Channel: Before The 'D'...Association Football around the world, 1863-1937.
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Lausanne v Streatham 1870

The history of Association Football is rendered all the more colourful by the controversies and disputes that crop up from time to time.
Here is a very early example, taken from an otherwise unremarkable club match played at Steatham, London on 12.03.70.
The match report in The Sportsman of 16.03.70  has matter of factly Peckham scoring after 15 minutes and Streatham winning 'a very pleasant game', 1-0.
In the pre FA Cup era the team captains would attempt to resolve any disputes, safe in the presumption that no English gemtleman would willfully cheat or seek to gain an unfair advantage, Many club matches (in which fielding a compliment of 11 per side  was something of an achievement) were played without referees or umpires.

Lausanne Version
The Lausanne version of events appeared in a letter published in The Sportsman on 17.03.90. The author , unnamed, was the Hon Sec. of the Lausanne club. The following points were made:

  • The result was not confirmed and it had been agreed to refer the matter to Mr C.W Alcock
  • The ball had gone into touch.
  • It had hit a tree 12 or 14ft (3 m) outside the boundary.
  • It had rolled back into play.
  • Streatham played on.
  • Lausanne were calling for the ball to be brought back for the throw in, and had lined up in preparation for this (in these days the ball had to be thrown in at right angles and the players awaited this in a manner resembling the line out in Rugby Union).

The editor of The Sportsman ( this was possibly C.W Alcock, as the paper stated that all matters relating to football were to be addressed to him at their offices)  appended this letter with the comment that the goal should not have stood.

The Streatham Version
 A letter from Charles Dunt, Hon Sec of Streatham, waspublished in The Sportsman 19.03.70. Mr Dunt made the following observations:

  • The trees were about 6 feet (1.8 m) from the boundary flags.
  • The branches of the trees overhung the field of play.
  • The ball struck the overhanging branches.
  • It bounded back into play.
  • A Lausanne player played the ball.
  • He was dispossessed by Kolle of Streatham.
  • Kolle centred to Peckham and Peckham scored.
  • Lausanne didn't complain about the goal until after the game.

The Sportsman reported on 19.03.70 that the match had ended in a draw, as the former had claimed a goal from a dead ball.

The line ups were:
Lausanne: Marsden, Rummell, Figg, Hammond, Dawson, Abraham, Cohen, Dummler, Foord, A.W Walker, J.S Walker.

Streatham: J Kolle, C Kolle, Galton, G Rouse, J Dawson, Peckham, J Terrell, Mills, Ralli, Pryce, Lynch-White.

The earliest reference I can find in the press to Lausanne FC is 11th December 1869, though a foundation date of 1867 is claimed.

Interestingly in the latter half of the 1860s Englishmen were playing football in Lausanne in Switzerland, though my research has revealed no links between these pioneers and the Lausanne of Dulwich. There is a Lausanne Road in Peckham, which may be a source of the club name.
The Merry Swiss Boys sported what must have been one of the most distinctive jerseys in the history of British football-violet with an amber stripe on the left arm. The club later  concentrated on Rugby, becoming founder members of the RFU in 1871.

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