CHAPTER 30. MEN IN RED WITH STAR
This new shirt was adopted at the beginning of the 1892/93 season. It would be worn until 1896 and symbolises the rise of the club from also-rans to the third best in the South. If you want to read more about the shirt then go to Shirt Colours 1885-1896
The 8 pointed star is the first known Luton Town F.C. badge. Its meaning is unknown but you can read the options here 8 Pointed star badge While the coat of arms of your home town cannot be beaten, for me, the 8 pointed star comes a close second.
The “Reformers” had been elected to the club committee and they set about imposing new ideas. By far the most important step was to appoint J.W. Juian as player coach. Julian was captain of Royal Arsenal but was displaced by professionalism. When the rules on professionalism were relaxed in 1889 many excellent Scots were able to take advantage and came down to the North and Midland clubs. This displaced many very decent footballers who in turn came South. Julian had been displaced from the Royal Arsenal first team and wanted first team football. The Reformers took a gamble on his wages – a massive 30 shillings a week – which was just about a living wage and Julian had a job in Plumstead too. That, and other ambitions of the Reformers, cost money.
The Reformers also graded games as far as admission was concerned. 3d had been the usual charge but 6d was introduced for popular games such as that against West Herts. A crowd of 1,500 to 2,000 would have been the norm for such a game. They got a 1,000 crowd so no money was lost. Admission prices had to go up to pay for the next stage of the Reformers ambition – the club centre forward, Oclee, could not play leaving a gap. That would be filled by one of the greatest forwards the club has ever had, Hugh Galbraith (Chapter 33).
13th August 1892 Luton Reporter.
With bat ball and bicycle –
“I notice that Luton Town Football Club are included in the ninth division in the English Cup competition, the other teams in the division being:- City Ramblers, Casuals, Newbury, Swindon Town, Chesham Generals, Old Cranleighans, West Herts, Old Etonians, Kettering, Marlow, Old Wykehamists, Chesham, St. Mary’s (Southampton), Maidenhead and Wolverton (L. and N.W.).
Apropos of the competition the Evening News has the following:- “for some reason or other several well-known clubs have deemed it right to withhold their support from this competition, the winning of which constitutes the blue riband of the football world. There has been some threat by those who disagree with the employment of professional players of instituting an Amateur Cup, and this may have had the effect of deterring two or three Old Boy clubs from entering. It is hoped that they will now take advantage of the extension of time granted by the association. Professionalism has gained too strong a hold on the public favour for any combination of amateurs, however strong, to think of using the boycott. Besides, two can play at that game, and should the amateurs prove obstinate they might find that they would have few clubs of eminence to play, and their own matches would create but a feeble interest amongst lovers of football.
INTERLUDE – J.B. Challen played for Somersetshire against Lancashire scoring 13 and 8. The following week he scored 47 against Notts and 72 against Middlesex.
16th August 1892 committee meeting –
“Letter received from Mr Ewen. “Hon Sec explained that he had called the meeting to settle the matter with regard to Mr Ewen’s letter. The matter was freely discussed after which Mr Shane offered to find the amount required until the Hon Sec could arrange for repayment. After which it was unanimously resolved that the best thanks of the meeting be tendered to Mr Shane for the way he had helped the committee out of a difficulty.”
22nd August 1892 committee meeting –
“Letter received from Mr Flavell (Kettering) with respect to our entering Kettering Charity Cup Competition the committee confirmed the former resolution relating to the same.
List of Patrons was read and names taken by committee.
Resolved that Hon Sec obtain 2 dozen badges Luton Town Football Club
That 1st eleven play 2nd eleven on Sat Sep 10th. Referee and linesmen to be appointed weekly”
27th August 1892 Luton Reporter.
“FOOTBALL. – The draw for the qualifying competition of the Football association Cup took place at a meeting of the Association on Tuesday evening, with the result that Luton Town, who are in the ninth division, find themselves pitted against Old St. Marks. Luton have encountered Old St. Marks on more than one occasion, and have always given a good account of them, so that the local team enter the first round of the competition this year with very good prospects. The match, which will take place on October 15th, will be played at Luton. The teams in this division are :- Preliminary round : Old Wykehamists v Old Harrovians, Old Etonians v Norwich C.E.Y.M.S., Old Westminsters v Thorpe (Norwich). Round proper: Hunts County v Swifts, Surbiton Hill v Polytechnic, Old Westminsters or Thorpe (Norwich) v Old Brightonians, Wolverton v Casuals, Old Etonians or Norwich C.E.Y.M.S. v 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters, Old Wykehamists or Old Harrovians v Ipswich, Luton Town v Old St. Marks, West Herts v Crusaders. The preliminary round is to be played on October 1 and the round proper on October 15.”
29th August 1892 committee meeting –
“terms offered by the Travellers Society for the insurance of the teams be accepted.
That the following constitute the 1st eleven to meet the 2nd eleven on Sept 10th
J. Burley goal
Saunders and Hoy Backs
Wright, Julian and Taylor half backs
F. Whitby, H. Whitby left wing
J. Simpkins centre
Oclee, Brown right wing
Resolved that the match be played in the town ground if possible admission 3d. failing this on the People’s Park kick off 4PM.
Hon Sec distributed the badges mentioning that it must be generally understood members are expected to wear them whether on duty or not, also that in the event of any member losing it he must replace the same.
Resolved that the Hon sec obtain 350 sets of rules
The Committee appointed to draw up a set of rules presented the following which was carried unanimously
- The club shall be called The Luton Town Football Club
- That it be managed by a committee of non playing members composed as follows:- Treasurer, Secretary, Assistant Secretary and 13 committee men, who shall be elected by ballot at the annual general meeting. The whole to retire annually, but to be eligible for re-election. Five to form a quorum and all vacancies on this committee to be filled at first committee meeting following such vacancies
- That the names of members nominated for office must be received by the secretary, together with the names of their proposers and seconders, at least 5 clear days before the annual general meeting in each year. None but ticket holders shall be eligible for nomination.
- Members only shall have the power to vote at any meeting of the club
- that the annual general meeting be held in the month of May in each year, at which the officers for the ensuing year shall be elected. Each member shall receive a list of the names of the members nominated for office at the Annual General Meeting
- That the secretary shall call a Special general meeting at any time either by order of the committee or by a requisition signed by not less than thirty bona-fide members of the club, such requisition, with the reasons assigned stated thereon, together with a fee of 15/-, to be placed in the hands of the Secretary, who shall call such a meeting.
- That two auditors shall be appointed by the committee at either of their meetings
- VIII.That the minimum subscription shall be as follows. Patrons 10/6 per annum; members 5/- per annum.
- The committee shall have power to remove playing member, or members, from the team, on giving such player, or players, 14 days notice thereof in writing.
- That the club year be understood to last from the 1st September to the 31st August in the following year
- That the selection of captains be made by the committee such selection to stand for a whole season, except under special circumstances
- that all members of either team while on the field of play, shall act strictly in accordance with the ruling of the captain, who shall have power to order any member misconducting himself to appear before the committee at the first committee meeting following the offence, when the matter shall be dealt with
- XIII.That the colours of the club be Red, and dark blue or black knicks
- XIV.That the surplus funds of the club (if any) be invested in the names of two members who shall be selected by the committee
- That in the event of the club being dissolved such dissolution to take place only by a vote of two thirds of the members , the funds after paying all debts shall be given to the local hospitals, dispensaries and the like.
- XVI.That notice of motion for alteration of any of these rules must be placed in the hands of the Secretary, together with the proposer and seconder of same, seven days before the annual general meeting in each year, such notice to be placed on the agenda of business at the Annual General Meeting”.
Interlude From the in house publication “The Polytechnic Magazine” of The Polytechnic, Young Men’s Christian Institute, 309 Regent Street, London September 1892. More evidence that the 6 a side game was popular.
“We commence earlier this year than in previous ones, with a six-a-side contest for the first team at Walthamstow, on September 10th, and the opening match will take place in the biscuit centre against Reading”.
5th Sept 1892 committee meeting –
“Resolved that the matter of playing 12 reserves be left in their own hands to do as they think proper.
Ground not available on Sat 10th but it could be had at the charge of £1 0s 0d. It was also shown that this sum would include the ground being got ready. Resolved we play on the town ground.
Referee for Saturday 10th, Mr Smith. Linesmen Messrs Hughes and Shane.
A matter was then brought forward as to whether it would be wise to have Brodie’s nets attached to our goals. This was freely discussed but ultimately it was resolved to do without them at present.
Mr Wilkins agreed to meet Mr J.W. Julian.
It was resolved that Hon Sec interview Mr Deacon with regard to the public entering his meadow in order to see our matches.
The ground was in “Clumpers Dell according to the 1844 Tithe Map.
10th September 1892 Luton Reporter.
“FOOTBALL PROSPECTS IN LUTON AND DISTRICT
The season has now arrived when the summer pastime of English people gives place to the more widely patronised winter game, and already many of the Northern football clubs are in full operation. Locally the ball has not yet been set rolling by the more important teams, but in the course of a week or so these will in their turn be engaged. Of course the eyes of the residents of this locality turn with greatest interest to the doings of the Luton clubs, especially the Town Club. It is surprising to note with what remarkable rapidity the game has worked its way into popular favour here. Half a dozen years ago but little was heard regarding it, while now almost the youngest of the male residents is fully posted on the subject. This widespread interest has led to the establishment of a large number of minor clubs, and though the total will not quite reach that of last year, there will still be a goodly batch of teams engaged Saturday by Saturday. The success of the premier club is, of course, accountable in no slight degree for this state of affairs. Judging by the existing conditions there seems an excellent prospect of the Town Club making an even better name for itself than it has hitherto succeeded in doing. The honour which was won last year of becoming champions of the division in the English Cup has, coupled with the success achieved in ordinary matches, stimulated the authorities to yet more enterprising steps, and already the new blood which has been infused into the committee seems to be making itself felt. It is unfortunate that financial considerations should have hampered the managers in carrying into effect so thorough a reorganisation of the team as could have been wished, but the alterations which have been effected are by no means to be despised. It has been well known for some time that J.W. Julian, of the Royal Arsenal, would occupy the post of centre half-back which was vacated by H. Paul, who has in the past done yeoman service for the organisation. His record is a good one, an it is expected that his inclusion will not only strengthen the team but will lead to an accession of smartness which was wanting in some quarters last year. The back division with this exception is likely to remain unaltered. It is amongst the forwards that the principal alteration will be found. W. Chesher will be missing from the wing, but J. Simpkins is to be given a place in the eleven as centre forward. The brother Frank and Harry Whitby will in all likelihood be found working together on one wing, while H.W. Oclee (who was really a wing man though he was centre man last year) will be joined on the other side of the field by R. Brown, who created so favourable impression at the end of last season. Tomorrow will witness the commencement of operations, though the fixture is merely a club match, and it will scarcely be possible for a week or two to accurately determine the capabilities of the new men. The programme which the members of the Club have before them is by far the best that has ever been arranged, and there seems a probability that the admirers of the game will be provided with an abundance of opportunities of indulging their liking. The other Luton clubs will also be busily engaged in a week or two.
So far as the Charity Cup competition is concerned the committee have taken a very wise course in exempting the most prominent club in each of the four divisions until the third round. This will obviate the inconvenience which was occasioned last year, and will have the effect of leaving the clubs named out of the competition until the final for the divisions. The ties in the first round are to be played off on or before November 5, and the draw is as follows, the first-named club in each case having choice of ground :- Division 1 – Wellingborough Town v Raunds Unity; Rushden, bye: Finedon (exempt). Division 2 – Chesham Generals v Newport Pagnell; Wolverton L. and N.W. v Banbury Harriers; Luton Town (exempt). Division 3 – Windsor and Eton Victoria v Chesham; Cricklewood v 2nd Coldstream Guards; Millwall Athletic (exempt). Division 4 – Biggleswade v Hitchin; Luton Montrose, bye: 2nd Scots Guards (exempt).
At Dunstable there seems little prospect of anything very important being done. The Grammar School team are not nearly so strong as at cricket, and they will only play the Luton Town second string, while the Town Club are not of a very high calibre.
St. Albans footballers are bestirring themselves, and they have an excellent programme. The principal fixtures for the season are with the 2nd Scots Guards, City Ramblers, London Caledonians, Casuals, Vulcans, Coldstream Guards etc. While the most prominent players will be S.F.P. Moore, S.M. Stanley, the Rev C.W. Bennett, W and G. Goodliffe, J.W. Dickson, J.W. Sharpe, and R.N. and M. Sharpe. For the first part of the season it is expected that the club will use their old ground, but they are hoping for the new recreation ground which is being prepared by Sir J. Blundell Maple M.P., to be ready for use before the end of the season.
Considerable interest is taken in this neighbourhood in the doings of the West Herts. Club, who have this season a grand list of fixtures. In the English Cup contest they are drawn against Crusaders, while amongst the ordinary fixtures are : Chatham, Casuals, Millwall Athletic, London Caledonians, Vampires, Uxbridge, Chesham, St. Bart’s and Guy’s Hospitals, London Welsh etc.”
With Bat Ball and Bicycle commented as follows;
“To the list of Town Club fixtures already published have now to be added matches with Clapton on December 24 (at home) and February 11 (away). It is satisfactory to note that the boundaries of the division of the English Cup contest, in which the Lutonians are included, are this year considerably reduced, and that there is little prospect of the homesters being troubled with so long a journey as that which they twice had to take last year, if they survive the first round – which I do not greatly fear.
Speaking of the leaven of “reformers” which has been introduced into the Town Club committee this year, a correspondents says : “The number of new players introduced into the team has been a considerable expense and may not satisfy some of the more radical, but the committee has already incurred sufficient liability for one season at least, and they will need great support to come out on the right side. If they do this we shall doubtless see further “importations” next year. They have acted at least wisely, for to please everybody they would have had to spend so freely that in a few weeks we should have read a notice on the gate that the club had suspended payment to players and play for spectators until some of the George-street fault finders had paid their subscriptions as patrons. A member of the committee remarked to me the other day that these said young men who suggest such sweeping alterations in the teams generally and gently change the subject when the necessary guinea is suggested to them.”
I am told the the Town Reserves played a good game on the Moor last Saturday and defeated the Excelsiors by nine to one. They intend to show us what they are made of tomorrow. I hear they are determined to beat the “professionals” or at least give them a fright. Certainly some of them know a thing or two in football matters. Thanks to the influence of a certain “gentleman of leather” in the neighbourhood of the Children’s Home they have been preparing themselves and debating matters for some weeks to the sound of the hammer.
It having been reported that Lord Battersea had declined to contribute to the funds of the Town Football Club, I am requested by the Secretary (Mr Smith) to state that the only communication he has had from his lordship was one received some time since enclosing his usual subscription of one guinea.
10th September 1892. From the Luton Reporter of 17th September 1892.
“Luton Town v Reserves
This match formed the opening fixture of the Town Club’s list, and it was decided on the Athletic Ground on Saturday in presence of a goodly number of onlookers. The match was rendered more interesting from the opportunity which it afforded of enabling enthusiasts to judge the changes which have recently been made in the constitution of the first eleven. As has been previously intimated the principal change was the substitution of J.W. Julian, of the Royal Arsenal, for H. Paul, at centre half-back. He is a very capable player, and the critics were fully satisfied on Saturday with his performance. J. Simpkins was given a trial in the centre, but he was scarcely so successful as could have been wished, his efforts being devoid of the dash and brilliancy which are indispensable to a good centre forward. The backs were in fine form and the other members of the eleven played fairly well, but on the whole their style was distinctly disappointing. They were at no period of the game in that dashing form which was frequently exhibited last year and it was generally agreed that if they want to win many of the better class matches which they have in store they will require to smarten up considerably. The Reserves, on the contrary, exhibited surprisingly good style, and when the end came they had achieved a well-deserved victory by three goals to one. Simpkins credited the Town Club with their solitary point, while the goals for the winners were notched by Dimmock, Allen and Warren. Teams:- Luton Town: Goal, J. Burley; backs A. Sanders and J. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian, A.H. Taylor (captain) and J. Wright; forwards, J. Simpkins (centre), H.W. Oclee, R. Brown (right), H. Whitby and F.K. Whitby (left). Reserves: Goal, W. Lawson; backs, W. Day, W. Cheshire and C. Read; half-backs, W. Boston, J. Watkins and T. Pakes; forwards, F. Allen (centre), J. Read, A. Warren (right), J. Dimmock and G. Groom (left). Referee Mr I. Smith; umpires, Messrs Shane and Wilkins.)” The reserves appear to have played with 12 men.
12th September 1892 committee meeting –
“Team selected against Old Stephens’ for Sept 17th. Simpkins to take centre position if well enough otherwise be left in Hon Sec’s hands.
Carried unanimously “that Mr J.W. Julian captain the 1st team” and “Mr Cheshire captain 2nd team”.
“It was pointed out that things had been heard by committee men which clearly showed a certain amount of jealousy existed in parts of our team. It was therefore thought expedient that as Mr Julian was about to take the captaincy he might have a few words with the team before the match on Saturday the 17th with this view it was resolved that a small committee consisting of Messrs Pitkin and Shane with the Hon Sec should meet Mr Julian on Saturday 17th and explain matters to him”.
“resolved that Mr J. Dimmock be allowed upon the ground with nuts, fruit etc at the charge of £1.
The Luton News of the 15th September 1892.
“One point I must mention is the change of colours adopted by the first eleven. The shirts are now used are more of a claret than a red but I suppose the team may be dubbed the “reds” all the same. The change is a distinct improvement, for last season’s colours were not wonderfully taking to the eye.”
15th September 1892 – Special committee meeting.
“Hon Sec read a letter from Mr C. A. Meggs which explained why the meeting was called. This letter was freely discussed and eventually it was carried that the Hon Sec should offer the City Ramblers 30/- for their first team to meet us on our ground on Saturday the 24th”.
“Hon Sec also read a letter from Mr L. Oclee explaining that his brother is ill and would not be able to play on Saturday. Simpkins also was hardly fit for playing. It was therefore resolved that Allen and Cheshire fill their places for Saturday 17th”.
17th September 1892. From the Luton Reporter of 24th September 1892.
“Luton Town v Old St. Stephen’s. Played on the Town Club’s ground on Saturday before a goodly number of spectators. The visitors were very late in arriving, and it was approaching 5 o’clock when the teams lined up in the following order:- Luton Town : Goal, J. Burley; backs, A. Sanders and J. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian (captain), A.H. Taylor, and J. Wright; forwards, F. Allen (centre), W. Chesher, R. Brown (right), H. Whitby and F.K. Whitby (Left). Old St. Stephen’s : Goal, E.O. Hare; backs, J. Sullivan and J. Pryer; half-backs, W. Clark, J. Oliver and R. Ashworth; forwards, W.W. Powell (centre), J. Ward Leaver, D. Goodall (right), R.H. Armstrong and H.C. Edwards (left). The Lutonians lost the toss and had to play with the sun shining in their faces. They went off at a great pace, however, and in about a couple of minutes from the start Chesher scored with a very fast shot from a pass from F. Whitby. St. Stephen’s attacked in their turn but they were foiled, and the record of the game for a space thereafter was one of repulses. All the members of the Luton team distinguished themselves at times, and two or three of the “saints” were also noticeable. Allen played remarkably well, and he was aided by Brown and Chesher, the latter exhibiting dashing style, while the brother son the other wing showed commendably good form. Julian was throughout wonderfully reliable, his kicking being well judged and his tackling magnificent. Of the backs Sanders was most to be admired, his true kicking seeming to indicate that he had got his old form again. Just before half-time St. Stephen’s equalised, but the applause which greeted this achievement had barely subsided when Taylor headed the ball through and thus put his side ahead again. Soon after the resumption a third notch was obtained for the home side, and thereafter the visitors made the score three all by adding two points. Chesher agains gave his side the lead, and from this stage to the finish the game was very exciting, neither side being able to add to the total. When the end came the Lutonians had atoned for their poor show of the previous week by gaining a hard fought victory by four goals to three. Mr E.H. Barford was referee, and the linesmen were Messrs E. Evans (Luton) and F.W. Thomas (Old St. Stephen’s). To-morrow (Saturday) the City Ramblers first eleven are to visit the town instead of the Reserves, as previously announced. Butler, Withington, and Nolloth will play for the visitors.
In local football, Montrose second team beat Unity five nil “played on the Bury Park”.
The Hertfordshire Advertiser gives the crowd at 2,000.
19th September 1892 committee meeting –
“Resolved that George Deacon should act as attendant to the team at remuneration of 1/- per week”.
“A lengthy discussion regarding the composition of Front rank took place. This was left in Hon Sec’s hands”.
“Mr Julian should sound Mr Barbour with respect to playing centre”.
“Several complaints were made to the way the bills had been distributed. This was left in Mr Pitkin’s hands to provide ground man a list where he might have them”.
“Mr Hughes then brought forward the goal nets agains saying that after Saturday everyone ought to be convinced as to the advisability of using them but as the club had already gone as far as practicably with regard to expense he, with the sanction of the committee would guarantee to find enough money for the nets and possibly for canvas to protect the ground from over lookers. It was therefore proposed by Mr Pakes and seconded by Mr Hackett and carried unanimously that Mr Hughes be allowed to collect subscriptions for the above object”.
“A small committee consisting of Messrs Hughes, Shane and Hon Sec were appointed to make enquiries as to the probable cost of the same”.
Team selected against City Ramblers for 24th.
Gate money for Sat 17th £7 0s 2d, Pavilion 6d.
Charge for the West Herts match should be 6d, Pavilion 3d.
We do not know what the incident was that changed the committee’s mind about goal nets.
24th September 1892. From the Luton Reporter of 1st October 1892.
“Luton Town v City Ramblers. Played on the Athletic Ground on Saturday, in splendid weather and before a large number of spectators. The visitors were very strongly represented, while in place of one of their usual players the home authorities had the advantage of the assistance of Mr J.C. Lomax (president of the club and ex-captain). The home side, who won the toss and played with the sun and wind, pressed considerably at the outset, but the Ramblers retaliated and a close and exciting struggle ensued. It was not until well on in the second portion that the score was opened, when as a result of some capital passing amongst the home forwards, H. Whitby opened the account for his side with a shot which well deserved to score. The home team continued to have the upper hand, and when the whistle sounded they were able to claim a victory by two goals to none, the second notch having been obtained out of a scrimmage. For the winners the best form was shown by Julian, the brothers Whitby and Brown being the pick of the forwards, while Sanders shone at back. McGahey was well nigh invincible for the Ramblers, and he was materially assisted by Butler, Withington and Meggs. Teams:- Luton Town: J. Burley, goal; A. Sanders and A. Hoy, backs; J.W. Julian (captain), A.H. Taylor and J. Wright, half-backs; C. Baker and Roland Brown, right wing; J.C. Lomax, centre’ and F.K. Whitby and H. Whitby, left wing, forwards. City Ramblers: Jas. Morton, goal; C. McGahey (captain) and G.W. Glacier, backs; W. Mordin, H. Butler and C. Brady, half-backs; C. Beacon and J. Meggs, right wing; F. Withington, centre; G. Meggs and H. Corbidge, left wing, forwards. Linesmen: Messrs A.F. Austin (Luton), and C. Meggs (City Ramblers). Referee: Mr F.W. Hill. – It is understood that Mr T.N. Hughes has been successful in collecting sufficient to provide goal-nets and canvas for the Dallow-lane side of the field. To-morrow the match is with the West Herts., and the struggle is certain to be a severe one, H. Barbour of the Royal Arsenal, is to play centre forward.
26th September 1892 committee meeting –
“Team selected against West Herts Home and Home for Saturday Oct 1st. Mr Barbour to play centre and C. Lomax Right wing forward.
Mr Thring be asked to referee on Sat 1st Oct and failing this one of the masters.
“Resolved that Mr T.J. Wall be asked to referee in the cup tie v Old St Marks and failing him Mr G Maynard subject to Old St Marks agreeing to this”.
”Hon Sec provide 2 boards with the price of admission painted thereon viz. admission 6d on one and admission 3d on the other also to obtain all Pavilion necessaries”.
“Resolved that the canvas and nets be left in the hands of of the sub committee also that the racks be left in the hands of the Hon Sec”.
Gate money for Sat Sept 24th £9 10s 2d, Pavilion 6d.”
I commissioned talented local artist Tony Sussex to recreate the 1892 game against West Herts. The three main characters are the three captains – J.C. Lomax, Arthur H. Taylor and J.W. Julian who all played in this match. The view is with your back to Dunstable Road with Dallow Lane on the left and the railway line (now busway) on your right. The pavilion was built in 1890 and was paid for by brewer and Luton fan, J.W. Green at a cost of £50.
1st October 1892. from the Luton Reporter of 8th October 1892.
“Luton Town v West Herts. This match, one of the most important of the town club’s list, was played on Saturday on the Athletic Ground. The organisations have been sturdy rivals in the past, and the fact that some of the recent engagements have produced very close finishes had the effect of creating an intense feeling of interest in the encounter. It would be remembered that last year the two matches were not unattended with considerable dissatisfaction. On the first occasion when the teams met at Luton the verdict was given against the home eleven by one goal, and the return at Watford the verdict was a draw. Both these decisions gave great umbrage to the supporters of the Luton men. On the present occasion a crowd numbering about 1,000 people lined the ropes, despite the fact that the charge for admission had been increased. The teams ranged up about 3.30 in the following order:- Luton Town: Goal, J. Burley; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian (captain), A.H. Taylor and J. Wright; forwards, H. Barbour (centre) F.K. Whitby, H. Whitby (left), J.C. Lomax and R. Brown (right). West Herts: Goal, W. Baker; backs, C. Regan and J.R. Paull: half-backs, J. Penny, C.H. Peacock and A.J. Houghton; forwards, W.S. Coles (captain), (centre), R. Mills, R. Pell (right), T.W. Roach and C. Wheeler (left). The referee was Mr S.P.F. Moore (St. George’s School, Harpenden), and the linesmen were Messrs E.H. Merriotte and E. Barford. The Luton captain won the toss and Coles kicked off against the wind. A drenching shower of rain commenced to fall immediately after the start and continued for a considerable time. Barbour was the first man to distinguish himself by making a brilliant run. The Lutonians indeed went off with a great dash, and scarcely two minutes had elapsed from the start before F. Whitby scored in brilliant fashion after a free kick for “hands.” Barbour continued to make himself noticeable, and was copied by Julian, and it was not long before a “corner” fell to the Lutonians after a capital piece of play by the first-named. Lomax put in a first rate dodging run, but Regan averted the danger though he conceded a corner i doing so. Another similar point followed in rapid succession. The visitors next took a turn at attacking, and so close did they come to their enemies’ citadel on one occasion that Taylor kicked a ball over his own cross bar in order to avert the danger. West Herts., however, shortly afterwards opened their own account , Wheeler notching a point in very fine style. An admirable shot by H. Whitby was only kept out with difficulty, and it was noticeable that Coles and Barbour were playing in particularly fine form. The Luton men had been relaxing their efforts somewhat, but they now exerted themselves, and Brown narrowly escaped scoring after a pass by Barbour. Wheeler sent in an attempt which looked uncommonly close to a score, and Mills followed this with another. Julian missed by inches only and the next point of interest was a foul awarded against West Herts. The Lutonians were now getting the upper hand in an unmistakable way. Time after time they succeeded in working the sphere into the neighbourhood of Baker’s charge, and at length H. Whitby gave his side again the lead by means of a very fine low shot. Taylor missed only a yard, and H. Whitby was similarly unsuccessful a minute or so later. Some pretty passing by the Luton forwards had to be chronicled, and then through infractions of the rules both sides were visited by the usual penalties. At half-time the scores remained unaltered, the “reds” thus leading by two goals to one. Immediately after the resumption Luton pressed very hard, and Lomax missed scoring by inches only. A “corner” for West Herts was nugatory, and free kicks fell for both sides. Wright was playing a very fine game; indeed, he has scarcely ever played better. Sanders too, was exhibiting grand defence: he was to be seen in almost every scrimmage, and he emerged with “blushing honours thick upon him.” He was several times lavishly applauded. “Hands” against West Herts. was given in rapid succession, and it seemed as if Luton were now having much the best of matters, the game being exceedingly fast. For a considerable period the Lutonians kept the ball in their adversaries quarters, and it was not until very nearly half the second portion had elapsed when the visitors managed to get it very much over the half-way line. At length Coles succeeded in getting in close proximity of the home fortress, but he failed in a most unaccountable way when directly in front of the post. Mills sent the leather just over the cross bar. Some surprise was caused a few minutes later by an action of the referee. An appeal was made by the Lutonians when they were in a good position before their opponents’ goal line, and the referee, after apparently debating for a few moments threw up the ball – why, could not be ascertained. Very fine attempts by Brown and Julian were followed up by H. Whitby, who ten minutes before time arrived scored a magnificent goal. Brown put the ball through immediately afterwards, but the referee’s whistle had blown, and the point was accordingly disallowed. From this stage to the finish the game of was an exciting character. The visitors endeavoured strenuously to improve their position, but the defence of the homesters was so strong that they were unable to score again. The Lutonians, however, added to their total, Barbour doing the needful just on the point of time. The match thus ended in a win for the Town men by four goals to one. Amongst the home players deserving of credit were Sanders, whose defence was absolutely faultless, Julian, Wright and Barbour, while Brown at times did exceedingly good service. For West Herts. the right wing were most conspicuous , but the back division acquitted themselves very satisfactorily considering that the capabilities of the Luton forwards were never better shown than on this occasion.”
The Luton Reporter also contained a letter to the Editor;
“Luton Town Football Club
Dear Sir, – I, in common with many others, was much surprised and annoyed to find that the charge for admission to the match last Saturday was raised to sixpence, and only for an ordinary local game. I consider threepence to be quite enough for such a match as that, and the coming one next Saturday which I understand is only with the Arsenal Reserve team. Of course we expect to pay more to see a good game with a professional League team. The general opinion is that the field should be divided as regards admission, viz, threepence and sixpence for these ordinary matches, which I think would then be better patronised to the advantage of the Club.
FORWARD Luton, Oct. 5th 1892.
3rd October 1892 committee meeting –
“Team selected against Royal Arsenal for Sat 15th.
Gate money for Sat Oct 1st £14 13s 4d Pavilion 13/5.
Expenses of Watford (West Herts Match) £1 8s 2d
“that Hon Sec write the Evening News and Post denying that Luton had made overtures to Mr Gacy of City Ramblers”.
“That the whole of the foot racks be tarred”.
Discussed whether there should be a separate entrance for members only but voted down.
Admission for Town v Old St Marks be 6d Pavilion 3d.
8th October 1892. From the Luton Reporter of 15th October 1892.
Interlude – The Recent Election. – We have received a copy of the “Columbus Evening Despatch, forwarded by Mr C. Cotton, from the United States, containing in its fourth edition the result of the Liberal victory in South Beds. Our correspondent says: “It will no doubt interest Lutonians to know that owing to the difference in time between here and Luton (5 1/2 hours), the result was actually known at the office of this paper as 12 noon on the same day, and printed and sold in the ordinary way as early as 4pm. This no doubt was as early as the result was known at places not 12 miles from Luton, while we are 630 miles west of New York and 4,000 miles from Luton.”
Interlude – The returns from the Luton County Court show that 21 debtors were imprisoned and 14 bankruptcy receiving orders were filed in the town.