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J.A.H. Catton: England and Scotland

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When James Catton first contributed articles and reports to The Athletic News in 1886 he had been an avid football fan and a journalist for some 11 years. in the ensuing 40 years up until the publication of his The Story of Association Football in 1926, Catton witnessed and reported on every England v Scotland match. 
Here are the 2 'all time XIs' he selected for inclusion in his book.


England

Scotland
Goal Keeper

Ted  Taylor

James McAulay

Huddersfield Town

Dumbarton

1922-26

1881-87

Caps.

8

Caps.

9

Record v.Sco.

p 2 w 0 d 1 l 1

Record v.Eng.

p 5 w 3 d 2 l 0

An interesting choice from Catton. As he was writing in 1926 Taylor was undoubtedly among the best ‘keepers in England. His success did not translate onto the international stage. The 20s was a decade in which no England keeper made the position his own.  Catton was interested in Taylor, having ‘spotted’ him as an amateur in 1912 and helping to launch his professional career.



Catton writes fondly of his acquaintance with McAulay, who he first spoke to during an 1888 Dumbarton v Nottingham Forest match whilst play was in progress! McAulay made his international debut as a centre forward (and he scored) before earning another 8 caps between the sticks.


Right Back

Bob Crompton

Walter ‘Wattie’ Arnott

Blackburn Rovers

Queen’s Park

1902-14

1884-93

Caps.

41

Caps.

14

Goals.


Goals.


Record v.Sco.

p 9  w 3 d 4  l 2

Record v.Eng.

p 10  w 3 d 3 l 4

In an age when 3 matches a season was the norm, Crompton’s 41 caps mark an incredible achievement.  Consistently held to be the leading defender of his day.



Appeared in 10 consecutive matches against England


Left Back

Herbert Burgess

Andrew Watson

Manchester City

Queen’s Park

1904-06

1881-82

Caps.

4

Caps.

3

Goals.


Goals.


Record v.Sco.

p 2 w 1 d 0 l 1

Record v.Eng.

p 2  w  2

Burgess played abroad later in his career (Denmark and Hungary) and then moved to Italy as a coach.

We know about Watson, the first black international. His 2 games against England were a resounding success, with an aggregate score of 11-2.




Right Half

Jimmy  Crabtree

Andrew ‘Daddler’ Aitken

Burnley , Aston Villa

Newcastle United, Middlesbrough , Leicester Fosse

1894-1902

1901-11

Caps.

14

Caps.

14

Goals.


Goals.


Record v.Sco.

p 4 w 2 d 0 l 2

Record v.Eng.

p 10 w 3 d 5 l 2

One of England's greatest players. Shone in any position. Great as a half-back, but greater, possibly, as a back, kicking cleanly and with rare precision. A keen, skilful tackler, clever at close quarters and equally reliable in the open; cool, resourceful, and brainy. Excelled in the finer points of the game, and one of the most versatile players England has boasted. For many seasons unrivalled in his position.

The Villa News and Record 1st September 1906



Aitken was captain of Newcastle United for 6 seasons and Catton writes of seeing him writing a victory speech on the eve of an FA Cup Final which Newcastle went on to lose.


Centre Half

Billy ‘Fatty’ Wedlock

Alex Raisbeck

Bristol City

Liverpool

1907-14

1900–07

Caps.

26

Caps.

8

Goals.

2

Goals.


Record v.Sco.

p 6  w 1 d 4  l 1

Record v.Eng.

p 7  w 3 d 3  l 1

Also known as the India Rubber Man, Wedlock kept Charlie Roberts out of the England team and that in itself speaks volumes. 
Raisbeck's military bearing was reflected in his authoritative style of play. Catton admired and liked Raisbeck as a person as well as a player.


Left Half

Ernest  ‘Nudger’ Needham

Peter McWilliam

Sheffield United

Newcastle United

1894-1902

1905–11

Caps.

16

Caps.

8

Goals.

3

Goals.


Record v.Sco.

p 7 w 3 d 2 l 2

Record v.Eng.

p 5 w 2 d 1 l 2

That classical master, Nudger, who would tackle a man were he as big as a mountain- thus wrote Catton of the great Needham,
Peter the Great- Charlie Buchan cites him as an example of the half back who 'relied upon clever positioning and timely interventions'.
Catton described the above trio, playing together against England in 1906, as being the best half back combination he ever saw. And he saw a lot of football.




Outside Right

Billy Bassett

Jack  Bell

West Bromwich Albion

Dumbarton, Everton , Celtic

1888-96

1890-1900

Caps.

16

Caps.

10

Goals.

8

Goals.

5

Record v.Sco.

p 8 w 4 d 2 l 2

Record v.Eng.

p 6 w 3 d 0 l 3

Billy Bassett, initially considered too frail for top class football at 1.65 m- he went on to become an early 'superstar ' of the game. Ernest Needham wrote of him : without doubt, the best outside right in the British Isles.

Bell enjoyed success on both sides of the border. Described as a 'defence buster' his reputation was illustrated by the £300 that Celtic paid Everton for his signature in 1898.


Inside Right

Steve Bloomer

Bobby Walker

Derby County , Middlesbrough

Heart of Midlothian

1895- 1907

1900-13

Caps.

23

Caps.

29*

Goals.

28

Goals.

8

Record v.Sco.

p 10 w 5  d 3 l 2

Record v.Eng.

p 11  w 2 d 5 l 4

 Simply one of the most prolific goalscorers in football history. 



 A real great- the player of his age.



Centre Forward

Dr. Tinsley Lindley

 Dr. John Smith

Cambridge University, Nottingham Forest

Mauchline, Edinburgh University, Queen´s Park

1886-91


Caps.

13

Caps.

10

Goals.

14

Goals.

10

Record v.Sco.

p 5 w 1 d 2 l 2

Record v.Eng.

p 6 w 5 d 0  l 1

Most critics of the era state with confidence that G.O Smith was England’s greatest centre forward. Catton admired G.O, and also writes great things about Vivian Woodward.   Catton lived in Nottingham in the 1880s, and saw quite a lot of Lindley’s play. He writes admiringly of Lindley’s virtuosity in shooting.



Dr Smith scored a hat trick against England in the 6-1 win of 1881. He was banned from playing for or against any Scottish club or the Scottish national team in 1885 after he played for Corinthians against a professional English club. He was also a Rugby internationalist. 



Inside Left

John Goodall

Peter Somers

Preston North End , Derby County

Celtic

1888-98

1905-09

Caps.

14

Caps.

4

Goals.

12

Goals.


Record v.Sco.

p 7  w 4 d 1 l 2

Record v.Eng.

p  1 l 1

International eligibility was a simple matter back in the 19th century- you played for the country in which you were born. England's gain- Scotland's loss- Goodall was a Scot who happened to be born in London. Catton was a Preston North End man first and foremost, but Goodall's inclusion can hardly be put down to partisanship. 

At a time when brute strength was regarded as a key attribute for a footballer, Somers shone out among his peers for his nimble footwork and wonderful football brain. He was, in the words of Willie Maley, a “subtle strategist”- Celtic Wiki


Outside Left

Fred Spiksley

Bobby Templeton

The Wednesday

Aston Villa, Newcastle United, Woolwich Arsenal Celtic, Kilmarnock           

1893-98

1902-13

Caps.

7

Caps.

11

Goals.

5

Goals.

1

Record v.Sco.

p 3 w 2 d 1 l 0

Record v.Eng.

p  5 w 2 d 2 l 1

 Spikesley was an immensely talented player who introduced the back heel. For a wide player he also had the knack of scoring goals.



 To watch Templeton at his best is a sight for the gods-Association Football and the Men Who Made It (1905).




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