England Football Online
Page Last Updated 23 February 2016
Players Index

Francis Sparks

Hertfordshire Rangers FC & Clapham Rovers FC

3 appearances, 3 goals

P 3 W 2 D 0 L 1 F 12: A 11
67% successful


disciplined: none
minutes played:


Full name Francis John Sparks
Born 4 July 1855 in North Benfleet, Billericay, Essex [registered in Billericay, September 1855]
Census Notes

No Francis, or any of the immediate family, can be found on the 1861 or 1871 census'.

According to the 1881 census, now a clerk for his father, Francis J., with his older sister, Marion, living with his parents, John and Eleanor and two servants at Somerset Road in Chipping Barnet, Barnet.  His father was a General Commission Agent.

According to the 1891 census, Francis J., although married, still with his sister, living with only their mother at Dudley House on Manor Road in Chipping Barnet.  Two of his nephews and two servants all live with them. He seems dependent on his mother.

According to the 1901 census, Francis J., stated as 'widowed', is a coal traveller, living on his own at 141 Clarendon Place in Dover.

According to the 1911 census, Francis John is now lodging with John Taylor, also a widower, at 2 Norman Cottages, in Upper Deal, Kent.

Married to Jane Sarah Billinghurst, on 5 July 1884 [registered in Islington, September 1884].
Marriage notes "A MARRIAGE TANGLE
"At Southend on Tuesday, William Deares, of Hamilton Bungalow, Vange, renewed his application for the discharge of a manitenance order in respect to Mrs. Matilda Gertrude Deares, Shaftesbury Avenue, Southend.
"The case had been before the Court on three previous occasions, and it had been alleged that Mrs. Dawes was already married to a Mr. Sparkes at the time of the ceremony with the present applicant. At the hearing on Friday, Mrs. Jane Sarah Sparkes, of Finsbury Park, said she was married on July 5, 1884, to Francis John Sparkes. She left her husband in 1886, and had not seen him for many years.
"Respondent said that on Nov. 21, 1917, she went through a form of marriage with a Francis John Sparkes. At that time, her surname was Wright, and she was a widow. Subsequently, Mr. Sparkes told her he had a wife alive, she
then left him. After that she met William Deares, and married him in October, 1922.
"Mr. Hurrell (for the respondent) said the case was somewhat complicated, but he thought the Bench would be satisfied there was no such thing as a bigamous marriage between Mr. and Mrs. Deares, but that a bigamous marriage took place between Mr. Sparkes and Mrs. Deares.
"Mr. S. Wortly (for the applicant), urged that there was no evidence that the man Sparkes who was married to Mrs. Sparkes was the man Sparkes who was married to Mrs.  Deares.
"The Bench dismissed the application, and allowed five pounds/10/ - costs."
- 25 July 1930, The Essex Chronicle
Died 13 February 1934 in Romford, aged 78 years 224 days. [registered in Romford, March 1934].
Buried on 19 February 1934 at All Saints Church, North Benfleet, Essex.
Height/Weight not known


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

Club Career

Club(s) Began in 1873 playing for St. Albans Pilgrims FC.  He switched to play for Brondesbury within the year for the rest of the season.  He played for Upton Park FC between 1876 and 1878, before joining Hertfordshire Rangers FC.  He joined Clapham Rovers FC for their successful 1879-80 campaign; also represented Essex FA and London.
Club honours FA Cup winner 1879-80;
Individual honours None
Distinctions None


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

England Career

Player number One of eight who became the 63rd players (69) to appear for England.
Position(s) Forward
First match No. 9, 5 April 1879, England 5 Scotland 4, a friendly match at The Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London, aged 23 years 275 days;
Last match No. 11, 15 March 1880, Wales 2 England 3, a friendly match at The Racecourse, Mold Road, Wrexham, aged 24 years 255 days;
Major tournaments None
Team honours None
Individual honours England's Top Goalscorer (three 1880). The first to score more than two...
Distinctions None

Beyond England

Served on the FA Committee 1878-80. He was employed as a clerk, according to the 1881 census, in Barnet. and became a coal traveller in Kent by 1901. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.230/1./FindMyPast.com


Francis Sparks - Career Statistics
Squads Appearances Minutes Goals Goals Ave. min Captain Discipline
3 3 270 3 90 min one none
Due to the fact that many matches rarely stuck to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries, errors and substitutions.  The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.


Francis Sparks - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home 1 1 0 0 5 4 +1 0 0 5.00 4.00 100.0 +1
Away 2 1 0 1 7 7 =0 0 0 3.50 3.50 50.0 =0
All - Friendly 3 2 0 1 12 11 +1 0 0 4.00 3.667 66.7 +1


Francis Sparks - Match History

Coach: F.A. Committee (Charles Alcock) - 3 full capsx

 Club: Hertfordshire Rangers F.C. & Clapham Rovers F.C. - 3 full caps  
Age 23
1 9 5 April 1879 - England 5 Scotland 4, The Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington Fr HW Start for
Age 24
2 10 13 March 1880 - Scotland 5 England 4, Hampden Park, Glasgow Fr AL Start
3 11 15 March 1880 - Wales 2 England 3, The Racecourse, Wrexham Fr AW Start