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Feature on Spiksley
Page Last Updated
12 July 2023

Fred Spiksley

Wednesday FC

7 appearances, 7 goals
hattrick on his debut

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


captain: none
minutes played:


  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.
Birth Tuesday, 25 January 1870 at 3 Willoughby Street, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.
  registered in Gainsborough January-March 1870.
Baptism Thursday, 24 February 1870 at Holy Trinity Church, Gainsborough, by Reverend R.W. Charteris.
Education Attended Holy Trinity Church School in Gainsborough.

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.
Frederick's younger sister, Florence Maud, was born on 12 November 1875, but she tragically died on 18 December


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.


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.

First marriage to Ellen Robinson, on Thursday, 5 September 1895 at Sheffield Register Office, Sheffield West Riding of Yorkshire, by Reverend R.W. Charteris.
  registered in Sheffield July-September 1895.
Children Fred and Nellie Spiksley had two sons together. Frederick Walter (b&d. January 1896) and Frederick Hayward (b. late-1897)
"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.

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;

"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.
"'Accident while playing football in the season 1903-4,' was the cause Frederick Spiksley, an old International football player, gave for his financial failure. The debtor, who was in the Sheffield Wednesday team for many years, appeared to undergo his first public examination at Lincoln, yesterday. He was described as a journalist and a printer, of 148, Moorgate, Retford. The liabilities were expected to rank at £81 5s. 2d., and there were no assets. Debtor, who is 39 years old, questioned by the Official Receiver, said he was a professional footballer for about 18 years, but he had not played now for two or three years. He was also a journalist, and served his time to that. When he was 21 he started playing football for Sheffield Wednesday.
"The Official Receiver: Were these debts incurred when you are a footballer or a journalist?—They were incurred in the last year I played football with Sheffield Wednesday.
"Debtor further said he lived with his wife, who had a house of her own. They had been married nearly 14 years. What furniture there was left belonged to her. She had been tenant of the house the last five or six years. He had had several County Court proceedings taken against him, and an attempt was made to put a bailiff in possession on one occasion, but they could not, because it was his wife's house.
"The Official Receiver: When did you cease paying people?—I have been paying up to now practically, as far as I could. I should say at the time I got married I owed nearly £400, and I have reduced that to about £80, I paid as long as I could, and then I filed my petition. I am doing nothing at all now.
"How do you live?—A good deal on charity and friends, father and mother and so on.
"You beg a bit from friends?—No, I don't beg. I never did in my life.
"I don't mean stand at street corners with your hat. Do you solicit from your friends?—No, I don't.
"You don't object to take something?—I earn a bit now and again.
"What was your pay as a footballer?—I had a pretty good salary. Four pounds a week, I daresay. That was before I had my accident, in the season 1903-4. I was then anticipating a second benefit, which would have been worth about £300, and if I had got that my debts would have been paid.
"Have you played since?—I have tried a time or two, but my leg would not stand.
"What are you getting a week now?—I may get an order occasionally to send some people an article on football.
"You are the man who orders the players, and sends them round?—No, but if I see a good player anywhere, there's a market for him. They give as much as £1,000 for a player now.
"But they don't pay that to you?—No; I wish they did. (Laughter.) The examination was adjourned for debtor to sign the notes
" -
The Yorkshire Telegraph and Star, Friday, 5 March 1909.

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

"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 Spiksley, the famous Wednesday and English International outside-left was before the Sheffield Magistrates this week on a charge of deserting his wife. From the evidence it appeared that he had not contributed to the maintenance of his wife since August 16. Letters were read from a woman in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A., which spoke of Spiksley in terms of endearment. Spiksley said home life had been very unpleasant for four or five years, and there had been frequent quarrels. His son had been the cause of the trouble, and if it were not for him he would have returned to his wife. The Bench made an order for £2 a week, with costs. " -
Green 'Un, Saturday, 27 November 1920.
  Cannot be found on 1921 census, presumably overseas.
Divorce 13 March 1928. Fred and Nellie divorced after he had frequently committed many acts of adultery. The decree nisi was granted and made absolute
"Notice has been entered at Paddington Register Office of the forthcoming marriage of Fred Spiksley, athletic coach, aged 59, Beaumont Hotel, Princess Square, Paddington, to Miss Rosa Reichel, aged 39, also of Princess Square" - Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Wednesday, 29 May 1929
Second marriage to Rose Reichel, on Monday, 3 June 1929 at Paddington Register Office, London
  registered in Paddington April-June 1929.
Children Fred and Rose Spiksley had one son together, Fred H.
  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.
Death Wednesday, 28 July 1948 at Tattersall's enclosure at Goodwood Racecourse, Singleton, West Sussex, from coronary thrombosis.
aged 78 years 185 days registered in Chichester July-September 1948.
"Four heat wave deaths occurred yesterday. Mr Fred Spikesley, the former international footballer, was overcome by the heat and fell dead in the Tattersall's enclosure at Goodwood yesterday." - Yorkshire Post and Leeds Mercury, Thursday, 29 July 1948
Probate "SPIKSLEY Frederick of Loftus Hotel Templeton-place London S.W.5 died 28 July 1948 at Goodwood Racecourse Sussex Administration London 27 September to Rosa Spiksley widow.
Effects £477 12s. 3d." [2019 equivalent: £17,474]

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

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).

Playing Career

Began his playing career with his school team, Holy Trinity FC, during which time he began to assist Gainsborough Working Mens' FC in 1883, and Horncastle FC. He was also turning out for Trinity Institute FC in 1885, and also playing for Gainsborough Wednesday FC. In March 1887, Spiksley stepped in as an emergency eleventh man for Gainsborough Trinity FC. The following month, he accepted an invitation to play with Jubilee Swifts FC. He then signed with the Trinity club as a professional in the summer. Blackburn Rovers FC attempted to sign him in 1890. In January 1891, after 126 appearances and 131 goals for Trinity, Accrington Stanley FC tried to buy him, offering a higher wage, but on 26 January, he was signed by the Wednesday club, effective from the end of the current season. He missed the 1903-04 season because of a knee injury in August 1903, and on 1 May 1904, he was informed his contract had been terminated. Wednesday still expected £250 for any release. So 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 was dismissed by Glossop for 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 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, John Goodall convinced Spiksley to sign with Watford FC, making eleven Southern 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.

League History
297 appearances, 101 goals
one expulsion
Wednesday FC 1892-1903 293 appearances, 101 goals
debut: 3 September 1892 Notts County FC 0 Wednesday FC 1.
Glossop North End FC 1904-05 four appearances
debut (second division): 3 September 1904 Liverpool FC 2 Glossop North End FC 2.
last (second division): 25 March 1905
Grimsby Town FC 3 Glossop North End FC 0.
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
FA Cup winners 1895-96 (6ᵃ 4ᵍ);
Football League Division Two winners 1899-1900 (21ᵃ 10ᵍ); League Champions 1902-03 (32ᵃ 8ᵍ), 1903-04 (0ᵃ injured);
Individual honours Lincolnshire FA (three appearances);
Sheffield & Hallamshire FA;

Football League (two appearances, one goal)

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.
Height/Weight 5' 7", 10st. 0lbs [1903].


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 six 1893.
The Whites (one appearance March 1894)
The Professionals (one appearance March 1896)
Distinctions The first England player to score two hat-tricks, and the first to score a hat-trick against Scotland.

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 compositor 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, United States, 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 on 17 October 1924 on a two-year contract 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.

The Numbers
parties Appearances comp. apps minutes goals ave.min comp. goals captain
8 7 7 630 7 90 min 7 none
The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.
7 5 2 0 23 7 +16 0 3 3.286 1 85.7 +5
All of his matches were played in the British Championship

Venue Record

Venue 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

Tournament Record

British Championship Competition
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts% W/L
BC 1891-92 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 =0
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
7 5 2 0 23 7 +16 0 3 3.286 1 85.7 +5

Match History

 Club: Wednesday F.C. - seven full appearances (630 min) 7ᵍ F.A. International Select Committee - seven full appearances (630 min) 7ᵍx

apps match match details comp res. rundown pos

Age 22
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 25 rebound
30 scored
crossbar [4-0]

88 rebound

one of four who became the 206th players (209) to appear for England
the eighth Wednesday FC player to represent England
the 35th player to score on his England debut - the nineteenth competitive
the scorer of the 31st brace for England
the thirteenth player to score a brace on his England debut
the scorer of the thirteenth hattrick for England
the ninth player to score three goals on his England debut

2 49 1 April 1893 - England 5 Scotland 2
Athletic Ground, Richmond
BC HW 78 volley
84 volley

Fred Spiksley
"It is always sad to hear of a former football experiencing hard times. Fred Spiksley, probably the finest outside left who ever kicked a ball for England, is out of a job.
"He it was who performed the "hat trick" for his country in his first two international matches, and he is the only Englishman to do the feat against Scotland."
- Daily Herald, 15 January 1932

the scorer of the 32nd brace for England
the scorer of the fourteenth hattrick for England - first against Scotland
the first player to score two hattricks for England
his record-equalling six goals in 1893 makes him top goalscorer for the year/season

Age 24
3 50 3 March 1894 - Ireland 2 England 2
Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast
BC AD 55 long shot ol

one appearance - The Whites vs. The Stripes, 15 March 1894;

4 52 7 April 1894 - Scotland 2 England 2
Celtic Park, Glasgow
BC AD   ol

Age 25
5 56 7 March 1896 - Ireland 0 England 2
Cliftonville Gardens, Belfast
BC AW   ol

one appearance - The Amateurs vs. The Professionals, 25 March 1896;

Age 27
6 63 28 March 1898 - Wales 0 England 3
The Racecourse, Wrexham
BC AW   ol
7 64 2 April 1898 - Scotland 1 England 3
Celtic Park, Glasgow
BC AW   ol