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29 vs. Ireland

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33 vs. Scotland
next match (322 days)
35 vs. Wales
36 vs. Ireland
37 vs. Scotland

Saturday, 7 April 1888
postponed from 15 February
Home International Championship 1887-88 (5th) Match

Ireland 1 England 5 [1-3]

Ulster Cricket Ground, Ballynafeigh Park, Belfast
Kick-off (DMT): 'two minutes after the appointed time'; 'punctually at half-past three'; 'play began at four o'clock'; 'at about 4 p.m.'; 'was at five o'clock'.
There was a 25 minute difference between DMT and GMT....
but that does not explain the statement from the Welsh newspaper.

Attendance: 'upwards of 7,000 spectators'; '8,000 spectators present';
'the largest witnessed in Ireland—whether cricket, lacrosse or football.'

John McVicker kicked-off England won the toss
        many reports state that Hodgetts scored the first

  many reports state that Dewhurst scored the second

Billy Crone free-kick 32
 'Crone took the kick and aimed for goal and went between the sticks'
[0-1] Fred Dewhurst 10
from 30 yards following a Hodgetts pass
[0-2] Albert Allen 14
 'out of a scrimmage in front of goal'

[0-2] Albert Allen shot strikes the crossbar 
[1-3] Albert Allen 39
 'a daisy cropper just inside the post'
Match Summary
Ireland Party

England Party
Team Records
many reports state that Dewhurst scored the fourth [1-4] Albert Allen header 60 HAT-TRICK
 'headed through from a Hodgetts corner'
[1-5] Tinsley Lindley
from a Hodgetts or a Lindley centre

Match Summary

Officials [umpires and referees are of equal relevance]




John Sinclair
31/32 (1856), Belfast
(Irish FA)
Richard Philip Gregson
35 (early 1853)
Lancashire FA secretary
James E. McKillop

Scotland FA
replaced SFA's Secretary Mr McDowell

Ireland Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 6th
Colours: 'The Irish team...looked exceedingly well in their royal blue uniform'.
Capt: Ollie Stanfield Selectors: Team chosen by Committee, on Tuesday, 27 March 1888;
youngest captain to oppose England
Ireland Lineup
  Lawther, Ralph 22
241 days
10 August 1865 G

Distillery FC & Glentoran FC

2 15 GA
  Browne, Frederick W.J. nk not known RB

Cliftonville FAC

5 2
  Silo, Modesto 23/24 1864 LB

Belfast YMCA

1 0
  Forsyth, James 23
139 days
20 November 1864 RHB

Belfast YMCA

2 0
  Rosbotham, Alexander 22
193 days
27 September 1865 CHB

Cliftonville FAC

6 0
Crone, William 23/24 1864 LHB

Distillery FC

10 1
  Gaussen, Arthur D.A. 25 1863 OR

Magharafelt FC

4 0
  Stanfield, Olphert M. 19
41 days
26 February 1869 IR

Distillery FC

6 1
  McVicker, John 19
344 days
29 April 1868 CF

Linfield FAC

1 0
  Wilton, James M. 19
138 days
21 November 1868 IL

St. Columb's Court FC

2 0
  Peden, John 24
270 days
12 July 1863 OL

Linfield FAC

4 1


not known

team notes:

Barclay (Ulster FC) was the original named goalkeeper, Lawther taking his place. Jimmy Watson (Ulster FC) was the original left-back, replaced by Silo. Wilton at some point also, had replaced Gibb at inside-left.
2-3-5 Lawther -
Browne, Silo -
Forsyth, Rosbotham, Crone -
Gaussen, Stanfield, McVicker, Wilton, Peden


Age 21 years 247 days
(based on seven players)
Appearances/Goals 3.9 0.4


England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours: '...the Saxons sporting white jerseys'.
Capt: Tinsley Lindley
(third (4) captaincy)
Selectors: The seven-man FA International Selection Committee, on Monday, 26 March 1888, following trial games.
3rd match, W 3 - D 0 - L 0 - F 15 - A 2.
England Lineup
  Roberts, Robert J. 24
111 days
18 December 1863 G

West Bromwich Albion FC

2    4 GA
147   Aldridge, Albert J. 24
247 days
4 August 1863 RB

West Bromwich Albion FC

1        0
  Walters, Percy M. 24
190 days
30 September 1863 LB Old Carthusians AFC & Corinthians FC 9        0
148   Holmes, Robert 20
289 days
23 June 1867 RHB

Preston North End FC

1        0
  Allen, Harry 22
79 days
19 January 1866 CHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

3        0
149   Shelton, Charles 24
76 days
22 January 1864 LHB

Notts Rangers FC

1 0 only app
150   Bassett, William I. 19
70 days
27 January 1869 OR West Bromwich Albion FC 1        0
Dewhurst, Frederick 24
113 days
16 December 1863 IR

Preston North End FC & Corinthians FC

8       11
Lindley, Tinsley 22
163 days
27 October 1865 CF

Nottingham Forest FC & Corinthians FC

9       10
151 Allen, Albert 21 7 April 1867 IL Aston Villa FC 1 3 only app
ninth hattrick scored by England second to play on birthday
  Hodgetts, H. Dennis 24
131 days
28 November 1863 OL

Aston Villa FC

3        1


not known

team notes:

In the original line-up, goalkeeper Billy Moon (Old Westminsters AFC) was replaced by Roberts. Right-back Bob Howarth (Preston North End FC) was replaced by Aldridge taking his place. Bob Holmes took the place of right-half George Haworth (Accrington FC), and Albert Allen, who took the place of inside-left Nevill Cobbold (Old Carthusians AFC).


For the second time in two years, England have won three games in a row.
2-3-5 Roberts -
Aldridge, Walters -
H.Allen, Shelton -
Bassett, Dewhurst, Lindley,
A.Allen, Hodgetts


Age 22 years 333 dys Appearances/Goals 3.5    1.8


Match Report - Manchester Courier, Monday, 9 April 1888 In Other News.....

The seventh international match between representatives of the Rose and Shamrock was decided on Saturday on the grounds of the Ulster Football Club, at Ballynafeigh, Belfast. The weather was very fine, the ground was in capital condition, and upwards of 7,000 spectators witnessed the contest. England, having won the toss, elected to play with the wind, and punctually at half-past three M'Vicker started the leather. A pass to Peden was stopped by Holmes, and that player sent the leather well down to Dewhurst and Hodgetts. The pressure, however, was relieved by the Irish backs. Gaussen then made a splendid run down the visitors' territory, but the advantage was only momentary, for Walters tackled, and a splendid run to within 20 yards of the Irish goal was followed by a corner, but nothing resulted. Two minutes later Dewhurst and Hodgetts getting well on, thirty yards from Lawther, the former scored the first goal for England. Scarcely had the ball been set in motion than Allen, of the Aston Villa, scored. Afterwards Gaussen had a splendid dribble down the field, and out of a scrummage in front of Roberts Crone shot the first goal for Ireland. A nice lot of play followed, in which the English forwards were conspicuous, and six minutes before half time Allen, of Aston Villa, added goal No. 3 to England's score. Twice afterwards Lawther had to throw out, and the whistle sounded a few moments later with the score—England, three goals; Ireland, one goal. Lindley restarted play, and the leather travelled within ten yards of Lawther, and for the next four minutes it was kept dangerously near the Irish citadel, each wing having a corner. Both, however, proved ineffectual, and Gaussen and Stanfield getting away Roberts had to fist out. Again and again the forwards charged to the opposite end of the field, and Allen, of Aston Villa, from a corner, registered a fourth goal for the representatives of the Rose. A siege front of the English goal followed, but it was of short duration, for after Roberts had fisted out once, Hodgetts got on, and passing to Lindley, that player notched a fifth goal for his side. From this point to the finish Ireland had the best of play, hands and off side being repeatedly given against the visitors by the referee, and worse still, several ugly fouls were credited to the Englishmen, but the game throughout was characterised by the best of good humour on both sides, and applause was very impartially bestowed. Coming near the end each team alternately pressed very hard but nothing further resulted, and when time was called the game stood—England, five goals; Ireland, one goal.


Halifax defeated the holders, Wakefield Trinity, at Leeds, to win the Yorkshire Cup, which had become the first rugby knockout competition. Both clubs would join the Rugby League seven years later, when it split from the Rugby Union.

It was on 6 April 1888 that five men were killed at Douglas Bank Colliery in Wigan. Three of them were being lowered into the shaft in a large iron bucket when the wires broke and they plummeted onto others down below.

Many thousand spectators were present on the Belfast ground on Saturday to witness the seventh match between England and Ireland under Association rules. On each of the previous occasions success attended England, and Saturday's contest did not furnish an exception. The afternoon was favourable and the turf in excellent order. England won the toss, and at first elected to play with the wind in their favour. J. W. Vickers started the ball for the home team. The visitors soon acted on the aggressive, and, within ten minutes of the kick-off, Dewhurst obtained a goal for them. Quickly afterwards Allen also sent the ball between the posts. Ireland now played up in a very determined manner, and Crone scored a goal for them; but prior to half-time a third was kicked for England by Allen...
Allen kicked a fourth goal and Lindley a fifth for the visitors... - The Times, Monday, 9 April 1888

Source Notes  
Jonny Dewart at Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats
Cris Freddi's England Football Factbook
The Football Association Yearbook
Original Newspaper Reports