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19 vs. Scotland
21 vs. Scotland

Results 1872-90

Saturday, 23 February 1884
Home International Championship 1883-84 (1st) Match

Ireland 1 England 8 [0-4]


Ulster Cricket Ground, Ballynafeigh Park, Belfast, County Antrim
3,000; Kick-off 3.00pm DMT
The Belfast News-letter states it was played at Ormeau Park

England - Edward Johnson (a low swift shot out of a scrimmage, 15), Charlie Bambridge (hat-trick, c.18th min., after a splendid run on the left, and his second, after a fast run by Cursham and Charlie on the left, the latter sending in a hot shot, his third scored a few minutes after), Harry Cursham (hat-trick, two in the first half, the first of which was with lightning rapidity after Hunter fisted out, the second from a cross from the right, the third, 75th min, when he headed in a Bailey cross), George Holden (scored the seventh after Johnson sent in a low shot which Hunter intercepted, Holden rushing sent both ball and man between the posts),.
Ireland - Billy McWha (a shot impossible to save, out of a scrummage 88).
Goal times generally not known. Both the second and sixth goals, and the Irish goal, were objected too on the grounds of offside.
"Johnson scored the first goal, E.C. Bambridge took the second. Before half-time, Cursham put the ball through twice more. On the recommencement, Johnson, EC Bambridge, Cursham and A.L. Bambridge were each instrumental in registering goals." - Wednesday, 27 February 1884, The Athletic News
Match Summary
Ireland Party

England Party
Team Records

England won the toss, Ireland kicked-off.


Match Summary

Officials [umpires and referees are of equal relevance]




Umpires -
Nicholas Lane Jackson
34 (1 November 1849), West Hackney, London (F.A. Secretary) &
M. Kennedy
Cliftonville, Belfast, Ireland

Referee -
Thomas Lawrie
Scotland (Scottish FA Vice-President)

1 Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  

Ireland Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours: St. Patrick blue shirts, white shorts.
Capt: Jack Davison Selectors: Team chosen by Committee;
Ireland Lineup
  Hunter, Robert J. nk not known G Cliftonville FAC 3 19 GA
  Crone, William 19/20 1864 RB

Distillery FC

4 0
  Wilson, Matthew 41/42 1842 LB

Distillery FC

3 0
  Hastings, John 25/26 1858 HB

Ulster FC

5 0
  Molyneux, Thomas B. 15/16 1868 HB

Cliftonville FAC

3 0
  Gaussen, Arthur D.A. 21 1863 OR

Moyola Park FC

2 0
  Davison, Dr. John R. 23 25 April 1860
 born in Leeds, England

Cliftonville FAC

5 0
McWha, William B.R. 23/24 1860 CF

Cliftonville FAC

5 1
  Johnston, Samuel J. 17 18 September 1866 CF

Distillery FC

3 1
  Spiller, Edward A. 21 22 September 1861 IL

Cliftonville FAC

3 0
  Dill, Alexander H. 20 27 June 1863 OL Cliftonville FAC 6 0


reserves unknown

team notes:

Matthew Wilson, was nicknamed 'Daddy', and was famed for his 15 inch long ginger beard.  He was either 41 or 42 at the time of this match.
Ireland become the first opposition team not to field any debutants.
2-2-6 Hunter -
Crone, Wilson -
Hastings, Molyneux -
Gaussen, Davison, McWha, Johnston, Spiller, Dill.


Age 22.5/23.0 Appearances/Goals 3.8 0.1


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours: White shirts, navy blue knickerbockers
Capt: Norman Bailey, sixth captaincy. Selectors: The Football Association Committee following trial games, with Secretary Charles W. Alcock having the primary influence, on Saturday, 26 January 1884.
England Lineup
  Rose, William C. 22 1 December 1861 G

Swifts FC

1 1 GA
  Dobson, Alfred T.C. 24 28 March 1859 RB Notts County FC & Corinthians FC 2 0
  Beverley, Joseph 27 12 November 1856 LB

Blackburn Rovers FC

1 0
  Bailey, Norman C. 26 23 July 1857 HB

Clapham Rovers FC

10 0
  MacRae, Stuart 28 7 December 1855
in India

Notts County FC & Corinthians FC

4 0
Holden, George H. 24 6 October 1859 OR

Wednesbury Old Athletic FC

2 1
  Bambridge, Arthur L. 22 16 June 1861 IR

Swifts FC & Corinthians FC

3 0
Johnson, Edward 24 late 1859/early 1860 CF

Stoke FC

2 1
  Dunn, Arthur T.B. 23 12 August 1860 CF Cambridge University AFC & Old Etonians AFC 2 2
Bambridge, E. Charles,
 injured off 75 min.
25 30 July 1858 IL

Swifts FC

8 10
Cursham, Henry A. 24 27 November 1859 OL

Notts County FC & Corinthians FC

8 5


reserves unknown

team notes:

The original eleven had Percy de Paravicini (Old Etonians AFC) starting, his place going to Beverley. Cursham replaced Nevill Cobbold (Old Carthusians AFC & Cambridge University AFC). Dunn replaced Kenneth Wilson (Hendon FC). Clem Mitchell (Upton Park FC) and Fred Dewhurst (Blackburn Olympic FC) were replaced by Johnson and Holden.
Charlie Bambridge was injured and taken off the field of play after approximately 75 minutes; England played on with ten men.
Arthur and Charlie Bambridge were brothers. Charlie extends his record as England's top goalscorer.
Norman Bailey overtakes Billy Mosforth's record of nine appearances.
This is the oldest English team thus far.
2-2-6 Rose -
Dobson, Beverley -
Bailey, MacRae -
A.Bambridge, Johnson, Dunn, C.Bambridge, Cursham.


Age 24.4 Appearances/Goals 3.9 1.0


    Match Report

"It may be mentioned that before the match the teams met at the studio of Mr. Seggons, Castle Place, where capital photographs of the contestants were taken." - Monday, 25 February 1884, The Belfast News-letter

Notwithstanding the fact that five of the original team elected to represent England in this international association encounter at Belfast on Saturday were unable to play, the English eleven secured a somewhat easy victory over their opponents. The weather was rather dull, but this did not prevent a large number of people visiting the Ulster ground to watch the contest. During the first portion of the game England obtained four goals, through the agency of Cursham (two), E. C. Bambridge, and Johnson. After positions had been reversed, the visitors still had matters much their own way, and Cursham, E. C. Bambridge, Johnson and A. L. Bambridge each scored a goal. M'Wha kicked the ball between the posts for Ireland, who were beaten by eight goals to one. - The Times - Monday 25th February, 1884


Notts County, who had reached the F.A. Cup semi-finals for the second year in succession, defeated Aston Villa, 2-0 at Trent Bridge.

It was on 22 February 1884 that it was announced that the town of Tokar in Sudan had been surrendered by British forces to the slave trader, Osman Digna.

Source Notes 

Jonny Dewart at Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats (link, left)
Original Newspaper Reports, particularly the Belfast news-letter, 25 February 1884.
Rothman's Yearbooks
FA Yearbooks 1950-60
Andy Mitchell's research on Kenneth Plumpton Wilson
Stephen Carr & Kevin Powell, for supplying the Belfast News Match Report