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Newspapers 1872-1880



Newspaper headlines and excerpts from the reports of England's matches, with selected news and sporting headlines of the day.

Season 1872-73

1 30-Nov-1872 Scotland 0 England 0 The West of Scotland Cricket Ground, Hamilton Crescent, Partick, Glasgow Fr AD

Bell�s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle � Sunday 1st December, 1872

A splendid display of football in the really scientific sense of the word, and a most determined effort on the part of the representatives of the two nationalities to overcome each other�

The only thing which saved the Scotch team from defeat, considering the powerful forward play of England, was the magnificent defensive play and tactics shown by their backs, which was also taken advantage of by the forwards�

It was on 29 November 1872 that Adolphe Thiers, the provisional President of the (yet to be declared) French Republic, faced mounting opposition in the National Assembly at Versailles, causing several of his Cabinet ministers to resign.

2 08-Mar-1873 England 4 Scotland 2 Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London Fr HW

Bell�s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle � Sunday 9th March, 1873

If any proof were necessary to evince the growing popularity of the winter game of wielders of the willow, there was sufficient evidence on this occasion to convince the most sceptical that football, if only aided by fine weather, is a game that could take its place among the leading pastimes of the day�

The Scotchmen were opposed to a most formidable eleven, and towards the finish they were certainly overmatched�

It was on 8 March 1873 that William Gladstone, the Prime Minister, met with his Cabinet to discuss the composition of the controversial Irish University Bill, which was eventually defeated in the House of Commons.

Season 1873-74

3 07-Mar-1874 Scotland 2 England 1 The West of Scotland Cricket Ground, Hamilton Crescent, Partick, Glasgow Fr AL

Bell�s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle � Sunday 8th March, 1874

Although the game was won by Scotland it must be admitted that the English team played splendidly and, in an individual point of view, surpassed the Scotch team, but the latter, who all knew each other�s play, acted magnificently together, and completely puzzled their opponents in the art of passing the ball and close dribbling�

What the Scotch lacked in weight was amply made up in swiftness and playing-together power � a course which was splendidly illustrated during the game, and there can only be one opinion about the manner in which they profited by each other�s play, passing the ball, in several instances, in a way that completely astonished their opponents�

It was on 7 March 1874 that Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh and son of Queen Victoria, arrived back in England, with the new Duchess of Edinburgh, the daughter of the Russian Tsar Alexander II, following their wedding in St. Petersburg.

Season 1874-75

4 06-Mar-1875 England 2 Scotland 2 * Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London Fr HD

Bell�s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle � Sunday 7th March, 1875

Both teams played with great determination and were almost on an equality, the Englishmen having but a trifle the best of it, and when time was called there was little to choose, neither side being able to make any further score.

The Scotchmen were good runners and they had a very excellent goalkeeper, whose office was by no means a sinecure. The Englishmen all played well but, owing to the greasy nature of the turf, dribbling, which is their speciality, was almost out of the question�

At the same ground, on the day before the international, the Royal Engineers defeated the holders, Oxford University, 1-0, after extra time, in the F.A. Cup semi-final replay, to reach their third final in the four years of the fledgling competition. Scottish international, Captain Henry Renny-Tailyour scored the goal. The following week�s final, also at The Oval, also went to a replay, before the Engineers lifted the trophy for the first and only time.

It was on 5 March 1875 that the House of Lords debated the reasons why some public entertainment licenses were issued for Ash Wednesday and some were refused.

Season 1875-76

5 04-Mar-1876 Scotland 3 England 0 [3-0] The West of Scotland Cricket Ground, Hamilton Crescent, Partick, Glasgow Fr AL

Bell�s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle � Sunday 5th March, 1876

It was seen at a glance that England had not sent her best men to Scotland, but many of those who did appear were no mean exponents of the �dribbling game�.

The Southrons were heavier men, and the experienced one could foretell that the condition of the ground would militate materially against their chance and, as it afterwards turned out, this helped to intensify the Northern victory�

It was on 3 March 1876 that a select committee was appointed to report on the causes of the depreciation of the price of silver.

Season 1876-77

6 03-Mar-1877 England 1 Scotland 3 [0-1] Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London Fr HL

Bell�s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle � Sunday 4th March, 1877

The winners played well throughout, although deprived of the services of J.B. Weir, one of their best backs, whose place was taken by J.B. Ferguson.

Their passing was extremely good, and it would have been better if some of their opponents had pursued the same tactics, instead of selfishly keeping the ball until it was too late.

Several of the English forwards were indefatigable in their efforts, but at times a certain amount of looseness was noticeable in the ranks of the home team, especially amongst the backs�

The Times � Monday 5th March, 1877

Saturday proved most wretched in point of weather for the purpose of outdoor sports. Yet this did not deter about four thousand spectators, amongst whom was the Marquis of Lorne, from being present at The Oval, Kennington to witness the annual match between England and Scotland.

It was on 3 March 1877 that Rutherford B. Hayes was finally confirmed as the 19th President of the USA by an electoral commission, appointed after the results from three states were contested in the election of November 1876.

Season 1877-78

7 02-Mar-1878 Scotland 7 England 2 [4-0] Hampden Park, Hampden Terrace, Glasgow Fr AL

Bell�s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle � Sunday 3rd March, 1878

The cause was not so much the want of English pluck and endurance as the superiority shown by the Scotch in playing together, power, and the result of incessant practice. The strangers fought bravely and well but the hardy Scots fought better, and the game was won�

The Times � Monday 4th March, 1878

About 15,000 spectators were present at Hampden-park, near Glasgow, on Saturday, to witness the seventh annual match between England and Scotland, under Association Rules. Unfortunately, heavy rains on Thursday and Friday caused the ground to be in a very moist, slippery condition on the Saturday. A close contest had been anticipated, although it was generally admitted that the English possessed a stronger team than their rivals. The home team always have an advantage, however, in having a larger number of players to select from, owing to the difficulty in getting players to travel so far north or south, as the case may be. The consequence was that Scotland sent a very formidable 11 into the field, and as they were lighter and passed the ball better than the Southerners, the result was an easy victory.

The Scotch were successful in the toss, and chose to play at first with the wind, which blew rather strongly, at their backs. With this powerful ally they soon pushed the warfare into the enemy's territory, and it was not long before M'Dougal kicked a goal for Scotland. This was soon after followed by a second goal obtained by M'Gregor. The English now strove hard to stem the tide, which appeared to have set in so unfavourably against them. They were unable to do so, however, as before half-time had arrived the Scotch had doubled their previous score, M'Neil and Highet each being credited with a goal. With the change of ends and with the wind at their backs it was expected that a change would follow in the fortunes of the Southerners. But their hopes were soon dispelled, as a minute had hardly passed before M'Dougal kicked a fifth goal for Scotland, and M'Kinnon a few minutes later obtained a sixth. A check to these continued successes was now made through a combined rush on the part of the English forwards, and Wace getting in possession of the ball, kicked it between the posts. This success, however, was of short duration, as M'Neil quickly scored a seventh goal for Scotland. Before the conclusion of the match the Southerners made another raid into their opponents' territory, and a second goal was secured. "Time" was soon afterwards called, and the Scotch were pronounced victors by seven goals to two. Of the seven matches which have been played, Scotland claims four victories, England one, and two games have been drawn.

It was on 3 March 1878 that Russian forces liberated Bulgaria at the Treaty of San Stefano after 500 years as part of the Ottoman Empire.

Season 1878-79


The Times � Monday 2nd December, 1878


A team of Birmingham football players visited London on Saturday and engaged in a match, under Association rules, against a Metropolitan team, at Kennington-oval. London won the toss, and defended the goal nearest the racket court, leaving Daniell to kick off for the visitors...

SCORERS: Lewis 2, Sparkes 2, Ware 2, Fairclough, E.C.Bambridge

8 18-Jan-1879 England 2 Wales 1 [2-0] Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London Fr HW

The Times � Sunday 20th January, 1879

In spite of the fact that a thick layer of snow covered Kennington-oval on Saturday, the match between England and Wales, announced for that day, was played. With one exception the whole of those selected to take part in the game were at their posts. Kenrick won the toss and chose to defend the eastern goal, having a little advantage from the wind. Play began at a quarter past 3 o'clock, when Wace kicked off in the presence of about 100 spectators...

Wace, Cursham, Bailey, and Whitfeld were most pertinacious in their onslaughts, however, and at length the last named, to whom the ball had been well centred by Bailey, kicked the first goal for England...

Whitfeld then effected a run along the left side of the ground, and passed the ball across to Sorby, who kicked a second goal for England, within 20 minutes of the commencement...

Shortly after this, a combined rush on the part of Davies, Price, and Roberts took the ball along the left side of the ground. The last-named then centred it cleverly to Davies, who shot it between the posts and scored the first goal for Wales.

It was on 17 January 1879 that Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, the Conservative Secretary of State for the Colonies, skilfully deflected recent criticism from the Liberal opposition in a speech at Stroud, though the Liberals were to return to power, the following year.

9 05-Apr-1879 England 5 Scotland 4 [1-4] Surrey Cricket Ground, The Oval, Kennington, London Fr HW

The Times � Friday 28th February, 1879


This association match has been looked forward to for some time with great interest by football players, and should have been played to-morrow at The Oval, Kennington. Unfortunately, however, the weather has been of so unfavourable a character that the Football Association Committee have deemed a postponement advisable, and the game will most likely be played on April 5, the day of the Oxford and Cambridge Boatrace.

The Times � Monday 7th April, 1879

A better football match than that played on Saturday at The Oval between England and Scotland, under Association rules, has probably never been witnessed. From the kick off to the call of �Time� the play was exceedingly fast, and the interest well sustained up to the last moment...

As the time approached for the commencement of hostilities on Saturday the sky became overcast with clouds, but fortunately a sharp breeze sprung up and prevented their downfall until after the match was over. Play began within ten minutes of the stipulated time - 4 o'clock, when there were nearly 4,000 spectators present. Scotland were successful in the toss, and at once decided to have the wind as an ally for the first half of time, leaving Wace to kick off for England from the eastern goal...

...Bailey got in possession of the ball, and after a short run, by a clever piece of passing, gave it to Mosforth, who shot it between the posts, and thus gained first point for England...

One corner kick having failed to produce any satisfactory result, a second fell to Scotland. M'Dougall was entrusted with it, and most judiciously aimed the ball a few yards in front of goal. Campbell then headed it to M'Kinnon, who cleverly sent it between the posts...

M'Dougall kicked the second goal for his side, Smith then secured a third, and shortly afterwards M'Kinnon obtained a fourth. This did certainly not look at all hopeful for England. The change of ends, however, put a different aspect on affairs. By no means disheartened, the English forwards, with the wind at their backs, quickly assumed the aggressive. Bambridge was the first to show to advantage. Getting in possession of the ball, he ran it over more than half the length of the ground, and then kicked it underneath the bar. This really wonderful piece of play infused new vigour into the home team, and proved to be the turning-point in the match. England now had a deficiency of two goals, and this was quickly rubbed out. Mosforth made a smart run and passed the ball to Goodyear, who kicked the third goal for his side, and Bailey soon afterwards having a throw-in close to the corner flag, planted the ball in the very mouth of the goal, and although Parlane tried to stop it the ball passed through off his hand...

...then the ball, having been passed to Bambridge, that player kicked the fifth goal for his side.

Cambridge won the University Boat Race by a comfortable three and a half lengths.

It was on 4 April 1879 that Lord Shaftesbury brought the continued harsh working conditions of cotton-mill workers in India to the attention of the House of Lords and appealed for legislative improvements.

Season 1879-80


The Times � Monday 17th November, 1879


The severe frost that prevailed on Saturday and the heavy fog which enveloped London and the suburbs caused some fears that the first of the two annual matches between the above associations fixed for that day at The Oval would have to be postponed. Towards noon, however, the sun broke through, and although bitterly cold, the weather turned out fine. London won the toss, and at first defended the eastern goal. Birmingham kicked off at a quarter to 3 o'clock.

SCORERS: Ram (London), Johnson, Shaw (Birmingham)


The Times � Monday 8th March, 1880


Among the many popular matches played by Association men, that between North and South never had a place until this year. Saturday last was the day appointed for the opening encounter, and Kennington-oval the scene of action. The weather proved fine, the attendance large, and the play of a first-rate character. It was nearly a quarter-past 4 before the ball was set rolling by the South, who had lost the toss, from the eastern goal, the wind being against them...

10 13-Mar-1880 Scotland 5 England 4 [3-2] Hampden Park, Hampden Terrace, Glasgow Fr AL

The Times � Monday 15th March, 1880

Saturday last was the day appointed for the ninth annual match between England and Scotland according to Association rules. The heavy rain which fell in Glasgow on Friday caused many fears lest it should continue on the following day. Fortunately, however, these were not realized, as the weather was gloriously fine, and over 12,000 spectators were present at Hampden-park. Scotland set the ball rolling against the wind; but it was soon returned by the English forwards, and a shot at goal was made by them, but the ball went about half a yard the wrong side of the post...

The game had lasted about a quarter of an hour before anything of a definite character was secured. Ker then got in possession of the ball, and placed the first goal to the credit of Scotland. This thoroughly called forth the enthusiasm of the large number of people present, but their cause for exultation was short-lived, as Mosforth quickly shot the ball through for the Southerners, it having been well passed to him by Bambridge. For some little time after this the English kept the play in close proximity to their rivals' posts, causing the goal-keeper some anxiety. A claim of "hands," however, was given in favour of Scotland who, thus aided, drove their assailants back and carried the warfare into England's domains when, despite the activity of Swepstone, Baird kicked a second goal for his side. The visitors, however, were bent on not leaving them long in possession of this advantage, and Bambridge, who kept well on the ball throughout, got another goal for England. The score having been thus equalized for a second time the contest became keener than ever, and a few minutes before half-time Ker kicked a third goal for Scotland. Ends had changed, and the ball had not long been restarted, before Ker obtained a fourth goal. Level play ensued, but the home team again asserted their superiority, and Kay once more sent the ball between the posts. An accident to Campbell now caused his retirement, and the English played up in a style which soon threatened to take the victory out of the hands of their opponents. The ball was taken in front of the home team's fortress, and out of a loose scrimmage, it was shot under the cross-bar. Thus encouraged, England continued to press their rivals, and within three minutes of the last success Bambridge gained a fourth...

The teams were very evenly matched in both weight and skill, and although the ground was rather heavy, the play was pretty fast. The players afterwards dined together at the Grand Hotel.

Meanwhile, in the seventh annual universities match at The Oval, Oxford were the favourites, but suffered a third successive defeat to Cambridge, by 3-1, despite taking an early lead; Cambridge thus completing the first hat-trick of victories.

It was on 13 March 1880 that the Leader of the Opposition, Lord Hartington was a calming influence as he addressed thousands of people in a weaving shed in Accrington at the beginning of the Liberal party's ultimately successful election campaign.

11 15-Mar-1880 Wales 2 England 3 [0-0] Racecourse Ground, Mold Road, Wrexham Fr AW

The Times � Wednesday 17th March, 1880

At Wrexham, on Monday afternoon, the second match between the Association representatives of England and Wales was decided in the presence of a large number of spectators. During the first half of the game England secured one goal. Soon after ends were changed Sparks kicked a second goal for England, who were then deprived of the services of Brindle. Wales now played up with great determination, and succeeded in placing two goals to their credit. The visitors, however, for the third time lowered their opponents' colours, and thus won by three goals to two.

Meanwhile, at The Oval, Oxford University made up for Saturday's defeat by beating the Royal Engineers by a single goal to go through to the F.A. Cup semi-finals. John Eyre scored the goal with only eight minutes remaining and Oxford went on to reach the final.

It was on 15 March 1880 that Lord Oranmore and Browne, an Irish Representative, complained that the government was not doing enough to suppress organised violence against those who did not support Home Rule in Ireland.


Please note: excerpts from Bell�s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle are taken from �England v. Scotland� by Brian James (Pelham Books Ltd. 1969).