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Chapter 23. At sixes and sevens

CHAPTER 23.  At sixes and sevens

19th January 1891 committee meeting – Expenses of Wolverton match at Kettering £3 2s 10d.  Wolverton match for 31st Jan be scratched. 

26th January committee meeting – team selected for 31st jan

31st January 1891 – Luton Town played London Caledonians according to the Luton Times and Grove House according to the Luton Reporter.  As the results were 4 1 it seems the papers seem to have called the opposition by different names.  The minute book refers to Grove House only and not London Caledonians.  The Luton Times reports – 

“A very good game was played on Saturday at Luton.  The home team won by four goals to one.  The goals were made – 2 by H. Whitby and 1 each by A. Whitby and G. Deacon.  The Whitbys and Deacon were conspicuous in the forwards, and Wright and Taylor as half-backs.  Mr J. Long acted as the Luton umpire, and Mr F. Pitkin as referee”.  

The Luton Reporter merely says that Luton won 4 1 at Dallow-lane against Grove House.  Wolverton beat Northampton 2 0 in the second round of the Kettering Charity Cup and were drawn to play Rushden away in the third round.  

The Luton Times announced that a popular comedy –

“New Lamps for Old” was coming to Luton for two nights next week.  At Terry’s Theatre in London it played to packed houses.  The advice was to purchase reserved seats at 3s instead of waiting for hours in a crush for the pit at 2s 6d”.  

This appears to be an early version of “Aladdin”.  

2nd February 1891 committee meeting – Teams selected for Dunstable Grammar School and Marlow.  Gate money for 31st jan £2 10s, pavilion was 2/-.  

Mr Thring obviously had raised a team at the grammar school.  

On 7th February 1891 –

“Luton Town v Great Marlow.  On Saturday last an eleven representing the Town Club journeyed to Marlow, and they acquitted themselves so well that a drawn game resulted, though in the past they have been almost invariably defeated by the Bucks. combination.  Marlow scored within 10 minutes of the start, and things seemed to promise badly for the Lutonians, but the last named managed to equalise before the midway stage was reached, and they thereafter held their own.  Marlow had the better of the game, and it was only the excellence of the Luton backs and the fine goal-keeping of Read that saved them.  For Marlow, Morris and the centre forward were conspicuously brilliant, while the most noticeable among the visitors were Wright, Deacon, Lomax and Hills, the last-mentioned scoring the goal.  Mr G.H. Small was the Luton umpire, and the team were composed as follows:- Goal, T. Read; backs, A. Sanders and J. Hoy; half-backs, J. Wright, W. King and A. Taylor; forwards, J.C. Lomax, centre, G. Deacon and H. Hills, left; M. Cheshire and A. Whitby, right.”

On the same day the reserves beat Dunstable Grammar School at Dallow Lane by 5 goals to 4.  

“The School team played with great dash towards the close, and the Lutonians were lucky in scoring the victory.  The Luton team was as follows:- Goal, J. Burley; backs, J.G. Saddington and J. Lay; half-backs, H.G. Spratley, A. Barford and J. Custance;  forwards, F.W. Hill, W. Garrett, C. Cottam, Dimmock and Bottoms.” 

The Luton Times add some more detail –

“This match was played on the now Athletic Ground, on Saturday last, and was won by the home team by 5 goals to 4.  Some even play was witnessed, the home team scoring 3 times in the first half  to their opponents once.  Re-starting the play was much more in favour of the home side, and two more goals were scored by them.  Quite a change came over the scene when Mr Thring (who up to this point had been playing in goal) took a place in the forwards, and with the assistance of Messrs Ealing, Dickson, and other forwards fairly “made rings” round the home team, and within five minutes ‘knotched’ 3 goals in splendid fashion.  Umpires, Messrs Isaac Smith and W. Smith: referee, Mr Frank Pitkin.”   

9th February 1891 committee meeting – 

“gate money for 7th feb £1 7s 10d, pavilion 6d.  Expenses of team to Great Marlow £4 13s 11d.  the Hon Sec stated he had received a communication from Mr F Whitby through his brother H. Whitby that he would be willing to play for the Town providing the club paid him 1/- in advance of his brother in order to pay travelling expenses and loss of time.  

A lengthy discussion followed on professionalism in general as it affects our club.  When it was clearly shown that if 1 or 2 were paid, the remainder had a perfect right to ask for payment on the same lines.  Most of the committee present were of the opinion that enough money had already been spent on professionalism and if continued it undoubtedly would prove disastrous to the club.  

It was therefore proposed, seconded and carried unanimously that the club could not see its way to spending any more money on professionalism as finances stood at present”.

Finally if anyone fell out Cheshire would take their place.  

Player power was immediately born as soon as professionalism surfaced.  Frank Whitby thought he was worth a shilling a week more than his brother so would not play.  Added to this, a rumour did the rounds that Alfred Whitby would not play unless he was also paid.  

On 14th February 1891 –

“Luton Town v Guy’s Hospital – Played at Dallow-lane on Saturday, and ended in a decisive win for the home team by 4 goals to 1.  Guy’s were not so well represented as they might have been, but there was some good play on either side.”

16th February 1891 committee meeting – Team selected for St. George’s School on Sat 21st feb.  Gate money for the 14th £2 6s 5d and pavilion 1/8.  

On the 18th a team went to Harpenden to play St. George’s School 

“and resulted in a draw.  Luton took a strong combination and played an excellent game, as the score of two all would indicate.  An appeal for a third point by the visitors was overruled on account of an infringement of the offside rule.  Moore specially distinguished himself for Harpenden, and the back division of the Luton team were particularly strong.” 

There was news of the Luton Charity Cup.  

“The various matches in the second round of the competition for this cup have now been played, and with one or two exceptions resulted pretty much as expected.  One of the disappointments is that Millwall Athletic, who were regarded as having a capital chance of winning the trophy, have been eliminated.  It seems that their match with Windsor Phoenix had been postponed from time to time owing to inclement weather, and they did not meet until Saturday last.  On that day, the Millwall club had an engagement in the London senior cup, and they put a reserve eleven in the field against Windsor, the result being that they were beaten by seven goals to one.  Other results were : Scots Guards beat the Vulcans 4-0; Luton Town vanquished the Terriers 9-0; Kettering defeated Irthingborough, 10-0; Rushden beat Kettering Hawks 5-0; Bedford defeated Mountaineers 3-1.  Wallingford and Maidenhead scratched to Wolverton and Wolverton L. and N.W. respectively.  The result of the draw for the third round is as follows; Luton Town v Bedford; Windsor v Scots Guards; Wolverton L. and N.W. v Wolverton; Kettering v Rushden.  the three first mentioned matches are to be played on February 28, and the last named on March 2.”  

There was no match for the Town on the 21st February so the Luton Reporter announced that 

“they are engaged to-morrow in a cup-tie with the Bedford Club.  Refreshments are to be supplied on the ground by Mr H. Pike of the “Hearts of Oak.” 

The paper went on to say that 

“A rumour has been current to the effect that A. Whitby had declined to play because he is not paid, and we are requested to state that the story is without foundation.”   

This is a clear indication that players were being paid and we know that Harry Whitby had accepted the offer by his brother Frank had not signed.  We do not know for sure whether Tom Read signed professional but there is no reason to doubt that he did not.  

The paper also gave some results and the draw in respect of the Kettering Charity Cup.  

23rd February 1891 committee meeting – team selected against Bedford on Sat 28th.  Match with City Ramblers (late Old St Paul’s) be scratched and that Crouch end be taken on in place of it.  “That the printing of bills should be executed by Reporter Office as usual”.  

Saturday 28th February 1891 – 

“Luton Charity cup, Luton Town v Bedford.  This match, the final for the division, took place on the Dallow-lane ground on Saturday, and contrary to the expectations of the supporters of the Luton team, resulted in a runaway victory for the visitors by six goals to one.  In the previous stages of the competition the tasks set the Lutonians were comparatively easy of accomplishment and on this occasion many thought they would have no difficulty in eliminating Bedford.  Those, however, had evidently lost sight of the fact that the representatives of the county town are in the semi-final of the Kettering Cup, which must be accepted as an indication that they have very greatly improved.  When the day for deciding the tie arrived the admirers of the Luton men were quite confident of the ability of their favourites to win, while the contingent who accompanied the other eleven held an exactly similar feeling.  It was nearly half-past 3 when the team took their places in the following order:- Luton Town: Goal, T. Read; backs, A. Sanders and J.D. Seddon; half-backs, G.J. Saddington, J. Wright and A.H. Taylor; forwards, H. Whitby, centre; G. Deacon, A. Whitby, right; S.M. Stanley and J.C. Lomax, left.  Bedford: Goal, A.W. Houliston; backs, M.D. Nicholson and J.W. Hegswald; half-backs, A. Smith, K.G. Capon and J. Blaney; forwards, H.H. Holland, centre; J.B. Jones and H.W. Oclee, right; H. Perkins and W. Eaton, left.  The home eleven lost the toss and they defended the goal at the railway end.  They had a great disadvantage in playing with the sun full in their eyes, but what wind there was blew straight across the ground, and that no additional disadvantage arose from this.  The rivals started with a great dash and for some time the play was remarkable for its fastness.  The Luton forwards at the outset took the ball up the field in fine style and H. Whitby ended by making a splendid shot at goal, which missed scoring by about a foot.  Deacon next distinguished himself by the fearless tackling and excellent passing but try as they would the efforts of the home forwards were frustrated by Nicholson, who soon made it apparent that he was the back-bone of Bedford’s team.  The wearers of the black and amber next took their turn at “rushing” and Perkins and Eaton evoked applause by some admirable short passing all down the left wing.  Seddon, in clearing, conceded a corner, and from this a grand shot was put in, the leather just missing the bar.  When the game had been proceeding about a quarter of an hour the visitors worked the ball into the vicinity of their opponents’ goal and a somewhat soft shot was made.  Read held the sphere in his hands for an appreciable space, and despite the fact that he was not pressed dropped it in the mouth of the goal, thus affording the adversaries an opportunity which was quickly seized.  After this disaster the courage of the Lutonians perceptively declined, and it was not for a considerable period had elapsed that they aroused from their apathy.  Eventually they seemed to recover, and their forwards showed such good form that more than once the Bedford citadel was in danger.  Houliston was equal to those emergencies, however, and he was lavishly applauded for some grand “saves.”  The “reds” were not to be denied, and after exchanges had been the order of the game for a good time the invaded the enemies’ territory with such determination that the Bedford back division were powerless to cope with them, and Stanley finished up by scoring in fine style.  This equalisation of the score was hailed by the enthusiastic shouts  by the local partizans, but almost immediately afterwards their delight was turned into mourning, for Read punched the ball through his goal from a shot which he might easily have kept out.  A third point was rapidly added, after some first rate passing by the Bedfordians, and it then became apparent to the supporters of the Lutonians that their eleven would have to try all they knew to win.  Their champions did not altogether lose heart, and H. Whitby put in a very hot shot, but the vigilance of the opposition custodian was not to be easily eluded, and the leather was fisted away.  The next occurrence of interest was the notching of a fourth point by Bedford; the ball was passed to the right wing forward when only one of the backs was in front of him, and he was then palpably “offside,” but the score was allowed, the Luton umpire not disputing.  The home representatives thereafter experienced very hard luck, Deacon putting in some excellent shots, but their endeavours were all futile, Houliston defending his charge just as well Read had performed badly.  When the mid-way stage was reached the score was Bedford 4 Luton 1, and five minutes after re-starting the first-named secured a fifth goal.  Later on Lomax shot the ball through, but he was ruled off-side, and try as they would the Lutonians were unable to obtain any further advantage, though the play during the second portion of the game was to a great extent in the Bedford limits.  On several occasions Nicholson stopped some ugly rushes, and after a time the visitors seemed to pretty much content themselves with defending their own posts.  Just before time arrived Bedford added a sixth point, and they eventually won, as stated, by six goals to one.  The umpires were Messrs G.H. Small (Luton) and G. Royle (Bedford), while the referee was Mr L.C.R. Thring (Dunstable).  It must be stated that the conduct of a section of the spectators was very bad.  Whenever an unwelcome decision was given it was received with groaning and derisive cries, and in the neighbourhood of the pavilion, disgusting language was frequently used, despite the remonstrations of some members of the central committee.”  

Bat, Ball and Bicycle bemoaned the exit from the three cup competitions, two of which were sound thrashings.  Although Read had made two mistakes it was concluded that their form was mediocre.  Talking about the Bedford defeat : 

“Another striking feature of the game was the difference in combinations between the two teams.  With one or two exceptions the Lutonians went in for individual play, and it cannot be said too often urged that valuable as individual brilliancy may be it was never yet known to win a match.  Of course, the reason for these tactics is to a great extent the fact that the men do not often play together, and thus have not that confidence in one another which is absolutely essential to good combination.  It was justly remarked that the absence of one or two particularly fine players from their ranks leaves them at “sixes and sevens”, and if such is the case surely the authorities might do well to consider the advisability of getting together a team which should be able to play together.  The Bedford men, on the other hand seemed to recognise the value of combined effort , and the result was that their game was admirable one.  Here and there a member rendered himself conspicuous, but generally the players relied on each other, and it was undoubtedly this combined with the fact that luck was on their side that won them the match”.  

“On the Luton side, the palm must be given to Saddington, who seemed to appear wherever he was needed, and it was to a great extent due to his excellence that the score was not heavier.  The backs were fairly reliable, and as usual Wright and Taylor did a lot of useful work.  H. Whitby and Deacon were the pick of the forwards, though the last-mentioned was erratic in his shooting.  Lomax for a time exerted himself well, but later in the game he became disabled.  On the opposing side Nicholson was the most noticeable player: he did a tremendous amount of work, and was always to be depended upon.  Capon was an excellent half-back, and the forwards left wing very strong.”  

The column comments on the progress of the work on the ground, which I had assumed would be finished by now.  

“those who have visited the Dallow-lane ground recently will have noticed that the necessary works are slowly progressing.  The authorities, when the making of the cinder-path was being proceeded with, found that it would be necessary to remove much more earth than was at first thought would require moving, and this accounts for the delay.  The committee also found that in face of this, they would require more money than they had asked for, and I am requested to state that shares still remain untaken.”  

“The design of the medals to be presented to the players in the final for the Luton Cup have been shown to me, and it is very neat.  The arms of the town are to appear on one side enamelled in their proper colours.”  

Finally the column joined in the comment upon the behaviour of the crowd at the Bedford game.  

“the most unsatisfactory feature of the game was the demeanour of the spectators, which was the reverse of admirable.  The umpires and referee were execrated whenever a decision was given adverse to the home team, and disgusting language was freely used.  Occupants of the pavilion were much disturbed by the free use of vulgarities, but though remonstrations were made, no notice was taken of them.  Several ladies were present and were greatly annoyed, and it is certain that if such blackguardly conduct cannot be put an end to football will not be patronised by decent people.  The question is a serious one, and I commend it to the consideration of those whom it may concern.  Lutonians have already got a bad name in this respect and such exhibitions as occurred last Saturday will not tend to raise them in the estimation of outsiders.”  

Two letters were published in the Luton Reporter from “Fair Play” and “One of the oldest Subscribers” complaining about the conduct of the supporters warning that support would be lost if it was allowed to continue.  The second correspondent pointed the finger at 

“a small section in and about the drinking bar, above which unfortunately is the pavilion for ladies and those who desire to watch the game in what was promised should be peace and comfort.  I should like to ask, why is the drinking bar licensed?  If it is impossible for Lutonians to watch the game for an hour and a half without drinking, then put up a bar for their dry souls right away from the pavilion, which I understand was erected principally for ladies; but my contention is that drink is not required.  Those who go for the sport certainly can do without it, and the presence of those who apparently do not could with advantage be dispensed with.  I, for one, when I go to see the game, don’t want to get mixed up in a quarrel, and if you have a lady with you it is impossible to escape one, unless you are a coward.  Luton people of all sorts and conditions are beginning to take a great interest in the game; we are in fair way of getting  a good team; we have a ground second to none in the county.  Is it all to be spoilt by this entree? No, a thousand times no.  It must be stopped.  You will find that the respectable part of the community will not go to see many more matches if they are subjected to the annoyances of the last two Saturdays, and I think unless the grievance is stopped at once it is the duty of everyone calling himself a man, and who objects to his wife or sister hearing such vile talk, to make up his mind that he will appear at Court each time the license for this ground is applied for and oppose it.  I should like to ask, Who is responsible for granting these licenses!  Surely not our Bench of Magistrates, who have among their numbers some of the most prominent men in the Temperance in the town.  If the committee want to see ladies at the matches they must take such steps that will not only provide them with accommodation but freedom from insults and this disgusting language.  I won’t encroach any further upon your space, but trust that steps will be taken by the committee for the credit of football, and by our Magistrates for the credit of Luton, that shall put an immediate stop to this drunken rowdiness.”  

Clearly things were not right in the club.  Some players were being paid, some were not and one, Frank Whitby, was in effect, on strike for more money.  They had been dumped out of three cup competitions, two of which were heavy defeats.  Their play was poor and as we have seen time and again the lack of practice and consistent team selection cost them.  Individual play was still the main tactic despite the lessons learned time and again about combination play and team work.  The apparent lack of practice together is something that the committee never tackled.  The committee had caused the problem as they brought in players from all over in an attempt to build a successful team.  However, this meant they could not be brought together for practice.  Absentees and the committee not choosing a consistent team was added to by J.C. Lomax turning up when it suited him and expecting a game.  How could you refuse such a legend and Club President, a game?  

Off the pitch the ground improvements were taking longer and costing more money than expected.  Drunken supporters had caused problems and threatened to alienate some of the much needed support the club was attracting.  They needed all the money they could get with professionalism arriving at breakneck speed.  The club had lost much revenue due to the bad weather including the Christmas fixtures which brought in vast revenue every year.  Indeed, the playing season was cut short due to the final stages of the Luton Charity Cup being arranged for the Dallow Lane ground, thus reducing revenue further.    

2nd March 1891 committee meeting – Team selected for Millwall on March 7th.  Gate money for 28th feb was £8 3s 71/2 d, pavilion 5/11.  Expenses of match £1 18s 6d leaving £6 5s 1d to be divided between Luton and Bedford.  Bedford portion £ 2s 6d.  Charge for the Millwall match be 3d.  “That the charge for the ground to the Charity Committee be 25/- per game.”  

7th March 1891 Luton v Millwall – From the Luton Reporter of 14th March 1891 – 

“Luton Town v Millwall.  Played on the Athletic Grounds on Saturday, and contrary to expectation, ended in a win for the Town by five goals to two.  The visitors, who had been beaten in the previous week by Preston North End by only three goals to nil, were strongly represented, whereas with one exception their opponents were all drawn from the town.  The play on the home side was just as admirable as that on the previous Saturday had been faulty, and the spectators frequently applauded the players.  Burley was tried in goal instead of Read, and he won golden opinions by his smartness.  Saddington, whose excellent display against Bedford had not been forgotten, again worked splendidly, and was ably supported by the remainder of the back division, while the forwards exhibited better combination than usual, the Whitby brothers being especially conspicuous.  The home team was constituted as follows: Goal, J. Burley; backs, A. Sanders and J. Hoy; half-backs, G.J. Saddington, J. Wright and A. Taylor: forwards, H. Whitby (centre), A. Whitby, H. Hills, F.K. Whitby and G. Deacon.”  

Dallow Lane is called the Athletic Ground for the first time in a report.  

9th March 1891 committee meeting – gate money for sat 7th £3 6s 0d, pavilion 1/2d.  Hon Sec to offer Wolverton 30/- for match on March 14th.  

14th March 1891 – 

“Luton Town v Wolverton L. and N.W. The meeting of these clubs in an ordinary match on Saturday attracted a large crowd of spectators to the Athletic Grounds, the former matches between them having resulted in a great deal of interest.  It will be remembered in the competition for the Kettering cup the teams were compelled to meet thrice before a decision was arrived at, two drawn games having been played and the local men eventually vanquished in a manner which disgusted all of their friends who witnessed the game.  On Saturday, the Town men avenged this reverse by beating the railway team by four goals to nil, and the credit of their victory is considerably heightened by the fact that Taylor was the only man in the eleven drawn from outside the town.  It was about 4 o’clock when the teams faced the referee in the following order:- Luton : Goal, J. Burley; backs, A. Sanders and J. Hoy; half-backs, G.J. Saddington (captain), J. Wright and A. Taylor; forwards, F.K. Whitby (centre), H. Hills, G. Deacon (right), H. Whitby and A. Whitby (left).  Wolverton: Goal, W. Anderson; backs, J. Davis and H. Coles (captain); half-backs, W.H. Williams, W. Brown and W. Parry; forwards;, W. Banton (centre), C. Lawless, A. Carroll (right), D. Mahoney and H. Birch (left).  The home team won the toss, and elected to defend the Dallow-lane goal, but there was no advantage in terms of position there being but little wind.  Almost immediately after Banton had kicked off the Lutonians pressed, and, for some time, the visitors goal was hotly assailed.  Anderson saving once or twice in splendid style.  The Wolverton representatives managed to retaliate, their left wing running the ball up the field in fine style and shooting about a foot wide of the post.  Some of the visitors were stridently of opinion that they had scored and appealed for a goal amidst great laughter from the spectators.  A similar shot by the railway men was followed by a magnificent long shot by H. Whitby from the left wing which bothered Anderson considerably, and though he managed to keep the ball out a “corner” followed.  This was unproductive, and the leather was kicked into the Luton ground, but the home forwards gradually worked it back again along the line by means of four “throw on,” and finished up by a hot though unsuccessful shot.  Almost directly afterwards, however, H. Whitby scored very smartly, this success being enthusiastically cheered.  Luton continued to have by far the better of the game until the half-way stage was reached, and they experienced very hard luck on several occasions.  At half-time the home eleven ere a goal ahead.  Soon after the re-start the ball was shot in in capital style and the visitors goal keeper in attempting to save held it behind his head for a space before throwing it out.  The locals promptly appealed for a goal, but this was disallowed The home team continued to press, and their forwards showed exceedingly good form, their passing being far better than usual.  When the game had been progressing for a considerable time Hills broke the monotony by obtaining a second notch for Luton, this resulting from some excellent combined play.  Lawless next distinguished himself by some smart runs, and soon afterwards Williams was injured and had to be carried from the ground, though fortunately he was enabled to resume about ten minutes later.  A third point for the Town club was secured from a “corner,” A. Whitby heading through, and a final goal was scored by F.K. Whitby from an excellent centre by his brother Harry.  The home eleven won on their merits, their opponents, though showing good form, being completely outplayed.  The Luton backs were as reliable as ever, while among the half-backs Saddington specially distinguished himself, his herculean frame being noticeable in almost every scrimmage.  Amongst the forwards the brothers Whitby were the most conspicuous, and the palm must be awarded to H. Whitby whose runs on the left and capital passing to the centre were very pleasing.  Deacon also played in plucky style, though his shots at goal were somewhat erratic.  On the Wolverton side Davis, Williams and Lawless played with great brilliancy, the first-named exhibiting particularly fine form.  The umpires were Messrs I. Smith (Luton), and H. Davis (Wolverton) and Mr F. Pitkin acted as referee.”  

How quickly football fortunes change.  The column “With bat, ball and bicycle” questioned how almost the same Wolverton team beat the Town in the Kettering Cup.  It goes on to conclude that 

“the result seems to bear out the opinion expressed a fortnight ago that combinations of brilliant individual players are not nearly so serviceable as more mediocre elevens who will play the game – which is to abandon “gallery” exhibitions and work together.  The Luton men on Saturday were acquainted with each other’s method, and showed a mutual trustfulness which was delightful to the onlooker as it was novel.  Never have the home forwards played a better passing game, and it was this that to a large extent won them the match.”   

This shows that some of the concerns highlighted after the Bedford 6 1 defeat must have been addressed.  There is talk in the paper of all but one of the players being from the town.  This indicates that at last the club realised that only local men would be able to practice together practice in between games.   There is also an indirect criticism of J.C. Lomax whose brilliance on the ball is unrivalled but whose team play is sorely lacking.  Eleven lesser players who play as a team is the preferred option for the newspaper and presumably for many of the fans.  It seems the committee had at last latched on too.  

The  column goes on 

“Among the home forwards preference must justly be given to Harry Whitby, who played very finely, his dribbling and accurate passing being frequently rewarded with applause.  His brother, Frank, was in good form in running and passing, but in front of goal he was somewhat slow to take advantage of the numerous opportunities to score which were offered him.  had he been a trifle smarter when near the posts the Luton total would have been much larger.  Deacon had been exhibiting better style lately, and on occasion he played a very dashing game, though he also was not as trustworthy in shooting as might have been wished.  the third of the Whitby brothers materially assisted his fellow forwards and at times did some useful work on his own account.  Of the half-backs Saddington was the most noticeable, and it was rarely indeed that he missed the ball.  Local players and spectators are beginning to realise that he is a valuable acquisition to the team, for not only does he struggle indefatigably himself but he keeps his companions up to this mark.  The other half-backs and backs were all unexceptional, Hoy fully justifying his selection”. 

Of the crowd behaviour;  

“Not the least satisfactory feature of the game was the excellent behaviour of that section of the crowd who generally render themselves conspicuous.  Recollections of what happened on the occasion of a former visit of the Wolvertonians were in the minds of many who visited the field, and it was feared that something of the kind would happen again.  Fortunately for the credit of the Luton spectators no disturbance took place; indeed I did not hear a murmur either of dissatisfaction or of the blackguardly language which I referred to a week or two ago.  The strictures which have been placed upon the malcontents seem to have had some effect, and the fervent hope of all who attend the matches is that the improvement will be a lasting one.”  

The F.A. Cup Final between Blackburn Rovers and Notts County was previewed.    County were the favourites on account of their 7 1 league victory the week before.  Cheap rail tickets, at 2/6, were available if at least 50 people were guaranteed to travel from the Midland Station at 12 o’clock.  They would see Rovers win by three goals to one.  

The Luton Charity Cup was in its final stages with Wolverton L. and N.W. meeting Windsor Phoenix in the semi-final.  The latter had just won the Berks. and Bucks Challenge Trophy for the third time by beating the 2nd Scots Guards in the final.  The other semi-final was between Bedford and Kettering fixed for the 28th March.  

The Luton Reporter was also keeping an eye out for corruption and pointed out an anomaly in the amount taken at the gate.  It asks why only about £8 was taken at the game with Bedford when £15 12s was taken at the Herts Cup semi-final at Hatfield.  It points out that what make the discrepancy even more striking is the fact that the members of the Town Club had to pay for admission.  

An interesting snippet concerns cycling this week –

“a fierce storm that set in 10 days ago making roads barely rideable since.  While some roads are being repaired it feared for the country roads and lamented “Oh! that there was a steam roller in every parish.”   It concluded by saying that there was little prospect of touring at Easter.”  

This highlights the problems that both players and spectators faced getting to some matches.  While rail was the preferred option it was not always available.  Players must have sometimes dreaded a cramped bumpy ride in a brake, where they had to push up some hills, and then play a game.  For spectators, it was cheaper to cycle to games, especially when there was no excursion arranged offering cheaper tickets.  

16th March 1891 committee meeting – gate money for sat 14th March £4 10s 10d.  Pavilion 3/8.  Team selected for St. John’s Stratford for sat 21st.  Wolverton declined 30/- but accepted 40/-.  

21st March 1891 – Luton Town v Stratford.  

“Played on the Athletic Grounds on Saturday and resulted in a runaway victory for the home team by 15 goals to one.  The visitors were completely outmatched at all points.  Several members of the Luton eleven again distinguished themselves, the brothers Whitby being particularly prominent”.  

“With bat, ball and bicycle” heaped praise on the team.  

“The members of the Luton Town team are again deserving of commendation, their performance of Saturday last having made a record for this district.  To beat a fair team by the large majority of 15 goals to one is an achievement of which they may well be proud, but on the other hand it must be confessed that their opponents were not nearly so strong as had been anticipated.  The havoc which the local men made of their adversaries combination was worth witnessing, and they seemed to be able to score whenever they liked, the Whitby brothers being conspicuous in their goal-getting.  Again the home team was entirely composed of local men, and the critics are unanimous in their high estimates of the combination and dashing play of the Town’s representatives”.  

The continued reference to local men in the team might be construed as a subtle anti-professionalism campaign.  Arguments that outsiders are not needed as local men have the talent and time to practice together, Luton does not need anyone else, etc.  I think that if the newspaper was against professionalism it would have said so in more forthright, but polite terms.  I believe they were justly proud that Luton lads could achieve success by learning the aspects of the beautiful game that some of their opponents had displayed. 

23rd March 1891 committee meeting – Teams selected against Anchor, Scots Guards, Dreadnought and Upton Rovers.  Gate money for sat 21st 36/10, pavilion 3/10.  

Blackburn Rovers v Notts County F.A. Cup Final report with pen sketches of some of the players appeared in the Luton Reporter on  28th March 1891.  Rovers won for the fifth time in front of 28,000 people at the Kennington Oval.  

The Luton Reporter of 4th April gave details of the Town’s Easter programme.  

“As usual at Easter the Luton Town Club executives had arranged a series of matches and these were decided with varying success.  There were good attendances, despite the unattractive nature of the weather.  The results were as follows:- Town v Anchor, played on Friday morning and ended in a win for the home reserves by four goals to two.  Town v 1st Scots Guards.  This was the best match of the series, and though the weather was wretchedly bad, there was a large gathering of onlookers.  The home team scored first, but they did not hold the lead long, for their opponents soon afterwards scored twice in about five minutes, the first of these goals being inadvertently scored for them by Cheshire, a Luton man.  The home players equalised later in the game, and until well on in the second half it seemed that a draw would be the result.  The soldiers ultimately succeeded in scoring a third point, however, and were enabled to maintain this advantage to the finish.  The home eleven were as follows: Goal, J. Burley: Backs, A. Sanders and J. Hoy: half-backs, G.J. Saddington, J. Wright and A. Taylor: forwards, F.K. Whitby, centre, H. Whitby, M. Cheshire, left, H. Hills and G. Deacon, right.  Town v West Ham Athletic.  Played on Monday morning and ended in the defeat of the home reserves by four goals to one.  Town v Upton Rovers.  This was the fixtures for Easter Monday afternoon and it resulted in the defeat of the visitors by five goals to nil.  The Rovers were a good team but their combination was shattered by the Luton backs.  The home eleven was with one exception that which played on Friday afternoon, the difference being that M. Cottam took the place of F.K Whitby.  What at one time threatened to become a serious disturbance took place during the afternoon.  An enclosure had been made for which an extra charge was levied, and several members resenting this they endeavoured to force their way to the pavilion, where refreshments were being sold.  The rush was stemmed, and the malcontents were turned back without further trouble ensuing”.  

“With bat ball and bicycle” commented that the game against the Guards was a formidable fixture and that the Town committee 

“had got together the very best team to be found without going away from home, and those selected worthily justified the trust reposed in them.  Playing against what was generally recognised as a stronger combination they prevented their opponents securing a runaway victory, and the final score of two goals to three was looked upon as a good performance.  The match was decided under difficulties, as far as the weather were concerned.  Snowstorms occurred at intervals, and at one time the fall was so thick that the players were unable to proceed and were compelled to seek shelter in the pavilion, while hundreds of spectators took advantage of the slightest shelter.”

It went on the add that 

“one or two Lutonians did not exhibit the form which they had led us to expect from their performances in the last few weeks, and the palm amongst the forwards on this occasion must be given to Deacon, whose dashing style was particularly noticeable.”  

The semi final of the Luton and District Charity Cup between Bedford and Kettering took place on the Saturday afternoon.  Half of the crowd was from the two teams playing.  Bedford had two players injured and Kettering ran out easy winners by six goals to one.  £35 was made for the Association.  Windsor Phoenix were considered the favourites for the other semi final.  

On the same weekend Watford Rovers won the Hertfordshire County Challenge Cup by beating St. Albans by five goals to two.  This was played at Hatfield in front of 2,000 spectators.  

31st March 1891 committee meeting –

Gate money for 

Good Friday morning £1 12s 1/2d Pav 2s 4d Total £1 14s 41/2d

Good Friday afternoon £10 14s 6d Pav £2 18s 2d Total £13 12s 8d

Easter Monday Morning £1 8s 0d Pav 2s 2d Total £1 10s 2d

Easter Monday afternoon £7 10s 3d Pav £2 6s 4d Total £9 16s 7d

Making a total for the holidays of £26 13s 91/2 d”

If it was 3d admission then we have 857 spectators for the Good Friday afternoon game. 

“Team selected for City Ramblers for sat april 4th.”  

“It was resolved that Hon Sec write to Crouch End expressing surprise at the treatment we have received from them, more especially as each time the dates were entered it was for their own convenience and placing the Town at a great disadvantage.  Under the circumstances the committee think it nothing but just to ask you to refund the amount it cost the club to visit Crouch End and failing this report it to the association”.  

On 4th April –

“Luton Town v City Ramblers.  The Town Club brought their season to a close on Saturday last with a match that had been arranged with the City Ramblers.  Both teams had faced each other on several former occasions, the London men generally coming off victorious, and the present contest was looked forward to by the devotees of the sport with considerable interest.  A good game was the result, and the play was of a very close character, the teams evidently evenly balanced.  The Luton men secured four goals and the visitors three, so the honours of the day rested with the home men”.  A short report lacking in detail of the last game that Luton Town Football Club would play as amateurs.  There was a more detailed report of Luton Montrose defeat of Watford St Mary’s by three goals to nil.  

6th April 1891 committee meeting – Gate money for 4th April £3 3s 4d, Pavilion 3/- .  Messrs Pitkin and Evans be auditors for season 90, 91.  

“Hon Sec pay £15 to central committee in order to square our account for rent”.  

On 11th April Windsor Phoenix did indeed win their Luton Charity Cup semi-final 2 0 against Wolverton L. and N.W. though not as easily as some thought.  The Luton Times estimated the crowd at 800.  This set up the final on the 18th April.  The Luton Reporter anticipated a record crowd with 1,500 expected from Kettering “as well as contingents from other parts of the district.”  The presentation of the cup and medals would take place in the Town Hall.  

“The medals, which were on view in Messrs. Beecroft and Co’s window last week, are 22 in number.  The centre bears the borough arms in enamel, and an inscription runs around the border.  The design is very pretty, and the medals, which are of sterling silver, are well worth winning.”  

An interesting review of St. George’s School, Harpenden, revealed that they had won 14 and drawn 1 of 15 games and it was said that they had never lost a home game.  

“The Luton Charity Cup Final

At length the question of who shall have the honour of holding the Luton Charity Cup for the first year has been decided, the final match taking place in the Athletic Grounds last Saturday.  The clubs who had fought their way through both have good reputations.  Windsor Phoenix, who defeated Wolverton in the previous week, were winners of the Berks and Bucks Cup, and they had achieved the distinction of eliminating from the present contest the 2nd Scots Guards, who had been thought to have a great chance of winning the trophy.  Kettering was the other team, and they also came with a splendid record, for in the three rounds of the cup competition in which they had been engaged they had won with ease and had only one goal scored against them.  The results of the games played by Kettering were : Irthlingborough were beaten 10 goals to nil; Rushden vanquished three to nil; Bedford knocked out by six to one.  The attendance at Saturday’s match was by far the largest that had ever been experienced in Luton.  The weather was brilliantly fine, though a cold wind was blowing, and the welcome sunshine seemed to have had an effect on bringing out all those who were interested in the struggle.  It was computed that there were about 3,500 present, and to show that this is a fairly correct estimate it may be stated that £53 was taken at the gates.  The Kettering people turned out in great form to see their champions play, and two excursion trains conveyed 1,400 or 1,500 from Kettering and the neighbourhood.  Most of the visitors bore upon their hats or in their buttonholes cards with the legend “Play up, Kettering” while others had the same injunction stamped upon ivy leaves.  At the time for commencing the match it was next to impossible to obtain a position near the ropes, and a large number took advantage of the rising ground towards Dallow Lane.  Despite the fact that the partisans became naturally excited there was not the least approach to a disturbance, and the behaviour of the spectators was exemplary.  

The Game

Play had been announced to commence at 4 o’clock and for once operations were begun punctually.  the teams faced the central ring in the following order:- Kettering: Goal, J. Whilley; backs, A. Wood and W. Draper; half-backs, H. Curtis, W. Robinson and J. Newman; forwards, A.B. Panter, centre (captain), H. Dixon, H. Ball, right; C Dixon and A. Bradley, left.  Windsor: Goal, T. Husted; backs, A.W. Brown and H.C. Davenport (captain; half-backs, F. Casbourne, H. Hill and C. Thompson; forwards, H.H. Phillips, centre, F. Nichol and J.J. Earle, right, R. Hyslop and H.E. Lewis, left.  Windsor won the toss and elected to play with the wind, Kettering, who had the sun in their eyes, having to defend the goal at the railway end.  Panter kicked off and he and his fellow wearers of the blue jerseys went off with great dash.  Windsor, who were attired in white, were compelled to act of the defensive, and despite the fact that their backs exerted themselves strenuously they had the first point of the match scored against them, Kettering obtaining advantage in less than a minute from the start.  The Phoenix next took their time at pressing, and so well did they respond to the example set them by Phillips that for two or three minutes the operations were entirely confined to the neighbourhood of Whilley’s charge.  The backs on the Kettering side emerged from the fray with honour, however, the ball being rapidly conveyed thereafter into the Windsor bounds.  Nichol obtained possession and made a very fine run down the line, but his attempt at goal was unsuccessful.  The Northants men again attacked fiercely and things looked ominous for the Windsor players, but Davenport was equal to the occasion, though in averting the danger he conceded a “corner.”  The shot which followed was an excellent one, the leather falling right in the mouth of the goal, and after a hard struggle the sphere was kicked into the keeper’s hands.  One of the Kettering forwards rushed up and endeavoured to knock Husted through the goal with the ball in his possession, but the Phoenix man exhibited the utmost coolness and succeeded in throwing out, but the ball went over the goal-line and another “corner” followed.  Shortly afterwards Earle ran the ball down the right wing in magnificent style and finished up by centering in such a way that to score was comparatively easy.  This was done and the score then read “one-all.”  Kettering were not content with this position, and playing with first-rate combination they retaliated half a minute later, this further notch putting them ahead again.  For a considerable period hereafter give and take continued to be the order, but at length the leaders exerted themselves strenuously and after a hot tussle in front of goal they increased their advantage by adding another goal.  This practically decided the match, for whereas until now the Phoenix had been exhibiting good style and admirable individual play, they afterwards fell off appreciably and scarcely flattered their supporters.  Kettering on the other hand were cheered on by the encouraging shouts of their numerous partisans, and they did not at all relax their efforts in the first half.  Again and again they looked like scoring, but Husted behaved nobly in defence of his charge, some very hot attempts on his fortress being admirably frustrated.  One of these resulted in the discomfiture of Panter, the opposing centre forward.  He and his fellow forwards had by some first-class passing taken the ball down the field, and Bradley had made a capital shot at goal, the leather going into Husted’s hands.  Panter attempted to knock the goal keeper through the posts, but was himself knocked down and Husted kicked the ball half-way down the field.  The Kettering forwards, after some good individual play by the Phoenix, managed to transfer the scene of operations to the opposite end and they eluded the vigilance of Davenport, who had been playing magnificently.  The back, however, pursued his opponents and deprived them of possession , a feat which was rewarded with general applause.  From now until the mid-way stage was reached the blues continued to have the best of the exchanges, and it was only Husted’s reliability that saved his side from a very heavy defeat.  Time after time he fisted or kicked out, and he was kept heavily employed for good shots were sent in by both wings and by the centre half-back, one of these being steered over the bar with surprising smartness.  Almost immediately after restarting the Northants players secured a fourth point, though this was not conceded without a slight dispute, and they placed the issue almost beyond doubt directly afterwards by kicking yet another goal , this being obtained from a grand centre by Bradley.  During a scrimmage which took place in front of the uprights just before this was effected the Windsor goal-keeper was hurt but fortunately he was not seriously injured and was enabled to resume.  The half-hour’s play which followed needs little description, for the leaders seemed to contents themselves with playing on the defensive, while members of the other team were apparently daunted by the overwhelming nature of the odds against them.  Occasionally spurts were made, especially by the winning eleven, but on the whole the exhibition during the second portion was decidedly disappointing.  Just before the call of time, when Kettering won by five goals to one, an unfortunate accident happened to Phillips, the Windsor centre forward.  He lay on the ground for some minutes in great pain, but was ultimately enabled to leave the ground and proceed to the pavilion.  He was subsequently conveyed to the Cottage Hospital, where it was found that he was injured internally.  The blowing of the referee’s whistle at the end of the encounter was the signal for a great outburst of enthusiasm, many of the Kettering visitors surrounding their representatives and warmly congratulating them.  It must be added that in justice to the losers that they lacked the assistance of four prominent exponents of the scientific game who had expected to play for them, and though their presence would not have turned the tables it would no doubt have resulted in lowering the score.  The referee was Mr C. Squires (London), and Messrs F. Pitkin and L. Smith (Luton) were umpires, and it is satisfactory to state that their decisions met with general acceptance.  

The Presentation

The cup and medals were presented immediately after the match in the Town Hall.  There was a very large crowd outside the hall to listen to a performance by the Kettering Town Prize Band, while inside there was a large number of supporters of the winning team and others interested in the matter.  Mr F. Beecroft presided, and those present on the platford, in addition to the members of the team, included Messrs. N. Newman, H.T. Favell, C. Henson, F. Barlow (Kettering), Alderman Alexander (ex-Mayor), Mr G. Sell (Deputy Town Clerk), Councillor Dillingham, Messrs H. Beecroft, G. Ordish, G. Fryson, F. Hucklesby, G.H. Small, S.W. Smith, T. Cain, J.G. Hurst, C. Plummer, F.W. Hill, T.N. Hughes, A. Wilkinson, F. Pitkin, I. Smith, W. Smith, J. Squires, G. Squires and C. Squires (referee).  The teams were loudly applauded on taking their places.  The cup stood on the edge of the platform, and it presented an attractive appearance.  It is a handsome trophy, and well worth winning.  It bears upon one side the name of the competition, and on the other a capitally executed illustration of a struggle on the football field.  The borough arms appear on a shield, and upon a couple of blocks at the sides are representations of a lion and a greyhound, these denoting strength and fleetness.  Over all appears the figure of Victory.  the medals were arranged on the chairman’s table; they are of silver with the town arms in coloured enamel.  

The Chairman said before calling upon the ex-Mayor to present the trophies he would like to explain the origins of the cup competition.  At the end of last season it was thought by a few enthusiasts that there was no reason why they should not have a charity cup for Luton and district (hear, hear, and applause).  Mr Pitkin called a meeting, which was presided over by Alderman Alexander, the then Mayor, and a committee was formed with a view of seeing what money could be obtained.  They soon had their minds set at rest about the financial aspect of the question, for they met with a ready response from lovers of the game.  In forming the committee it was thought advisable to keep away from the Town Club, and, he might state that there was not a single member of the Town Club Committee on the cup committee.  Mr Beecroft afterwards went on to say that the Town Club met the Terriers and the Montrose – two locals teams – and came through very successfully, but they next met Bedford, and were unexpectedly kicked out (laughter).  With regard to that day’s match, the play had shown that the two teams, if not the best, were as good as any in the competition.  All he could say about the defeated team, if he might be allowed to alter one of our statesmen’s sayings was that they had suffered “defeat with honour” (applause).  This was the first time they had the pleasure of seeing the Windsor team in Luton, and they hoped it would not be the last (applause).  Kettering were well known to them; they had had many friendly games together, and they remembered with pleasure the kind, warm and generous support the Luton team always received at Kettering.  He hoped that next season would bring forth as good games as they had this season, and that the two teams now present might be as high up in the competition as they were this season (loud applause).  He concluded by introducing

The EX-MAYOR (Alderman Alexander) to present the cup and medals.  Mr Alexander observed that it gave him great pleasure to preside over the meeting, seeing that this was the first charity cup that Luton had ever been proponent of.  They had some excellent play that day, and no doubt they had had similar exhibitions at other times.  As Mr Beecroft had said they were well acquainted with Kettering, and it was to be hoped that they might become so well acquainted with Windsor (applause).  The honour of distributing the beautiful prizes before him had been given him by the committee inasmuch as he gave the first kick on the new ground.  The matches which had taken place there since had afforded a fair amount of pleasure to the spectators and had been a source of enjoyment to those engaged in them.  Most of them had looked forward with great interest to the cup matches, seeing that the proceeds were to be handed over to three charitable institutions.  He was sorry that one of the Windsor men was now lying in the Cottage Hospital, which was to benefit from the matches; he was sorry for the mishap but in all English games things of that kind would happen.  The other money was to go to the Children’s Home – which he hoped before long would be on a larger scale.   – and to the Medical Institute.  I have now, proceeded Alderman Alexander, the honour of presenting to you, the Kettering team, in the name of the committee of the Luton Football Charity Association, this very handsome and valuable up as the champion team to hold for twelve month with the anticipation of becoming its owner (great applause, which was renewed when Mr Panter, the captain of the team, stepped forward to receive the cup).  The cup you have fought bravely for and you have gained the supremacy, and I hope you feel proud of the high and distinguished honour which you have won (applause).  No doubt next year you will be all your tact and ability to maintain your excellent position (applause).  Allow me to congratulate all players who have taken part in the competition for this cup: all cannot be successful but the motto is “Try and try again.”  Referring afterwards to the medals, the speaker said the motto which they bore was good – “We live and rise by our industry.”  Might that motto inspire them all to do their duty (loud applause).  

Mr Panter, who was accorded an enthusiastic reception on coming forward with the cup in his arms, expressed the pride which he felt as being able to receive such a reward on behalf of his club.  He was very pleased that they had been victorious; they had obtained success through practising together and all doing their best.  Now they had got the cup they were going to try very had to keep it next year.  

Mr H Beecroft proposed a vote of thanks to the ex-Mayor, and remarked that Alderman Alexander helped them considerably in the starting of the competition.  He would like at the same time to acknowledge how much the Kettering people had assisted them.  They had considerably helped the “gate,” and the committee esteemed them greatly for it.  

Mr C. Plummer seconded and the vote was passed.  a similar vote having been accorded to the referee and umpires, on the motion of Mr A. Wilkinson, seconded by Mr F. Hucklesby, the proceedings closed.  

The members of the teams with the officials of the Association and a number of friends afterwards took tea together in Mr Rudd’s rooms, and votes of thanks to the opposing teams were heartily passed”.  

The Luton Times adds that the after the Kettering players after receiving their medals 

“met with a hearty reception from their townsmen.  A procession was formed with a drag, conveying the team in the middle and marched through the town, the Rifle Band playing “The Conquering Hero”, while the Town Band which had accompanied the players to luton, brought up the rear.”  

With Bat, ball and bicycle commented that the 

“most striking feature of the display by the victors was the first-rate combination amongst the forwards.  All through the match they were invariably in line, and so well did they set in concert that scarcely a mistake was made in passing the ball at the critical juncture”.  

This combination play and the mention by the Kettering captain that “practising together’ was a major factor in their victory.  It must have been just the ammunition that some had been waiting for.  

The crowd was a 

“very large one, and the executive will be able to add a goodly sum to the total already in hand.  The amount taken at the gates for the three matches is over £100 but the expenses are very heavy.  The three institutions which the committee is designed to aid will, however, receive goodly contributions.” 

Finally, the column mentions the local support that the people of Kettering gave the Straw Plaiters in the Kettering Cup Final against Grantham Rovers.  A cheap excursion by rail had been arranged so that the people of Luton could return the support in Kettering’s final replay against Grantham.  

The Luton Reporter ends the season with a report on the death of a Young player in the North east.  A Laverton-Hill St. John’s player called Joseph Walter Blades was chasing down the goalkeeper who threw the ball away.  The goal keeper seeing him coming raised his knee and caught Blades.  Five witnesses gave evidence to the Coroner that he could have stepped out of the way of Blades but chose not to.  The goalkeeper said that he was not aware that he could not put his knee up despite having played for several years.  The offender was reprimanded.  The jury found that the referee and umpire were at fault for not strictly adhering to the rules of the Football Association.  The Coroner asked them to write to the Football Association to say that unnecessary roughness was increasing in the game.   The editorial of the Reporter commented by criticising the goalkeeper’s actions, not football as a whole.  

With Bat, Ball and Bicycle of the 2nd May announced that 

“it is satisfactory that the local Charity Cup Association have succeeded in their first year in making about £60 profit”.  However, it was stated that this was put in the shade by the taking at Kettering which netted £310 against £103 at Luton.  “the Northants people were very fortunate in getting two draws in the final round: by the bye such draws seem to be fashionable, and they necessarily gladden the hearts of charity cup committees.  The three bouts for the final at Kettering brought £227 into the coffers of the Association, made up as follows: £58, £91 (on Saturday last when a large contingent went over from Luton) and £78.  It is computed that upwards of 20,000 persons paid to witness the five matches which constituted the semi-finals and the final.”   

A collection was made at Kettering for Phillips the Windsor forward injured in the final of the Luton Charity Cup final.  The spontaneous collection raised £3 10s for him.   

The 9th May 1891 Luton Recorder gave the financial details of the Luton Charity Cup.  

“The annual meeting of the subscribers to this cup was held in the council chamber on Wednesday night when the Mayor (Alderman Toyer) presided, and there was a fair attendance.  The Secretary (Mr G. Fyson) presented the year’s balance sheet.  This showed total receipts of £114 10s, and on the other side the principal items were :- Medals, £15; railway fares, £14 17s 4d; equal donations to the Cottage Hospital, Children’s Home and Friendly Institute £45.  The amount handed to the Cup reserve fund was £13 10s 6d., and there was a small balance of 4s.  Mr Fyson stated that the amounts of the subscriptions to the cup fund was £42 13s, and that the cost of the cup was £41 3s 6d.  The balance-sheet was regarded as satisfactory, and was adopted on the motion of Mr S. Pride, seconded by Mr Evans.  The rule fixing the annual meeting for April was altered in order that the meeting might be held in April or May, it being stated that in the event of a draw in the final match it would be impossible to meet in April.  Mr. C. Plummer had given notice of motion to amend the rule relating to the contributions to the three institutions to be benefited, this at present providing that the proceeds should be equally divided amongst them.  Mr Plummer moved to expunge the word “equally,” and said his reason for doing so was that in some years one of the institutions might be more in need of funds than the others.  He disclaimed any idea of wishing to eliminate the Medical Institute.  The Secretary, in reply to Mr Smith, stated that the three institutions had acknowledged the donations and neither of them had raised any demur to the amount.  Mr G. Ordish (Treasurer) seconded the motion, and said that the Medical Institute seemed to be a most flourishing condition, and it did not seem to him that they should subsidise a really profitable, paying concern.  On the other hand the Cottage Hospital authorities that they were £140 to the bad on the year.  Mr S. Pride opposed the motion, observing that it was thrashing a dead horse.  He denied that the Hospital was destitute of funds, and said they had several hundred pounds invested.  The speaker made a strong appeal on behalf of the Medical Institute, and in passing observed that the managers had pledged themselves to use the money received from the Charity competition for assisting poor persons to obtain fresh air at the seaside in their convalescent homes.  Mr H. Beecroft having supported the motion, the Secretary remarked that he did not see any reason for the alteration of the rule, for if they did so they would be enabling each successive committee to give larger sums to the institutions they particularly favoured than they at present could do.  After further discussion, Mr Plummer withdrew the motion, remarking that he had not the slightest animosity against the Institution.  The list of office-bearers was constituted as follows:- Vice Presidents, Messrs A. Carruthers and F. Beecroft; Treasurer, Mr G. Ordish; secretary, Mr G. Worboys; Committee, Messrs C. Dillingham, G. Browning, C. Plummer, A. Wilkinson, A.E. Booth, G. Squires, J. Squires, H. Beecroft and G. Fyson”.  

Luton Town’s record for the season was published in the following format.

Grove House100
City Ramblers110
93rd Highlanders010
Great Marlow011
Dunstable Grammar School200
Tottenham Hotspurs100
Luton Montrose100
Old St. Mark’s101
Luton Terriers100
St. George’s School, Harpenden011
London Caledonians100
Guy’s Hospital100
Millwall Athletic100
St. John’s Stratford100
1st Scots Guards010
Upton Rovers100
Crouch End010

The games against Dunstable Grammar School, Anchor, Dreadnought, Star and Crouch end were reserve games.  

“With Bat, Ball and Bicycle” announced that games had already been arranged for next season against Casuals, Clapton, Marlow, St. Mark’s College, Old St. Mark’s, Guy’s Hospital, 1st Scots Guards, Millwall Athletic, Kettering, City Ramblers, Watford Rovers, Upton Rovers, Crouch End, Barnes and Woodville.