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Wales are the second different opposition

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11 vs. Wales

Saturday, 18 January 1879
Association Friendly Match

England 2 Wales 1 [2-0]
*played for only 60 minutes, 30 minutes per half. Due to snow.

Match Summary
England Party
Wales Party
Team Records

The Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London, Surrey, SE
Kick-off (London Time): 'at 3:15 he set the ball in motion'
Attendance: 'only about 100 visitors putting in an appearance'

Arthur Cursham kicked-off Wales won toss
[1-0] Herbert Whitfeld 8
 'Bailey placing the leather neatly across to Whitfeld'.

[2-0] Heathcote Sorby 20
  [2-1] W.H. Davies 45-47
'kicked it after a long run'
[2-1] Davies hit right post in last quarter of an hour

"The ground was covered in two three inches of snow, while a sleet fell during the greater part of the game."

"It was decided to play though only for an hour, instead of the usual period of an hour and a half".

Match Summary

Officials [umpires and referees are of equal relevance]


Played according
to FA rules.



Some sources/tales suggest that William Clegg turned up 20 minutes late for the game.  Clegg, a solicitor, was working late on a case (the trial of Charlie Peace, the Banner Cross murderer) and unable to leave Sheffield for London on the Friday night.  The next morning, the southbound train with Clegg on it, was delayed by heavy snow. But reports suggest, as in the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, 20 January 1879, that is was only the goalkeeper, Blackmore, that did not turn up. His place went to Anderson. The reasonable conclusion is that it was the match that started late, not Clegg.
Charles W. Alcock
36 (2 December 1842)
(FA secretary)
C.M. Lloyd
(Hon. secretary Welsh FA)
played for England in 1875
Segar R. Bastard
24 (25 January 1854)
Bow, London
will play for England next season 

England Team


No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours: Probably White shirts, white shorts and dark blue caps.
Capt: Arthur Cursham
(second and final captaincy)
Selectors: The Football Association Committee following trial games, with Secretary Charles W. Alcock having the primary influence.
first to captain in consecutive matches

Newspaper reports of the time conflict on who was the actual captain against Wales. Three reports, The Field, The Sportsman and Football Annual give the captaincy to Arthur Cursham, whilst The London Times, Athletic News and Bell's Life, as well as the local independents, gives it to Henry Wace.  The fact that Charles Alcock's own Football Annual lists Cursham makes us favour the Notts County forward. In fact, Cursham's obituary in 1884 stated that he was Captain on 'several occasions'.

England Lineup

Anderson, Rupert D.

264 days
29 April 1859 G

Old Etonians AFC

1 1 GA only app
  Bury, Lindsay 21
193 days
9 July 1857 Full

Cambridge University AFC & Old Etonians AFC

2 0 final app
58   Wilson, Claud W. 20
131 days
9 September 1858

Oxford University AFC & Old Brightonians AFC

1       0
  Bailey, Norman C. 21
179 days
23 July 1857 Half

Old Westminsters AFC & Clapham Rovers FC

2       0
  Clegg, William E. 26
272 days
21 April 1852

Sheffield Albion FC

2 0 final app
59   Parry, Edward H. 23
269 days
24 April 1855
in Toronto, Canada

Old Carthusians AFC, Swifts FC & Remnants FC

1       0
60 Sorby, T. Heathcote 22
336 days
16 February 1856

Thursday Wanderers FC

1 1 only app
7 Cursham, Arthur W. 25
310 days
14 March 1853

Notts County FC

4       1
  Wace, Henry 25
119 days
21 September 1853

Wanderers FC & Clapham Rovers FC

2       0
61 Whitfeld, Herbert 20
54 days
25 November 1858

Old Etonians AFC

1 1 only app
 tenth different England goalscorer
  Mosforth, William 21
16 days
2 January 1858

Sheffield Albion FC

3       0


not known

team notes:

The original line-up included goalkeeper, Remnant FC's Reverend W. Blackmore. His place went to Anderson, a forward.
William Clegg is the younger brother of Charlie, a member of the first international match in 1872.


This victory ends a disastrous run of five matches without a victory, including three losses in a row.


 Anderson -
Bury, Wilson -
Bailey, Clegg -
Parry, Sorby, Cursham, Wace, Whitfield, Mosforth.


Age 22 years 228 days Appearances/Goals 1.8      0.2
youngest starting XI so far =most experienced team so far


Wales Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 3rd
Colours: Not known - but possibly white and green halved shirts, and black shorts. White shirts with blue shorts is also a possibility.
Capt: Llewellyn Kenrick Selector: Team selection chosen by Committee, following a series of trial matches.

Only one source suggests Llewellyn Kenrick, the rest remain silent. He was afterall, the founder of the Football of Wales, and the captain in his first two international appearances.

Wales Lineup
1 Glascodine, George W. 21/22 1857 G

Wrexham AFC

1 2 GA
2 Kenrick, S. Llewellyn 31 summer 1847 Backs

Oswestry FC

3 0
3 Higham, George Garnett 23 summer 1855

Oswestry FC

2 0
  Williams, William nk not known

Druids FC

3 0
  Owen, Thomas poss.
not known

Oswestry FC

1 0
Davies, William Henry nk not known For

Oswestry FC

3 1
  Shone, W. William 20/21 early 1858

Oswestry FC

1 0
  Heywood, Dennis, injured off at some point nk not known

Druids FC

1 0
9 Price, John nk not known

Wrexham AFC

3 0
  Owen, W. Digby 21 summer 1857

Oswestry FC

1 0
  Roberts, William nk not known

Llangollen FC

1 0


not known
2-2-6 Glascodine -
Kenrick, Higham -

Williams, T.Owen -
Davies, Shone, Heywood, Price, D.Owen, Roberts


Age n/a Appearances/Goals 1.8 0.1
Match Report - Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Monday, 20 January 1879 In Other News.....

The first international match according to association rules was played at Kennington Oval on Saturday last under the most unfavourable auspices. Snow had commenced to fall early in the morning, and as it continued without intermission until the time fixed upon for play the ground was covered with a thick coating of snow, which ought to have been sufficient to put a stop to the game. As with the exception, however, of the English goal-keeper both teams turned up it was decided to play, though only for an hour, instead of the usual period of an hour and a half. Cursham, of Nottingham, the English captain, lost the toss, and at 3.15 he set the ball in motion from the western goal. It soon became evident that there was very little opportunity for the display of any great skill as the ball not only stopped almost dead in the snow, but gradually lost its original shape and became almost too heavy for the backs to lift, requiring a cleansing process every time that it went behind either goal line. Hence the game lost much of its interest though it proved to be fairly well contested on the whole. Wales were the first to make an advance, Davies being particularly active along the right side. After the first few minutes the English forwards settled down to their work, and their attacks were frequent. The Welsh goalkeeper once saved his charge well, and a corner kick for England soon after failed to be utilised to the disadvantage of Wales. Several times the Welsh forwards broke away, but Bury's kicking generally brought the ball back into their quarters, and at length Bailey placing the leather neatly across to Whitfeld, the latter made the first goal for England in about ten minutes from the start. The kick-off was followed by some animated play on both sides, and Dacres and Roberts several times got the ball over the English goal line. Kenrick played very resolutely back for Wales, and the defence was good, but again, the English forwards overpowered all opposition, and the ball being sent right across the Welsh posts, Sorby had little difficulty in securing goal the second for England. Soon after this ends were changed, and the game was resumed with even greater vigour. The play of the English forwards was very loose, and the Welshmen had several opportunities which they allowed to escape.  Wace in the centre was very vigorous for England, but the Welshmen were certainly better together, and great cheering greeted a goal by Davies after a long run. During the last quarter of an hour the Englishmen made several desperate attacks, and once they had a narrow escape, a clever shot by Davies hitting their right goal post. Still no further score was made, and at the end of an hour the victory remained with England by two goals to one.

  It was on 17 January 1879 that Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, the Conservative Secretary of State for the Colonies, skilfully deflected recent criticism from the Liberal opposition in a speech at Stroud, though the Liberals were to return to power, the following year.

In spite of the fact that a thick layer of snow covered Kennington-oval on Saturday, the match between England and Wales, announced for that day, was played.
With one exception the whole of those selected to take part in the game were at their posts. Kenrick won the toss and chose to defend the eastern goal, having a little advantage from the wind. Play began at a quarter past 3 o'clock, when Wace kicked off in the presence of about 100 spectators...
Wace, Cursham, Bailey, and Whitfeld were most pertinacious in their onslaughts, however, and at length the last named, to whom the ball had been well centred by Bailey, kicked the first goal for England...
Whitfeld then effected a run along the left side of the ground, and passed the ball across to Sorby, who kicked a second goal for England, within 20 minutes of the commencement...
Shortly after this, a combined rush on the part of Davies, Price, and Roberts took the ball along the left side of the ground. The last-named then centred it cleverly to Davies, who shot it between the posts and scored the first goal for Wales. - The Times, Monday, 20 January 1879


Source Notes  

The Football Association Yearbook
original newspaper report & The Morning Post/Independent, 20 January 1879
Douglas Lamming's A Century of English International Football 1872-1972 & 1872-1988
Welsh Football Data Archive
Cris Freddi's England Football Factbook

Nick Gibbs' England: The Football Facts
Wrexham.Gov.uk: The story of Welsh football

Jack Rollin's Rothmans Book of Football Records
James Corbett's England Expects
The Official History of the England Football Team (DVD)