Association.-Middlesex has taken a leading
part in placing the Association game, the
Rugby game and more recently the Amateur
Football Association on a constitutional basis.
It was in and around London that men first
went on playing the various forms of football
that they had learnt at school. As nearly
every school possessed rules peculiar to itself, varying either to suit its playing area
or handed down by tradition, it will easily be
understood that the enjoyment of the game was
greatly hindered by this lack of uniformity.
In 1863 the late Mr. C. W. Alcock and
other pioneers of the game of football made
strenuous efforts to induce all players to unite
under one code. To this end Mr. Alcock
and those who played the dribbling, or what
is now known as the Association, game were
prepared to make certain concessions to those
who followed the Rugby or running code.
The first meeting for the purpose was held
at the Freemasons' Tavern, 26 October 1863
when the Football Association was formed.
The clubs represented were the War Office
F. C., the Crusaders, the Forest, Crystal Palace, Kilburn, Barnes and the Rugby clubs of
Kensington School, Surbiton, Blackheath, and
Percival House. Mr. Arthur Kimber of the
Kilburn N.N.'s was elected the first president,
Mr. Morley, honorary secretary, and Mr. G.
Campbell of Blackheath, treasurer. A further
meeting was held on 10 November, when the
secretary was empowered to draft an amalgamated code of rules taken from those in vogue
at Eton, Westminster, Harrow, Charterhouse,
Rugby and Winchester. When the amalgamated code was presented at a subsequent meeting on 1 December concessions to the Rugby
section were evident, and at one time it appeared not improbable that the new code would
be acceptable to both sections of players.
Hacking, then a cherished feature of the Rugby
game had, however, been eliminated. The desirability of its retention was vigorously maintained by Mr. Campbell, but his arguments were
in vain, and in consequence he and the members
of the Rugby clubs decided not to join the
Association. From that day to this the two
great divisions of the game-Association and
Rugby-have remained distinct. The growth
of the Association was not at first rapid.
By 1868 only twenty clubs, most of which
belonged to Middlesex, owned allegiance to it.
In 1867 county football was introduced for
the first time when Middlesex on 2 November
played a combined team of Kent and Surrey.
The game was keenly contested and resulted
in a draw, neither side obtaining a goal. In
1870 the late Mr. C. W. Alcock, who did
more towards popularizing Association football than any other man, was elected to the
post of secretary, a position he filled for over
thirty years. Up to the time of his death in
1907 he continued to take an active part in
the administration of the game.
On 20 July 1871 the historic Challenge
Cup was instituted and was won by the
Wanderers. In early days this team, composed mainly of old public school men resident
in London, was a dominating influence in
Association football. In the first seven years
of the Cup's history this club was successful on
five occasions. Mr. C. W. Alcock was the
organizer and leading spirit of the Wanderers
until, on the formation in London of numerous
clubs of old public school men, such as the
Old Carthusians, the Old Etonians, and the
Old Harrovians, the team was disbanded.
Other London clubs that held the trophy
were the Old Etonians (twice) and the Old
Carthusians, while the Clapham Rovers, which
contained a fair proportion of Middlesex men,
won it in 1880. Since the legalization of professionalism all this has been changed, and only
once (fn. 1) since 1883 has a London club held it
or been in the final. In 1883 that famous
amateur club, the Corinthians, was formed.
The club, whose head quarters are at Queen's
Club in West Kensington, is composed of the
pick of amateur players. The Corinthians have
never entered for the Association Cup, but
have contested hundreds of exciting matches
with the leading professional teams. A very
popular competition in London among the old
boys of the various public schools who play
the Association game is the Arthur Dunn Cup.
This trophy was instituted in 1903 to
perpetuate the memory of the Old Etonian
whose name it bears, in his day one of the best
type of amateur and an international player of
note. The final and many of the ties are
decided at Queen's Club.
The Old Carthusians are the present holders
of the cup, a position they have enjoyed every
year since the competition's inception, except
in 1907 when the Old Reptonians were
successful, while in 1903 the Old Salopians
held it jointly with them.
Another trophy competed for in the metropolitan district is the Sheriff of London's
Shield presented by Sir Thomas Dewar during
his shrievalty, to be played for by the two
leading amateur and professional teams of the
year. The proceeds of the match are devoted
to deserving London charities.
Lord Kinnaird is president of the Football
Association and the secretary is Mr. L. Walls.
The Middlesex representative on the committee is Mr. W. W. Heard, who is also
secretary of the Middlesex Association. The
cup tie competitions in the county comprise
the following-Middlesex Senior and Junior,
Middlesex Charity, Inter-Hospital, Tottenham
Charity, London Senior, Junior, Charity, and
The various schools in the county have
trained many notable internationals. Westminster heads the list with a dozen players,
including N. C. Bailey, who not only captained
the English team, but played on no less than
eighteen occasions. Harrow ranks next with
seven, of whom the late C. W. Alcock will
ever be remembered. Mill Hill supplied two
distinguished internationals in the brothers
Heron, whilst the City of London School
furnished S. R. Bastard.
Another far-reaching movement initiated
in London has been the formation of the
Amateur Football Association. With the
great increase of professionalism of recent years
in the Association game it was felt that the
interests of the amateurs were hardly receiving
from the governing body the recognition to
which they were entitled, and when in 1907
legislation was brought in threatening the individual freedom of action of the player the
amateurs felt that the time had arrived for
them to form an association of their own.
The Amateur Football Association was accordingly formed with Lord Alverstone as the first
president, and H. Hughes-Onslow as secretary.
The amateurs of the county are affiliated to
the new association.
Rugby.-After the Rugby clubs had decided
in 1863 not to join the Football Association,
the followers of the running game continued
to increase, but no governing body was formed
for some years. At that date the most prominent Rugby clubs in the county were Ravenscourt Park, the Harlequins, the Wasps, the
Gipsies, Addison, Belsize, Hampstead, the
Pirates, the Black Rovers, and the Red Rovers.
The London hospitals also played the
Rugby game as well as the following schools:-
St. Paul's, Merchant Taylors, Highgate, King's
College School, Christ's College Finchley,
Godolphin School, Kensington Grammar
School, and many smaller seminaries.
In the season of 1870-1 it became evident
that the best interest of the sport would be
served by placing the Rugby game on a constitutional basis with a uniform code of rules.
The movement was confined to the London
clubs, and of those represented at a meeting
held, 26 January 1871, no less than eleven
out of twenty-one belonged to Middlesex.
At this meeting the Rugby Union was formed.
It is worthy of note that 'hacking,' the elimination of which caused the Rugby men to
decline to join the Football Association in
1863, was forbidden by the code drawn up
by the newly-formed Union. Middlesex was
well represented on the first general committee as well as in the first international
match with Scotland, which was played a few
weeks after the formation of the governing
The head quarters of the Union have
always been in Middlesex, and in 1908 its
new ground at Twickenham was opened,
which will be the centre of the game and all
international matches will be played there.
Middlesex was the first of the southern
counties to put a football team in the field.
On 25 February 1879 they met Yorkshire
for the first time and won by 2 goals 2 tries
to 2 goals and 1 try. The same season
the county also played Surrey, but were defeated by a try. In the succeeding season
Middlesex suffered defeat from both Yorkshire and Surrey. On 21 February 1881
Lancashire was met at Manchester for the
first time, but the visitors were not a representative side and sustained an easy defeat.
In the following season Middlesex engaged
the powerful county of Kent for the first time
and were defeated by a goal and a try.
In 1887 Middlesex as the strongest county
in the south was selected to do battle with
Lancashire, the champions of the north, on
the occasion of the Charity Festival organized
in London jointly by the Rugby Union and
the Football Association. A stubbornly contested match resulted in Middlesex, though
having the best of the game, being defeated
by a try. As a matter of fact Middlesex
also gained a try, but the short space marked
out between the goal line and the dead-ball
line lost them the point. It is worthy of
note that his Majesty King Edward VII, then
Prince of Wales, was present at the match,
and at the conclusion of the game several of
the players were brought and introduced to
his royal highness. Causa honoris we give
the names of the Middlesex team:-E. T.
Gurdon, A. Rotherham, W. E. Maclagan,
C. J. B. Marriott, John Hammond, A. E.
Stoddart, W. G. Clibborn, J. H. Roberts,
C. J. Arkle, G. L. Jeffery, G. C. Lindsay,
E. S. McEwen, C. Collier, T. Riddell, and
A. S. Johnson.
In 1888, the year before the County
Championship was officially recognized, Middlesex was without question the strongest
Rugby team of the season.
Since the initiation of the County Championship Middlesex has competed each year,
and though the county team has never headed
the competition, it has generally given a good
account of itself. In 1904 in the final Middlesex were only just beaten by Durham by
the bare margin of a point. In the season
of 1907-8 the county team, as champions
of the South-Eastern Division, met Cornwall
in the semi-final to decide who should meet
Durham for the championship. Cornwall,
however, who subsequently defeated Durham
in the final, proved the stronger.
Many prominent international players have
been associated with Middlesex football;
notably E. T. Gurdon, who captained the
team for many years, and his brother Charles;
the late Alan Rotherham, the most correct
half-back of his own or any time, who succeeded Gurdon in the captaincy; C. G. Wade,
now Premier of New South Wales; the Hon.
H. A. Lawrence; the late John Hammond,
who though Yorkshire born, by residence
played for the metropolitan county throughout
his long career; C. J. B. Marriott, A. E.
Stoddart, G. L. Jeffery, and others. Up to
1907 the county received very material assistance from such famous international players
as W. E. Maclagan, the late G. C. Lindsay,
J. G. McMillan, A. J. Gould, A. F. Harding,
and G. Campbell. In the year mentioned
it was thought that the non-inclusion of such
players would the better stimulate native
talent and the following rule was passed:
'No man possessing an Irish, Scotch, or Welsh
International Cap shall be eligible to play in
a county championship match.' At the present
time Middlesex has more clubs affiliated to the
Rugby Union than any other county, and
consequently is entitled to two seats in the
executive. The present representatives are
E. Prescott and W. Williams.
To two Middlesex men, the late Arthur
Budd and the late R. S. Whalley, credit is
due for the inception of the useful London
Referees' Society for supplying referees to all
clubs belonging to the society.
Nor have the schools in the county been
behind hand in training a considerable number
of international players, as the subjoined list
will show. Harrow for instance, though
still adhering to rules peculiarly its own, has
supplied A. N. Hornby, W. E. Openshaw,
F. E. Pease, J. T. Gowans, and John Hopley;
Mill Hill-J. H. Dewhurst, A. F. Todd, and
T. W. Pearson; Christ's College Finchley
-C. R. Cleveland, C. H. Coates, the late
H. G. Fuller, president of Cambridge University F.C., H. M. Jordan, and W. C.
Hutchinson. From St. Paul's School came
R. O. Schwarz; from St. John's Wood,
A. E. Stoddart, G. L. Jeffery, and J. G. Anderson. Christ's Hospital produced S. Reynolds, and Isleworth College, A. Allport and
H. Huth. From Merchant Taylors' came
N. C. Fletcher, A. S. and H. H. Taylor;
and from the Godolphin School G. Fraser.