England Football Online

Contact Us Page Last Updated 21 July 2014
 
 
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England's Disputed Captains
 

Notes on England's Disputed Captaincies 

We are completely satisfied that our list of England captains is as accurate as it can be, despite missing a few.   We have had some difficulty in determining the captains in six matches, all before World War II, because the original media contains conflicting information as to their identity, or no information at all.  We welcome comments on the decisions we have made.

It is apparently easy to look at various source material, whether it be on the internet or in statistical publications, and those various authors can name those captains for whom it 'should' be, or 'whom' it could be.  The conclusion of the matter is, they are just guessing.  This website does not guess.  So our figures will always remain conflicted to many other mainstream sources.  In our Captain's list, where a conflict arises, we make note of such.  Where the conflict arises and it makes it difficult to give a name to the Captain of the said match, then we simply do not.  We are not afraid to say 'we do not know'. 

Our source material goes back to the media of the day.  That is to say, nineteenth century newspapers of reputable stature.  It is easy to open up a book, say 'Complete History of England Football Team', and read what it says on the Captain... but their source notes are not reliable.

Unfortunate to say, the only reliable source are the players itself, and sadly, they have all died.  That is not to say that we may never find out, because attics are always emptied, and collector's are always looking.  One day, that note which confirms who was Captain in that match will appear...

... and I shall be waiting!

Matches

15th March 1890.  Ireland 1 England 9, at the Ulster Ground, Ballynafeigh Park in Belfast.

It is unknown.  Despite an extensive search in both the English newspapers and the Irish newspapers of the time, there has not been found a single contemporaneous record of England's captain for this match.

5th March 1892.  Ireland 0 England 2, at the Solitude Ground, Cliftonville in Belfast.

Again, it is unknown.  Once more, despite extensive research in both the English newspapers and the Irish newspapers of the time, there has not been found a single contemporaneous record of England's captain for this match.

12th March 1894.   Wales 1 England 5, at The Racecourse, Mold Road, Wrexham.

Various sources cannot decide who was captain for this match, probably Charles Wreford-Brown, but possibly Cunliffe Gosling.  Wreford-Brown was by far the oldest in an inexperienced team, but neither Sporting Life, Manchester Guardian, North Wales Guardian, The Times, The Field, The Sportsman, Sporting Chronicle, and Northern Whig make mention of a captain.

7th March 1896.  Ireland 0 England 2, at the Solitude Ground, Cliftonville in Belfast.

The captaincy was probably given to George Raikes, at least according to Irish Saturday Night and The Irish TimesThe London Times gives a first captaincy to Gilbert Smith, and Vaughan Lodge is also a possibility.  Many other sources do not specify any captain.

16th March 1896.   Wales 1 England 5, at The Cardiff Football Ground, Temperance Town, Cardiff.

This match is again, unknown.  Once more, despite extensive research in both the English newspapers and the Welsh newspapers of the time, there has not been found a single contemporaneous record of England's captain for this match.

CG