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Feature on Fred Spiksley

Fred Spiksley

Wednesday FC

7 appearances, 7 goals (3 on his debut)

P 7 W 5 D 2 L 0 F 23: A 7
86% successful


disciplined: none
minutes played:


Full name Frederick Spiksley
Spiksley was such a well-known footballer that it seems odd to find his name invariably spelt Spikesley in match reports and some census returns. Frederick's own hand even confused the matter (left). However, as supplied by Clive Nicholson, his birth certificate, baptism record, marriage certificates and death certificate, all provide ample evidence that he was a Spiksley all along.
Born 25 January 1870 at 3 Willoughby Street, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire [registered as Spiksley, in Gainsborough, March 1870].
Attended Holy Trinity Church School in Gainsborough.
Baptised 21 September 1870 at Holy Trinity Church, Gainsborough, by Reverend R.W. Charteris.

Census Notes

According to the 1871 census, Frederick is the youngest of three children, all sons, to Edward and Sarah (née Porter), living at 3 Willoughby Street in Gainsborough. His father is a boiler maker at the nearby Britanna Ironworks.

According to the 1881 census, Fredk is still the youngest of the three living at home with their parents at The Crown and Anchor Inn (since 1878) on the corner of Bridge Street in Gainsborough, with one servant, where his father is now a publican.
Frederick's younger sister, Florence Maud, was born on 12 November 1875, but she tragically died on 18 December.

According to the 1891 census, Frederick is a compositor printer, still one of two living at home with their parents at 14-16 Boulevard Crescent in Gainsborough. His father is once again, a boiler maker.

According to the 1901 census, Frederick is a professional footballer now married to Ellen and with one son, Fred H. They live at 57 Gordon Street in Gainsborough.
In 1906, he was living at 148 Moorsgate in Retford;

According to the 1911 census, Frederick is now a journalist living with his wife and son, Fred 'Haywood', at 29 Alma Road in Retford.

According to the 1939 census, Fred is a divorced and retired athletic coach living at 88 Brunswick Street in Rotherham. Ellen, and their son, Fred H. are living at 118 Broomspring Lane in Rotherham.
Married twice, firstly to Ellen 'Nellie' Robinson, on 5 September 1895 at Sheffield Regsiter Office [registered, as Fred Spiksley, in Sheffield, September 1895]. They had two sons, Frederick Walter (born and died in January 1896) and Frederick Hayward (born late 1897). They divorced in March 1928. He then remarried, to Rose Reichel, on 3 June 1929 at Paddington Register Office [registered, as Fred Spiksley, in Paddington, June 1929].
Died 28 July 1948 at Tattersall's enclosure at Goodwood Racecourse, Singleton, aged 78 years 185 days [registered as Spiksley, in Chichester, September 1948], from coronary thrombosis.
"...overcome by the heat and fell dead in the Tattersall's enclosure at Goodwood"
It was during a heatwave that Spiksley became one of four people, nationwide, that died as a result of the intense heat.
He was living at Loftus Hotel in Earl's Court, London, at the time of his death.
Height/Weight 5' 7", 10st. 0lbs [1903].


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

Biographies Twenty Years of Professional Football - Fred Spiksley
Flying Over an Olive Grove: The Remarkable Story of Fred Spiksley: A Flawed Football Hero - Clive Nicholson, Ralph Nicholson and Mark Metcalf
(Red Axe Books, October 2016).

Club Career

Club(s) Began his playing career with his school team, Holy Trinity, during which time he began to assist Gainsborough Working Mens' FC in 1883, as well as Horncastle FC. He was turning out for Trinity Institute FC in 1885, and the following year, Spiksley was playing with Gainsborough Wednesday FC, as well as the Working Men's Club. In March 1887, he was preparing to watch Gainsborough Trinity FC play, before stepping in as an emergency eleventh man, and in April 1887, he accepted an invitation to play with Jubilee Swifts FC. He signed with the Trinity club as a professional in the 1887 summer. During which time he also represented Lincolnshire FA three times and Blackburn Rovers FC had attempted to sign him in 1890. In January 1891, after 126 appearances and 131 goals for Trinity, Accrington Stanley FC tried to buy Spiksley, offering a higher wage, but on 26 January, he was signed by the Wednesday club of Sheffield, effective from the end of the current season. He also represented Sheffield & Hallamshire FA. Following a knee injury in August 1903, he dislocated his knee and caused severe damage to his knee ligaments, his appearances were limited and he remained another year, until on 1 May 1904, he was informed his contract had been terminated. He had completed 293 League appearances, scoring exactly one hundred goals. Despite his termination, Wednesday still held his registration, and still expected £250 for any release. Spiksley attended the Football League AGM to plead his case, and won. He signed with Archie Goodall's Glossop North End FC on 1 September 1904. despite failing a medical test. He made just three league appearances, scoring just the once. He was dismissed by Glossop for his failing to relocate. Again, he was granted a free transfer following League intervention. Spiksley joined Leeds City FC on 2 February 1905 on a 'pay as you play' deal, making all seven exhibition appearances. He made another appearance for Glossop the following month. As Leeds joined the Football League, in April 1905, Spiksley applied to join Southern United AFC of Nunhead, a club in the South-Eastern League Second Division, as player-secretary-manager. His application was successful, starting on 2 June, being sacked on 22 January 1906. He also spent the duration and subsequent years scouting for Chelsea FC. From February 1906 season, Jack Goodall convinced Spiksley to sign with Watford FC, making eleven league appearances, scoring five goals. Even Goodall came out of retirement to play alongside him once again. Spiksley was not offered a new playing contract at the end of the season, and so he retired form playing.
Club honours Gainsborough News Charity Cup winners 1887-88, 1889-90 (having fielded an ineligible player in the final, Trinity were awarded the winners medals, but Notts Rangers were awarded the trophy); Lincolnshire County Challenge Cup winners 1889-90, runners-up 1890-91; Midlands League winners 1890-91; FA Cup winners 1895-96; Football League Division Two winners 1899-1900; League Champions 1902-03, 1903-04 (injured);
Individual honours Football League (two appearances, one goal)
Distinctions Spiksley is the scorer of the quickest goal in an FA Cup Final ("less than twenty seconds had passed.").
A prize-winning runner over 440 yards and an oarsman of note.
He played for a Corinthians scratch team on 15 April 1907 that is deemed unofficial, if that is how the match against Tottenham Hotspur FC is classified, then Spiksley is most certainly the only unofficial professional to play for them, and score.
Spent the 1908-09 season as a referee in the Midland Counties League.


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

England Career

Player number One of four who became the 206th players (209) to appear for England.
Position(s) Outside-left
First match No. 48, 13 March 1893, England 6 Wales 0, a British Championship match at Victoria Park, Boothen, Stoke-on-Trent, aged 23 years 47 days.
Last match No. 64, 2 April 1898, Scotland 1 England 3, a British Championship match at Celtic Park, Kerrydale Street, Parkhead, Glasgow, aged 28 years 67 days.
Major tournaments British Championship 1892-93, 1893-94, 1895-96, 1897-98;
Team honours British Championship winners 1892-93, 1897-98;
Individual honours England's Top Goalscorer, Season and Calender (six 1893).
Distinctions The first England player to score two hat-tricks, and the first to score a hat-trick against Scotland.

England Disgrace

"At Gainsborough County-court, on Thursday. J.W. Nash sued Fred Spiksley, the International football player, for £10 1s. 6d. money lent. A special defence was sent up under the Gaming Act that the money was advanced for the purpose of betting transactions. Mr Tweed, plaintiff's solicitor, said that the amount was not for the purpose of gaming. There was no doubt that the parties had gaming transactions, but these were all settled. The Judge made an order for payment of the money at the rate of 10s a month." - The Daily Mail, Friday, 12 October 1900.
Within a year, Spiksley was also taking Nash to court, who was pocketing his repayments. And although Fred won the case, Nash was soon to be filing for bankruptcy himself.
"Fred Spiksley, of Moorgate, Retford, was charged at London Police Court on Monday with having loitered on the City Football Ground on Saturday at the Lincoln Bycycle Sports, for the purpose of betting. Police-Constable Jewels said he had the defendant under observation for 20 minutes, and saw him receive and pay out bets. He arrested him and found in his possession a sports programme, which he had used as a memorandum for his bets. Mr G.E.B. Padley, who appeared for the defendant, said his client was not a professional bookmaker, and only had a few bets with his friends. He maintained that defendant attended the sports to see the races, and was therefore not guilty of loitering. Defendant said that up to August Bank holiday he had not attended any sports meeting for five years and had not betted with a stranger on Saturday. He and a few friends started originally with betting for cigars, and used to toss up to see who was to have the choice of taking the bets. All around him were bookmakers with clerks. Alderman Harrison—What are these entries in the programme? There are probably nearly 100 amounts down here from 1s to 2s 6d. Defendant—One fancied one thing and one another. It was merely a sweepstake between us. A fine of £2, including costs, was imposed. The chairman remarked that it was a great pity that English games should be vitiated by pernicious principle of betting." -
The Aberdeen Daily Journal, Wednesday, 2 September 1908.

"Fred Spiksley, the famous international footballer, who was employed as football coach at Nuremberg, reached Sheffield on Tuesday. With his wife and son he was arrested on August 10 but released later.
"At Lindau he was again stopped, but managed to get a military doctor's certificate by a subterfuge. Years ago, it appears, Spiksley suffered an injury to his right knee. By applying hot water to the joint he was able to again dislocate his knee, and on that score was granted a certificate stating that he was unfit for military service. The party reached Paris on the day the bombs had been dropped in the city" - The Midland Daily Telegraphy Saturday, 5 September 1914
"At the Lincoln County Court to-day, Frederick Spiksley, who had been a printer, journalist and an international football player, applied for his discharge from bankruptcy.
"Mr. F. C. Brogden, the Official Receiver, said the receiving order was made against the applicant in January 1909. The liabilities estimated to rank for dividend amounted to £81 5s. 2d., the assets being nil. No dividend had or could be paid, as the assets were not sufficient to pay the expenses incidental to bankruptcy. The bankrupt had committed no misdemeanor under the Acts. He has played football for some years for the Gainsborough Trinity Club, and afterwards at Sheffield. During 1903-4 he was able to earn £4 a week, but he had an accident in the field, and after that earned about £75 a year as a journalist. He then got into debt. Recently he worked on munitions, and earned 34s. a week. He had been in the army, and was interned in Germany, being liberated on account of his injured knee.
"The Judge granted the discharge, to be suspended for five years. The applicant asked that the period of suspension be reduced. The Judge: If you had not been fighting for your country I should have refused it altogether." -
Nottingham Evening post, Tuesday, 10 October 1916.
Fred was charged with 'disertion and failure to look after his wife' in November 1920. He was found guilty and order to pay £2 per week. They divorced, after he had frequently committed many acts of adultery. The decree nisi was granted and made absolute on 13 March 1928.

Beyond England

An accomplished pianist, having been a member of the Gainsborough Music Society as a thirteen year old. Despite this, he harboured ambitions to become an apprentice horse jockey while working as a stable boy at Pellinger's Livery Stables. He left school to become an office boy with the local Gainsborough News. A job he soon lost after missing work to watch his beloved horse-racing at Lincoln racecourse. He learned his trade of compositer as an apprentice while he played with Trinity and Wednesday.
After retiring from the game, he signed up with Fred Karno's theatre sketch show, and also applied to become the new manager at Queen's Park Rangers FC in November 1906, unsuccessfully. An application for the managerial post at Tottenham Hotspur FC in April 1907 was also turned down. He was also interviewed for the vacant managerial position at Watford FC in the summer of 1910. But his reluctance to give up horse-racing ensured the position went to Harry Kent. Afterwhich, he subsequently became a football coach to the Swedish national team from 20 May until September 1911. He was coaching TSV 1860 München in 1912. By April 1914, he was headhunted by 1FC Nuremberg, and was interned at the outbreak of war, but he and his family made it back home by the September. He became a munitions inspector at Vickers during the war. When the war was over, Spiksley had coaching engagements in Pennsylvania, USA, in January 1921, and RC Espana OD in Mexico City in February 1921 and onto Peru. After he spent the last decade freelancing his expertise also in Belgium, France and Switzerland, he returned to coach Fulham FC in October 1924 and then back to 1FC Nuremberg in 1926 and then Lausanne Sports in 1928. He settled back in England in 1932. He taught football at King Edward VII School in Sheffield from September 1933 until November 1936. -
An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.232./Flying Over an Olive Grove. Clive Nicholson (2016). Red Axe


Fred Spiksley - Career Statistics
Squads Apps Comp.
Mins. Goals Goals Av.min Comp.
Capt. Disc.
8 7 7 630 7 90 min 7 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.


Fred Spiksley - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Home 2 2 0 0 11 2 +9 0 1 5.50 1.00 100.0 +2
Away 5 3 2 0 12 5 +7 0 2 2.40 1.00 80.0 +3
All - British Championship 7 5 2 0 23 7 +16 0 3 3.286 1.00 85.7 +5


Fred Spiksley - Match Record - Tournament Matches
British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1892-93 2 2 0 0 11 2 +9 0 1 5.50 1.00 100.0 +2
BC 1893-94 2 0 2 0 4 4 =0 0 0 2.00 2.000 50.0 =0
BC 1895-96 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2 0 1 2.00 0.00 100.0 +1
BC 1897-98 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 0 1 3.00 0.50 100.0 +2
BC All 7 5 2 0 23 7 +16 0 3 3.286 1.00 85.7 +5
All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 7 5 2 0 23 7 +16 0 3 3.286 1.00 85.7 +5
All 7 5 2 0 23 7 +16 0 3 3.286 1.00 85.7 +5


Fred Spiksley - Match History
 Club: Wednesday F.C. - 7 full caps

F.A. International Select Committee - 7 full capsx

Age 24
- 44 5 March 1892 - Wales 0 England 2, The Racecourse, Wrexham BC AW reserve
Age 23
1 48 13 March 1893 - England 6 Wales 0, Victoria Ground, Stoke-upon-Trent BC HW Start 25,43,88 ol
2 49 1 April 1893 - England 5 Scotland 2, Athletic Ground, Richmond HW Start 78,80,84 ol
Age 24
3 50 3 March 1894 - Ireland 2 England 2, Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast BC AD Start 55 ol
4 52 7 April 1894 - Scotland 2 England 2, Celtic Park, Glasgow AD Start ol
Age 25
5 56 7 March 1896 - Ireland 0 England 2, Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast BC AW Start ol
Age 27
6 63 28 March 1898 - Wales 0 England 3, The Racecourse, Wrexham BC AW Start ol
7 64 2 April 1898 - Scotland 1 England 3, Celtic Park, Glasgow AW Start ol