CHAPTER 31. J.C. LOMAX
After a year away from the club and town, John Charles Lomax returned to Luton in the Summer to attend the funeral of a committee man, John Long. As President, he laid a wreath at John’s grave in Rothesay road cemetery on behalf of the club. J.C. Lomax then played for the club in a number of games at the start of the 1892/93 season. A private and quiet man he did not let on to anyone that his life was falling apart. He had inherited a fortune when his wealthy father died in 1889. However, he met and married Clarice who took advantage of his good nature and spent all his money making him bankrupt. She would then leave him for a taxi driver and would die of Tuberculosis in 1894. Read his Hall of Fame entry HERE.
Typical of the great man, J.C. Lomax scored in his final game for Luton Town against Royal Arsenal at Dallow Lane. The game was the first time goal nets had been used so J.C. Lomax was the first LTFC player to hit the back of the net (he had scored the very first LTFC goal in 1885 against Higham Ferrers).
“Luton Town v Royal Arsenal Athletic. Played on the Athletic Ground on Saturday and ended in a somewhat unexpectedly severe defeat for the homesters by four goals to one. The game was witnessed by a very large number of spectators despite an increased charge for admission. The Arsenal team, which was regarded as fairly strong, was as follows; Goal, Ambler; backs, W. George and Rankin; half-backs, Stewart, McKenzie and Stacey; forwards, P. Conoly, Calmar (left), T. Green (centre), Barbour and Kirk (right). Of these Rankin was stated to be one of this season’s first eleven, while his companion was late of Reading Town. Stewart played in the first team last year. Green, who had formerly played with Birmingham St. Georges and West Bromwich, made his debut in the team, while Conoly and Barbour were the best known of the other forwards. The Luton eleven were constituted as follows: Goal, J. Burley; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian (captain), A.H. Taylor, and J. Wright; forwards, F.K. Whitby and H. Whitby (left), T. Allen (centre), R. Brown and J.C. Lomax (right). The referee was Mr S.F.P. Moore, and the linesmen Messrs Russell (Royal Arsenal) and F. Evans (Luton). The home captain won the toss and after a heavy shower of rain had swept over the ground Green started the game for the Royalists. The visitors at once pressed but “hands” against the relieved the Luton backs. The homesters went down in good style and passed across in front of goal, but the referee pulled the forwards up by deciding that the off-side rule had been infringed. A similar fate befell the Arsenal forwards, and thereafter Brown sent the leather over the cross-bar. The Luton backs behaved splendidly in stopping two or three rushes, and Lomax distinguished himself by making a capital pass. Allen was playing particularly well, his passing being greatly admired. Mr Moore awarded a “foul” against the Athletic in close proximity to their fortress, but the opportunity of scoring was neglected by the Town men. Hoy and Sanders were next afforded a chance of displaying their defensive powers, and they acquitted themselves worthily. After the Lutonians had been within an ace of scoring the Royalists transferred the scene of operations to the other end, and here first blood was drawn. Green scored in grand style, though it seemed to the onlookers that Burley should have at least attempted to save. The leaders continued to press, but chances of scoring were thrown away. The Lutonians retaliated, but though they made it very hot for the opposition keeper they failed to score. Julian and Taylor were exerting themselves to the utmost, while Wright was maintaining the good estimate which was formed of him in the previous week. Two or three free kicks were awarded against the visitors for breaking the rules, and Julian next rendered himself conspicuous by saving finely when a score seemed inevitable. Burley atoned for his previous questionable action by fisting out capitally in rapid succession shots which seemed certain to increase the Arsenal’s lead. The ball was thereafter kicked into the net at the Luton end, but the offside regulation was adjudged to have been broken. Allen, Julian and H. Whitby were most conspicuous for the home side in the next few minutes. The Lutonians brought the sphere down excellently twice or thrice, and they were unlucky in failing to open their account. Try as they would they were unsuccessful, and when the interval arrived they were a goal to the bad. Immediately after the resumption, the leaders secured a notch which was by no means free fro the element of luck, for it was obtained from a scrimmage following a kick from the corner flag. Shortly afterwards a similar point had to be added. The Lutonians seemed to relax their efforts after this, but the opening of their score by Lomax from a pass by H. Whitby aroused them and evoked enthusiastic applause from the spectators, who began to think that their favourites might yet win. The game proceeded with varying fortunes for some time, and the Arsenal at length placed the issue beyond doubt by putting on a fourth goal. They eventually won a fast and stoutly contested game by four goals to one. For the visitors splendid style was shown by the backs and forwards, the last-mentioned maintaining a capital line and passing exceedingly well. The Lutonians again found that their defence was very strong, and that the weakness lay in the forward ranks. Julian was again the most praiseworthy player on his side. It should be added that the score did not accurately denote the play, for though the better side undoubtedly gained the victory their superiority would fairly be represented by the statement that they were a goal better than the losers. The new goal nets, which have been obtained by private subscription through the exertions of Mr T. N. Hughes and others, were used for the first time and gave unqualified satisfaction.”
With bat, ball and bicycle.
“During the several weeks during which pressure on our space has rendered my voice silent, the Town Club representatives have been doing great things in the football world. Having started the season by receiving a somewhat unexplainable defeat at the hands of the Reserve team, they vanquished in turn Old St. Stephen’s and the City Ramblers, both victories, however, being accomplished only after very keen struggles. The greatest triumph was in so summarily disposing of their old antagonists, West Herts., last week, by the substantial majority of four to one. Some previous meetings of the two teams had ended somewhat unsatisfactorily, and the fact that this year’s result was unmistakeable was extremely gratifying to the partisans of the local players.
On Saturday, however, the Town men had their combs cut by the Royal Arsenal. The visitors had been advertised as Arsenal Athletic, but their side included three or four men who had played in the first eleven either last year or during the present season. It became apparent soon after the start that the Royalists, as they were termed by their admirers, were a trifle the better team, and it must at once be confessed that the difference lay in the smartness of the Arsenal forwards. The homesters in this respect were all at sixes and sevens, one or two of the men being exceedingly unreliable. Allen amply justified his selection to the post of centre forward, his play being greatly admirers. It is a pity that he was not better supported by his fellows than he was.
The defence of both sides was irreproachable, and it cannot be claimed by even the strongest admirer of the visitors that they had any advantage in this direction. Julian once more showed by his magnificent play that the committee were wise in being somewhat more enterprising than some of the rank and file would have wished. Wright has, during the last two or three weeks, been displaying astonishing improvement. He was not guilty of any great fault, but he has recently become even more plucky than formerly, and his tackling and heading have been very fine. Taylor, despite his weight and years, exhibits remarkably good style, while of the backs it is only necessary to say that they are at times impassable, for they act splendidly in concert. Sanders has perhaps a little too much tendency to play for applause from the gallery and leave the harder work to his companion: but this defect is atoned for by the brilliancy of his displays. Burley on Saturday was not free from criticism, but on the whole he behaved well.
The first half of the game was fairly even. At times the Arsenal had slightly the best of matters, but the homesters invariably retaliated. It was by the sheerest hard luck that the Lutonians were prevented from scoring, several very fine shots which were sent in only being kept out with difficulty. The solitary point scored in this portion by the Athletic was on the contrary not entirely devoid of a suspicion of luck, the leather being banged through after an attempt had been repelled. Two of the other goals too, were distinctively suggestive of chance play, and though the home eleven at one period kept up a perfect fusillade, luck seemed opposed to them, and they were unable, except on one occasion, to score.
The goal nets, which were used for the first time on Saturday, are a distinct improvement. They effectually prevented dispute as to the ball having passed between the posts. The thanks of all the spectators at the matches are due to Mr T.N. Hughes and those who assisted him for their exertions in collecting the necessary funds. To-morrow (Saturday) is one of the greatest days in the Luton football year, for the Town men are to receive a visit from Old St. Mark’s. On their conduct in this match will depend whether they will progress further in the competition for the English Cup. Last year, it will be remembered, they achieved the distinction of becoming champions of their division, and seeing that the opponents met then included some very strong sides, it is scarcely to be anticipated that Old St. Mark’s will be able to take them down, especially seeing that they were so badly beaten by Millwall on Saturday. However, they are foemen who are certainly not to be despised, and the local players may be advised to leave no effort unmade to qualify for the second round.
The matches in the first round of the Luton Charity Cup competition commenced on Saturday with one between Wolverton L. and N.W. and Banbury Harriers. The railwaymen seemed to have all the best of play, as they did as they pleased, making eight goals to none. I am informed that the game between Cricklewood and the 2nd Coldstream Guards is to be played on October 23.
The Secretary of the Wolverton L. and N.W. has forwarded to me the list of fixtures for the season. These include engagements with several teams of no mean merit. Amongst the opponents are the London Caledonians, 2nd Coldstream, Old St. Stephen’s, London Polytechnic, West Herts., Chesham Generals, Windsor Phoenix, and matches with other teams in the neighbourhood. The list of officers is pretty much the same as last year, which in itself forms a guarantee that the affairs of the club will not be neglected. ONLOOKER.”
10th Oct 1892 committee meeting –
“Team selected for Old St. Marks for Sat 15th. “In the event of Mr Green not coming to terms Mr F. Allen take centre forward also Cheshire Inside Right”.
Note – first mention of inside right as a position.
gate money for Sat Oct 8th £15 6s 11d Pavilion 12/8.
“The centre forward position was discussed Hon Sec explained that Mr Green had been seen and had promised to do nothing with anyone until he had heard or seen from him. It was therefore proposed by Mr Austin, seconded by Mr Hughes that Hon Sec go and see Mr Green empowering him to treat with Mr Green to the amount of £2 including all extras. This was carried unanimously.
Note Green was from London so travelling and overnight expenses were an issue so £2 “all in” was to cover these expenses and save time and work for the Secretary working out expenses each week and arranging payment.
“Hon Sec explained that Mr Pitkin was absent of his doctors orders and it was quite possible that he was unable to fulfil the duties which had fallen upon him in the past. Hon Sec also stated how Mr Pitkin felt about the matter. It was therefore resolved that Mr Pitkin still form one of our committee in order that he might put in an attendance when he felt able to do so”. “Resolved that a letter be sent to Mr Pitkin sympathising with him in his recent illness”.
12th Oct 1892 – committee Special meeting.
“Letter received form Mr J.W. Julian. “Hon Sec explained that he had called the meeting in order to give the report of his visit to Mr Green. As arranged he met Mr Green on St. Pancras Station, laid the matter of playing for the Town before him and after taking about something like an hour and three quarters all he could get from him was that he wanted 30/- per week clear to be paid up to the end of April, also to be paid weekly and £10 extra down or signing and extra days. It was explained that besides the extra weeks in April, there would be Saturdays for the Semi’s and Final for the Luton Cup on which we should have no game. Therefore counting up the actual time Mr Green would be playing it really amounted to about £2 15s 0d per week. This was therefore thought to be far from satisfactory.
Hon Sec also stated that he had made him an offer of 30/- per week clear with nothing extra for signing and nothing for extra games. This was more in accord with the views of the committee and it was proposed by Mr Hill, seconded by Mr Pakes that the Hon sec write Mr Green stating that our offer made to him would be left open until the end of the week. This was carried unanimously”.
“It was discussed that in the event of Mr Green not coming to our terms before Saturday the 15th he not playing on that date. Would he be eligible for £2 English Cup. Here rule 5 of the Challenge Cup Competition was read by different committee men after which a difference of opinion existed as to the reading of this rule. It was therefore resolved on the proposal of Mr Evans seconded by Mr Samwells that Assistant Secretary write Mr Alcock for an explanation with regards of same”.
15th October 1892. From the Luton Reporter of 22nd October 1892.
Interlude – “Tramps. – It seems from the Head Constable’s annual report that the number of tramps relieved by him during the year for the casual ward was 4,131 this being an increase of 757 as compared with the previous year’s return.”
Interlude – “As illustrating the carelessness of some householders it may be mentioned that the Head Constable reports that in the last 12 months 223 doors and windows have been found open and insecure at night by police.”
15th October 1892. From the Luton Reporter of 22nd October 1892.
“Luton Town qualify for the Second Round.
Saturday last was a great day with the players of Association football throughout the length and breadth of the country, for them a vast number of teams met in 10 divisions to decide which should enter the second round of the qualifying competition for the English Cup. Luton Town, who were included in the 9th division, were somewhat fortunate in being drawn against a team of considerably lesser strength than several others included in the same list. Their opponents, Old St. Mark’s, were a team of no mean order of merit, but all the same one which Luton had beaten repeatedly. The encounter had created a great deal of interest in local football circles, and although prevalent opinion seemed to be that the homesters would emerge from the fray with flying colours, they were less hopeful spirits who anticipated they would at least find the task set them a very difficult one. That the interest was exceedingly great was shown by the fact that in spite of a somewhat high charge for admission, considerably upwards of 1,000 spectators lined the ropes which enclosed the field of battle. The contest had been announced to commence at 3.30, and shortly after that hour the teams ranged up round the central ring in the following order:- Old St. Mark’s: Goal, J.W. Payne; backs, F.J. Leese and G.C. Jarvis; half-backs, A.W. Vautier, W.H. Silver and J. Thornley; forwards, J.R. Schumacher and J.M. Baxter (right), J.F. Wood, captain (centre), C. Cattell and W.D. Redmond (left). Luton Town: Goal, J. Burley; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian (captain), A.H. Taylor and J. Wright; forwards, W. Chesher and R. Brown (right), F. Allen (centre), H. Whitby and F.K. Whitby (left). The referee was Mr R.E.A. Maynard (Reading), and the linesmen Messrs H. Shane (Luton) and A.R. Clark (Old St. Mark’s). It will be noticed that the Old St. Mark’s team was was almost identical to its composition with that which was opposed to Luton Town last season, and the home side differed only in three players from its Cup eleven of last year.
Julian won the toss, but this afforded very little advantage to his side, there being no wind to speak of and an utter absence of bright sunshine. Directly after Wood had kicked off the home forwards acquired possession of the ball and brought it down towards the gas work’s goal in very fine style, but they ended in failing to score. The Old Collegians retaliated, but they found in Julian a very stout foeman and he effectively prevented their making any further inroad into his side’s territory. Allen, with his fellow forwards repeated their tactics but Leese relieved. The Luton forwards again, distinguished themselves shortly afterwards, and this time their failure to score was only by a foot or two, the goalkeeper missing his kick. Payne, however, amply atoned for this failure immediately afterwards by saving in particularly fine style. A free kick against Luton for an infraction of the regulations was directly afterwards followed by a similar advantage being awarded to them. The St. Mark’s forwards whose passing had been admired extremely, made a determined onslaught and got into close proximity of the home goal, when Sanders, reliable as ever, came to the rescue and kicked the ball away in magnificent style. A corner to St. Mark’s was the next point of interest, but the ball was sent over the cross-bar. Chesher, with a very long range shot, narrowly missed scoring, the ball going over instead of through. Both teams were making very determined efforts to score and the result was that the play became very fast and exciting. It must be confessed, however, that the “reds” were having somewhat the best of matters. The visitors then came within an ace of scoring shortly afterwards, but Hoy deprived their forwards t the delight of the onlookers. Taylor, F. Whitby and Allen next rendered themselves noticeable, the last named being generally considered to be an efficient centre forward. Taylor was fouled somewhat badly, and a free kick was awarded to his fellows. The Lutonians kept up the bombardment of their opponent’s citadel for some moments, but a free kick to St. Mark’s relieved the pressure somewhat, and the leather was thereafter transferred to the other end. The breaking of the offside rule stopped further progress of the Saints, and when the home side had paid a visit to the latters’ goal, Taylor put in a very fine shot which was only saved at the expense of a corner. The homesters experienced exceedingly hard luck several times within the next few minutes, and they were unable to score in spite of obtaining several advantages. Leese hereabouts seemed to be under the impression that he was playing under the Rugby rules, for he “collared” Allen, an action which was promptly visited with its usual penalty by the referee. Schumacher was playing in very fine style about this time. Julian put in a hot shot next, but on F. Whitby rushing up to put on a finishing touch he was adjudged off-side. Payne was forced to give another corner after a plucky attempt by Brown to score. The young player named repeated his effort just afterwards, the result being precisely similar. The Town representatives continued to have very much the best of the game, and at length from a grand pass by Allen, H. Whitby succeeded in getting the ball into the net. Thus the first point was obtained by Luton, and achievement which was hailed by the spectators with enthusiastic shouts. The applause had scarcely died away when from a corner Brown notched another point, making the score two to nil in favour of the “reds.” A highly regrettable incident had to be chronicled a minute or two later. The referee had awarded a free kick against the visitors on the score of a foul by Leese. That player promptly challenged Mr Maynard’s decision and flatly denounced the referee’s explanation as a “lie.” He was immediately ordered to retire from the field. This event proved an incalculable disadvantage to the St. Mark’s side, for during the remainder of the game they played with 10 men only, and considering that Leese was one of their backs, it will at once be recognised that their defence was greatly weakened. When the interval arrived the “reds” were leading, the score being: Luton, two; Old St. Mark’s, nil.
Directly after the restart, Chesher sent in a beauty, but the effort was rendered nugatory by Payne. Luton forced a corner and Brown struck the post. The absence of Leese made the Luton forwards liable to having the verdict of off-side given against them, and several times when the goal seemed at their mercy they were in this respect unfortunate. Despite this the homesters had all the best of the play for an appreciable space, and only once during the early portion of the second period did the Old Collegians succeed in carrying the ball into the neighbourhood of their enemies’ fortress. Their style was by no means to be despised, for their efforts to open their account were extremely plucky. Burley, having been troubled once or twice by the visitors right , replied with a splendid attempt, Payne only just managed to dispose of it. F. Whitby fiercely attacked Payne’s charge, but his endeavours were fruitless, the keeper disposing of the sphere at the expense of a corner. From a splendid pass right across the mouth of the goal, F. Whitby succeeded in putting the leather through, and then the score stood at three to nothing in favour of the leaders. Chesher who had been playing in particularly gratifying style, next kicked just outside the posts; his example was followed by Allen. After several corners had fallen to the Town’s men, the Londoners took a long run and finished up with a shot from the right wing which struck the net, a performance repeated immediately afterwards. Twice in rapid succession the visitors’ goalkeeper was called upon to defend, and he acquitted himself extremely well. “Hands” for Luton was followed by a corner, and the ball being extremely well placed, Julian headed through. From the start to the finish both teams exerted themselves strenuously, but neither succeeded in adding to the total, and when the referee’s whistle announced the arrival of time the Lutonians had qualified for the second round by four goals to nil. Every credit is due to the home representatives for the excellent display they made, their style being a welcome contrast to that witnessed the previous week. The back division was as sturdy and reliable as ever, and the forwards show a great improvement, the introduction of Chesher proving a very wise step. Good style was shown by the losers, several of their players being worthy of high commendation. The decisions of the referee did not always appear to give unbounded satisfaction to the spectators, but all that need be said of Mr Maynard is that he demeaned himself, as on former occasions, with the strictest impartiality.”
With bat, ball and bicycle.
“The feelings with which I approach the subject of the English Cup match played by Luton last Saturday are infinitely more satisfactory to myself than those with which i was compelled to deal with last week’s match. The I was bound to follow the dictates of my conscience and criticise somewhat severely: now I have little but the most glowing praise to accord to the members of the home team. The change of front – singular as it might appear to some – s capable of very easy explanation, the form displayed by the Town men on Saturday being as different from that of the previous week as one could possibly imagine, one being execrably bad, the other brilliant in the extreme, and many beside myself have experienced similar changes.
It is almost impossible to over rate the excellence of the display of the “reds” made. They were pitted against a team which was certainly of no mean merit, for some of the previous encounters have produced exceedingly close finishes. It is true that the majority of the matches have been won by the homesters, but the St. Mark’s men have invariably proved themselves doughty opponents. They came with an evident intention of winning if they could and the Lutonians seemingly had impressed upon them that it would not do to lose this, one of the most important contests of the season. With one or two exceptions the Old Collegians brought a team composed similarly to that of last year, and the Town Club;s representatives were about as strong as they could well be under existing circumstances. With Oclee still unfortunately still laid aside and disappointments on every hand in their endeavours to fill the post of centre forward, the Town authorities were almost at their wits end to discover a capable string of representatives in the forward ranks.
Allen was selected to fill the breach, and he once more displayed such capital style that despite his youth and lightness of weight one scarcely cares to criticise him. His pluckiness is beyond all praise, and he frequently outshone some of the front players who were several years his senior. It was with a high degree of pleasure that the spectators witnessed the reimportation of Chesher into the team. This player has his defects – and nobody recognises this more readily than I – but despite this he is a valuable acquisition to the team. His last Saturday’s performance was not altogether beyond reproach, for he was at times somewhat slow, but he sent in several magnificent shots and on the whole he played a sterling good game.
The match is so fully described in another place that it is scarcely necessary for me to enter at any great length into description. But I must briefly express my conviction that, putting all local feeling aside, the better team undoubtedly obtained the victory. It is admitted that during the first few minutes there was but little to choose between the sides, but thereafter the “reds” asserted their superiority, and after they had once scored it was not seriously doubted that they would qualify for the second stage. This expression leads me to give utterance to a thought which has often been in my mind, and that is – what would have happened had the Old Collegians notched the first goal. It is perhaps too much to say, or even think, that they would have been allowed to win, but it is certain the score would have read very differently. In the previous week an illustration of this was to be had, for although the Arsenal Athletic were doubtless a trifle more skilful, it is only reasonable to suppose that had they not scored the first point they would have found the homesters considerably tougher adversaries than they proved.
On the home side last Saturday need be made when it is said that our representatives acquitted themselves exceedingly well: even the younger centre forward was a very worthy wearer of the Town Club colours. The brother Whitby excelled themselves, and Chesher and Brown on the other wing were a very capable pair. The half-backs worked extremely hard, Julian again making his pre-eminence apparent. Of the players in the rear it is superfluous to speak, for the backs were almost impassable, and Burley proved himself equal to cope with all the wiles of the enemy.
The St. Mark’s men are all well known in the neighbourhood, and all of them it is only necessary to say that they maintained their reputations. The forwards passed in grand style, and they showed that they were possessed of considerable fleetness. The half backs were extremely sturdy and during the first half the pair of backs did good work. After the unfortunate compulsory retirement of Leese, the brunt of the work at back fell upon his companion, who was very hard pressed at times. It should be explained, however, that the disadvantage which attended the absence of this player was not all on one side, for the Luton forwards were rendered off-side very frequently by this means; indeed, it would be safe to say that had it not been for this, the Town score would have been somewhat larger. In conclusion, I would desire to express the wish that the Lutonians may acquit themselves in a satisfactory a manner in the next round, for it is certain that they will be pitted against a somewhat stronger combination.
The draw for the second round of the Cup has resulted in Luton Town being drawn against the Old Etonians. The game will be played on the Town Ground on Saturday, October 29. The other clubs in the division have been drawn as follows:- Swifts or Hunts County v Polytechnic; Casuals v Crusaders; Old Westminsters v Ipswich Town. It may be added that the Old Etonians eliminated the Sherwood Foresters on Saturday by four to nil.
Notts. Forest are to visit the Town Club’s ground to-morrow, and I learn that a considerable sum has been expended in order to procure their presence. Some excellent play is certain to be witnessed, and I would urge all footballers to support the enterprise of the local managers.
Tomorrow (Saturday) the 2nd Coldstreams meet the Cricklewood Club in the Luton Cup competition, when the team for the latter will be as follows:_ Goal, H. Gaylis; backs, A.E. Rayment and O.J. Bell; half-backs, A. Poole, A.O. Ardley and H. Mulholland; forwards, H. Breton, M. Breton, A. Strand, J.M. Williams and G.B. Bell.” ONLOOKER.
17th Oct 1892 committee meeting –
“Resolved that reserve team meet St. George’s Harpenden at Harpenden on Wed 19th Oct. That the same team play on Saturday against Notts Forest that played against St Marks.
Gate Money for Saturday 15th £27 4s 6d. Pavilion 8/1.
Expenses of reserves for Ashton Grammar School match 10/1.
Expenses of English Cup Tie
Printing, Posting, Police, preparing ground and gatemen £3 1s 0d
Referee £1 1s 0d
Travelling expenses of visiting team £1 18s 0d
Making a total of £6 13s 0d
thus leaving £20 19s 7d to be divided between the clubs . Old St Marks’ portion £10 9s 9 1/2d. Cheque to be sent to St Marks for £12 7s 9 1/2d.
“Resolved that in the event of the club being drawn away the Hon sec be empowered to make offers for the match to be played on our on ground”.
Resolved that “Hon Sec advertise for centre forward in Sportsman and Sporting Life, 2 insertions in each”.
22nd October 1892. From the Luton Reporter of the 29th October 1892.
“Luton Town v Nottm Forest. At this important fixture on Saturday there was a large attendance on the Athletic Ground, about 1,000 being present. The weather was brilliantly fine, though piercingly cold, and the turf was in good condition. The visitors were very strongly represented, while the only change in the home eleven was the substitution of J. Watkins for W. Chesher at inside right. The game had been announced to commence at 3 o’clock, but with an unpardonable lack of punctuality it was nearly half an hour later when the teams ranged up in the following order:- Notts Forest:- Goal, Thornhill; backs, Bullock and Hodgkinson; half-backs, Hamilton, Pike and J. Smith; forwards, Barbour (centre), Handcock and H. Browne (right), Jeacock and Watson (left). Luton Town: Goal, J. Burley; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian (captain), A.H. Taylor, and J. Wright; forwards, F. Allen (centre), F.K. Whitby and H. Whitby (left), R. Brown and J.Watkins (right). The referee was Mr I. Smith, and the lines men were Mr J. L. Smith (Notts. Forest) and Mr E.H. Barford (Luton). The home captain lost the toss, and Allen kicked off against the sun and wind. The Forest obtained possession and forced a corner immediately after the start, but this proved fruitless. By means of capital passing the Notts. men again managed to carry the sphere into the neighbourhood of the Luton fortress but they were prevented from scoring. The homesters appeared to be distinctly lacking in spirit during the first few minutes, but at length Allen and his fellow forwards put in a good passing run and finished up with a shot. Julian saved grandly when a score seemed inevitable, but a little later Barbour broke through and notched the first point with a shot which it was impossible for Burley to negotiate. Very shortly afterwards Wright made a very bad mistake, the ball going through the posts off his foot, thus scoring the second goal for the Forest. The Lutonians did not seem at all abashed by these reverses, but on the contrary redoubled their exertions and displayed capital style. H. Whitby and Brown sent in some good attempts, and Julian continued to exhibit sterling good form. From a first-rate pass Allen scored brilliantly, but the hopes of the admirers of the local players were dashed soon afterwards by the Forest men profiting by a mistake on the part of Burley and Wright. The last-named partially atoned for his fault immediately afterwards by shooting into the visitors’ goal, and thereafter the homesters made several determined though unsuccessful efforts. One one occasion the Forest representatives were literally penned in, and it was only after two or three attempts that the Lutonians kicked the leather over the bar. The home right wing men were particularly pleasing. Corners fell to the leaders in rapid succession, but “hands” relieved the pressure. Burley was given an opportunity of making amends for his previous error, and he acquitted himself extremely well. The game was fairly even from now until half-time, when the score was Notts. Forest, three; Luton one. Immediately after the re-start the “reds” obtained a corner, but the Lutonians averted the danger, and their right wing made a determined attack. Julian was most conspicuous among the Town representatives, but Brown and H. Whitby rendered themselves noticeable by sending in good shots. The home players had very much the best of matters in this half, and the game became very fast and somewhat rough. After several ineffectual efforts H. Whitby reduced the Forest lead by scoring a magnificent goal. His companions put forth all they knew to bring the scores level, but their efforts were frustrated, and when the end came Notts. Forest had won a hard-fought game by three goals to two. Just before the finish Barbour was heavily charged by Julian and had to be assisted from the field, but it was ascertained that he was little injured. He had been playing in somewhat questionable style.”
With Bat, Ball and Bicycle.
“My opening notes this week must be couched in a somewhat grumbling tone, and I venture to think that all who witnessed last Saturday’s game will fully agree with my feeling. If the homesters had exerted themselves in the first half of the match as strenuously as in the second they would have almost certainly have drawn the game if not won it. At the outset the played in a half-hearted manner which formed an unwelcome contrast to the splendid display of the previous week, and it only when a couple of goals had been registered against them that they infused anything like life into the game. It may be contended that the acknowledged strength of their opponents prevented their displaying dash and brilliancy, but the obvious answer would be that the Lutonians had considerably the best of matter during the second period and that therefore there should not have been such a marked disparity in the scores at the end of the opening three-quarters.
Allowances must necessarily be made for the luckiness which characterised the second and third notches which the Forest obtained, but in spite of all this I feel that the Town men did not do themselves anything like justice. Some members of the team must in fairness be excluded from anything approaching adverse criticism, for they played an all round brilliant game, but most of the players did not please & by no means inconsiderable section of the spectators. Of the second half I have nothing to utter but words of admiration, for the homesters exerted themselves in the best possible way. In this period they experienced considerable hard luck, for they should have succeeded in scoring more than once. However, the beating was not one of which they need to feel very deeply ashamed, for their opponents were of very fair calibre.
On the home side Julian was the hero of the hour. He was present in almost every scrimmage, and not only did he tackle splendidly but he disposed of the ball in a manner which seemed marvellous. I do not know what the Lutonians would have done without him. Taylor worked hard, but Wright was very much off colour at the outset. Sanders played as brilliantly as ever, and Hoy rendered himself conspicuous by stopping some very determined rushes by the opposing forwards. The brother Whitby were at times noticeable, but on the whole their display was of a mediocre kind, the bulk of the good work being done by the other forwards. Allen again won unstinted commendation, and the right wing pair worked well together, Brown being particularly admired.
The most noteworthy feature of the winners’ display was the capital combination amongst the forwards, their short passing being of the smartest description. Barbour played finely until he was unfortunately incapacitated, and he received material support from his fellow on the left wing. The half backs exhibited good style, while the backs were a very strong pair, a slight preference falling to Bullock. Some of the referee’s decisions did not appear to give satisfaction to the spectators.”
The column continued;
“I notice that some of the St. Albans people are anxious that their club should be afforded an opportunity of teaching the Lutonians correct football, and their unbeaten record possibly afforded some ground for putting forward the challenge. The suggestion that a match should be arranged might well be adopted if only with a view of seeing how severe a drubbing would be administered to the city representatives – for I do not seriously doubt the ability of the Lutonians to accomplish the feat of lowering their colours. A comparison of the fixture lists of the two organisations will conclusively show the differences in the calibre of the teams which have been met this season. The only defeats which have been sustained by the Lutonians were by the Royal Arsenal and Notts. Forest and I scarcely care to speculate on the number of goals which would have been notched by either eleven against the St Albans men, but I am fully persuaded that it would have greatly exceeded the total obtained against the Lutonians.”
Finally the column mentioned some unruly behaviour;
“The Town Club have published the following caution in accordance with an order of the Council of the Football Association: “Any person using improper or insulting language to the referee is guilty of gross misconduct and liable to be expelled from the ground. This resolution applies equally to improper conduct towards the players, and so far as this ground is affected will be strictly carried out.”
“THE LUTON CUP. On Saturday two matches in the first round took place. At Burtan’s Court the 2nd Coldstream Guards beat Cricklewood by six goals to one, while at Biggleswade Hitchin beat the home club by three to nil. The remaining ties are to be decided on November 5.”
In local football Montrose beat Wolverton L. & N.W. reserves on the Bury Park ground by three goals to one.
24th Oct 1892 committee meeting –
“Team selected against Old Etonians for sat 29th.
Gate money for sat 22nd £14 8s 7d.
Expenses of reserves regarding St. Georges Harpenden 9/9
“It was proposed by Mr Hackett, seconded by Mr Barford that Hon Sec write Mr Hugh Galbraith offering him 30/- per week inclusive also explaining that there were several firms in the town where he might possible obtain work but that the club could not undertake the responsibility of the same. Also write to Mr Allen asking whether he could give us a trial match and to Mr Paton asking him to get a game so as to give his leg a good trial”.
Mr Austin asked for use of the ground on a vacant Saturday for a match London v Sheffield boys – offered them the ground free of charge on 22nd April.
“Mr Hughes also complained about the behaviour of some spectators at the match on Saturday. It was therefore resolved that Hon Sec should write Mr A. Cox calling his attention to the same and threatening to expel him from the ground entirely unless his behaviour was remedied.
Charge for Millwall be 6d and Beds Regt 3d.
“the ground be let to the Charity Cup Committee at the sum of £5 per match”.
“That Messrs Townrow and Aylott be allowed another members ticket at 2/6 having lost the former one”.
27th Oct 1892 committee meeting –
“Hon Sec stated that he had written to Mr Cox and that gentleman was present to contradict what had been brought forward with respect to him. He was therefore asked into the Committee room and to state what he had in defence of his action the previous Saturday. After contradicting all that had been brought against him, Mr Shane as Chairman, gave Mr Cox to understand that although it was possible the gentleman lodging the complaint may have been mistaken in the man. It was something the committee meant to stamp on”.
“Mr Hugh Galbraith in his letter accepted our terms. It was therefore resolved we should write to Burnley Secretary asking whether Mr Galbraith was released from that club. If so, everything being favourable, Hon Sec draw up agreement and allow him to sign.
29th October 1892. From the Luton Reporter of 5th November 1892.
“THE ENGLISH CUP
LUTON TOWN ENTER THE 3RD ROUND. On Saturday last the Luton Town Club players engaged in what must have been considered the most arduous tussle that they have yet had this season, for they were pitted against the Old Etonians in the second round of the qualifying competition for the English Cup. It was generally felt that the ordeal through which they would have to pass would be far more severe than when they were drawn against Old St. Mark’s some weeks since, for the fame of the Old Etonians, though not quite as high as in former years, entitles them to be considered amongst the very strongest teams in the south of England. There were a great many in this district who thought very highly of their favourites’ chances, but the general feeling seemed to be one of doubt whether they would be able to pull through. The conditions under which they commenced the contest could not possibly have been better. They were playing on their own ground and in the presence of their admirers. The weather, a most important element in struggles of the kind was brilliantly fine, and the ground was in surprisingly good condition, allowance being made for the heavy rain of the previous two days. The sun shone brightly throughout the afternoon, and this, combined with the calibre of the enthusiasts of the neighbourhood. For once in a way the start was made punctually, and it was very little after 3 o’clock when the teams took up their positions round the central ring in the following order:- Old Etonians” Goal, W.J. Seton; backs, A.R. Hoare and A.V. Haughton; half-backs, A.B. Martin, G. de M. Hoare and F. Bickley; forwards, W.S. Gosling (centre), C. Alongton, G. Crabtree, R.C. Norman and E.H. Bayford. Luton Town” Goal, J. Burley; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian (Captain), A.H. Taylor and J. Wright; forwards, F. Allen (centre), W. Brown and W. Chesher (right), F.K. Whitby and H. Whitby (left). The referee was Mr R.H. Jackson and the linesmen were Messrs J.H. Hackett (Luton) and F.W. Hill (Old Etonians). Julian succeeded in winning the toss, and this was a somewhat important advantage, for a very strong wind was blowing down the ground. Gosling kicked off against the wind and the sun, but he and his companions were not suffered to proceed far into their opponents’ territory. The Luton half-backs secured possession and the forwards pressed very severely, the ball passing over the Etonians’ goal line almost immediately after the start. An infraction of the off-side rule by H. Whitby relieved the pressure somewhat but the “reds” again swarmed to the attack and obtained a corner. This, however, was unproductive, the kick being sadly interfered with by the wind. The homesters continued to attack very fiercely, and two or three times they narrowly missed scoring, Sanders sending in a particularly fine shot. Chesher kicked over the top, but immediately afterwards the score was opened, F. Whitby being last on the ball during a close scrimmage in front of goal. The homesters thus obtained a lead early in the game. Their advantage was not long allowed to remain unchallenged however, for almost directly afterwards, Gosling broke past the Luton backs and scored, though the shot which he sent in was a somewhat tame one. Several misfortunes happened to the Luton side in rapid succession; first Wright was hurt, and then “hands” was awarded against them two or three times running. These did not deter them, however, and they continued to play an admirable game. Julian was displaying by far the best form of any man on the field. After F. Whitby had sent the ball skimming over the cross-bar, Burley saved in grand style, though in doing so he conceded a corner. Following some good play by Gosling, F. Whitby sent in another beauty. The visitors’ centre forward thereafter re-established possession, but he was too well watched to be able to do any mischief. A fine combined run by H. Whitby and Allen almost resulted in a score, but Seton acquitted himself in a highly satisfactory style. Corners to the homesters fell in rapid alternation. and shots by Allen and Brown almost had the desired result. On one occasion the Etonian forwards had obtained possession and looked threatening, but Sanders relieved in brilliant fashion. Seton was a noteworthy performer on his side, for while shot after shot was sent in and he was particularly hard pressed, he succeeded in stemming the onslaught and preserving his charge intact. He was unable to cope though with a very rapid kick from Sanders, who while in mid field sent the ball through the opposition posts. The homesters experienced very hard luck once or twice before half time, but they did not succeed in scoring again, the position of affairs when the interval arrived being: Luton two, Etonians one. It was generally thought that with the wind in their favour in the second half the old collegians would make a considerably better show, and that they had an extremely good chance of winning. The commencement of the second portion, however, did not flatter such hopes. for the homesters continuously pressed. The game had been in progress but a very little while when Allen notched a third point for the leaders. The Etonians obtained minor advantages shortly afterwards, but those periods of success were only transitory, and the Town Club men continued to have by far the best of matters. It was only rarely that the wearers of the white and light blue were able to get far into their enemies’ quarters, and even when they did succeed it was even a more difficult task for them to elude the vigilance of the home backs. One of the most striking performances of the afternoon was achieved by sanders, who, after obtaining possession of the ball, made a fine dodging run. Seton was again troubled the ball being kicked into his hands and a minute later Allen sent the sphere just outside the post. Chesher, whose imperturbability had been more than usually pronounced, kicked the ball onto the net, and on several occasions thereafter he rendered himself noticeable by his coolness and pluck. The game became very exciting and play ruled fast, but despite the most strenuous efforts of the visitors they could not succeed in wresting the advantage from their foeman. Gosling seemed to be the sheet anchor, and every effort was made to pass to him, but he was too well watched by the half-backs to be very dangerous. Hoy was somewhat badly kicked, but after a minute’s suspension of play he was able to resume. The enthusiasm of the spectators had been intense during the last few minutes, and it was raised to the highest pitch when F. Whitby headed through after a very determined scrimmage in front of the uprights. With the score standing at four to one it was felt that the victory practically rested with the locals, but they did not allow feelings of security distract their play. The Etonians about this time were showing far better style than previously , and on several occasions they made strenuous attempts to score. Gosling made a grand single handed run, but he was not allowed to proceed very far. Burley, who had been acquitting himself in a highly satisfactory way, tumbled over in the mouth of his goal, but he stuck to the ball and managed to get rid of it over the line. From now to the finish the game was of a give and take character. Both teams tried all they knew to increase their total, and just before the referee blew his whistle Norman obtained a second notch for the Etonians. It was generally agreed that time had been exceeded by some three or four minutes, and it was only when the spectators sent up a unanimous shout that the stated period had elapsed that the game was stopped. The result was not seriously affected, however, for at the close it was found that the Town representatives had by scoring four goals to two entitled themselves to be included amongst the first four teams in the division. They will thus have to engage in a fortnight in the semi-final round of the qualifying contest.”
With Bat, Ball and Bicycle –
“Delight at the excellence of the performance by Luton Town on Saturday last has been the prevailing note in the district during the week amongst those who take any interest in the chief winter pastime. When it was known that the local player shad to meet the Old Etonians in the second round of the English Cup competition it was generally felt, except by a few hot-headed enthusiasts who make no allowance for anything that might disparage their favourites – that they would have all their work cut out. It was all very well to say that the Old Etonians have lost a good deal of their prestige during the last few years. we were all aware of that, but some recent displays by the Town men did not lead unprejudiced observers of the game to entertain very strong hopes that the Lutonians would pull through.
That the “reds” emerged from the combat with honour attaching to them is not more pleasurable to other residents than to myself, for I confess to feeling more than ordinary delight when the homesters play in good style. Their display on Saturday was of the best possible character looked at all round , but there were one or two weak spots. i do not hesitate to say that the performance was by far the best that the team has accomplished in recent years. Some will say “What about Swindon.” doubtless that was a splendid victory, but it was nevertheless a close finish, whereas the margin this week was of a very pronounced character. To beat the old collegians – admittedly one of the most noticeable combinations in the South of England – was an achievement which reflects extreme credit upon the men who accomplished it.
I have said that the play of the homesters was excellent on the whole, but it may be well to enlarge somewhat. Amongst the forwards the younger players carried off the palm, and everyone’s mouth is full of their praise. The performance of the right wing pair was magnificent, and I unhesitatingly assert that a better exhibition has never been witnessed on the ground. Chesher was as cool as the proverbial cucumber throughout, and his short passing was faultless. He was ably seconded by Brown, whose centering and kicking at goal were superb. The visitors readily recognised that it was on the right wing that the strength of attack lay, and they demeaned themselves accordingly. Let it not be imagined that in speaking thus glowingly of the right wing pair I am forgetting the plucky little Allen. He deserved the highest encomiums, and it is safe to say had he been heavier in bulk the opposition goalkeeper would have experienced a considerably more anxious time. Allen was throughout unselfish and courageous, and what better praise would a centre forward desire.
It was on the left wing that the weakness was apparent. Plain speaking being desirable nowadays I do not hesitate to state that the show made by the brothers Whitby was very disappointing. Harry Whitby only showed his old form at times, and the transient gleams of excellence rapidly died away into the commonplace. His brother did not show to advantage either, for not only was he more than usually uncertain but he seemed to have developed an unwelcome tendency to be found amongst the half-backs.
Turning to other members of the team the man who first presents himself is Julian, and I can find no better word to describe his efforts than “magnificent.” Truly the authorities of the club are to be congratulated on having secured him, and the best wish that can be uttered for them is that he may be retained. He was never at fault, and the amount of work which he managed to execute was stupendous. One might One might travel many miles before being able to witness such an exhibition as to that which he gave on Saturday. The best indication that can be given of it is to state that Gosling – one of the fastest forwards in the South – was rendered entirely stingless by the attention which Julian gave him.
Taylor’s “never say die” method is too familiar to Luton spectators to require much comment; he exerted himself as vigorously as ever, and was invariably reliable. Wright amply atoned for any previous lapses, and I am delighted to be in a position to compliment one who has always been a favourite of mine. Hoy and Sanders were next to impassable, the latter being extremely strong. The shot with which he scored was a truly grand one, though it was possibly not entirely devoid of a suspicion of luck. Burley was good throughout, and one or two attempts were warded off in marvellous fashion.
The two members of the losing team who struck me as most worthy of praise were Seton and Gosling. The former gave us one of the best expositions of the art of goal-keeping that we have ever seen on the ground, and I boldly assert that had he not been between the uprights the total of the homesters would have been far heavier. Gosling had little opportunity of showing his excellence, and though his fellow forwards did all in their power to feed him he was powerless to score save on one occasion. His fleetness and determination were unmistakably apparent, but the best of centre forwards is powerless if he is closely pursued by such determined tacklers as were opposed to him on Saturday. Of the remainder it need only be said that they were heavy and perceptibly wore down in the second half, while the youthful forwards on the Luton side completely beat them.
The referee has not escaped without severe criticism. Some of his decisions were the reverse of acceptable, and his action in prolonging the period of play is regarded as indefensible. I would not have touched upon this point if I were not certain that the stated time was exceeded by three or four minutes, and it was during this over-time that the second goal of the Old Etonians was obtained. If the scores had been close a serious injustice might have resulted from what was probably an accident, and now that referees are gifted with such unquestionable authority it behoves them to be scrupulously careful that their actions are beyond reproach.
I gather that the new centre forward for the Town Club has arrived in town from Burnley. His name is Galbraith, and he is said to be a very capable exponent of the art.
The result of the draw for the third round does not afford much of an indication as to whom our next opponents are to be. The Town Club is drawn to play either the Swifts or Polytechnic, who played a drawn game last Saturday, and unfortunately the draw is for the the opponents’ ground. The Old Westminsters have to meet the Casuals. The Swifts and Polytechnic decide their tie on Saturday (to-morrow) and the other ties are to be played on November 19.”
31st Oct 1892 committee meeting –
“Team selected against Millwall for Nov 5th.
gate money for sat 29th £28 10s 6d, pavilion 10/3.
MR G.H. Barford of Luton Charity Cup Committee “letter was discussed in which on behalf of the Charity Committee he offered £10 for the three matches. This was thought to be hardly a fair price seeing we should provide them with the canvas hoarding as well ain item of importance to them last year). It was therefore resolved that the original offer be adhered to viz. £5 per match or £15 for the three”.
“It was resolved that Mr F. Hill should take Mr Galbraith’s form and agreement to Burnley and wire back when everything was satisfactorily settled”.
“Proposed by Mr Austin and seconded by Mr Hinson that F. Whitby stand out of the team on Sat Nov 5th. Amendment moved by Mr Smith seconded by Mr Hill that he continue on the team at present to see how he would act with the new centre. These were put to the meeting when 5 voted for the amendment and 7 for the resolution which was declared carried”
Note – what a cumbersome way of dealing with team changes. The minutes continue –
“It was therefore resolved that the team be constituted as follows
Goal, Burley; Hoy and Saunders, backs; Taylor, Julian and Wright, half backs; H. Whitby, G. Groom, H. Galbraith, F. Allen and W. Brown, forwards”.
“Resolved that “Mr Hinson and Mr Pakes wait upon Cheshire and find out if possible what objection he has to playing in the first team”.
“Expenses of cup tie v Old Etonians
Printing £1 1s 0d
Posting 15s 0d
Police 10s 0d
Gatemen 10s 0d
Preparing ground 5s 0d
Referee 10 0d
Total £3 11s 0d
Travelling expenses of visiting team £2 15s 0d which together with the £3 11s 0d ground expenses comes to £6 6s 0d. Thus leaving £22 14s 9d for division, Old Etonians portion £11 7s 4 1/2d. Cheque for £14 2s 4 1/2 d sent to Old Etonians”.
Charge for Guys Hospital match be 3d.