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Players Index Page Last Updated
8 February 2023

Joe Lofthouse

Blackburn Rovers FC, Accrington FC

7 appearances, 2 or 3 goals

P 7 W 4 D 2 L 1 F 27: A 7
71% successful


captain: none
minutes played:


  Joseph Morris Lofthouse
Birth Friday, 14 April 1865 at 17 Dixon Street in Bank Top, Blackburn, Lancashire
  registered in Blackburn April-June 1865.
Baptism Sunday, 21 May 1865 in St Peter's Church, Blackburn, to William and Hannah Lofthouse, living at 17 Dixon Street, by W. Hudson. Occupation: Self-minder
Education Attended St Luke's School, Witton and Blackburn Grammar School.

According to the 1871 census, Joseph is the youngest of three children to William and Hannah (née Morris) living on Dixon Street in the Witton area of Blackburn. His father works at the cotton mill.

(His father died in early 1879)
According to the 1881 census, Joseph is the youngest of the three children at home with their mother, who has remarried, to Thomas Smith, a farmer and innkeeper. They live at Wind Mill in Samlesbury, with two servants.

Marriage to Elizabeth Maria Proudlove, on 21 May 1885, at St. John's Church in Blackburn
  registered in Blackburn April-June 1885.
Children Joe and Elizabeth Lofthouse had four children together. William (b.28 December 1885), Nellie (b.3 January 1887), Beatrice (b.1889) and Joseph Morris (b.27 November 1890).
  "JOSEPH MORRIS LOFTHOUSE was down in the cause list at the Blackburn Police-court last week, for assault on a person named Taylor, but as this gentleman did not come forward to state his grievance, Joe's offence must not have been of a very serious nature." - Athletic News, Tuesday, 9 November 1886
"That Joseph Morris Lofthouse, the famous right-wing of the Blackburn Rovers, is about to leave for America, where one of his old club companions, Hugh Mc.Intyre, already resides. That the Rovers are to-day playing a match with Darwen, for 'Joe's' benefit." - Lancashire Evening Post, Saturday, 28 May 1887
  "BOROUGH POLICE-COURT, WEDNESDAY.―Before the Mayor (Councillor Appleby), and J. Hoyle, J. Lund, H. Almond, Esqrs., and other Magistrates.
IFE DESERTION. ― Joseph Morris Lofthouse, a taper, Grosvenor Vault, Shorrock Fold, was summoned by his wife Elizabeth Maria Lofthouse, for deserting her and her family.―Mr. Brothers appeared for complainant, who said that they  were married in May, 1885, and she had been assaulted many times since. He deserted her, and she sought relief from the guardians.―An order was made that he should pay her 10s per week."
Preston Herald, Saturday, 18 June 1887
  "Joseph Morris Lofthouse, the famous international forward of the Blackburn Rovers' Football Club, and who has shared in all the great achievements of that Club, was summoned before the Blackburn Borough Magistrates on Wednesday for cruelty to his wife, and deserting her and her family. Lofthouse, who did not appear, was ordered to contribute 10/- per week towards her maintenance." - Grantham Journal & Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Saturday, 18 June 1887

According to the 1891 census, Joseph is now married to Elizabeth and they have three children, Nellie, Beatrice and Joseph. He is a licensed victualler at The Black Greyland at 18 Lord Bryon Street, Blackburn. The have one servant.

  "Mr. Holland, acting on behalf of Joseph Morris Lofthouse, withdrew the application for a removal of the licence of the Black Greyhound Inn, Northgate, to Galligreaves Hall, Rodney-street and Adnes-street. He then applied for an alehouse licence to be granted Lofthouse for the Old Galligreaves Hall." - Preston Herald, Saturday, 29 August 1891

False Obituary

"News was received in Blackburn yesterday of the death of Joe Lofthouse, of the Blackburn Rovers. Lofthouse was one of the most famous wing forwards of his time, having played international against Scotland in 1885 and 1887, against Wales in the same two years, and against Ireland in 1885. He has played for Blackburn Rovers, Accrington, Darwen, and Southport Central recently. The cause of death was inflammation of the lungs." - Sunderland Daily Echo, Tuesday, 16 May 1893 & Lincolnshire Echo, Wednesday, 17 May 1893
  "In consequence of a too enterprising penny-a-liner's desire to earn a little "oof," a statement found its way into certain papers during last week to the effect that Joe Lofthouse...had succumbed to an attack of the inflammation of the lungs. Happily the statement was entirely without foundation, for although Joe Lofthouse is at present confined to his bed suffering from such an illness, he is rapidly progressing towards recovery, all danger being past. The statement gave much annoyance." - The Athletic News, Monday, 22 May 1893.
"At Blackburn County Court yesterday, Judge Coventry made a commitment order for twenty days against Joe Lofthouse, the old International football player, late of Blackburn Rovers, and now of Wednesbury FC, on the application of the creditor, for £6 for cigars supplied.―The Plaintiff's solicitor stated that Lofthouse could well afford to pay, as he was earning nearly three pounds a week, besides keeping a public-house.―His Honour suspended the commitment while £2 per month was paid."
- York Herald/Lincolnshire Echo, Tuesday, 16 January 1894.

According to the 1901 census, Joseph and his family are now at The Ouzehead Inn at 39 Long Row, Blackburn.

"Joe Lofthouse, the famous international footballer, of Blackburn Rovers, is lying in a dangerous condition in Blackburn Infirmary as a result of a severe inward strain sustained whilst engaged lifting a barrel in his public-house."
Manchester Evening News, Thursday, 24 October 1901
"At Blackburn, yesterday, Joseph Lofthouse, international footballer, and landlord of an inn, was summoned for having his house open during prohibited hours and permitting drunkenness. At three o'clock in the morning two men were found in the house. Constables heard of a bet of a bottle of champagne as to certain birthplaces. The defence was that the two were guests, and were celebrating a birthday. The landlord was fined 10s. and costs in one case, and costs in the other"
- Manchester Courier & Lancashire General Advertiser, Thursday, 16 January 1902

According to the 1911 census, Joseph is a football trainer. He is at 27 Bardsay Road in Walton, Liverpool with one his children, Beatrice. He remains married, and Elizabeth is recorded as being a married boarder and cotton weaver at the home of Joseph & Myra Shaw in 10 Howard Street.
(His mother died toward the end of 1911. His eldest son, William, died 12 April 1918)

Death Tuesday, 10 June 1919 in Blackburn Royal Infirmary, Infirmary Road, Blackburn, Lancashire
aged 54 years 57 days registered in Blackburn April-June 1919


"Another famous footballer passed away on Tuesday in Joseph Morris Lofthouse, who died at Blackburn Royal Infirmary, to which institution he was admitted on May 21st suffering from heart trouble, with complications. He was 54 years of age. Born at Bank Top, he soon displayed a strong partiality for sport, and such was his skill he captained the local Grammar School team. Subsequently he became associated with the King's Own. In the last season of that organisation he was the captain, and during that tournament the team only once suffered defeat. When quite a youth Lofthouse became identified with the Rovers, appearing as a forward in the second eleven, and he was making occasional appearances with the first team when a youth of 16. Such was his ability that he represented Lancashire, and for many years did not miss a county match.
Though he favoured the extreme wing positions, he was a capital centre-forward, and had also appeared at outside-left with success. Gifted with a rare turn of speed, and a smart dribbler, he was an exceedingly dangerous forward. For a couple of seasons he assisted Accrington, who were then a power in the land. Lofthouse was the holder of many medals won in connection with the Lancashire Cup and Charity Cup competitions, also a silver medal presented to him for his services to the county, and trophies for running and swimming." - Lancashire Evening News, Saturday, 14 June 1919.
Funeral Friday, 13 June 1919 in Blackburn
Probate "LOFTHOUSE Joseph Morris of 5 Cross-street Morecambe Lancashire football trainer died 10 June 1919 at Blackburn Administration Lancaster 8 July to Joseph Morris Lofthouse the younger boot maker.
Effects £148 8s. 4d." [2019 equivalent: £7,699].
  Elizabeth Lofthouse died in Blackburn in the following month, July 1919


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

Playing Career

Played schoolboy football in Blackburn before joining King's Own FC and then Blackburn Rovers FC in 1881 as a 16 year old. Joined Accrington FC on 12 July 1887, and rejoined Rovers two years later in 1889. Joined Darwen FC on 25 August 1892 and was suspended by the club on 3 November 1892, then playing for Southport Central FC later in the month. Next seen training the Walsall Town Swifts FC players in December 1893. Reported as being a member of The Wednesday FC team in January 1894, but was back at Walsall in the March, and being employed as the club trainer in August. After returning to Blackburn area in January 1900, he went overseas to pursue his football career by becoming a coach to the Magyar Athletic Club in Budapest, Hungary, on 28 February 1902. Returned after two months to Blackburn before joining New Brompton FC to become their trainer on 4 August 1902, then became the trainer at Everton FC from August 1903 until at least the end of the 1909-10 season.

League History
113 appearances, 25 goals
one expulsion
Accrington FC 1888-89 21 appearances, two goals
debut: 8 September 1888 Everton FC 2 Accrington FC 1.
Blackburn Rovers FC 1889-92 51 appearances, eighteen goals
debut: 7 September 1889 Everton FC 3 Blackburn Rovers 2.
Darwen FC 1892 eight appearances, one goal
debut: 3 September 1889 Walsall Town Swifts FC 1 Darwen FC 2.
Walsall Town Swifts FC
1893-95 33 appearances, four goals
debut: 2 December 1892 Crewe Alexandra FC 1 Walsall Town Swifts FC 1.
last (second division): 20 April 1895 Walsall Town Swifts FC 1 Lincoln City FC 2.
Club honours FA Cup winners 1883-84, 1884-85, 1885-86 (injured), 1889-90 (5ᵃ), 1890-91 (6ᵃ);
Football League third place 1889-90 (18ᵃ, 11ᵍ), Division Two third place 1892-93 (8ᵃ, 1ᵍ).
Individual honours Lancashire FA (on several occasions from 1882);
Lofthouse received a benefit match on 10 September 1900 from Blackburn Rovers FC between the present 1900 team and the cup winning teams of the 1880's. It ended in a two-all draw.
Height/Weight 5' 8", 11st 10lbs or 12lbs [1891]


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

England Career

Player number One of five who became the 115th players (118) to appear for England.
Position(s) Outside-right;
First match No. 23, 28 February 1885, England 4 Ireland 0, a British Championship match at Manchester Football Ground, Whalley Range, Manchester, aged 19 years 320 days.
Last match No. 38, 15 March 1890, Ireland 1 England 9, a British Championship match at Ulster Cricket Ground, Ballynafeigh Park, Belfast, aged 24 years 335 days. 0, 1 or 2 goals?
Major tournaments British Championship 1884-85, 1886-87, 1888-89, 1889-90;
Team honours British Championship shared 1889-90;
Individual honours The North (one appearance, January 1885)
The Players (one appearance, December 1886)
Distinctions Lofthouse was in charge of the England team that drew with Scotland in April 1904.

Beyond England

An early missionary to the continent, even if it only lasted a matter of months. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.159.

The Numbers
parties Apps comp. apps minutes goals ave.min comp. goals captain
10 7 7 630 2 or 3 315 min or 210 min 2 or 3 none
The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.
7 4 2 1 27 7 +20 0 2 3.857 1 71.4 +3
All of his matches were played in the British Championship competition

Venue Record

Venue P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
Home 6 3 2 1 18 6 +12 0 2 3.00 1.00 66.7 +2
Away 1 1 0 0 9 1 +8 0 0 9.00 1.00 100.0 +1

Tournament Record

British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1884-85 3 1 2 0 6 2 +4 0 1 2.00 0.667 66.7 +1
BC 1886-87 2 1 0 1 6 3 +3 0 1 3.00 1.50 50.0 =0
BC 1888-89 1 1 0 0 6 1 +5 0 0 6.00 1.00 100.0 +1
BC 1889-90 1 1 0 0 9 1 +8 0 0 9.00 1.00 100.0 +1
BC 1890-91 0 0 0 0 0 0 =0 0 0 0.00 0.00 00.0 =0
BC All 7 4 2 1 27 7 +20 0 2 3.857 1.00 71.4 +3

All Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 7 4 2 1 27 7 +20 0 2 3.857 1.00 71.4 +3
7 4 2 1 27 7 +20 0 2 3.857 1 71.4 +3

Match History

 Club: Blackburn Rovers F.C. - five full appearances (450 min) F.A. Committee - five full appearances (450 min)x

Age 19 trial  
one appearance - The North vs. The South, January 1885.

apps match match details comp res. rundown pos

1 23 28 February 1885 - England 4 Ireland 0
Manchester Football Ground, Whalley Range
BC HW   or

one of five who became the 115th player (118) to appear for England
one of two who became the seventh player from Blackburn Rovers FC to represent England

2 24 14 March 1885 - England 1 Wales 1
Leamington Street, Blackburn (home ground)
BC HD hit crossbar [1-1] or
3 25 21 March 1885 - England 1 Scotland 1
The Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington
BC HD   or

Age 21 trial  
one appearance - The Players vs. The Gentlemen, December 1886;

29 5 February 1887 - England 7 Ireland 0, Yorkshire Cricket Ground, Sheffield BC HW reserve
4 30 26 February 1887 - England 4 Wales 0
The Surrey Cricket Ground, Kennington
BC HW   or
5 31 19 March 1887 - England 2 Scotland 3
Leamington Street, Blackburn (home ground)
BC HL   or

 Club: Accrington F.C. - one full appearance (90 min) 1ᵍ F.A. International Selection Committee - two full appearances (180 min) 2ᵍx

Age 23
6 36 2 March 1889 - England 6 Ireland 1
Anfield Road, Liverpool
BC HW 2nd half or

the second player from Accrington FC to represent England

 Club: Blackburn Rovers F.C. - one full appearance (90 min) 1-2ᵍ  

Age 24
7 38 15 March 1890 - Ireland 1 England 8
Ulster Cricket Ground, Belfast
BC AW or
possibly scored another

40 5 April 1890 - Scotland 1 England 1, Hampden Park, Glasgow BC AD reserve

Age 25
43 4 April 1891 - England 2 Scotland 1, Ewood Park, Blackburn (home ground) BC HW reserve