had a team in the Football League. City were a new club, having been founder members of the Yorkshire League in the 1920-21 season. Having failed to get into the Football League they joined the Midland League, where they survived one season. The club was dissolved in 1928. 

    Lancaster Town

    Now known as Lancaster City, currently playing in tier 8.

    Scunthorpe and Lindsey United

    The club has reverted to their original name.  They continued in the Midland League until , after many attempts, they were accepted into the Football League in 1950. Currently in the 3rd tier. 

    South Liverpool.

    Having relocated and changed name this club entered the Football League in 1923 as New Brighton. Dissolved in 1983. There is an extant South Liverpool FC, the 3rd club to carry the name.  




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    In the 1870s there were few serious competitors aside from Wanderers and the Royal Engineers for the title of the best club in England. It was fitting that these 2 sides contested the first FA Cup Final, and there was a period from 1871 -1875 when the Royal Engineers won just about every game that they played other than FA Cup Finals. Wanderers of course won the FA Cup 5 times in 7 seasons. In the previous decade matches between the 2 had been far more casual in nature. Here's an account of an early meeting in which the military metaphors are done to death, Note that the mention of the after match hospitality was almost obligatory in football journalism during the 18th century. Its a curious team list as well...



    Kentish Chronicle-19.11.64

    Four years later the Wanderers don't come across as one of the leading clubs, managing to muster only 8 players for a home fixture and failing to ensure that there was a football available! The thoughts of the Engineers on travelling up from Chatham for a 35 minute game are unrecorded. As Charles Alcock may (or may not) have said, its a funny old game... 

    Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle - 05.12.68





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  • 04/16/15--13:39: Campeonato Santista 1913

  • Santos Football Club was founded on April 14th 1912.
    The following season the first Campeonato Santista was contested. Four teams took part, Santos, Escolástica Rosa, América and Atlético Santista.
    Santos' results were as follows:

    05.10.13

    Santos

    5

    1

    Escolástica Rosa

    12.10.13

    Santos 

    5

    2

    América

    09.11.13

    Santos

    6

    3

    Atlético Santista

    23.11.13

    Escolástica Rosa

    0

    5

    Santos

    30.11.13

    América    

    1

    7

    Santos

    14.12.13

    Atlético Santista

    0

    7

    Santos

    This match was abandoned when Atlético failed to come out for the second half.


    P

    W

    F

    A

    6

    6

    35

    7


    This 100% record gave Santos their first title. 

    The squad featured:

    Goalkeepers: Durval Damasceno, Juvenal

    Full backs: Pilar, Ernani

    Half backs: Pereira, Ambrósio, Ricardo
    Forwards: Adolfo Millon*, Haroldo Domingues*, Marba, Haroldo Cross, Paul, Willian, Urbano Caldeira, Anacleto, Arnaldo Silveira*


    * later capped by Brazil.


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  • 04/19/15--11:29: Austria vs Hungary, 1902
  • Hungary had fielded a national selection 3 times in 1901. Their opponents had been the English sides  Richmond and Surrey Wanderers (twice) over the course of 3 days in April (11th, 12th and 13th). The  tourists  had proved too strong for the Hungarians, winning 4-0, 5-1 and 6-1. The Hungarian XI for the first match featured an English player (Windett).
    Whereas the Hungarian governing body, Magyar Labdarúgó Szövetség, had been founded in 1901, football in Austria at this time was organised on a city by city basis. 
    A national governing body (Österreichischer Fußball-Bund) was not established  until 1904. 
    On October 12th 1902 a match was played at WAC Platz, Vienna between teams representing Vienna and Budapest: 

    Vienna Selection
    Budapest Selection
    Philipp Nauß  
    Wiener A.C

    GK
    Bádonyi Gyula  
    Budapesti T.C

    'Eipel'-Wilhelm Eipeldauer  
    First Vienna

    FB
    Berán József  
    Ferencváros

    ‘Omlady- Emil Wachuda
    Wiener A.C

    FB
    Gabrovitz Emil  
    Postások

    Felix Hüttl  
    Vienna Cricket and F.C.

    HB
    Koltai József  
    Ferencváros

    Rudolf Blässy  
    S.C. Graphia

    HB
    Pozsonyi Imre  
    M.Ú.E.

    Quick’- Raimund Mössmer  
    D.J. Währing

    HB
    Bayer Jenő  
    M.A.C.

    Julius Wiesner  
    Wiener A.C

    F
    Buda István  
    Budapesti T.C

    Gustav Huber  
    Wiener A.C

    F
    Steiner Bertalan  
    33 F.C.
    Engelbert Schrammel  
    Wiener A.C

    F
    Pokorny József  
    Ferencváros

    Jan Studnicka  
    Wiener A.C

    F
    Hajós Alfréd
    Budapesti T.C

    Josef Taurer  
    Wiener A.C

    F
    Oláh Károly  
    Budapesti S.C.


    The Viennese controlled the game, placing the Hungarian goal under relentless pressure.  Josef Taurer put the hosts in front in the 5th minute and Studnicka got a second after 10. Gustav Huber made it 3 before half time and in the second half Studnicka completed his hat trick for a 5-0 win to Vienna. 
    It was agreed during the course of  the after match celebrations to hold this fixture on an annual basis.
    Hajós Alfréd* wrote in Sport Világ magazine that the Austrian advantage had been to have the core of the team made from the players of one club (WAC), whereas the Budapest players were relatively unfamiliar with each others' play
    In 1907 Austria,Hungary  and Czechoslovakia (Bohemia) were all admitted separately to FIFA.
    In 1908 the Austrian  and Hungarian Associations agreed to retrospectively designate the 1902 match  an official international. 


    *The Hungary captain was a fascinating man. Hajós, the Hungarian for sailor, was a psuedonym- he was originally called Guttmann Arnold. Hajós was a double gold medal winner in swimming at the Athens Olympics in 1896. He was also a top class runner and discuss thrower. It wasn't all about sport though, he was also an architect of considerable renown. He was responsible for designing part of the Millenáris Sporttelep stadium in which Hungary played their matches. This must have given him considerable satisfaction when he was later coach of the national team.





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    In the 1880s the territory of Wyoming was a rough and ready place, small rudimentary settlements based on mineral mining and cattle driving. The sparsely populated  area was a refuge for outlaws such as The Hole-in-the-Wall Gang . 
    As recently as 1876 there had been war  between 'settlers' and the indigenous people. The territory was not granted state status until 1890.
    And yet against this frontier backdrop of riders and gunslingers Association football was being played.
    I came across this fact in Andy Mitchell's First Elevens



    Robert Smith, the former Scottish international had settled in Wyoming, where he established a business with fellow Queen's Park member William Klingner. Smith was a general trader, and was later involved in the newspaper business and politics. 
    On July 4th 1883 Smith, who was then 35, arranged a match between  Green River and Rock Springs, Smith captained Green River. Rock Springs won 4-0. This appears to have been a one off, and football didn't really catch on in Wyoming. 

    Smith was a founder member of Queen's Park and the first club captain.
    He played in the 2nd,3rd and 4th  'Alcock Internationals' (the rarity of an actual Scotsman in the Scots XI). He represented Scotland in the 1st and 2nd official internationals whilst playing for South Norwood. Smith also played in the FA Cup for Queen's Park and was an FA committee member. 
    He went to the USA in 1873. 




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  • 04/23/15--14:14: A.H. Chequer

  • This rather solemn looking cricketer should be a familiar face to all students of Association football history. 
    On March 16th 1872 at The Oval The Wanderers played The Royal Engineers in the first ever FA Cup Final. Fifteen minutes into the match Wanderers' 18 year old forward Robert Walpole Sealy Vidal succeeded in dribbling the ball a considerable distance into the Engineers' territory. Vidal centered and a teammate finished off the move from an acute angle.  The goalscorer was listed on the teamsheet as A.H Chequer. 
    His actual name was Morton Peto Betts, known as Monty, a 24 year old  Old Harrovian and Cambridge University student. 
    Bett's pseudonym arose from his membership of Harrow Chequers, It was common in the amateur era for players to be members of a number of clubs simultaneously.  As an Old Harrovian Betts was naturally a member of their old boys' side- the Chequers, founded in 1865. 
    Chequers had been drawn to play against Wanderers in the first round of the FA Cup, but had withdrawn. There has been speculation that Betts chose his rather transparent alias to avoid being 'cup-tied.' It may, however, simply have been an example of the humour of the day. I note that in one early West Kent fixture one of the forwards is listed as A Chizelhurst- Chiselhurst  being the home of the West Kent club. I  can't help but wonder if this might also have been Betts!
    Betts' name crops up frequently in the sporting annals of the 1870s and 1880s.
    The earliest references I have found to him as a footballer come from 1870. His name does not feature in any reports of House matches at Harrow in the years when he would have been at school. In November 1870 he appears on a Wanderers line-up. Betts was also on a shortlist to represent England in the 2nd Alcock International on November 19th, but he wasn't selected and instead appeared in the role of Umpire (discharging  his duties with commendable impartiality throughout according to the press). December 1870 sees the first mention of Betts as a West Kent player, and he also played for South vs North during that month.
    An example of multiple club membership giving rise to possible divided loyalties can be seen in January 1871. West Kent played Wanderers. Betts played for West Kent. In November that year Betts represented England in the 4th Alcock International. 1871 also saw the beginning of Betts' 20 years service as a member of the Board of the Football Association .
    Betts' status within the game is reflected by his captaincy in 1872 of Middlesex (for a county game vs Surrey) and of Old Harrovians vs Old Etonians. This meant that he captained teams containing such natural leaders as Alcock and Kinnaird. 
    Betts also featured regularly for London in their series of matches with Sheffield, and captained London in 1877.
    By now Betts had 'matured' into a goalkeeper (although he does not appear to have been Old Harrovians' regular 'keeper in the 1876-77 season). On March 3rd 1877 Betts won his one and only official England cap when he played in goal against Scotland at The Oval.
    Scotland won by 3 goals to 1. Contemporary reports attributed the Scots' success to combination play. England, on the other hand, retained the old singular approach.
    This match did not signal the end of Betts' involvement with the international game. In 
    1885 and 1888 he appeared as an Umpire in the  England vs Scotland matches.  




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