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Chapter 17. The end of the beginning.


1st January 1889 committee meeting –

teams selected to play against West End and Caddington F.C. gate money for Boxing Day £4 6s 10d for Unity and £1 8s 4d for Bowes Park.  The lessons of the Chesham cup tie had been learned because the committee instructed the Secretary to write to 

“West End F.C. asking them to guarantee 25/- towards our expenses on our visit to them we giving them the same guarantee with the return”.

INTERLUDE – The Luton Times reported an unhappy beginning of the year for a Mr Joseph Hawkes.  While walking along Dunstable Road he slipped while “avoiding a hoop being trundled by a little girl” and broke his right arm.  

8th January 1889 committee meeting – Teams selected to play against Upton Excelsior and Waverley on 12th Jan.  

On 12th January 1889 Luton Town v Waverley (London).  From the Luton Times, 

“this match was played in the Dallow-lane, Luton, on Saturday.  The ground was covered with snow, but nevertheless a good game was witnessed.  The visitors played a very good game, and were particularly strong in the back division.  Small, Barrett, Wright and Humphrey did not turn up for the local club, and the Town team was made up of several of the Montrose club, who played well.  The game was evenly contested throughout the first half neither team gaining any material advantage until nearly half-time, when the visitors got the ball up against the Lutonians goal, and although Read repulsed them twice, they managed to put it through.  When the teams changed over, the home team commenced to press their opponents, and, in fact, did so for the remainder of the game.  Deacon sent in a hot shot, which the goalkeeper caught but before he could get it away Spratley was on him, and the pair went through the goal with the ball underneath, thus making the score even.  Nothing further was scored, although Luton had hard lines for several goals, Spratley and Deacon sending in three shots each in as many minutes which just missed the post, while Miles from the left wing sent in a half-a-dozen which just crept over the bar or went behind.  The game ended in a draw, with one goal each.”  

Note the shoulder charge by Spratley to score.  Goalkeepers could be charged with or wihout the ball so punching was frequently adopted.

The Times goes on; 

“A second team of the town club went to London on Saturday to play against the Upton Excelsior at West Ham Park, and, although playing on strange ground, they returned victorious, beating their opponents by two goals to nil”.   

“While a match while a match was being played at Dallow-lane between the Luton Town Club and the Waverley Club, of London, the captain of the visitors’ team, a young man named Holmes, met with a somewhat severe accident.  It appears that he was struck in the back by the elbow of another player, which caused some injury to the kidneys.  On leaving the field he remained for some time at the Midland Hotel, where Mr Sanby paid every attention to him, but it was deemed advisable to remove him to the Hospital later in the evening.  After being admitted there he was very ill indeed, but under the care of Dr. Sworder he is now rapidly improving.  The Waverley men frankly acknowledged that the affair was entirely an accident, and that no blame attaches to anyone.”  

Samuel Denman Sanby was the hotel keeper and had been made bankrupt the previous year.  

The Luton Times adds some more detail; 

“In the match in Dallow-lane, Luton between the Luton and Waverley teams, Deacon, in turning sharp round to shy at the goal, collided against one of the opposing half-backs, George Hawkes, and winded him.  He went off the field for ten minutes, but afterwards returned and played until the finish.  It was afterwards found that he was injured internally, and he was taken to Bute Hospital, where he still remains, but will be able to leave by Saturday, as he is not injured so much as was first thought.  Concerning the accident, the secretary of the Waverley club writes, “I am glad to say that the affair was purely accidental, and no blame attaches to anyone.  The remainder of the team throughly enjoyed themselves, and hope to repeat their visit next season.  The Secretary requests the thanks of the team may be conveyed to Mr Sanby, of the Midland Hotel, for his kindness on behalf of the injured gentleman”.  

The Town Club were clearly trying to pre-empt any hasty judgments by the local press who were anxious to stoke up the dangers and savagery of football while at the same time playing down, or not reporting, any cricket accident or injury.   

15th January committee meeting – gate money for 12th jan was 3/6.  Expenses of Upton match £2 1s 8d.  

The reserves played 

“Kemp’s Eleven from Caddington on the 19th January 1889.  “A useful practice match was played between the above on Saturday last on the football ground at Dallow-lane, when the Town Club eleven were the victors by eight goals to one.  About fifteen minutes of the game was played before the first goal was scored by Spratley.  The second, scored by Corney was smartly obtained in front of the goal, and before the third was secured Kemp’s forwards had several chances to run the ball down, but being weak in both left and right wings the opportunities were lost, and when half-time was called the home team, having added another to their score, made matters four to nil.  In the after part the play was tolerably even for a while.  The Town team, however, soon got another goal, although their opponents’ goal-keeper worked in a clever manner.  At this juncture the visitors’ forwards got the ball and worked it up the field by passing to the right-wing man, it was put through the posts.  This was the first, and as events proved, their only point, as afterwards the home players had it their own way, and the game ended as already stated”.  

The Luton Times reports Luton Town v Caddington 

“was played on the Town meadow on Saturday, and as it was a fine afternoon, there was a large number of spectators present.  The home team were strongly represented and had the best of the game throughout, but nothing was scored until the game had been in progress half an hour, when from a pass by Waller, Pedrick headed the ball through.  Soon after Spratley passed out to Corney on the left, who sent in a good shot, which went through.  Spratley charged the custodian at the critical moment, and prevented him from stopping the ball.  A third goal was obtained shortly after from a bully in front of the goal, Spratley giving it the final kick.  Goal No. 4 was obtained from a free kick, Moody passing out to Edgar Wright, who sent it through at a clinking pace.  When the teams changed over, a diversion was created by Kemp, who was going away with a rush, scored a goal for Caddington: but the home team were not to be denied, and Moody from half-back sent in a long shot, which the goal keeper could not reach, thus crediting his side with No. 5.  Two more goals were got in quick succession, Spratley charging the goalkeeper through on each occasion, and just before time was called Waller sent in a low screw shot which completely baffled the goalkeeper, thus leaving the Town victors of a pleasant game by 8 goals to 1”. 

Spratley again used barging to secure two more goals by directly barging the goalkeeper into the net.  But interestingly he also barged the goalkeeper to prevent him making a save.  The backs should have given the goalkeeper more protection from Spratley on all three occasions.  

The first team travelled to play Millwall Rovers.  

“The Luton Town Club also played a match against the Millwall Rovers on their ground at Greenwich on Saturday.  The team was no so strong as could have been desired.  They met a very cordial reception, and a good game was played.  The first and second goals were scored by Luton, who frequently looked like doubling the score, but the high class goal keeping prevented this, and the visitors suffered a defeat by four goals to two.” 

The Luton Times adds that 

“the first team of the Town went to North Greenwich to play the Millwall Rovers.  Sanders, Read, E. Lomax and Narburgh were unable to play at the last moment, therefore the team was considerably handicapped by their absence.  However, Luton went away with a rush, and Smart and J.C. Lomax scored a goal each.  The Rovers stimulated by this reverse began to play in earnest and secured 4 goals; but. although the Town team strove hard to equalise, they could not do so, and the Rovers won a very good game by 4 goals to 2”.  

This game was played at Millwall’s second ground, north of the Thames, behind the Lord Nelson Public House on the East Ferry Road.  The pub, north of the River Thames, was their Headquarters and changing rooms.  This was just a few miles from Whitechapel where Jack the Ripper had been taking victims since April 1888.  Two more probably victims would be taken before it ended.  The Whitechapel murders were regularly mentioned in the Luton Reporter.  

22nd January committee meeting – gate money for 19th jan was 14/10.  Expenses of Millwall match £2 7s 8d.  

On the 26th January 1889 the Town played

“St. John’s College (Past and Present).  A match between the old boys at St. John’s College and an eleven representing the Luton Town Club was played on the Dallow-lane ground on Saturday last.  After some excellent play on both sides, the College won by one goal to nil”.  The Luton Times has a little more detail.  “There was a large number of spectators present, and, as the turf was in good order, a very fast and pleasant game ensued, neither side able to obtain any material advantage until close to half-time, when a goal was score for the Old Boys by E. Wright.  Both goals were in turn pressed until the finish, but the custodians were equal to the occasion, and no other point was scored; a very good game ending in a win for the Old boys by one goal to nil”.  

29th January committee meeting – gate money for 26th jan was 19s 5d.  

2nd February 1889 

“ ‘the “Oaklands’, a London football team paid their first visit to Luton, and played a sharply contested game against eleven of the town club.  The home team were weak on the right wing, and this lost their side several chances of scoring, but the game resulted in a win for the home team by three goals to two.  A good part of the first half of the play had passed before anything was scored.  At length, however, the home half-backs in passing the ball well to the front somewhat forced the forwards into their places, and when close up to goal G. Deacon shot the leather between the posts.  Very shortly afterwards Small added another goal.  Meanwhile the play on the part of “Oaklands” was exceedingly clean, their backs constantly supplying their forwards, who occasionally broke away, although generally Sanders and Humphreys were close on their heels, and prevented any serious consequences.  Before half-time the Town obtained a third goal, Hoy taking the credit for it.  With the wind in their favour in the second half the visitors played more vigorously and it was not long before the sphere was shot between the uprights, and in 10 or 15 minutes the visitors’ right wing forward again put the ball into the goal.  Both sides thereafter made every effort to add to the score, but ultimately the game ended as stated.  The Luton team was as follows: Munro, goal; Humphrey and Sanders, backs; Taylor, Barrett and Hoy, half backs; T. Small, Miller, Deacon (centre), Spratley and Pedrick, forwards”.  

The Luton Times comments 

“In bitterly cold weather these teams me on Saturday last, in the Dallow Lane, Luton.  There was a high wind blowing all through the game, which prevented accurate play.  The first half the home team playing with the wind secured 3 goals, and had hard luck for several more.  When half time was called, the Oaklands commenced to press, and within 10 minutes had commenced to score twice, but after that they seemed quite tired out, and the Luton men pressed their opponents to the finish of the game, and had several narrow squeaks of scoring.  The game considering the weather, was very good, and finally ended in a win for Luton by 3 goals to 2.”  

“The Town Club also sent a team down to Wolverton on Saturday where they met very strong opponents, and were defeated by four goals to nil. The Luton team were exceedingly weak in the half-backs, whilst the Wolverton eleven secured the services of several first class players”.  The Luton Times adds that “several of the Luton men missed the train, and the team was consequently weak in goal and the half-backs; and, although the game was evenly contested throughout, Wolverton won a very good game by 3 goals to nil”.  

The Times ends by announcing that 

“In the Dallow Lane, Luton, on Saturday, the Town play a team from Edmonton, and in the opposite meadow the Montrose club meet the Caddington club”.  

This shows that there were at least two meadows in Dallow Lane being used for football during the winter.  

5th February committee meeting – Teams selected for games against “Edmonton and 1st Beds stationed at Aldershot”.  gate money for Saturday 2nd 19/5.  Expenses of Wolverton match £1 5s 0d.  

9th February 

“Edmonton v Luton Town.  A spirited contest took place on Saturday last on the Town ground between the above Clubs.  The former were a good representative team, and made it sharp work for the home eleven.  So well defended was the visitors’ goal by both the goal-keeper and the backs that not until the last minute of the first half did Luton score a point, and this proved the only goal scored throughout the game.  This fell to the honour of Miller, whose play has been all through the season most creditable.  The ball had been worked down the field, and by the sharp and smart passing by the Luton forwards in front of the goal it was put between the posts, the goal-keeper not having a shadow of a chance of stopping it.  On ends being changed the visitors’ made great efforts to equalise the game, and several times Edmonton looked like it, as Munro was called upon to save, which he did in good style.  The backs were not quite up to the mark, but the half-backs made up for their deficiency, and kept the forwards well up to the goal.  Whitby and Narburg at times all but scored, and by a well placed kick by J.C. Lomax to centre the ball was very nearly got through.  But nothing further was scored, and the game ended in favour of Luton by one goal to nil.  The team for Luton was :- Munro, goal; King and Martin, backs; E.H. Lomax, Hoy and Bird, half-backs; J.C. Lomax and Miller, left wing; Narburg, centre; Deacon and Whitby, right wing.”

The reports ends by saying that “owing to the bad weather the match between Luton Town Club and Limehouse is scratched.  The same applies to the Bedford match”.  Two to three feet of snow fell on the Sunday after the Edmonton game.  

There was an update about Holmes the Waverley player who was progressing well in the Cottage Hospital.  The Waverley Club sent their thanks to “all concerned for the kind attention the patient received.  A donation of £1 has been sent to the funds of the Hospital.  It may also be mentioned that the expenses of the patient were defrayed by the Luton Town Club”.  

We continue to follow the events at the Town Cricket club as there as overlaps with the Town Football Club.  I will set out the full report.  

“The annual general meeting of the above club was held at the Town Hall on Wednesday evening, the attendance of members being very meagre.  Mr I. Smith was asked to preside.  The report for the past year was submitted by the Secretary (Mr T. Wheeler) showing that 30 matches were played during the season, of which 15 were won, 11 lost and 4 drawn.  The best batting average belonged to Mr G.H. Small, and the best bowling analysis was that achieved by Mr H. Wilkinson.  The Treasurer (Mr W. Kershaw) presented the balance sheet.  The receipts included £21 for gate money (against £43 in the previous year), and £66 for subscriptions, and with £12 15s 5d brought forward from the preceding year amounted altogether to £149 3s 11d.  The expenditure on being placed against this left a cash balance of £1 5s 11d.  There were, however, liabilities of nearly £30, so that the treasurer estimated there would be a deficit of over £26.  In the liabilities there was the rent of the ground. That was £30, but Mr Cumberland had agreed to deduct £5 in consequence of the meadow having been interfered with for building purposes.  Some of the members thought this was not enough, and that Mr Cumberland ought to make a greater reduction because he had broken into the meadow in the middle of the season.  Mr Wheeler remarked that there had been a great decrease in match expenses.  There had been seven more matches while there was about £50 less expense.  The report and balance sheet had been approved of, the meeting proceeded to the election of officers for the ensuing year.  The following were appointed: President, the Mayor; Treasurer, Mr R. Dearberg; Joint Secretaries, Messrs E. Gilder and H. Kemp; Committee: Messrs S. Pakes, W. Kershaw, T. Wheeler, Randall, W. Higgins, J. Long, T. Small, and F.W. Ewen; Auditors Messrs Deacon and Timms.  Mr J. Hill was added to the list of vice presidents”. 

You will recall that the Cricket Club had moved to Dallow Lane so it is intriguing exactly what the building work was.  The losses continue.  Many of the names mentioned are familiar from to us from the Football Club. 

12th February committee meeting – gate money for sat 9th was 9/9 – Edmonton

Despite the snow the match against Bedford did go ahead on the 16th January.  

“The match arranged to come off at Bedford had been scratched owing to the unfavourable state of the weather last week, but a change took place which enabled the teams to meet.  The play was somewhat one sided, Luton scoring four goals to none, although the home team gave occasional trouble to the Luton goal keeper, but Munro, being in good form saved his post from disaster.  The combined play of the Luton forwards deserves special note.  On one occasion the ball was placed by them from different parts of the field without their opponents having a chance to get it, this bit of play resulting in a well won goal.  The whole team, in fact, played in distinguished style.  The players were:- Monro, goal; Martin and another, backs; W. King, Moody and Hoy, half backs; J.C. Lomax, G. Deacon, Whitby, Miller and Smart, forwards.”  

19th February committee meeting – expenses of Bedford match were 22/11.  This meeting resolved 

“that as it had been hinted by some of the committee that the bill distributing ought to be looked after by a member of the club, it be placed in the hands of Martin instead of Mr Ellingham”.  

23rd February 1889.  

“Luton Town v Hampstead.  A match was played on Saturday in the Dallow-lane ground between the Luton Town and Hampstead clubs, and ended in favour of Luton by 4 goals to two.  Luton also had three goals disallowed.  Luton players were :- Monro, goal; Martin and Humphrey, backs; Moody, Barrett and King, half backs; Smart, E. Wright, Deacon, J.C. Lomax and Miller, forwards.”  The Luton Times has a more comprehensive report.  “The Luton team playing the best game they have shown since Christmas, the forwards playing well together.  The visitors scored first, but the home team, waking up after this, soon equalised, Deacon sending in a low shot, and Whitby followed soon after with a hot ‘un, which he quietly stopped near the goal and sent it sharp through like a bullet.  At half-time the strove hard to score, and were at last successful, making the game even once more: but the Luton team were not to be denied, and Lomax sent in a beauty out of reach of the custodian, and just before time was called the ball was sent in from a corner, but was headed out and sent halfway down the field; but Humphrey was on it, and sent it back again right through the goal, the game thus ending in a win for Luton by 4 goals to 2.”  

26th February committee meeting – team selected to play against Augustine.  gate money for 23rd feb was 11/6

On Wednesday the 27th 

“Luton Town v Eleven of the Bedfordshire Regiment.  On Wednesday the above teams played in the Dallow-lane grounds.  The visitors are making a short tour, playing various elevens in the adjacent counties.  After a good game the match ended in a draw, one goal each.  Home team:- Monro, goal; Sanders and Humphrey, backs; Martin, Barrett and King, half backs; Smart, E. Wright, Deacon, J.C. Lomax and Miller, forwards.”  The Luton Times, “On Wednesday the Town Club played a team from the 16th Beds. Regiment stationed at Aldershot.  The game was splendidly contested throughout, and both goalkeepers had a lot of work to do.  The Luton forwards did not seem up to form, as they ought to have scored half-a-dozen times if there had been one of them up to take the goalkeeper; as it was, each side scored a goal, a very good and pleasant game thus ending in a draw”.  

Criticism that someone should have been barging the goalkeeper as Spratley had done to great advantage a few weeks earlier.  

5th March committee meeting – gate money for 2nd March was 13s.  

12th March committee meeting – letter received from Walsall Swifts, Oaklands, Star, Vulcans F.C. Team selected for Bowes Park

16th March 

“Luton Town v Bowes Park. Bowes Park sent a strong team to play eleven of the Town Club on Saturday last in the Dallow-lane grounds.  At the end of 25 minutes play the home team backs and half-backs obtained the ball, and playing a fine passing game, Whitby shot the ball to goal and passed it under the bar before the goal-keeper could fist it out.  An appeal against the point was made, but the goal was allowed.  When half-time was called both sides were playing fairly even.  Although Luton sent many shot is they were unsuccessful save in one case, when Miller being off-side Spratley (on the ground close in goal) put the ball through.  This of course was disallowed.  The visitors afterwards made several fine attempts to score and on one occasion a scrimmage took place just outside the goal, and if it had been a few inches closer Munro couldn’t possibly have stopped the ball from going through.  The game after being stubbornly contested ended in favour of Luton one goal to none.  The Town players were :- Munro, goal; Sanders and Martin, backs; A. Taylor, E.H. Lomax and Moody, half-backs; J. Whitby and Deacon, right wing; Spratley, centre; J.C. Lomax and Miller, left wing”.

19th March committee meeting – team selected to play against Vulcans on the 23rd.  Gate money for the 16th was £1 1s 7d.  

23rd March 1889.  From the Luton Reporter of the 30th March 1889.  

“Luton Town v Vulcans. – One of the best games of the season was played between the above clubs at Luton last Saturday.  Both sides scored one goal, the one for the home team scored by Deacon.  The game ended in a draw, one goal each.  The luton players were:- Munro, goal; Saunders and Martin, backs; E.H. Lomax, Taylor and Moody, half-backs; J.C. Lomax, Miller, Deacon, Moore and Whitby, forwards.  Bills had been issued stating that a match would take place this Saturday afternoon between the Town club and the Hitchin club, but intimation has been received from the Hitchin men regretting they cannot play.’  

26th March committee meeting – letter received from Nolloth – left to sec to deal with.  gate money for 23rd was £1 13s 7d.  

2nd April committee meeting – team selected to play against Waverley on 6th April.  

“Proposed by Mr J Bennett and seconded by Mr F Hill and carried unanimously that the Hon Secretary expenses to London on March 30th be paid out of the club funds” .  “A discussion about the club ground for the coming season took place when it was decided to leave it in the hands of the Hon Secretary to see Mr Deacon and report to the next meeting”

The Luton Reporter of 6th April 1889 made a very sad announcement.  

“Luton Town Football Club. The club has sustained a severe loss by the death of its President, Mr John Lomax, which took place somewhat suddenly in London on Wednesday.  Mr Lomax has been a constant supporter of the club since its formation a few years ago, while the brilliant playing of his three sons, who are well-known in the town, has done much towards making the club a successful venture.  The Committee held a meeting last (Thursday) night, when a resolution of sympathy with the family was passed”.  

He was only 49 years old.  

6th April 1889 

“There was a fair attendance of spectators to witness a match played on Saturday last, between the Town Club and Waverley from London, whose second appearance in Luton this was.  On their first visit this season they made it a drawn game, one goal each; but last Saturday the visitors were defeated by seven goals to two.  The game was well contested throughout.  The above result was obtained chiefly by the excellent service rendered by Munro in goal, and indeed by the general combination of the team.  Luton team: Munro, goal; Sanders and Martin, backs; Moody, Barrett and Hoy, half-backs; Whitby, H. Hills, Spratley, G. Deacon and Miller, forwards”.  

9th April 1889 – 

“Teams selected to play against Old St. Paul’s, Upton Excelsior, Clapton, Oaklands, Caledonian Swifts and Woodville”.  “Hon sec reported seeing Mr Deacon concerning ground for next season, but nothing could be done as Mr Deacon was not in position to treat at present, but it was understood that the price would be not less than £15”.  “Resolved that the ground be left over for a time”.  Gate money for 6th April £1 1s 5d.  

16th April committee meeting – April 13th gate money £1 12s 10d

“The following matches were played on the Luton Town Club’s ground on Good Friday,, Saturday and Easter Monday.  

Luton v Clapham Rovers.  This game was played on Good Friday.  The teams were evenly matched, and Luton lead the way until the second part of the game when through the lack of proper combination, and the visitors playing up, the Town team had all their work cut out to keep the Rovers from carrying off the palm.  The whole team struggled hard for the coveted fifth goal, but failing in the attempt the game ended two goals each.  Luton team: Munro, goal; Humphrey and Hoy, backs; Payne, Barrett and Moody, half backs; Mares, Carter, Spratley, Pitkin, junior., and sub, forwards”.  

Luton v Clapton.  In the afternoon of the same day a match was played before a large number of spectators, and notwithstanding their defeat the visitors maintained a thoroughly enjoyable game from the beginning to end.  Nolloth started the ball for Luton, and passing it to J.C. Lomax, it was returned to the former, who shot it just outside the goal post.  From a good kick the ball was sent down the field, but quickly returned, when Nolloth was on it again, and passing to the left, Miller by a splendid shot sent it through the goal.  Just about this time, Nolloth collided with one of the opponents’ backs and was sent flying some yards, turned a somersault, shaking himself not a little, and necessitating his retiring for a few minutes.  Shortly after joining the game again he scored in grand style, and quickly followed up with another when close in goal.  Meanwhile every player was busy.  Whitby and Deacon secured the leather, and bringing it up the field put it to centre, and J.C. Lomax by a swift shot obtained a fourth goal for Luton.  Ends were soon afterwards changed, and despite the utmost efforts of the visitors (during which Munro had to put in some smart work to save his citadel) play was mainly confined to their ground, and the staying powers of the Luton half-backs (E.H. Lomax, Taylor and Paul) were seen to great advantage, the latter scoring by heading the ball through, while Taylor takes the credit of scoring the sixth goal.  Both Sanders and Martin also displayed their usual good form so much so that the visitors’ forwards found it difficult to pass them.  One of the best matches witnessed this season closed in favour of Luton by six goals to none.  Luton team :- Munro, goal; Sanders and Martin, backs; Taylor, E.H. Lomax and Paul, half-backs; Deacon, Whitby, Nolloth, J.C. Lomax and Miller, forwards”.  We know from a team sheet from November 1890 that Clapton played (against the 93rd Highlanders) in Maroon and White.   Their home ground was at the “Spotted Dog”, Upton.  Their nickname was the “Doggies” on account of their ground name.  

“Luton v Oaklands.  Teams representing these clubs met on Saturday, when the visitors were defeated by seven goals to one.  The game throughout was of a similar character to that on Good Friday afternoon, but the home team played without the aid of J.C. and E.H. Lomax and A. Taylor.  

Luton v Caledonian Swifts.  This match was played on Monday forenoon.  It was a somewhat slow game, neither side being fully represented.  Those doing the best service for the home team were the backs, and right wing with Fuller on the left wing.  The Swifts made many attempts to score but failed, and ultimately lost the game by four goals to none.  Luton team:- Munro, goal; Humphrey and Hoy, backs; King, Barret and sub, half backs; Kemp, sub, Spratley, Pitkin and Fuller, forwards.  

Luton v Woodville.  Played on Monday afternoon.  The visitors did not bring their full team, but the substitutes worked hard, especially on the left wing; the player there by a fine long kick for hands scored the only point for his side.  After about 15 minutes’ play the ball was put through the posts by Luton.  This was followed by the Woodville equalising matters, as mentioned above.  During the first half much give and take play was indulged in, but in the next half the visitors’ goal was constantly besieged, and every player did his best.  Five or six corners were given to Luton, and each time Baker put them well to the goal, which was in grave danger two or three times.  Deacon was rather unfortunate in losing several chances near the goal.  J.C. Lomax, Nolloth and Miller (the latter two added a goal each) were very conspicuous for good play.  On one or two occasions the visitors goal-keeper save his charge in a remarkable fashion.  The Town backs and E.H. Lomax and Taylor kept up a constant fusillade, and after some good all round play, the football season closed with a win for Luton by four goals to one.  The Luton players were :- Munro, goal; Sanders and Martin, backs; Baker, E.H. Lomax and Taylor, half-backs; Miller, J.C. Lomax, Nolloth, Deacon and sub, forwards.”  

The Luton Times also covered all the Easter games.  

“The Luton Town Football Club have played 5 matches this week, winning 4 and making a drawn game of the other one.  They scored 24 goals and only 4 were scored against them.  The matches won were Clapton (holders of the London Cup), Oaklands (Holders of the West London Cup), Caledonian Swifts and Woodville, the drawn game being with Clapham.  

The first match played was against Clapham on Good Friday morning.  The home team were but poorly represented, or they would have won easily, but as it was they only just managed to make a draw of 2 goals each, Spraggles scoring the 2 goals for the town.  

In the afternoon the London Cup holders tried conclusions with the Luton Town, but had to retire second best as Luton had got an exceptionally strong team against them.  There was a very large number of spectators present who all seemed highly interested in the play, especially that of Paul, the Luton centre half-back, who was very tricky with his head, scoring one of the goals in grand style.  Miller scored the first goal for Luton in about 15 minutes, which was followed soon afterwards by one by Nolloth, and Charlie Lomax notched No. 3 by a hot shot soon after.  When the teams changed over, Luton, with the wind in their favour, continually pressed their opponents and scored three more goals through the agency of Deacon, Nolloth and Paul, and Clapton had to retire beaten by 6 goal to nil.  

On Saturday afternoon the match was with the Oaklands, and the local men continued their victorious career and fairly walked round their opponents, finally beating them 7 goals to 1, the goals being kicked for Luton by White, Towle, and Miller 1 each, whilst Hills and Nolloth were credited with 2 goals each.  

On Easter Monday morning the Luton Town played the Caledonian Swifts and beat them easily by five goals to nil.  This would have been considerably larger if it had not have been for the good play of Baker in goal for the visitors, who in fact saved scores of shots.  Fuller scored the first goal for Luton, which Spraggles supplemented soon after by another one.  The second half Luton had all their own way, but could only score 3 more times, the feature of the match being the grand goal-keeping exhibited by Baker, and the way Spraggles worried him.  However, a very good game, considering the teams, ended in a win for Luton by 5 goals to nil.  

In the afternoon before a large concourse of people, including excursionists from London and other places, a match was played between Luton and Woodville.  The brothers Lomax played for Luton, and the local team turned out the best team they have done all season.  The Woodville pressed for the first 20 minutes, and scored the first goal.  Animated by this disaster, the Luton men played up, and soon after equalised, Nolloth sending in a hot ‘un which hit the bar and bounced through.  At half-time, Luton, with the wind in their favour, went away with a rush and quickly scored 2 goals and had several narrow squeaks for other, but nothing further was scored until nearly time when Miller sent the ball through out of a scrimmage, the Luton Town thus winning by 4 goals to 1”.  

The Woodville game on the 22nd April was the last of the season and the last for the pink and dark blue shirt.  The shirt would next appear 121 years and 83 days later against Altrincham on the 14th August 2010. (I have excluded the Marlow commemoration game).

23rd April 1889 committee meeting – Resolved that annual general meeting be held in the middle or end of August”.  “resolved the payment of the ground be left to Hon Sec”.  Messrs Steabben and Evans to audit the clubs accounts.  

“Resolved that the Rules of the Kettering and District Charity Cup Competition be written for with a view to join said competition”.  

“gate money

Good Friday 11.30 £1 13s 2d

Good Friday  4.00 £7 1s 1d

April 20th £1 17s 8d

Easter Monday 11.30 £2 1s 3d

Easter Monday  4 £5 8s 6d

3rd May At a Special meeting of the L.T.F.C. committee held at Exchange Cafe it was “resolved that we join the Kettering and District Charity Cup Competition”.  “Resolved that the matches be arranged on the same principle as last season”.  Don’t think that second sentence refers to the cup competition.  

There was an athletics meeting in Dallow Lane in early June 1889 during which torrential rain fell.  

“Umbrellas and macintoshes were the order of the day, but even these were of very little use in protecting those who had been hardy enough to brave the elements.  The stand was fairly well patronised, but even here the driving clouds of rain found their way and added to the discomfort of the spectators”.  

The stand would have been a temporary one erected only for the event.  

The Luton Cricket Club were also out in the rain on Whit Monday opening their new ground at People’s Park.  

Large crowds of Lutonians flocked to Harpenden races over the summer whenever a meeting was held.  

The Luton Times reports on the Annual General meeting held on Monday 26th August 1889.   

“On Monday evening the annual meeting of this club was held at the Midland Hotel, the head-quarters of the club.  There was a crowded meeting.  Mr J.C. Lomax (president) occupied the chair.  After the minutes, the balance sheet was read showing a balance in hand of £7 16s 6d as against an adverse balance of 5s 2d last year.  The total receipts were £101 17s 3d.  The balance sheet was audited by Messrs A.J. Steabben and F. Evans and countersigned by the hon. sec Mr Isaac Smith.  The report showed the club had played 41 matches, won 26, lost 10, drawn 5.  The secretary on reading the report said he thought they could congratulate themselves on the result of the matches, a state of things brought about not a little by the Lomax family.  As regards the Association Cup they managed to get into the semi-final for the district and this time he hoped they would get through the district.  (A voice: And win the cup).  They had arranged a good card of fixtures and relied upon their players to support them.  Altogether there were 49 matches arranged, and they still had a few dates open.  The matches include the Casuals, Royal Arsenal, Great Marlow, Dreadnought, Crouch End, Dulwich and St. Albans.  The Chairman said he considered the balance sheet very satisfactory.  Mr F. Evans, one of the auditors, said they went through the accounts and found everything in apple-pie order.  The Secretary had kept them in a very straight-forward manner and they had very little work to do in the audit.  The elections of officers was the next business and Mr J.C. Lomax was appointed president.  The vice-presidents were Mr C. Flower, F. Ewen, G. Ordish, H.T. Shackleton, C. Plummer, S. Mayles, A.T. Sworder, J.C. Kershaw, O. Small, W. Butcher, E. Lomax, P. Alexander and J. Hill.  The treasurer, Mr J.G. Hunt, was re-elected.  Mr Hunt proposed the re-appointment of Mr Isaac Smith as secretary as he felt sure they could not find a secretary who had the interest of the club more at heart.  Mr F. Pitkin, as the original secretary of the club, seconded.  Mr Smith said he had had three years of it and should be pleased to give the work up to another, but if no one else would take it up he would.  The Chairman urged Mr Smith to take office once again and the proposition was carried unanimously with applause.  Mr Smith said he would do the best he could, and he proposed Mr W. Wheeler, and this was agreed to.  The committee appointed were:- Messrs Bennett 40, F. Evans 44, F. Pitkin 42, G. Deacon 47, A.J. Staebben 39, H. Whitby 37, W. Carter 35, R. Bonfield 31, W. Miller 32, F. Scott 35, J. Long 38, Robinson 28, Spratley 39.  It was decided to leave the selection of new colours to the committee.  this concluded the business after votes of thanks to the Chairman”.  

The Luton Reporter had much the same report of the AGM.  The only notable addition is that J.C. Lomax

“in accepting the office remarked that he expected to be able this year to play in most if not all the matches; he also expressed his willingness to help the club in any way whenever he was required”.  Before winding up the meeting J.C. “thanked the meeting for the honour they had conferred upon him, and at the same time intimated that he would be pleased to give the same subscription as his late father was in the habit of giving.”  

Monday 26th August 1889 minute book entry 

“Annual General Meeting LTF Club held this day at the Midland Hotel.  

Mr J.C. Lomax in the chair.

      1. Minutes of the Annual meeting read and confirmed.  

2.  The Hon Sec gave report showing the results of matches played, the attendance of committee and of the general working of the club; the matches showed a decided improvement as out of a total of 41 played, we won 26, lost 10, drew 5 with goals for 131, against 53, this being considered satisfactory was passed unanimously.  

3.  The Hon Sec read the balance sheet, this also showed a decided advance as although the addition to the balance in hand was but small viz. £1 12s 8d, the total takings had increased from £71 to £95, this large amount is accounted for by the fact of having thee cup matches and so sustaining the interest.  

4.  Mr Evans as one of the auditors gave his report of the audit and as he found the account correct proposed that the balance sheet be accepted, carried.  

5.  The meeting next proceeded to elect the officers for the ensuing year, when the following were elected

President Mr J.C. Lomax

Vice Presidents Mr Cyril Flower, Mr J. Cotchin, Mr J.C. Kershaw, Mr F.W. Ewen, Mr C. Plummer, Mr R. Ford, Mr W. Butcher, Mr I. Ordish, Mr A. Sworder, Mr S. Mayles, Mr H.J. Shackleton, Mr E.H. Lomax, Mr O. Small and Mr J. Hill.

Treasurer Mr J.G. Hunt

Secretary Mr I. Smith

Asst Secretary Mr J.G. Wheeler

Committee Messrs, G. Deacon, F. Pitkin, J. Scott, J. Bennett, H.G. Spratley, A.H. Staebben, W. Carter, W. Robinson, W. Miller, J. Evans, J. Long, H. Whitby and R. Bonfield, the unsuccessful nominees for the committee were Messrs F.W. Hill, G. Hinson, W. Samwells, J. Humphrey, H. Wilkins, E. Ellingham and W. Browning.

6.  After considerable discussion it was resolved to leave the choice of club colours to the committee

7.  Vote of thanks to the officers and to Chairman for presiding being carried, the meeting ended.  

Signed J.C. Lomax, Chairman”

The Luton Reporter mentioned the club in their editorial in a most positive way for a change.  

“The Luton Town Football club appear to have had more than their usual share of success last season.  According to a report which the enthusiastic and business-like Secretary (Mr Smith) presented to the annual meeting on Monday night they won no fewer than 26 of the 41 matches in which they engaged and only lost 10, the remaining five being undecided.  The club are distinctly making headway.  We hope the leading team will make a determined effort to capture the cup this year and bring it home to Luton.  With practice and combination they should have a very fair chance, but too much stress cannot be laid upon what the Chairman said about the desirability of the players having a thorough understanding among themselves, for without that the most brilliant individual performances often go for nought.  All who are accustomed to witness the matches will be glad to know that the Club have resolved to adopt new colours”.