Olympic Gold, 1912.

 Olympic football has been receiving attention in the press in Britain for the first time in living memory. Firstly the disagreements between the home associations, then the  exclusion of Beckham formed the backdrop as people actually began to take an interest in the squad.
100 years ago Great Britain was still the dominant force in world football, with many of the what are now great footballing nations still being in the very early stages of their development.  This is illustrated by Great Britain’s gold medal triumph in the Stockholm Olympics of 1912.

Disputes continue as to whether the 1912 team was representing England or Great Britain , according to the FA it was England, and the winners certificate also states this.  Despite the fact that the team wore the union flag on their jerseys, they were in effect the English Amateur XI.   They were coached by Mr Adrian Birch, of Crystal Palace. In those days there were still 'gentleman amateurs' in top level football, and those eligible for selection had to fulfil the criteria as being players-
  • who has never competed for money prize, or received any remuneration or Consideration of any sort above his necessary hotel and travelling expenses, paid in actual connection with football matches;
  • who has never engaged, assisted, or taught, in any branch of sport as a means of pecuniary gain;
  • who has never been registered as a professional;
  • who has never sold, pawned, hired out, or exhibited for payment, any prize won in a competition.

England’s tournament, a defence of their 1908 championship,  kicked off on June 30, when Hungary were beaten 7-0 . On July 2Finland  were dispatched 4-0 .

This was The England team that lined up for the final on July 4th. They employed a standard 2-3-5 formation.

Goalkeeper: Ron Brebner  - (Chelsea, age 30)

Right back: Thomas Burn- (London Caledonians F.C., 23)
Left back : A. E. Knight (Portsmouth, 24)

Centre half:  Joseph Dines- (Ilford, 26)
Wing half: Douglas Mcwhirter (Bromley, 26)
Wing half: Henry Littlewort-  (Glossop N.E, 30)

Forward: Arthur Berry - (Liverpool, 24)
Forward:  Vivian Woodward (Chelsea,33 ,Capt.)  He held the overall England goal scoring record, either jointly or alone,  As well as playing  44 times for England Amateurs and scoring 57 goals, Woodward also played for the full England team up until 1911, and with  29 goals held the England top scorers record for 47 years - longer than any other player.
Forward: Harold Walden (Bradford City, 24) Born in India, Walden scored nine goals, still a British Olympic record. He is still the fourth highest goal scorer overall in Olympic history.
Forward: Gordon Hoare- (Glossop N.E,28)
Forward: Ivan Sharpe - (Derby Co., 23)

Watched by a crowd of 25,000 England opened the scoring  through Walden in the 10th minute, and Hoare doubled the lead in the 22nd minute. Denmark pulled one back before being reduced to ten men due to injury on the half hour. Further goals from Hoare 41) and Berry (43) made it 4-1 at the interval. Denmark grabbed a second in the second half.