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Results 1872-1890

Saturday, 18 January 1879
International 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
Attendance: between The Field's 85 (eighty-five) and 300 (three hundred).
Kick-off 3:15pm

England - Herbert Whitfeld ('passed it' 8), Heathcote Sorby ('placed' 20);
Wales - William Henry Davies ('kicked it' 45-47).

Wales won toss, England kicked-off.


Match Summary

Officials [umpires and referees are of equal relevance]




Umpires -
Charles W. Alcock
36 (2 December 1842), Sunderland,
England (FA secretary) &
C.M. Lloyd

Referee -
Segar R. Bastard
24 (25 January 1854), Bow, London

Played according to London Association 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.

England Team



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

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, gives it to Henry Wace.  The fact that Charles Alcock's own Football Annual lists Cursham makes us favour the Notts County forward, however, 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
  Bury, Lindsay 21 9 July 1857 FB

Cambridge University AFC & Old Etonians AFC

2 0
  Wilson, Claud W. 20 9 September 1858 FB

Oxford University AFC & Old Brightonians AFC

1 0
  Bailey, Norman C. 21 23 July 1857 HB

Old Westminsters AFC & Clapham Rovers FC

2 0
  Clegg, William E. 20 21 April 1852 HB

Sheffield Albion FC

2 0
  Parry, Edward H. 23 24 April 1855
in Canada

Old Carthusians AFC, Swifts FC & Remnants FC

1 0
Sorby, T. Heathcote 22 16 February 1856 F

Thursday Wanderers FC

1 1
7 Cursham, Arthur W. 24 14 March 1853 F

Notts County FC

4 1
  Wace, Henry 25 21 September 1853 F

Wanderers FC & Clapham Rovers FC

2 0
Whitfeld, Herbert 20 25 November 1858 F

Old Etonians AFC

1 1
  Mosforth, William 21 2 January 1858 F

Sheffield Albion FC

3 0


reserves not known

team notes:

The original line-up included goalkeeper, Remnant FC's Reverend W. Blackmore. His place went to Anderson, a forward.


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


Age 21.5 Appearances/Goals 1.8 0.2


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 B

Oswestry FC

3 0
3 Higham, George Garnett 23 summer 1855 B

Oswestry FC

2 0
  Williams, William - - B

Druids FC

3 0
  Owen, Thomas poss.
- B

Oswestry FC

1 0
Davies, William Henry - - F

Oswestry FC

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

Oswestry FC

1 0
  Heywood, Dennis
injured off at some point
- - F

Druids FC

1 0
9 Price, John - - F

Wrexham AFC

3 0
  Owen, W. Digby 21 summer 1857 F

Oswestry FC

1 0
  Roberts, William - - F

Llangollen FC

1 0


reserves 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

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

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 20th January, 1879


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.

Source Notes

'Tom' and Digby Owen were not brothers.  Digby Owen, who was a private tutor, died of  pneumonia on June 2, 1901, at the age of only 44.  Thomas Owen, is believed to be the father of famous wartime poet Wilfred Owen.  He was a railwayman who died on October 17, 1931, at the age of 70. - IFFHS

Official Programme, England vs. Albania, 26 April 1989
The Morning Post, 20 January 1879
The Independent, 20 January 1879
Cris Freddi: Football Historian
Welsh Football Data Archive
Wrexham.Gov.uk: The story of Welsh football
Rothmans Yearbooks