England Football Online
Players Index Page Last Updated
24 November 2022

Charlie Fry

Southampton FC & Corinthians FC

1 appearance, 0 goals

P 1 W 1 D 0 L 0 F 3: A 0
100% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


  Commander Charles Burgess Fry MA FRGS
Birth 25 April 1872 in Croydon, Surrey [registered in Croydon, June 1872]. The 1939 register states his birthdate is 26 April.
Baptism 30 June 1872 in Hove, Sussex.

According to the 1881 census, Charles B. is the eldest of four children to John Lewis and Constance Isabella (née White). They live at The Alchornes, Serlies in Orpington with three servants. His father works for the Metropolitan Police.


According to the 1891 census, Charles is a pupil at Repton School, boarding at The Cross.
According to the HAC Admission register, on 9 October 1899, Burgess, living at 39 Rosseth Garden Mansions. He discontinued from 19 October 1900, 

Marriage to Beatrice Holme Sumner, 4 June 1898 at The Parish Chapel, St. Pancras [registered in Pancras, London, June 1898]. Fry was stated as being a journalist, living at 31 Tavistock Place.

According to the 1901 census, Charles B is married to Beatrice H., with two children, Charis and Stephen. With two servants, they live at Glenbourne in West End, South Stoneham in Hampshire. He is stated as being an author.

  According to the 1911 census, Charles Burgess is an Honorary Director in charge of the training ship, Mercury. He is with his wife and another daughter, Faith Mary. They live in Hamble, Hampshire.
Fry appears in the 1911 edition of Kelly's Directory, as being a private resident of the RNR Training Ship Mercury, in Hamble-Rice. He is still there in the 1920 edition.
"It was after the First World War, in which he had taken no part due to running the Hamble naval college, that Fry, who often battled like a king, almost became one - Charles III of Albania. It came about via Prince Ranjitsinjhi who had become one of India's three representatives at the League of Nations and had taken Fry with him as a speech writer. Albania's royal family were of German extraction and had gone off back to Germany, leaving them with no representative in Geneva. They approached Fry. "Do not accept the crown of Albania", advised his old Oxford friend, the poet Hilaire Belloc, "be content with a cellar of wine and the society of those who love you". As the Albanians were looking for a man with an income of £10,000 a year, which Fry did not have and even Ranji would not provide, the kingdom was never his."

According to the 1921 census, Charles Burgess is still an Honorary Director in charge of the training ship, Mercury. He is with his wife and three children in Hamble.
According to a 1921 passenger list, Commander Charles Burgess was living at Hamble in Hampshire. He was heading to Bombay in India on 21 October on the Peninsular & Oriental steamship named Macedonia, under the mastership of A.F.Vine.
In a separate list, he returned to Southampton from New York on 10 May 1937 on board the Cunard White Star Berengaria. He was still the Director in Charge, living on the Mercury.

"In India in the late Twenties with Ranji, he had a major breakdown and became thoroughly paranoid. For the rest of his life, he dressed in bizarrely unconventional clothes and had frighteningly eccentric interludes. He developed a horror of Indians which included Ranji, his true friend who had supported and looked after him through years of illness. He was never entirely well again.
In 1934, Fry met Hitler. He went well briefed but was quite overcome by the size and spirit of a meeting where the Fuhrer was opening an autobahn. He was very impressed with the calibre of young men and women who, he thought, compared very well with young people in Britain. Fry tried to persuade Von Ribbentrop that Nazi Germany should take up cricket to Test level. He said that cricket was essentially a pure Nordic game and they would probably produce a blond WG Grace. The Germans were not convinced. At his hour-long meeting with Hitler, he was very impressed and seems totally to have accepted Hitler's assertion that the Jews were in cahoots with the Bolshevists and had a stranglehold on the country. Some Hitler Youth boys were made welcome at the Mercury training ship and Fry was still expressing enthusiasm for them in 1938."
- C.B. Fry: An English Hero - Iain Wilton


According to the 1939 register, Charles Burgess and Beatrice Holme are still married and are living on the Naval Training Ship Mercury, moored in the River Hamble in Winchester, with their two children and numerous. Charles is the captain Superintendant.
Death: 7 September 1956 at Middlesex Hospital, Fitzrovia, Westminster in Greater London, aged 84 years 135 days [registered in Hendon, Middlesex, September 1956]. Living at 8 Moreland Court, Lyndale Avenue, Hendon. He died of kidney failure. Left £1717 2s. 4d. to his daughters in his will.
Funeral held at Golders Green Crematorium, 11 September. Ashes interred at St Wystan Church, Repton, 28 September (left)

Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990] &

Mr C.B. Fry - Albert Craig (London: Wright, 1906)
A rare early ephemeral item relating to one of the sport's true all-rounders. The author, Albert Craig. was an interesting character. His specialty was in penning cricket rhymes on the leading personalities of the day and he became known as 'The Surrey Poet'. His distribution system was simplicity itself - once he'd got his poem printed in folding card format he'd simply go to a ground and hawk them round the boundary. Now very collectable.
C.B. Fry: The Man and his Methods - A.W. Myers (Bristol: J.W. Arrowsmith, 1912)
Respected tennis writer Myers here produces the first serious study of the Victorian-Edwardian superstar. Right-back for Southampton in the 1902 Cup Final and a first class cricketing century just a week later for the world long jump record holder!
Life Worth Living: some phrases of an Englishman - C.B. Fry (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1939)
This definitive autobiographical work is the one to consult for all researchers interested in C.B. With the Corinthians, he played against most of the best professional clubs from 1888 to 1902 - Chapter XIII deals entirely with football, offering one of all too few eyewitness accounts of Victorian footballers at play
C.B. Fry - Denzil Batchelor (London: Phoenix House, 1951)
Concentrates on the Sussex and Hampshire careers of the cricketer-footballer from 1894 to 1921 with some inevitable football references.
A View of Football - C.B. Fry (London: Derek Verschoyle, 1952) unpublished
C.B.: A Life of Charles Burgess Fry - Clive Ellis (London: Dent 1984)
Chapter 13 (pages 133-148) is entitled 'Soccer Star' and includes many lesser known football anecdotes. It is rather refreshing that some of them show Fry's abilities at football to be less than complete - in the Luton v. Southampton game in November 1901 C.B. lost his cool and indulged in some distinctly ungentlemanly retaliation, which so inflamed the Luton crowd they pelted the great man with missiles. So he wasn't perfect after all!
The captain's Lady - Ronald Morris (London: Chatto & Windus, 1985)
This is a biography of Beattie Fry, the wife he called 'Madame'. One of the very few works in which it is possible to consider the role of a wife in the life of an early sportsman. Whether or not she washed his muddy kit is not revealed, but all students of C.B. would do well to read this study in tandem with the more obvious research
Life Worth Living: some phrases of an Englishman - C.B. Fry (London: Pavilion, 1986)
Alan Ross, long-term editor of The London Magazine, is one of a number of high-profile figures in the world of literature with a genuine longstanding interest in football. His evocative poems, 'Stanley Matthews', 'Boyhood', 'Cup-tie Crowds', and 'Football on the Riviera' have appeared in several anthologies.
C.B. Fry: An English Hero - Iain Wilton (London: Richard Cohen books, 1999)
A Football Compendium, Peter J. Seddon (1999)

Playing Career

Club(s) Began his football career early with West Kent FC when he was only twelve years old. Attended Repton School and made the XI in 1888-91, making the captain in his final year.  Played for The Casuals before going up to Wadham College, where he played for Oxford University AFC, earning his Blue 1892-95, becoming the captain in 1894. Played for the Old Reptonians AFC, Corinthians FC from 1892-1903. Played for his hometown club Southampton from 1900-02, making sixteen Southern League appearances, and for Portsmouth FC from 12 January 1903 on amateur forms, playing twice in the Southern League.
Club honours Southern League winners 1900-01; FA Cup runners-up 1901-02;
Individual honours: Appeared on BBC's This Is Your Life in 1955;
Two Brighton & Hove buses (829 March 2000-March 2012, 429 since March 2012 (left)) were named in his honour;
Distinctions: An Oxford Blue at Cricket (1892-95, captain in 1894), he also played for Sussex CCC (1894-1908), London CCC (1900-02) and Hampshire CCC (1909-21), as well as India (1921-22). He was an athletics Blue (President 1894) specialising in sprints and the long jump, establishing a world record in the latter event. Played rugby for Oxford (missing out on his Blue because of injury), Blackheath RFC, Barbarians RFC and Surrey RFC.
Father of Stephen Fry
(Hampshire CCC, 1922-31);
Height/Weight 5' 10½" [1899],  5' 10", 11st. 13lbs [1903].


Douglas Lammings' An English Football Internationalist Who's Who [1990].

England Career

Player number One of five who became the 257th players (257) to appear for England.
Position(s) Right-back
Only match No. 71, 9 March 1901, England 3 Ireland 0, a British Championship match at The Dell, Milton Road, The Common, Southampton, aged 28 years 318 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1900-01
Team honours British Championship winners 1900-01
Individual honours None
Distinctions Played 26 tests at Cricket for England (1896-1912).

Beyond England

Won a First at Oxford, taught at Charterhouse 1896-98 and then went into journalism with Daily Express and founding in March 1904, C B Fry's magazine. He then took over the naval training ship, Mercury, in March 1908, remaining until retiring in 1950. He was also an unsuccessful candidate for parliament as a Liberal in 1922 for Brighton (came third with 22,059 of the votes, the winner, Rt Hon George Clement Tryon, took 28,549), in 1923 for Banbury (runner-up (12,271 votes) to Albert James Edmondson (12,490)), and in the 1924 Oxford by-election, after Frank Gray had been unseated by petition (runner-up (8,237 votes) to Robert Croft Bourne (10,079)). - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.103.
The Training Ship Mercury, moored in the river Hamble, was established in 1885 as an Institution for the training of boys for the Royal Navy and for Army bands. It is conducted on the lines of Government training ships with such modifications as are necessary for the reception of boys of younger age, one of its objects being the relief of small tradesmen and others with large families, as well as to assist parents who are able to pay a small premium per annum; the lads are well clothed and fed and receive individual attention; they are received between the ages of 10 and 15 and must either be orphans or the sons of poor parents; the ship is available for 150 boys and is under Admiralty inspection; the ship's band of 40 performers is open for engagements; Charles Burgess Fry, hon. director in charge - 1911 Kelly's Directory of Hampshire, p 226.
Became an Honorary Lieutenant on 24 August 1914, Honorary Commander, 21 September 1916 and a Honorary captain, 11 December 1946. - Naval Lists
Also began radio commentary for the BBC on cricket matches from 1936.


Charlie Fry - Career Statistics
Squads Apps comp. apps Mins. goals ave.min comp. goals Capt. Disc.
1 1 1 90 0 0 min 0 none none
minutes are an approximation, due to the fact that many matches rarely stick to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries and errors.


Charlie Fry - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
Home - British Championship 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 0 1 3.00 0.00 100.0 +1
All 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 0 1 3.00 0.00 100.0 +1


Charlie Fry - Match Record - Tournament Matches
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1900-01 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 0 1 3.00 0.00 100.0 +1
BC All 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 0 1 3.00 0.00 100.0 +1
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 0 1 3.00 0.00 100.0 +1
All 1 1 0 0 3 0 +3 0 1 3.00 0.00 100.0 +1


Charlie Fry - Match History
 Club: Southampton F.C. & Corinthians F.C. - 1 full cap

F.A. International Select Committee - 1 full capx

Age 20
- u/o 19 December 1891 - England 6 Canadian-Americans 1, The Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington Fr HW Start lb
Age 28
1 71 9 March 1901 - England 3 Ireland 0, The Dell, Southampton BC HW Start rb