England Football Online
Page Last Updated 13 January 2015
Players Index

Sam Widdowson

Nottingham Forest FC

1 appearance, 0 goals

P 1 W 0 D 0 L 1 F 4: A 5
0% successful


disciplined: none
minutes played:


Full name Sam Weller Widdowson
Born 16 April 1851 in Half Moon Yard, Hucknall Torkard, Nottinghamshire [registered in Basford, June 1851].
Attended Hucknall Torkard Village School and People's College, Nottingham
Baptised 20 April 1851 at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Hucknall Torkard.

Census Notes

According to the 1851 census, Ann is soon to give birth to her sixth child, Sam. Along with his father, Levi, a butcher, they have two servants at Half Moon Yard in Hucknall Torkard.

According to the 1861 census, Sam is the third of four children living with their father, Levi, a butcher, in Half Moon Yard in Hucknall Torkard.

According to the 1871 census, Sam is the oldest of three to Levi and Ann. His father is a Rent & Rate Collector, and with one servant, they live at Main Street in Bulwell.

According to the 1881 census, Sam is now married to Harriet and has one daughter, Addie Mary, and with two servants, they live at 7 St. Anns Hill in the St. Mary's area of Nottingham. Sam is a lace warehouseman

According to the 1891 census, Sam remains married with five more children, Rosa de Lacy, Ida Gertrude, Sidney Wilfred, Oscar Roland and Bernard, and now with three servants, they are all living at 1 Wellington Square, Derby Road in Nottingham. Sam is now a lace manufacturer.

According to the 1901 census, Sam's family now live at 83 Waterloo Crescent in Nottingham, and has two more sons, Edgar Harold and Philip, making eight children in total. Sam himself is not with them.

According to the 1911 census, Sam is still a lace manufacturer, and with six of his children (Bernard and his wife are missing), they live at 46 Middle Street in Beeston, Nottingham with three servants.

Married to Harriet Laslett [registered in Nottingham, March 1879]
Died 9 May 1927, at his home in Beeston, aged 76 years 23 days [registered in Basford, June 1927]. Widdowson took ill the week before and caught a chill, which developed into pneumonia.
Height/Weight 5' 8½", 11st 7lbs [1880]


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

Club Career

Club(s) Played his Schoolboy and Junior football in Nottinghamshire, joined Nottingham Forest FC in 1866, becoming the club's captain in 1873. until 1885, being Captain for several seasons; often turned out for Notts County FC. Chairman of Nottingham Forest 1879-84.
Club honours None
Individual honours None
Distinctions Played three times for Nottinghamshire CCC 1878-79; Also a notable amateur runner, he could do 100 yards on grass in 10.25 secs, and in May 1870, clocked the mile at 4 mins. 50 secs. In all, he had about 300 athletic trophies to his name.
notes Widdowson was the first footballer to use cut-down cricket pads strapped outside his socks as protection against 'hacking' - the deliberate kicking of the shins.
He is also credited with the implementation of the first organised player formation - two full-backs, three half-backs and five forwards. 
A formation initially introduced during the 1870s by Forest, enduring a life span right into the early 1960s.
His feedback helped ensure another standard of the modern game which was introduced in a game between Forest and Sheffield Norfolk.  The referees had used a flag system to signal before and after this point, it was in this game that the whistle was first used by the umpire.
Widdowson then pioneered early floodlighting for night games by using gas lamps. This idea was dropped due to the gas running out, and fears for crowd safety, but when electricity was more readily available in 1909 he, now retired, returned to the City Ground to attempt electric lighting.


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

England Career

Player number One of five who became the 70th players (74) to appear for England.
Position(s) Forward
Only match No. 10, 13 March 1880, Scotland 5 England 4, a friendly match at Hampden Park, Hampden Terrace, Glasgow, aged 28 years 332 days;
Major tournaments None
Team honours None
Individual honours None
Distinctions None

Beyond England

A Lace Warehouseman. Twice served on the FA Committee, 1888-92 and 1893-94. - An English Football Internationalists' Who's Who. Douglas Lamming (1990). Hatton Press, p.267/268.


Sam Widdowson - Career Statistics
Squads Appearances Minutes Goals Goals Ave. min Captains Discipline
1 1 90 0 0 min none none
Due to the fact that many matches rarely stuck to exactly ninety minutes long, allowing time for injuries, errors and substitutions.  The minutes here given can only ever be a guideline and cannot therefore be accurate, only an approximation.


Sam Widdowson - Match Record - All Matches - By Type of Match
Type P W D L F A GD FTS CS FAv AAv Pts % W/L
Away - Friendly 1 0 0 1 4 5 -1 0 0 4.00 5.00 00.0 -1
All 1 0 0 1 4 5 -1 0 0 4.00 5.00 00.0 -1


Sam Widdowson - Match History
 Club: Nottingham Forest F.C. - 1 full cap

Coach: F.A. Committee (Charles Alcock) - 1 full capx

Age 27
- pp 1 March 1879 - England vs. Scotland, The Oval, Kennington Fr Hpp due to Start
Age 28
1 10 13 March 1880 - Scotland 5 England 4, Hampden Park, Glasgow Fr AL Start or

 Committee member  
Age 38
- 38 15 March 1890 - Wales 1 England 3, The Racecourse, Wrexham BC AW Umpire