There is , I must admit, something curiously pleasing about the term 'soccer ball', but aside from that I have no real use for the word.
We will never know whether or not Charles Wreford-Brown actually coined the word soccer (an abbreviation of association) as an extension of the Charterhouse argot.
Wreford -Brown, who played for Old Carthusians and Corinthian FC won 4 England caps over a 9 year period, captaining the side on 2 occasions. He played his last game for Corinth at the age of 44 on a tour of Canada.
Wreford -Brown obviously didn't share the prejudices of some of his class when it came to professionalism!
In England's 1898 game with Scotland at Celtic Park the 31 year old Wreford-Brown was captaining the side. In the 3rd minute Aston Villa's Diamond Freddy Wheldon put England ahead. Wreford -Brown ran over to congratulate him and in shaking his hand passed him a sovereign (worth about £100 in today's terms).
20 minutes later the great Steven Bloomer doubled England's lead and found himself the recipient of another such gift, retrieved by his captain, he recalled, from the deep pockets of his knees length shorts (the style favoured by Corinthians players). Bloomer handed the sovereign to referee Mr Robertson for safekeeping.
When Bloomer added the 3rd goal in the 73rd minute his captain's act of generosity was repeated. Mr Robertson, again entrusted with the coin , advised Bloomer that if he carried on scoring that he'd have to get a purse.
Bloomer was quite well off and a noted collector of memorabilia (J.A.H Catton recalls how varnished balls hung from the ceiling of his parlour) and he kept the sovereigns as a memento.
The sovereigns were gold coins worth £1. The average player was on about £3 a week in the late 1890s, The average working man about £1 a week.