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Saturday, 28 February 1885
Home International Championship 1884-85 (2nd) Match

England 4 Ireland 0 [1-0]
Match Summary
England Party

Ireland Party
Team Records

Manchester Football Ground, Upper Chorlton Road, Whalley Range, Manchester, Lancashire
Kick-off: 'at 3.25'.
Attendance: 'between 5,000 and 6,000 spectators assembled'; 'about 6,000 spectators assembled'.

England won the toss. John Gibb kicked-off
[0-0] Norman Bailey scores free-kick: disallowed
Charlie Bambridge 44
 'Spilsbury passed for Bambridge to score'
[2-0] Ben Spilsbury free-kick 75
 'a foul occurring, sent the ball through'

[3-0] William Eames own goal 77
 'Eames inadvertently breasted in a Lofthouse corner' after Brown's shot hit the cross-bar

Jimmy Brown
 'some neat dribbling' from Lofthouse pass

[4-0] Spilsbury shot hits cross-bar

Some sources credit England's third goal as a Joe Lofthouse goal, but match reports clearly state an Eames' own goal



Match Summary

Officials [umpires and referees are of equal relevance]




  "Fourteen corner-kicks for the Englishmen"
Charles H.R. Wollaston
35 (31 July 1849), Sussex, Wanderers FC
John McRedy McAlery
35/36 (1849)
Irish FA Honorary Secretary
Five sources - The Times, The Field, Bell's Life, Sporting Life, and the Athletic News name Lawrie, another four - Alcock's Annual 1885, Northern Whig, Belfast News-Letter, and The Sportsman name McKillop.
Played for England 1874-80
Which Referee?x
Thomas Lawrie or James E. McKillopx


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours: "the home team wearing white jerseys"
Capt: Norman Bailey
(ninth (15) captaincy)
Selectors: The Football Association Committee following trial games, with Secretary Charles W. Alcock having the primary influence, on Monday, 16 February 1885.
most captaincies so far
England Lineup
115   Arthur, W.J. Herbert 22
14 days
14 February 1863 G Blackburn Rovers FC 1    0 GA
116   Walters, Percy M. 21
151 days
30 September 1863 RB Oxford University AFC & Old Carthusians AFC 1      0
117   Walters, Arthur M. 20
33 days
26 January 1865 LB Cambridge University AFC & Old Carthusians AFC 1      0
  Bailey, Norman C. 27
220 days
23 July 1857 Half

Clapham Rovers FC

13      1
most apps & experienced capt
  Forrest, James H. 20
249 days
24 June 1864

Blackburn Rovers FC

2      0
118   Lofthouse, Joseph M. 19
320 days
14 April 1865 OR Blackburn Rovers FC 1      0
119 Spilsbury, Benjamin W. 20
211 days
1 August 1864 IR Cambridge University AFC, Derby County FC & Corinthians FC 1      1
first County player to represent England
  Pawson, Francis W. 23
328 days
6 April 1861 Centre

Swifts FC & Corinthians FC

2 1 final app
Brown, James 22
212 days
31 July 1862

Blackburn Rovers FC

3      3
  Cobbold W. Nevill 22
24 days
4 February 1863 IL

Cambridge University AFC, Old Carthusians AFC & Corinthians FC

3      3
Bambridge, E. Charles 26
213 days
30 July 1858 OL

Swifts FC

11     11
most goals


Alf Jones (Burnley FC)

team notes:

Percy and Arthur Walters were brothers.


This is only the third time (1878-79 & 1883) that England have won two matches in a row.
2-2-6 Arthur -
P.Walters, A.Walters -
Bailey, Forrest -
Lofthouse, Spilsbury, Pawson, Brown, Cobbold, Bambridge


Age 22 years 180 days Appearances/Goals 3.6    1.5
youngest competitive XI so far


Ireland Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours: "...whilst the colours of the away team were royal blue"
Capt: Jack Davison Selectors: Team chosen by Committee, on Thursday, 26 February 1885.
Ireland Lineup
  Henderson, John A.W. 40
212 days
31 July 1844 G

Ulster FC

1 4 GA
  Hewison, George nk not known Full
Moyola Park FC 1 0
  Moorhead, Frederick W. nk not known Dublin University AFC 1 0
Eames, William L. 21
225 days
18 July 1863
in India
Dublin University AFC 1 1 OG
the third own goal scored for England
  Molyneux, Thomas B. 16/17 1868

Cliftonville FAC

6 0
  Houston, William J. nk not known Moyola Park FC 1 0
  McWha, William B.R. 24/25 1860 OR

Cliftonville FAC

6 0
  Davison, Dr. John R. 24
309 days
25 April 1860
in Leeds, England

Cliftonville FAC

8 0
most apps
  Gibb, John T. nk not known CF Wellington Park FC 3 0
  Dill, Alexander H. 21
246 days
27 June 1863 IL Cliftonville FAC 7 0
  Magee, George nk not known OL Wellington Park FC 1 0


not known

team notes:

Eames and Frederick Moorhead were the first Dublin-based players to be selected for Ireland.
Magee was a last minute replacement for Roper, another Dublin-based university player.
2-3-5 Henderson -
Hewison, Moorhead -
Eames, Molyneux, Houston -
McWha, Davison, Gibb, Dill, Magee


Age tbc Appearances/Goals 3.3 0.0
"A dinner was held in the evening at the Grand Hotel" - The Sportsman, Monday, 2 March 1885


Match Report - Morning Post, Monday, 2 March 1885 In Other News.....

As was generally expected, the Englishmen proved successful in this their first international match of the season, played under Association rules, at Whalley Range, Manchester, on Saturday afternoon. Between 5,000 and 6,000 persons assembled to witness the contest. At times the play was very fast, and although defeated, it must be admitted that the visitors made a bold bid for victory. Successful in the toss, the English eleven elected to play with the wind during the initial period of the game. Gibb kicked off for Ireland, and it was not long ere the ball was returned, when the combined play of the English forwards placed the visitors' goal in great danger. Still, Henderson, for a time, proved equal to the occasion, and, after several unsuccessful attempts to score, the home eleven in turn had to retire. Alternately, each team was now in the ascendant, and just prior to half time Spilsbury dribbled the ball to Bambridge, who quickly sent it between the posts. Having thus weathered the first half so well, it was thought that change of ends would enable the Irishmen to show to greater advantage, but scarcely had play been resumed ere England again took the ball in close proximity to their rivals' fortress, and a free kick enabled Spilsbury to score. Next a corner was taken by Ireland, which resulted in Eames sending the ball through his own goal. The game having been restarted, Davidson and M'Wha relived their side by some neat dribbling, as did also Brown, to whom the ball was ultimately centred by Lofthouse, and a fourth goal resulted. A good shot from the foot of Cobbold followed, but the ball struck the crossbar, when Brown got possession, and tried to head it through. Henderson, however, saved his charge in fine style. This was the last incident of note, and thus, at the call of time, the Englishmen were declared the winners by four goals to none.


Queen's Park beat Notts County, 2-1 at Derby in an F.A. Cup replay to reach the semi-finals for the second year in succession. They were to repeat their feat of the previous year, when they became the first and only Scottish club to reach the final, but once again, Blackburn Rovers were to deny them the ultimate prize.

It was on 27 February 1885 that the government achieved a narrow majority of 14 votes over the opposition's motion that their indecision and neglect of the war in Sudan had led directly to the loss of Khartoum and the death of General Gordon.

The annual encounter between England and Ireland, under Association rules, took place last Saturday, at Whalley Range, Manchester. The afternoon was fine, and between five and six thousand spectators visited the ground of the Manchester Club. Having lost the toss, Ireland kicked off with both wind and sun in their faces...
It continued so until close upon half-time, when Spilsbury dribbled the ball down the right side, and passed to Bambridge, who placed a goal to the credit of England...

after the kick out a determined attack was made on the Irish goal, which resulted in Spilsbury obtaining another point for England. The latter team then had a further corner kick, which Lofthouse again undertook. He placed the ball within a few yards of the posts, and Eames in endeavouring to clear his lines sent the ball under the Irish cross-bar...
Brown secured it from the kick out, and after some passing between himself and Lofthouse he scored a fourth goal for England... - The Times, Monday, 2 March 1885


Source Notes  
Jonny Dewart at Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats
Cris Freddi's England Football Factbook
Kaye Aldous (Great granddaughter of William Eames)
The Football Association Yearbook
Original Newspaper Reports