Czech Soldiers in Japan

 Kobe First Junior High School vs Czech soldiers 1919.

The Czechs were Austro- Hungarian soldiers who were captured fighting for the Central Powers against Russia. 
The Czechs took the long eastwards route home when they were released, taking in Siberia, Japan and the United States. During a stay in Kobe, they played  matches against teams including Kwansei Gakuin and Kobe First Junior High School.
The young players of Kobe First Junior High School, who had previously learned the English style of football, were astonished by the short-passing, central European style of play (the result of Scottish or Scottish influenced coaches) employed by the Czechs.

Meisl v Pozzo

It is a view shared by many that there were three colossal figures in European football management in the pre war era. In England Herbert Chapman changed the way in which the game was played and presented. On the continent Hugo Meisl oversaw the development of the Austrian team from keen Sunday morning amateurs to the strongest side in World football in the space of twenty odd years of absolute dedication to the game. Vittorio Pozzo led Italy to an Olympic Gold medal and two World Cup wins , taking  the concept of preparation to a new level.  The theories of all three* have influenced football right up to the present day.
During the Meisl - Pozzo era up until 1937, national teams managed by the two men met on 8 occasions:

Game 1:  3.7.12  Austria     5-1 Italy       (Olympic Games, Stockholm)

 Italy 1912

The first meeting of Meisl/ Pozzo teams came at the 1912 Olympics.
Italy were still relative newcomers to international football. It was only their 10th match. Vittorio Pozzo had been made coach for the Olympic tournament and this was his 3rd game in charge. It was Hugo Meisl's 6th game as Austrian manager, and the 4th in which Jimmy Hogan was alongside him. The outstanding player of the game was Austria's goalkeeper, Josef Kaltenbrunner.
The match was in the consolation tournament , Italy having lost 3-2 to Finland in the first round of the main tournament (a match refereed by Herr Hugo Meisl!) but defeating Sweden 1-0 in consolation round one. Austria had beaten Germany 5-1 in the first round of the main tournament before losing 3-1 to Netherlands in the second round. In consolation tournament they beat Norway 1-0 in round one and having seen off Italy they went on to lose 3-0 to Hungary in the final.

Pozzo returned to the Italian national side for the 1924 Olympics, from which Austria were absent, but his regular duties as national coach / manager did not resume until 1929.

 Game 2: 22.2.31       Italy    2-1 Austria     
 Italy's first ever win over Austria came in this Coupe Internationale européenne match in Milan, with goals from Meazza and Orsi.

 Game 3: 20.3.32      Austria   2-1   Italy      (Coupe Internationale européenne, Vienna)
Austria avenged the previous years defeat, Meazza was on the scoresheet again, but a Matthias Sindelar double won the match for the hosts.

 Game 4: 11.2.34      Italy   2-4   Austria     (Coupe Internationale européenne, Turin)
Two goals from Guaita for the Azzuri - a hat trick from  Zischek and a fourth from Binder for Austria.

Austria 1934

 Game 5:   3.6.34      Italy    1-0   Austria     (World Cup, Milan)
On form Austria should have been favourites for the 1934 World Cup. Italy appear to have enjoyed considerable home advantages during the tournament.

 Game 6: 24.3.35      Austria   0-2   Italy     (Coupe Internationale européenne, Vienna)
2 goals from Piola- Italy were on their way to a second Coupe Internationale européenne title.

 Game 7: 17.5.36      Italy   2-2   Austria     (Rome)

 Game 8: 15.8.36      Italy   2-1   Austria     (Olympic Games, Berlin aet)
Annibale Frossi scored 2 to give Italy Olympic gold.

Played: 8
Austria: wins 3 goals 15
Italy: wins 4 goals 13
Drawn 1

Hugo Meisl died at the age of 55 in February 1937. Austria's next match was against Italy in Vienna 2 months later. 
The match was abandoned after 74 minutes with Austria leading  2-0. 
The reason for abandonment was ' due to excessively hard play by Italy'.

* I am not forgetting Jimmy Hogan. His approach to coaching enabled Meisl's vision of fluid, attack based football to become a reality.


Football at Ruhleben 1914-18

Ruhleben was a civilian detention camp at a racecourse in the Spandau district of Berlin.
During the 1914-18 war the camp contained between 4,000 and 5,500 civilian prisoners. A complex society evolved in the camp- newspapers were printed and drama and music groups were formed. Football was a popular distraction, and there were several noteworthy former professional footballers and coaches among the inmates.

Spiksley's name is spelled incorrectly here.

Fred Spiksley-  44 year old Spikesley had won 7 England caps between 1893 and 1898, and played most of his first class matches for The Wednesday 
(with whom he won the FA Cup in 1896)
At the outbreak of the war he was a coach in Germany. 
He had moved there in 1913 and worked with TSV 1860 München and 1. FC Nuremberg.
There has been some debate as to whether Fred Spiksley was at Ruhleben. 
Modern biographers claim that he wasn't.  However he is mentioned as having being interred there 
in Samuel Wolstenholme's memoirs, and there is also a photograph of him at the camp.

 Fred Pentland - after a ten year professional career (Middlesbrough being his main team)  31 year old Pentland had gone to Germany in 1914 to coach the German Olympic team.  Pentland had won 5 England caps in 1909.

Sam Wolstenholme- the 36 year old former Everton, Blackburn Rovers and Norwich defender had gone to Germany in 1914 as team coach/manager of the Norddeutscher Fußball-Verband (North German Football Association)  representative XI. He was capped 3 times by England in 1904-05.

Steve Bloomer- the legendary Derby County, Middlesbrough and England goalscorer only arrived in Germany 3 weeks before the war broke out. The 40 year old had been appointed manager of  Britannia Berlin 92, having played his final game for Derby the previous January.

John Cameron- the 42 year old former FA Cup winning Tottenham player manager and Scotland international was in Germany as coach of Dresdner SC when the war started. 

Edwin Dutton- nobody seems to know where Dutton was born. He had English parents but grew up in Poland and Germany. His teams as a player included Britannia Berlin 92BFC Preussen and Newcastle United. He was capped by Germany in a match against Hungary in 1909. He was 24 at the start of the war.

Jack Brearley- 38 year old Liverpudlian Brearley was coach of Viktoria 89 Berlin in 1914. As a player he had represented Millwall Athletic, Notts County, Middlesbrough, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace. 

England v The Rest of the World, 1915

 The Ruhleben Football Association was formed with Pentland as chairman and Cameron as secretary and cup and league competitions were organised with games attracting crowds of up to 1,000.
In November 1914, Bloomer captained a Tottenham Hotspur XI to victory in a cup final against an Oldham Athletic XI.

On May 2nd 1915 an England XI featuring Pentland, Wolstenholme, Brearley and Bloomer played a World XI captained by Cameron.

Pentland and Cameron produced a souvenir booklet of the 1915  season.

March 3rd 1916: John Cameron's XI defeated Steve Bloomer's XI.

October 7th 1916: Cameron's XI 4 Brearley's XI 2.
In 1918 Coupe de Allies, a triangular tournament featuring a British XI, a French XI and a Belgium XI, was organized. 


1928 Olympic Final

Amsterdam, June 13th, 1928. Uruguay 2 Argentina 1

Budapesti Torna Club v Vienna Cricket and Football Club, 1897

The Austro-Hungary monarchy covered a large area of central Europe. It encompassed the modern Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovnia as well as territories that are now part of Romania, Germany, Ukraine and Italy. Austria and Hungary were independent states within this enjoying equal status (Hungary had it's own Government) .
Football within the Empire developed around three major cities- Vienna (Austria), Budapest (Hungary) and Prague (Bohemia- now Czech republic but at the time a part of Austria) . 

The above is an advertisement for a match that was played at Budapest's Millenáris pálya on Sunday October 31st. 1897 between Budapesti Torna Club (BTC) and Vienna Cricket and Football Club (Cricketer).
Football had been established in Vienna since 1894 when the Vienna Cricket Club took to the game. 
The Austria/Habsburg Monarchy Challenge Cup, initiated in 1897, was open to any teams from the Empire, but initially only teams from Vienna took part. 
This match was significant in the development of Hungarian football as it inspired the formation of other clubs in Budapest. Budapesti Torna Club, formerly primarily concerned with gymnastics, cycling and boxing, formed a football club in February 1897 - club member  Ray Ferenc had encountered the game whist studying in Switzerland and brought a genuine English football to Budapest. Ferenc Stobbe, often called The Father of Hungarian football, was also active in BTC's earliest football ventures, In February 1897 members had played a few experimental games amongst themselves, going public in May.

When they met Cricketer at Millenaris it was expected that BTC would get beaten heavily. As it was they managed to restrict their visitors to a 2-0 win (one of the goals being hotly disputed).
BTC's line up for the game was :
Stobbe , Klebersberg, Harsády, Hajós, Iszer , Lindner, Ray, Ramaszéder, Yolland, Ashton, Pesky.

The Magyar Labdarúgó Szövetség was founded in January 1900, and the first Hungarian league match was played on February 17th 1901. All five teams taking part in this league were  from Budapest.
In 1902/03 Budapest sides 33 FC and  Ferencváros competed in the Austria/Habsburg Monarchy Challenge Cup. 

 Vienna Cricket and Football Club
Budapesti Torna Club


Alf Common

In the above cartoon Alf Common, wearing his £1000 transfer tag, protects Middlesbrough from the spectre of the Second Division.
Tradition has it that Middlesbrough broke the transfer record to sign  Alf Common from Sunderland in February 1905 in order to save themselves from relegation. However, no teams were relegated that season as the First Division was expanded from 18 to 20 teams (Boro finished in 15th, two points above Bury who would have been down but for the restructuring). 
The following season Midlesbrough avoided relegation on goal average. In Common's remaining seasons on Teeside Boro finished 11th, 6th, 9th and 17th as Common racked up 58 league goals in 168 appearances.

Some Famous Goalkeepers...

Image from: The Book of Football – A Complete History and Record of the Association and Rugby Games 1905-1906.

George Kitchen (West Ham United)- Kitchen had played for Stockport County and Everton before joining the Irons in 1905. He scored on his debut for West Ham (from the penalty spot) and was the regular first choice 'keeper for 6 years. Kitchen was also a professional golfer. He was 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m).

Walter Whittaker (Brentford) Formerly of Manchester United and Grimsby Town Whittaker later became the first manager of Swansea Town. He was 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m).

Jack Eggett (Tottenham Hotspur) Eggett kept 24 clean sheets in 27 Southern League matches in the 1904-05 season, and  22 clean sheets  in 34 in 1905-06. He was 5ft 10in (1.78 m).

Tim Williamson (Middlesbrough)  Made 602 appearances for Boro from 1902–1923. This is still a Middlesbrough record. Williamson also scored 2 goals. He was capped 7 times for England.  Williamson's size was often commented on, and he was known as Tiny, but his height is recorded as being 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m).

Jack Fryer (Fulham) Fryer joined Fulham from Derby County and made 168 appearances from 1904-10. Still  the only goalkeeper to have conceded 6 goals in an FA Cup Final, On record as being a very big man, but quite how big I don't know.

George Clawley (Southampton) Clawley was Tottenham's goalkeeper when they won the FA Cup in 1901. He won the Southern League 3 times with Southampton. He was 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m).

Jimmy Lawrence (Newcastle United)  The 496 matches that Lawrence played between 1904-22 remains a club record . He played in 5 FA Cup finals and won 3 League Championships. Capped once for Scotland, Lawrence later managed Preston North End and Karlsruher. 

Jimmy Ashcroft (Woolwich Arsenal) In eight seasons from 1900 – 1908 Ashcroft made 303 appearances and became the first Arsenal player to represent England (he won three caps).

Tom Baddeley (Wolverhampton Wanderers) Joined Wolverhampton Wanderers in October 1896 for £50 and made 315 appearances in an 11-year stay, winning 5 England caps. He was 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m). 


Campeonato Carioca 1926, 1927

Jornal O Imparcial ran these pictorial features on Rio football teams during 1927...

Flamengo -1927 champions
Bangu A.C.

Vasco da Gama

São Cristóvão-1926 champions

Imperial Hotel, Headquarters, Manchester United FC

A grand flag and a very large image of club captain Harry Stafford grace Manchester United's HQ. The Imperial Hotel was also the scene of the foundation of the Association Football Players' and Trainers' Union in 1907.


The FA Tour of Germany and Prague 1899

In August 1899 the F.A. received an invitation to send an England team to play three matches against an All Germany side, and another against a combined Bohemia and Austria XI.The sender was Walther Bensemann, a twenty-six year old German student, secretary of a Committee for International Soccer Matches (German football had no governing body as such at the time). Bensemann visited London in October 1899 and met with the FA selection committee.

The tour party was as follows:

OfficialsJohn James Bentley, Charles Hughes, Charles Alcock, George Sherrington, Percy Timbs. 

Amateur Players:
Stanley Briggs (Clapton) [c]
E.D. Brown (Clapton)
Stanley Shelbourne Taylor (Cambridge University and Corinthians)
Wilfred Waller (Richmond Association)
Geoffrey Wilson (Corinthians)
Oswald Eric Wreford-Brown (Old Carthusians)
Professional Players:
Phil Bach (Sunderland)*
Billy Bassett (West Bromwich Albion)*
Edgar Chadwick (Burnley)*
Jimmy Crabtree (Aston Villa)*
Jack Cox (Derby County)*
Fred Forman (Nottingham Forest)*
Johnny Holt (Reading)*
Joe Rogers (Newcastle United) 

* these players had all represented England in a full international prior to this tour.

23.11.99  Germany 2-13 Football Association XI (Berlin)
24.11.99  Germany 2-10 Football Association XI (Berlin)
26.11.99  German-Austrian XI 0-8 Football Association XI (Prague)
28.11.99  Germany 0-7 Football Association XI (Karlsruhe)
P4 W4 D0 L0 F38 A4

Notes: one source referred to the German teams as North Germany (1st match), A Germany XI (2nd match), and Karlsruhe (4th match).


Game 1.
23.11.99. Kurfuerstendamm Berlin attendance 1,500, referee: Stanley Shelbourne Taylor .
Though not recognized as a full international it was the first match ever played by an English representative team outside the British Isles.
Germany: Eichelmann (Germania 88 Berlin) , Gasse (Fortuna Berlin), Kralle (Viktoria 89 Berlin), Ivo Schricker (Akademischen SC Berlin), Wünsch (Viktoria 89 Berlin), Erwin Stricker (Akademischen SC Berlin) , Bock (Fortuna Berlin), Jestram (Britannia 92 Berlin), Wetzler (?), Tierold (?), Gruschwitz (Viktoria 89 Berlin).
Trainer : Walther Bensemann

Game 2.
 A 10 a.m. kick off the very next day so that the English could catch the train for Prague at 1 p.m. The local press suggested that the slightly less embarrassing scoreline might have been down to the English joining in one of the legendary drinking parties that the German students were known to indulge in, usually wrapping up at about 7am.
Attendance was 500.
 Germany: Willi Langer (Karlsruher FV), Westendarp (Akademischen SC Berlin), Kohts (Akademischen SC Berlin), Ivo Schricker (Akademischen SC Berlin), Wünsch (Viktoria 89 Berlin), Zjanner (?), Bock (Fortuna Berlin), Jestram (Britannia 92 Berlin), Link (Karlsruher FV), Zierold (Germania 88 Berlin), Gruschwitz (Viktoria 89 Berlin). 
Trainer : Walther Bensemann

Germany 24.11.99 (The Black-White-Reds wore black jerseys with red and white piping on the sleeves- the colours of the German Empire)

The Football Association XI 24.11.99 

Game 3.
A combined Bohemian and Austrian XI managed to keep the FA XI down to 8-0.

Game 4.
Played at the Military Exercise Ground Karlsruhe. Attendance 3000 or 5000,referee Walther Bensemann. An improved Germany kept the FA down to single figures. The kick off was delayed by the absence of a football, a cyclist being sent to collect one.
 Germany: Willi Langer (Karlsruher FV), Erwin Schricker (Akademischen SC Berlin), Kohts (Akademischen SC Berlin), Arthur Baier (Phönix Kalsruhe), Ivo Schricker (Akademischen SC Berlin), Schuon (Karlsruher FV), Fritz Lange (Karlsruher FV), Rickmers (Karlsruher FV), Zinser (Karlsruher FV), Zierold (Germania 88 Berlin), Link (Karlsruher FV).
Trainer: Walther Bensemann

After their return home, the members of the English side received commemorative badges, whereas Bensemann, in recognition of his merits for the cause of international sporting competition, was awarded an F.A. gold badge.

Football in The Raj

During the British occupation of India the soldiers and civil servants engaged in a variety of sporting activities, many of which were adopted by locals who came into contact with the British or served alongside them. Here are some photographs of football teams featuring Indian soldiers in the service of the British Empire.

Football team of the 20th Duke of Cambridge's Own Infantry (Brownlow's Punjabis), 1920.

Football team from the 52nd Sikhs (Frontier Force), 1921.

The Tochi Scouts HQ Wing football team, the winners of the Company League, North West Frontier, 1933.



Back- unknown official, Mariano Reyna (referee), Martín Murphy, Carlos Wilson, Juan Dodds Brown;
 Middle- Gottlob Weiss, Alfredo Brown, Arnoldo Watson Hutton, Eliseo Brown, Maximiliano Susán; 
Front-Haroldo Ratcliff, Ernesto Brown, Patricio Browne.

One of the iconic images in the world of football has to be the sky blue and white striped jersey of Argentina. The Albiceleste was not introduced until Argentina's 9th international match on 13th September 1908.
This Copa Newton  game against Uruguay at Cancha de Gimnasia y Esgrima, Buenos Aires ended in a 2-1 victory despite the fact that Ernesto Brown went off injured in the first half. Argentina's second goal was their first succesful penalty in internationals, scored by Arnoldo Watson Hutton.

Dixie Dean


Charterhouse & Old Carthusians

Charterhouse is a 400 year old public school* in Godalming, Surrey.
Association Football is still the main winter sport at the school, and the form of football played at the school in the pre association days influenced the development of the game. The schoolboys played in cloisters, small covered courtyards, so dribbling and running with the ball was more sensible than playing a game that involved carrying the ball until you were tackled by being thrown to the ground with everybody then piling up on you. Charterhouse football also allowed the ball to be passed forwards, a rule adopted by the Football Association in 1867.
The old boy's teamOld Carthusians won the FA Cup in 1880-81 and were semi-finalists in the following 2 seasons.  They won the FA Amateur Cup in 1894 and 1897. Old Carthusians' jerseys were  halved maroon and navy, the schools colours being maroon,navy and pink stripes.

School (stripes) versus Old Carthusians (halves)

The Old versus The New: Old Carthusians versus Preston North End in 1887. Old Carthusians typified the amateur origins of association football whilst Preston were the archetypal northern proletarian professional side.

The school colours.

The following Old Carthusians players represented England: Andrew Amos (2 caps), 
James Prinsep (1 cap), William Cobbold (3 caps), Walter Gilliat (1 cap), Edward Hagarty Parry (3 caps), Gilbert Oswald Smith (6 caps), Maurice Stanbrough (1 cap), Arthur Melmoth Walters (9 caps)Percy Melmoth Walters (13 caps), Charles Wreford-Brown (3 caps).
* In the United Kingdom a public school is, paradoxically, a school where the pupils pay high fees, as opposed to the state schools, which are free.

Torino: High scoring seasons 1927-29

Supporters of Torino saw plenty of goals over the seasons 1927-28 and 1928-29.

Torino won the Divisione Nazionale Group A championship and the final round.
Their record was:
Played:  34. goals for: 111. goals against: 37. goal difference +74. average goals per game = 3.2

Julio Libonatti (Capocannoniere)
35 goals in 32 games
Adolfo Baloncieri 
31 goals in 34 games
Gino Rossetti
23 goals in 33 games

Torino scored 5 or more goals in 5 of their 34 matches:
20.11.27: Reggiana 3 Torino 8
  4.12.27: Torino 11 Brescia 0
    5.2.28: Torino 14  Reggiana 0
    4.3.28: Torino 11 Napoli 0
  15.7.28: Torino 5 Genoa 1

 Baloncieri, Libonatti, Rossetti

1928-29 Torino won Divisione Nazionale Group A and lost to Bologna in the national championship play off.

Their record was:
Played:  30. goals for: 115. goals against: 31. goal difference +84. average goals per game = 3.8

Gino Rossetti 36 goals in 30 games (Capocannoniere)
Julio Libonatti 24 goals in 25 games
Luciano Vezzani 21 goals in 25 games

Torino scored 5 or more goals in 10 of their 30 matches:
  30.9.28: Torino 8 La Dominante 1
  7.10.28:  Novara 1 Torino 7
21.10.28: Torino 12 Triestina 0
28.10.28: Modena 1 Torino 5
 1 .11.28: Torino 7  Legnano 0
18.11.28: Torino 6 Alessandria 1
16.12.28: Torino 9 Prato 1
    6.1.29:  Torino 7 Atalanta 0
  10.2.29: Torino 5 Novara 0
  31.3.29: Torino 10 Livorno 1



The Goodall Brothers

John and Archie Goodall were brothers. They spent their youth in Kilmarnock, in Scotland. However, John played international football for England and Archie for Ireland, despite the fact that their parents were Scots.
John was born in London in 1863 (their father was a soldier) and Archie was born in Belfast the following year. Surprisingly, given that they were born only a year apart, their international careers didn't overlap; John got the last of his 14 caps in 1898 and Archie the first of his 10 in 1899.

John was a member of the Preston North End 'Invincibles' that won the double in 1888-89. The brothers appeared together for Derby County in the 1898 FA Cup Final.
Both brothers moved into management and hold records for 'oldest player appearing for club', John for Watford (44) and Archie for Wolverhampton Wanderers (41).
John kept tame foxes, which he would sometimes walk around Preston's ground on a leash during half time. Archie, on retiring from football, became a professional strongman.




Kilmarnock Burns(Sco)
Kilmarnock Athletic                (Sco)
Great Lever

St. Jude’s
Liverpool Stanley

Preston North End


Preston North End

Aston Villa

Derby County

Derby County










New Brighton Tower  
Glossop North End



Plymouth Argyle

Glossop North End *
Wolverhampton Wanderers


FC Roubaix*
Mardy* (Wal)

·         *Player manager