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Chapter 35. Beaten to Blazes

CHAPTER 35.  Beaten to Blazes

Progress continued to be made by the Town club with J.W. Julian as player coach.  The team made the final of the Luton Charity Cup and were expected to win by the locals.  They were promised a bonus of 10/- (10 shillings) if they won the trophy.  However, they were up against a superb Rushden team that would win three trophies this season – see their photo at the bottom of this chapter.  The Rushden centre half and captain, Bailey, was a particularly difficult opponent for Hugh Galbraith, the Luton centre forward.  

13th March 1893 committee meeting –

“team selected against Vampires for Sat 18th.  

“Resolved that 2 extra medals be obtained”.  

“That the Committee meet the Charity Committee to form a smoking concert to take place after the Final match”.  

“That the Hon Sec be allowed to take up a subscription list on behalf of McKenzie”.  

Expenses of reserves at Newport Pagnell £2 6s 2d.”  

Vampires photo below.  All black with the best badge ever.  This is the 1895 photo.  they were runners-up in the 1893 Surrey Senior Cup.

18th March 1893.  From the Luton Reporter of 25th March 1893. 

Luton Town v Vampires.  A match between these teams was played on the Town Ground on Saturday in the presence of about 1,500 spectators.  The weather was fine, but a cold wind blew across the ground.  the teams faced up as follows: – Luton Town: Goal, T. Read; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, J. Wilson, J.W. Julian and A.H. Taylor; forwards, W. Brown and H. Whitby (right), H. Galbraith (centre), W. Chesher and F. Allen (left).  Vampires: Goal, W.J. Wells; backs, G.S. Francis and C.A. Warren; half-backs, G.F. Russell, Cretchley and Polehampton; forwards, sub and A. Kidd (right), G. Groves (centre), Mayo and C.A. Watle (left).  Mr I. Smith was the referee, and the linesmen were Mr H. Shane (Luton) and Mr. Bull (Vampires).  Luton won the toss, and Groves started the ball with the wind blowing against him and the sun shining in his face.  A quick return was made, but the visitors pressed and Sanders saved.  Whitby centred nicely, but Galbraith mulled the shot at goal.  Some pretty passing was shown, and Sanders kicked clear with a clinking shot.  The visitors, however, continued to press and Sanders again saved, but in a few minutes the visitors were down again and a corner was conceded.  Nothing resulted, and then hands against one of the “Vamps” gave Luton a look in.  The visitors, however, got away again and Groves had a good shot at goal which Read just managed to save, and the ball went over the top.  A short tussle took place in front of the goal, and the ball being passed to Chesher that player took it down the field and Wells had to save.  From the return the visitors once more pressed and Read had to save twice in succession, he discharged his duty in splendid style.  Groves sent in a good shot which, however, went wide and a goal kick was the result.  Another bombardment of the home goal took place, but the defence was good and Taylor got away with the ball.  The visitors were, however, very soon on the aggressive again, cleared and an attack was made upon the “Vamps” goal, a corner resulting.  From the centre by Chesher, Galbraith gained possession and sent in a stinging shot which Wells failed to clear, the first goal thus being scored by the home team.  Soon after the restart a foul was given against the “sub,” but the visitors again pressed.  About this time Chesher was injured and had to retire.  Wilson relieved and the ball being carried to the “Vamps” goal, Galbraith again got past Wells, and he almost gained a third goal a few minutes later, but the ball just touched the cross-bar and bounded over.  The home team continued the pressure and Wells had to save, but nothing further was scored before half-time, the result being two to nothing in favour of Luton.  After the interval the visitors appeared to become somewhat fagged, and some very erratic kicking of the ball ensued.  The leather was in the visitors’ quarters during the greater part of the time, and even when it was taken out it was generally kicked out of play by Kidd or the “sub.”  Read was only once called upon to save during the part of the game and he performed his duty to a nicety.  Some pretty passing was occasionally shown by the home forwards and on one occasion Allen had the goal at his mercy but through holding the ball too long was robbed.  A few minutes later Whitby passed to Galbraith who put in the third point.  From the kick-off the ball was returned down the field and Galbraith put in the fourth goal amid cheers.  This seemed to have a demoralising effect upon the visitors and they played a very loose style.  Still the home team could not put in any further points and the game resulted in a win for Luton by four goals to nil.  

On the same day Montrose played at home to Condor, a London club.  F. Hoy was the captain of Montrose, and played right wing, and scored the first goal in a seven nil win.  Montrose second team drew 3 3 away with St. Albans Stanville.  

20th March 1893 committee meeting –

“Teams selected against Clapton for Sat 25th.  Mr Slaney to take the place of Cheshire, failing him Mr Julian to bring one.  

Gate money for Sat 18th £9 19s 9d, pavilion 2/-

“It was discussed as to the advisability of following up our claim for travelling expenses of Messrs Julian, George, McKenzie and Wilson they having repudiated the same after considerable discussions”.  Voted to let the matter rest.  

“It was resolved to receive a deputation from the Luton Town Cricket Club consisting of Messrs Beecroft and Cumberland.  Mr Beecroft on behalf of the cricket club asked for the co-operation of the LTFC in order to play a benefit match to reduce the debt of the cricket club and in the event of same whether we would mind making all arrangements and taking management of the same.  Having heard what the deputation had to say the chairman promised the matter would be discussed and Hon Sec should acquaint them of the decision arrived at.  

The deputation thanked the meeting and withdrew.  It was then proposed by Mr Pitkin seconded by Mr Woodbridge that we do our best to get a match and that Hon Sec apply to the association for the necessary permission to play a benefit match for the above object.  Hon Sec to arrange also with players”.  

“Mr Hugh Galbraith also waited upon the committee with regard to a clause in his agreement referring to illness.  The Chairman stated the committee could not see their way clear to the alteration of the same and Mr Galbraith promised to further consider the matter before signing”.  

Charge for admission to 2nd Scots Guards be 6d, pav 3d.  St. Paul’s 3d.  Woodville 4d and pav 2d.  Derby County 6d and pav 3d.”  

25th March 1893.  From the Luton Reporter of 1st April 1893. 

“Luton Town v Clapton.  The meeting of these teams on Saturday was rendered additionally interesting by the fact that they played a drawn game on Christmas Eve at Upton.  On the present occasion they were strongly represented , Luton playing George instead of Chesher, who had been hurt in the previous week.  J. Idle, one of the visitors’ forwards, did not appear and he was substituted by J. Watkins.  After considerable delay the teams took up their positions in the following order :- Clapton: Goal, C.J. Ambler; backs, W.H. Russell and E.J. Watts; half-backs, A.B. Mayes, A.E. Casselton and Stephen Smith; forwards, J. Watkins, H. Offer (right), Samuel Smith (centre), H. Barbour and H. Briggs (left).  Luton: Goal, T. Read; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian, J. Wilson and A.H. Taylor; forwards, R. Brown, H. Whitby (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and W. George (left).  The referee was Mr M.D. Nicholson (West Bromwich Albion), and the linesmen were Messrs J.H. Hackett and A.D. Wilkins.  Luton lost the toss, and Galbraith started operations with the sun in his eyes.  In the first few minutes the homesters pressed, but the visitors proved themselves very smart and on several occasions danger threatened.  Offer looked like scoring once, but he was pulled up by Wilson, who was exhibiting grand style.  Following a foul, Julian sent in a splendid attempt, which Brown spoiled.  Galbraith shot over the bar in the next few minutes, and the game at this stage the game was fairly equal.  Offer was the most brilliant of the visitors’ forwards, and he repeatedly showed up excellently.  George displayed good style more than once, and from a corner Galbraith headed just over the bar.  At length a splendid opportunity was offered to the Lutonians, and Galbraith profited so well by a misunderstanding between one of the Clapton backs and the goal-keeper that he easily secured the first point in the game.  Luton thereafter attacked very hotly but they did not succeed in again scoring before half-time, and thus when ends were changed the score stood at one nil in their favour.  Very few minutes after the resumption Galbraith put in a magnificent run and finished up by sending in a long shot which Ambler failed to stop.  When the same player had struck the cross-bar with the ball, Allen sent in a hot attempt from the wing and the local partisans were delighted to see the ball curl in under the bar.  Read saved in capital style once or twice, and Taylor was slightly injured but declined to leave the field.  Clapton experienced hard luck several times, but they failed to score.  The Lutonians, however, increased their lead, Allen putting the finishing touch on a capital pass by Brown.  Shortly afterwards Clapton obtained their solitary point, Read failing to quite reach a shot from Offer.  Towards the end the visitors pressed considerably, but the home side more than held their own, and the result of a capitally contested match was a win for Luton by four goals to one.  It is true that Clapton experienced hard luck, but this remark applied with equal force to the Lutonians, who maintained a persistent bombardment of Ambler’s charge during a considerable portion of the second half.  undoubtedly on the form displayed the better team won, for at every point the Lutonians evinced their superiority.  All the homesters played well, and it is satisfactory to be able to state that Brown showed something like his old form and thus atoned for the disappointing displays which he has been given during the last few weeks.  

In local football, Montrose third team beat Gordon Wanderers eight one on the Bury Park ground.  

27th March 1893 committee meeting –

“Resolved that Hon Sec write to 2nd Scots Guards arranging two fixtures for next season if possible at a guarantee of not more than £6 per match both to be played at home.  

Montrose fixture resolved to play the match as arranged viz. to take the whole of our gate, otherwise the match to fall through.  

Gate money for sat 25th march £13 8s 11d, pav 2/2 1/2d

31st March, Good Friday.  2nd April, Easter Sunday.  3rd April, Easter Monday. From the Luton Reporter of 8th April 1893.  


During the Easter holidays the Town Club were busily engaged and with the most brilliant of weather came large numbers of spectators.  Details are as follows:-

LUTON RESERVES v ST. PAUL’S.  Played on Good Friday morning, when the local juniors ran away from their opponents and won very easily by eight goals to one.  At time the visitors showed up well, but on the whole the display was of a mediocre character.  

LUTON TOWN v ROYAL ENGINEERS – Played on Good Friday afternoon in grand weather and before a goodly attendance.  Both teams were strong, and a good game resulted in a draw of one goal each.  The visitors were first to score but Whitby equalised a minute later.  In the second half Galbraith was missing from the home ranks, but despite this the Luton men should have scored on several occasions.  Their play was of a very disappointing character.  The teams were as follows:- Luton Town: Goal, T. Read; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian, J. Wilson and A.H. Taylor; forwards, W. Brown, G. Groom (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and H. Whitby (left).  Royal Engineers: Goal, Hinbury; backs, Colling and Watson; half-backs, Delaney, Swann and Cockle; forwards, Charlesworth and Wooding (right), Pendrey (centre), Cornelius and Clarke (left).  referee, Mr I. Smith; linesmen, Mr F. Evans and Corpl. Hamilton.  

LUTON TOWN V WOODVILLE – Played on Saturday.  The homesters were without the services of Galbraith and Chesher, both of whom were on the injured list, and the visitors played a substitute.  The first half ruled in favour of the Lutonians, who scored twice to their opponents’ once.  In the second portion the homesters fell off very considerably, but they proved far too strong for their adversaries, who had to admit defeat by five goals to one.  At times the Woodville men put in some brilliant spurts, but on the whole their display was not of that class which Luton spectators have been accustomed to witness recently.  Sides:- Luton Town: Goal, T. Read; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian, J. Wilson and A.H. Taylor; forwards, H. Whitby and W. Brown (right), F. Allen (centre), J. Dimmock and G. Groom (left).  Woodville: Goal, baker; backs, Shackell and King; half-backs, Atkinson, Allsopp and Brady; forwards, Dixon and Warren (right), Harris (centre), Somerville and Wells (right).  referee, Mr H. Shane.  Linesmen, Messrs J.H. Hackett and Gillett.  

LUTON TOWN v DERBY COUNTY. – This, played on Easter Monday afternoon, was by far the most important of the fixtures and it attracted the largest crowd, it being computed that the attendance was close to 4,000.  The visitors were extremely well represented, and the homesters had with one exception, perhaps, their best sides.  The eleven ranged up in the following order:- Derby County: Brentnall (goal); Gilbert and Lathom (backs); G. Rose, Curtis and W. Rose (half-backs); A. Dakin (centre), McLachlan and Peate (right), Eakins and H. Rose (left), (forwards).  Luton Town: T. Read (goal); A. Sanders and A. Hoy (backs); J.W. Julian, J. Wilson and A.H. Taylor (half-backs); H. Galbraith (centre), W. Chesher and H. Whitby (right), W. Dimmock and F. Allen (left) (forwards).  Referee, Mr S.F.P. Moore; linesmen, Messrs Stanley and Austin (Luton).  Luton lost the toss, and kicked off against the wind and with the sun at their backs.  The start was of a highly sensational nature, for barely had operations been commenced than Eakins profited from a mistake on the part of Sanders and sent the ball past Read at lightening pace.  Immediately after the re-start the Lutonians rushed up to their adversaries goal and Galbraith equalised.  The game had been in progress only about a minute, and the achievement was hailed with ringing cheers.  The Derby men were penalise two or three times for infractions of the rules, but they returned to the attack and gave Read some opportunities of displaying his defensive ability.  Their short passing was admirable, and their combination could scarcely have been better.  Luton were by no means snuffed out, however, for time after time they gamely attacked and got to the neighbourhood of the County fortress, though the defence was always too strong to allow them to score.  The homesters sent the ball over the bar or beside the posts more than once, and the Derby men retaliated.  Corners for the County threatened danger, but a free kick against them relieved the pressure for a time.  Luton next made a raid but only to be beaten back, and the leather found its way behind the line.  At length the Derby men’s efforts were rewarded, Dakin being enabled to give his side the lead.  The score was very soon added to, Eakin being responsible for the third notch.  The Luton representatives exerted themselves strenuously to reduce the lead of their opponents, but without avail, and when the elevens changed ends the score stood: Derby three; Luton one.  With the wind in their favour the local players were seen to far greater advantage, and their display in the second portion must be regarded as one of the best performances of the season.  they came down with a rush immediately after the re-start and looked like scoring, but Galbraith was unlucky with his shot.  Julian and Galbraith both tried but without success.  For a good time the homesters maintained a hot attack, and it seemed to many of the onlookers that they should have scored.  Galbraith had several shots, but none of these went through, with the exception of one from a free kick.  The ball had not, however, touched a second player, and the point was not allowed.  It was not until the end was very near that any further alteration in the score was effected, and it then came through Galbraith.  The Luton centre man finished off a brilliant run by sending in one of the finest attempts witnessed this season, and to the unbounded delight of the spectators it took effect.  In the minute or so that remained the “reds” put forth every effort to equalise, and Galbraith at one time looked like breaking through.  The Derby backs were, however, too stalwart and the Luton centre was pulled up.  When the whistle blew Luton had to acknowledge defeat – by the way the first since Christmas – by three goals to two.  The display of the locals gave the utmost satisfaction.  Weakness at one or two spots might, perhaps, be pointed out, but in view of the general excellence of the performance it would be charitable to abstain from fault finding.  Few expected the Town Club players to make such a splendid show, and the match will be reckoned as one of their best displays of the year.”  

The semi-final replay between Rushden and Finedon was played in the morning before the Derby game.  Around 4,000 spectators attended and it was estimated that about 1,000 came from Northamptonshire.   Finedon were without Henfrey, the England International but took the lead.  Rushden came back with three goals and qualified for the final.  The receipts from the game were described as extremely good at £76 15s 6d.  Sides:- Rushden: Goal, S. Allen; backs, E. Attley and W. Clarke; half-backs, C. Church. A. Bailey and T. Minney; forwards, H. Groom and C.H. Lewis (right), J. Stanley (centre), G.H. Claridge and C. Pendred (left).  Finedon: Goal, Pack; backs, Woolley and Lilley; half-backs, Robinson, Boddington and Piggott; forwards, Cooper and Munns (right), Clipston (centre), Moore and Ellson (left).  Referee, Mr S.F.P. Moore.  Linesmen, Messrs H.H. Cox (St. Albans) and H. Shane (Luton).  

4th April 1893 committee meeting –

“Team selected against Rushden for final L.C.C.C. – Read, goal; George and Wilson, backs; Julian, McKenzie and Taylor, half backs; Brown, Whitby, Galbraith, Allen and Cheshire, forwards.  

Gate money for 

Good Friday 31st March £2 17s 0d

Good Friday afternoon £30 0s 0d  pav 5/7

Saturday April 1st £8 2s 0d    pav 2s 0d

Easter Monday 60 18s 1d  pav £1 2s 0d

Total £103 6s 8d

[Note – Derby match gives an attendance of 2,436 plus patrons who got in free.]  

Resolved not to entertain the idea of entering for the Wellingborough Town Football Challenge Cup.  

Galbraith be asked to sign for season 93 and 94 before next meeting.

“That the sum of 10/- be paid to each of our ordinary team in the event of our winning the cup as a means of stimulating them to increased exertions for the same”.  

Resolved to offer March 17th, 31st and April 14th as dates for next seasons Semis and final of the Charity Cup Competition.  

“That Wilson be paid 10/- per match to the end of the season on his signing professional for the club”.  

“That Hon Sec attend the meeting of Secretaries to be held at Anderton’s Hotel, Tuesday April 11th”. 

8th April 1893.  From Luton Reporter of 15th April 1893.  


LUTON TOWN V RUSHDEN. – So far as local interest is concerned Saturday last was the most important day in the season for the Town club, for then they were announced to meet Rushden in the final round of the Charity Cup competition.  Both sides had acquitted themselves worthily in the previous stages, and it was agreed on all sides that the encounter would produce a stubborn fight.  Rushden’s performance in eliminating Finedon at their second meeting was a fitting termination to a good display, but the brilliant success achieved by Luton in so easily disposing of the 2nd Scots Guards completely put it in the shade.  The soldiers had badly defeated Millwall Athletic (last year’s holders), and it was generally agreed that whoever succeeded in beating them would in all likelihood secure the beautiful trophy.  The honour fell to Luton, but those who imagined that the succeeding stage was to end in a virtual walk-over reckoned without their hosts, for the Northants. players displayed far better form than had been anticipated.  That they were opponents by no means to be lightly regarded was evidenced by the fact that they had not only easily beaten Wolverton L. and N.W., but they had secured other cups.  The authorities of the competition could scarcely have wished for better surroundings than fell to their share.  The weather was of that brilliantly fine nature that had been rendering making generally optimist in the extreme during the preceding month.  In the early morning the sky was dull and overcast, but as the day wore on the sun burst through and flooded the earth with warmth giving rays.  The heat thus derived was certainly needed by the onlookers, for a piercingly cold wind swept over the ground throughout the game, and though this may have been acceptable to the players it was the reverse of pleasing to those who had to remain idle near the ropes.  To say there was a large attendance would be to faintly describe the crowd.  The Midland Railway conveyed a goodly compliment from the Northants. towns, and it was estimated that the number present could not have been short of 4,000.  Connected with this is the acceptable fact that the receipts beat the record.  On Easter Monday morning the “gate” was phenomenal, but on Saturday even this was improved upon and upwards of £70 went to swell the funds which will be available for distribution amongst the Cottage Hospital, the Children’s Home and the Medical Institute.  

With commendable punctuality the teams took up their positions shortly after the hour announced for the commencement of operations, the order being as follows:- Luton Town: Goal, T. Read; backs, J. Wilson and W. George; half-backs, J.W. Julian, H. McKenzie and A.H. Taylor; forwards, H. Galbraith (centre), W. Brown and H. Whitby (right), W. Chesher and F. Allen (left).  Rushden: Goal, S. Allen; backs, E. Attley and W. Clarke; half-backs T. Minney, A. Bailey and C. Church; forwards, J.L. Stanley (centre), H. Groom and H. Lewis (right), C. Pendred and G.H. Claridge (left).  The referee was Mr E.H. Jackson (Clapton), and the linesmen Messrs H.H. Cox and J.W. Sharpe (St. Albans).  The homesters lost the toss and Galbraith started play from the Workhouse end with the sun shining in the faces of himself and his companions.  In the first minute or two the “reds” attacked well, and brought the ball down twice in good style.  George put in a couple of splendid long kicks, but “hands” off that player resulted in danger being threatened to the home fortress.  Wilson headed out in good style, and Allen made a capital run, but he unfortunately kicked over the line instead of through the Rushden posts.  From a grand pass by Chesher Galbraith should have scored, but the opportunity was allowed to pass unheeded.  The Luton centre forward hereabouts contracted a habit of steering the leather over the Rushden line when in a good position for shooting, and it is not too much to say that in the first few minutes the Lutonians should have scored twice or thrice.  Rushden next got away, but they were not suffered to progress very far, “hands” checking their spurt.  From the free kick Whitby was presented with a fine opportunity, but the right-winger did not seem in the best of form just now and he missed badly.  The visiting forwards were apparently tainted with the same defect, for though they succeeded into the neighbourhood of Read’s charge by means of some pretty passing they did not threaten serious results, the ball going over the goal-line.  Wilson, who had not up to this stage shaped up so well as usual, rendered himself conspicuous be relieving well.  A little later some execrable play by the home backs let in Rushden and from a pass by Groom Stanley succeeded in beating Read, thus notching the first point for his side.  It is only fair to the spectators to state that the success was generally cheered, though the local section did not relish so unacceptable a start.  The game had been in progress about ten minutes when this reverse was inflicted, and though the pay had been fast up to this point it was dwarfed by the struggle which ensued.  Every point was splendidly contested for a time,  and both elevens appeared to have made up their minds to improve their position by hook or by crook.  Lewis managed to get through once or twice and an increase of the Rushden lead seemed imminent, but “hands” off Bailey took off the pressure for a brief space.  The cessation was hardly appreciable, however, and the ball was again conveyed into close proximity to the home team’s uprights.  A little later Luton roused themselves somewhat into form and the result of a capital combined display was that the Northants. goal-keeper was forced to come into the field and fist out the leather.  The homesters maintained their smartness when they had once started in earnest, and Allen must have experienced an anxious time, for several times the ball was perilously near to being forced through.  At length the long-expected goal for Luton came as the result of a scrimmage.  From a free kick for “hands” George very cleverly placed the ball near the Rushden citadel and McKenzie finished up an anxious period of of swaying about amongst the players by sending the sphere into the net.  This performance was hailed with rapturous applause by the Bedfordshire portion of the crowd, and for a space thereafter the Lutonians were warmly cheered by their admirers.  The “reds” seemed determined to obtain the advantage, and at no time during the match did they exhibit more admirable style than now.  Galbraith was unfortunate in failing to score; and from a grand shot from the right wing the ball rolled harmlessly over the line.  Chesher, who had not been particularly noticeable, was pulled up for an infraction of the off-side rule, and a little later Claridge almost succeeded in profiting  by a bad miss on the part of George.  Allen received the ball from one of his fellow forwards, and though he was not pressed at all to the dismay of the locals he sent it spinning over the cross-bar in most disappointing fashion.  “Hands” near the Luton goal looked bad for the fortune of the home side, but the defence was reliable.  Attley at this stage developed an unfortunate proneness to kicking into touch, and he was saluted with derisive laughter and uncomplimentary cries by the onlookers.  Galbraith having shot out Lewis endeavoured to give his comrades the lead but George proved a decided thorn in his side.  Rushden came down to the Luton line in force more than once just now, and when Galbraith was penalised for an alleged foul against Bailey things seemed ominous.  A corner to the Northants men followed, but the score did not increase in consequence.  As the interval approached Luton put in some excellent work, but they failed to secure the desired result and when the mid-way stage was reached the score read as follows:- 

Luton, one goal; Rushden, one.

In the first half-minute after the resumption the homesters dashed off at a great pace and a “corner” was secured, but nothing came of it.  The pressure was maintained for a time, but the efforts were resultless.  The inevitable raising of the siege came a little later, but the Lutonians swarmed to the attack with unabated ardour, and Attley rendered himself the object of the crowd’s opprobrium by adopting defensive tactics the reverse of admirable.  Wilson made a mistake which threatened evil consequences to his side and in attempting to dribble lost the ball, but George was fortunately close at hand and evinced his prowess as a sure tackler.  The Rushden players carried the ball into a good position for scoring, but unfortunately for them Claridge was allowed to touch it when standing off-side and the chance was thrown away.  The same player was pulled up for a similar offence immediately afterwards, and then by a grand centre by Whitby was badly muffed.  A singularly bad miss was made a trifle later by one of the Rushden forwards, two or three of whom were in a splendid situation for eluding Read.  Galbraith was gain visited with the displeasure of the referee, and Whitby was badly fouled.  One of the most extraordinary decisions given during the match followed in a minute or two.  Church was hurt while fouling Galbraith in an unmistakeable manner, and to the astonishment of the spectators the holder of the whistle awarded a free kick against Luton.  The action was no doubt an error of judgment, but it was undoubtedly wrong, and the crowd expressed their sense of recognition of this in no disguised fashion.  Brown, after some conspicuously good play by George and Wilson, sent a long shot into the Rushden goal, and Allen experienced some difficulty in disposing of the leather.  The Rushden keeper was called upon to clear more than once hereabouts, and he invariably behaved splendidly.  As time drew near the opposing sides exerted themselves strenuously, and they took turns at pressing.  Their utmost efforts were unproductive, however, and when the end of a well-fought but somewhat poor game arrived the result was found to be as follows:-

Luton, one; Rushden, one

The spectators clamoured loudly for the match to be played out but a conference between the officials resulted in the discovery that this could not well be done.  It was accordingly decided to re-play the tie on a future day, and this has since been fixed for Monday, April 24.  Mr. S. Howard Whitbread, M.P. was present for the purpose of presenting the cup and medals to the winners, but this part of the programme was necessarily unable to be carried out.  Mr A. Carruthers, J.P., briefly expressed the sense of disappointment which the officers had experienced , but rules, he said, must be observed.  Mr Whitbread also addressed a few words to the crowd, in the course of which he spoke in terms of high praise of the excellence of the play.  he concluded by calling for cheers for the respective teams and while these were heartily given a request for “one more for the referee” was responded to by a general chorus of hooting and groaning.  It should be stated that the Red Cross Band were present and played selections, and all that remains to be said is to acknowledge the completeness of the arrangements which had been made by the authorities.  It is probable that when the tie is replayed there will be again a large attendance, and we would say, “the more the merrier” for the money could not be devoted to better use than that to which the proceeds are to be applied.  The sum in hand is already large, and there is a prospect of a very appreciable amount being available for distribution.”  

The Reporter also announced the teams for

“Luton Town v Royal Arsenal.  – This fixture, which is down for to-morrow, will complete the Town Club’s list.  The visiting team will be as follows:- Bee (goal); Earle and Jeffrey (backs); Barber, Good win and Munro (half-backs); Jackson, Bell, Crawford, Calmer, Stacey (forwards).  Connolly is the reserve.  Mr Rostron Bourke is announced to officiate as referee.”  

Also announced was a

“School Boys’ Match. – Tomorrow (Saturday) week strong teams representing South London and Sheffield school boys are to meet on the Town Club’s ground to play a match for the benefit of the Teachers’ Orphanages.  The teams are stated to be remarkably clever exponents of the game, and the novelty of the affair combined with the excellence of the object to be benefited will doubtless attract a large number of spectators.  The arrangements are in the hands of a local committee of teachers.”

  11th April 1893 committee meeting –

“Team selected against Royal Arsenal Athletic for Sat 15th as follows – Read, goal; Wilson and Hoy, backs; George, Julian and Taylor, half backs; Brown, Whitby, Galbraith, Allen and Cheshire, forwards.  

Resolved that Mr B. Saunders resignation be accepted.

“Hon Sec should write Mr Saunders expressing regret that he should have taken the matter in the light he had and thanking him for the services he had rendered to the club”.  

“In the event of the charity committee applying for the use of our goals, nets, canvas and stands the same should be granted at the charge of 50/-“.

[Note – first ever use of the word “stands”.  Always racks before.]  

“resolved to approach the Charity Committee offering to replay the final on any day bar Saturday, offer Wednesday the 19th but would very much prefer Monday the 24th”. 

“That in making fixtures Hon Sec leave open date for both the charity and Whitbread cups”. 

15th April 1893.  From the Luton Reporter of 22 April 1893. 

“Luton Town v Royal Arsenal. – On Saturday these elevens met on the Town Club’s ground to play their return match, and additional interest centred in the affair not only from the fact that it virtually concluded the home side’s list but because the Royalists had been able to claim a very lucky victory by four goals to one earlier in the season.  On Saturday Hoy made his re-appearance in the eleven, and there was no mistaking the heartiness of the reception which was accorded to him when he came upon the field.  Considerable delay was occasioned at the start by the home team being photographed – an operation which was productive of a good deal of merriment amongst the onlookers – and it was about 4 o’clock when the elevens ranged up in the following order: – Luton Town: Goal, T. Read; backs, J. Wilson and J. Hoy; half-backs, A.H. Taylor, J.W. Julian and W. George; forwards, H. Galbraith (centre), H. Whitby and W. Brown (right), F. Allen and W. Chesher (left).  Royal Arsenal: Goal, Bee; backs, Jeffrey and Connolly; half-backs, Cross, Barber and Munro; forwards, Thynne (centre), Calmar and W.J. Crawford (right), Spinks and Stacey (left).  The referee was Mr A. Rostron Bourke and the linesmen Messrs T.W. Beardsley (Royal Arsenal) and A.F. Austin (Luton Town).  The visitors won the toss and Galbraith started operations.  During the first few minutes the Lutonians had by far the best of matters, and they narrowly missed scoring, the ball being sent uncomfortably close to the net several times.  The Arsenal men broke away once or twice thereafter, and once seemed certain to score, but the home backs demeaned themselves gallantly, and averted the danger.  Continuing to hold the upper hand, Luton tried hard to score, and when the game had been in progress for a considerable time, some fine play by George gave Galbraith an opportunity, which was eagerly accepted, and the initial point fell to Luton.  The home eleven continued to have the best of the game until half-time, but they did not succeed in eluding Bee, and when the teams crossed over the score stood at one goal to none in favour of the homesters.  The second half was even more distinctly in favour of Luton, the truth of this statement being shown by the fact that only half-a-dozen times were the Royalists able to make incursions into the homesters’ territory.  In this portion the Luton men were by no means idle.  Soon after the re-start Allen and Julian put in some remarkably good play, and the results of their efforts was that a second goal fell to their share.  Not long afterwards Allen put on another.  From this point the visitors were hopelessly beaten, and the poorness of their display astonished the onlookers.  Bee had to save continually, and the home total should have been much larger.  At this time the Lutonians conducted a steady bombardment, but they did not seem able to get the ball through.  First the leather skimmed the top of the bar, then it went out at either side; indeed, the sphere seemed to go everywhere in close proximity to the net except into it.  Shortly before the finish, however, Allen notched a fourth goal, and by that number Luton won to none.  The Lutonians played an excellent game, and well deserved their success, but it is impossible to say much of a complimentary character regarding their opponents.  They were palpably outclassed, and the action of the Arsenal authorities in sending down such a mediocre side was severely criticised by the spectators.  The fact is that the folks in question do not appreciate the improvement which has taken place in the play of the Lutonians.  The home forwards passed well, and the defence was excellent, Julian being particularly capable.  Hoy was noticeable for good style. For the Arsenal Bee and the pair of backs did best, for while the half-backs were unable to cope with the smart forwards opposed to them the forwards were all at sea when confronted with the home defence.  The victory formed a fitting close to a highly successful season, and the only matter of regret is that the score was not considerably larger, as it might well have been.”  

The paper continued with a number of articles. 

“Notice to Club Secretaries. – Our special article on the doings of the local clubs during the season will appear next week.  Secretaries should send their result list as early as possible.”  

“The Luton Cup Final. – We are asked to say that Mr Gunning is unable to referee on Monday next, and his place is to be filled by Mr A. Rostron Bourke.’  

“Luton v London. – The following strong team are announced to play for Mr Rostron Bourke against the Town Club on Saturday next: – J.W. Morton (City Ramblers), goal; W. Hay (London Caledonians), capt., and C. McGahey (City Ramblers), back; Stanley Briggs (Tottenham Hotspur), O. Elias (London Welsh) and P. J. Hunter (centre), R.W. Howie, A. Whitehead (London Caledonians), D. Goodall (Old St. Stephen’s), and H. Nolloth (City Ramblers), forwards.”  

17th April 1893 committee meeting –

“Team selected against Rushden for April 24th – Read, goal; Wilson and Hoy, backs; George, Julian and Taylor, half backs; Brown, Whitby, Galbraith, Allen and Cheshire, forwards”. 

Gate money for Sat 15th £17 10s 8d, pav 1/5

“resolved as a club to join the Referees Association

“That the signing on of McKenzie be left in the hands of the Hon Sec.  

“In answer to Mr J. Wilson’s letter £1 be granted from the club funds”.  

“that the team be insured for 2 weeks extra if the premium is not over £1”. 

“Resolved to hold the club tea on Saturday 29th, arrangements for which to be left in the hands of Messrs Shane, Hambling and Pakes”.  

22nd April 1893.  From the Luton Reporter of 29th April 1893.  

“Luton Charity Cup

Re-Played final tie

Luton Town v Rushden.  On Monday evening these teams met on the Town Club’s ground to decide the question of who should hold the Charity Cup for a year.  The bold fight made by Rushden a few weeks ago rendered the encounter additionally interesting, and it was not a matter of surprise that at this second meeting of the teams there should be a very large attendance.  The number of spectators who lined the ropes and occupied seats in the pavilion could not have been much less than on former occasions, for the “gate” amounted to about £72, which is little short of the two latest matches.  In this connection it must be stated that the Press representatives were treated very cavalierly by the officials.  No accommodation whatever was provided for them, and they were compelled to view the game in a recumbent posture near the centre line.  This is not by any means what it should be, and the indignity was justly resented by those whose duty forced them to submit to it.  It is earnestly to be hoped that on a future occasion some better arrangements should be made.  Another unsatisfactory point connected with the match was the delay occasioned by the non-arrival of the referee.  Some thousands of onlookers experienced what must have been the reverse of dolce far niente for an appreciable space, and it was not until 5 o’clock that a start was made.  At that time there were some 3,000 persons present, a goodly proportion of whom came to cheer the Rushden players.  

The Lutonians were first to appear, and they were lavishly applauded, but the cheer which greeted the Rushden men was no less hearty.  When the referee (Mr A. Rostron Bourke) had appeared the teams ranged up in the following order:- Luton Town: Goal, T. Read; backs, J. Wilson and A. Hoy; half-backs, J.W. Julian (captain), W. George and A.H. Taylor; forwards, H. Galbraith (centre), W. Chesher and F. Allen (left wing), W. Brown and H. Whitby (right wing).  Rushden: Goal, S. Allen (Captain); backs, E. Attley and W. Clarke; half-backs, T. Minney, A. Bailey and C. Church; forwards, T. Litchfield (centre), H. Lewis, J.L. Stanley (right wing), C. Pendred and G.H. Claridge (left wing).  The linesmen were Messrs H.H. Cox (St. Albans) and E.A. Barford (Luton).  Julian won the toss and elected to play with the sun in his eyes but with the advantage of a stiff breeze which was blowing.  The gave the Rushden men the goal at the pavilion end to defend.  Litchfield started the game and the Luton forwards at once brought the ball down the ground, but Allen and Galbraith missed.  George was fouled badly, and thereafter Wilson saved well when in difficulties.  Chesher obtained possession from a good pass and forced a corner off Attley, but this was unproductive.  The Lutonians were going at a great pace and kept the ball in their opponents’ territory.  Taylor, Julian and George were playing a grand game, and time after time placed the ball dangerously near to Allen’s charge.  On one occasion Julian sent in a capital attempt which was uncomfortably close to scoring, and Chesher emulated the example by putting in a very fast, low shot.  George and Julian again distinguished themselves, and the fray continued near the Rushden posts.  At length a goal kick led to the raising of the siege for a space, but the cessation was scarcely appreciable, for the Lutonians returned in a minute or two and seemed determined to break through.  The Rushden backs developed an ugly tendency towards kicking into touch, however, and Bailey in the centre of the field was responsible for some admirable defensive play.  Wilson made some remarkably fine kicks, and Julian’s heading was superb.  The homesters maintained the pressure, but Julian headed behind the line and this afforded the Rushden men a respite.  The Northants. players transferred the operations to the Luton end and obtained a corner off Wilson.  The kick was well taken by Lewis, but Church steered the ball behind the boundary.  Taylor was exhibiting splendid style just now.  Rushden attacked in force but they were repelled, and thereafter Litchfield was penalised for breaking the offside rule.  The Rushden keeper was the centre of some exciting operations shortly afterwards.  The Luton forwards swayed about in front of him and it seemed that a point must inevitably fall to them, but by means of some extraordinary defence Allen preserved his charge inviolate.  Maintaining the pressure the Lutonians exhibited exceedingly good style and more than once experienced hard luck in failing to score.  Shot after shot was tried, but without success.  At length the score was opened in a somewhat unsatisfactory fashion.  Bailey handled the ball right in goal and the referee promptly awarded a penalty kick to the locals.  Galbraith took the shot at a clear goal, and eluding Allen he managed to steer the ball into the net.  The success was hailed with a great cheer from the Luton section of the spectators.  Hands off Church was followed by a very fine attempt by Galbraith.  Read, who had had an exceptionally easy time, was called upon to fist out.  Hands against Julian a dozen yards from goal appeared dangerous and when the rule was again broken it seemed that the visitors must score, but Allen managed to clear at the expense of a corner which proved resultless.  Immediately afterwards Attley sent in a long shot, and to the astonishment of a good number of onlookers the referee awarded a goal, a decision which afforded unlimited satisfaction to the Rushdonites.  Hands off George was followed by a like decision against Lewis.  The home eleven soon after managed to regain the lead, Allen putting the finishing touch on a splendid centre by Taylor.  Until the midway stage was reached the leaders had considerably the best of the exchanges, and when the referee’s whistle announced half-time the record was as follows:- Luton, two; Rushden, one.  

Playing with the wind in the second period the Rushden men showed vast improvement.  After hands against Lewis, Brown centred well and the Lutonians made a determined attack on Allen, but that player behaved very luckily and managed to avert the danger.  A foul against Wilson was followed by a couple of corners to Rushden, which both proved nugatory.  Julian was kept busily engaged, and the Northants. representatives maintained the pressure.  Attley being hurt necessitated a brief adjournment, but happily the injury was not of a serious nature.  Hands off Church was followed by Chesher sending the leather just over the bar.  Brown threw away an easy chance of scoring by steering the ball over the line, an example which was imitated by the Rushdenites a minute later.  Read only partially cleared when called upon, but a miss by a Rushden player prevented any bad result.  Wilson conceded a corner when very hard pressed , and Bailey sent the ball behind.  Rushden again swarmed to the attack, and it is only de to them to say that they fully deserved to score.  The misses were by the smallest conceivable space, and it was extraordinary that some of the attempts did not succeed.  After a period of bad luck Bailey equalised from a throw in, and a few minutes later Stanley profited by an execrable mistake on the part of Read, who had ample time to clear his lines.  This success was enthusiastically cheered by the supporters of Rushden, but not a smile was to be seen upon the faces of the Lutonians.  Instead of being nerved to fresh attempts by the reverse the Luton players seemed to abandon all hope and play a listless game utterly devoid of the brilliancy which they had exhibited earlier in the evening.  The Rushden men did not neglect to profit by this, and playing with admirable coolness and determination they easily staved off the half-hearted attacks which were made.  They also narrowly missed scoring and but for the fact that three or four of the homesters did not follow the general lead and “funk” abominably the Northants. men would have materially increased their score.  As it was, however, the Lutonians were “beaten to blazes” – to adopt the expressive if somewhat inelegant phrase of a football contemporary – and when the end came they had to acknowledge having received the worst defeat which they had sustained since the Polytechnic fiasco.  It is useless to disguise the fact that they were honestly and deservedly beaten.  On the day’s play the Rushden men were infinitely superior and well deserved their victory.  No excuses will atone for the miserable display by the home side, and though some of the eleven demeaned themselves gallantly this only adds to the condemnatory nature of the play of the remainder.  Result:-

Rushden, three; Luton, two.  

At the close the distribution of the cup and medals was made by the Mayor (Councillor Hucklesby), who officiated in the absence of Mr S. Howard Whitbread, M.P.  

His Worship, addressing the crowd amid continual interruption, said he felt he was a very poor substitute for Mr Whitbread, and he was very sorry that the latter was unable to be present.  He thought the committee who three years ago instituted this rivalry showed their wisdom and sagacity, a fact which was abundantly testified by the knowledge that this season there had been collected at the gates £339 and that 10,000 people had paid for entrance.  He would like to say to those who had contributed how glad the committees of the various institutions of Luton were of the assistance which had been afforded in this way.  Although the cup was to go away from Luton it would give him very great pleasure to present the trophy to the captain of the team who had shown their prowess (cries of “three cheers for Rushden” and “Good old amateurs”).  They had shown themselves to be the better team.  He had hoped that the friendly rivalry which these contest caused would always be associated with the best of feeling, and although the Luton team were not successful that day they had tried their best.  It was said that the best thing for those who did not win success was to deserve it, and he was quite sure the Luton team has done their very best to deserve it.  He therefore asked those interested in the Rushden team that they would extend to the losing side the courtesy and kindness which would have been extended to them if the Lutonians had won the cup.  His Worship concluded by formally presenting the cup to Mr Allen, the captain of the Rushden eleven.  

Mr Allen on behalf of the victors, briefly thanked the committee for the manner in which they had acted, observing that the courtesy displayed was something grand.  

The medals to the winning team were next presented.  

The Mayor thereafter observed that throughout the matches there had been no accident.  Alluding to the Luton team, he said that although defeated they were not in any sense disgraced.  It was to be hoped that the next time success would attend their efforts.  

When the Luton men received their medals, Mr G.H. Barford, secretary of the committee, proposed a vote of thanks to the Mayor.  

Mr Julian, captain of the Luton team, seconded.  He did not want them, he said, to be downhearted at the defeat; they had lost many a time before, and he had no doubt they would lose again.  There was also no doubt that they would fight better next time.  Fate seemed to be against them in cup-ties, and they never seemed to do as they ought.  He did not think that the Luton men had played their usual game that day, but he admitted that the better team on the day’s play won, and he would conclude by congratulating his opponents  on the brilliant way in which they had played.  

The vote have been accorded, a brief acknowledgement by the Mayor concluded the proceedings.”

One of the great Victorian teams, Rushden completed a treble of cup wins in 1892/93.  Photo below.    

There followed a report –

“A Season’s football in the Luton district, some interesting figures.  

The football season ends in Luton with the match in aid of the Cricket Club to-morrow, but inasmuch as this is really an extra match it may be said that the term has virtually concluded.  The winter pastime has of late years been extending not only in point of the length of time occupied but in popularity, and in Luton the advance has been particularly rapid.  Compared with what existed half a dozen years ago  the present-day state of affairs is astonishing.  On any Saturday afternoon lovers of the game may count upon witnessing a match worthy of their attention, and surprisingly large numbers of juniors are engaged week by week in improving their practical acquaintance with the game.  The increased interest taken in the pastime has been manifested by the largeness of the attendances at the more important fixtures, and the Charity Cup officials are able to boast of having obtained record “gates.”  They have, indeed, been singularly fortunate in this respect, for a draw took place in the final tie as well as in one of the semi-finals.  The Rushden men were thereby compelled to journey to the town four times, and it is with some degree of satisfaction, viewed in this light, that we are able to congratulate them upon eventually being able to claim possession of this valuable trophy.  Considering the calibre of the teams engaged in the competition their achievement is one of which they may well be proud.  the receipts at the thee semi-finals and double final are roughly estimated at £340, and the attendances are very moderately set down at 10,000.  Turning to individual clubs first place is easily won by the 


The premier organisation have a record of which they may justly feel proud, but while they are able to congratulate themselves on some excellent performances there are other points connected with the programme which admirers would desire to gloss over.  No chronicle would be complete without reference being made to the steps which have been taken by the authorities to strengthen the eleven.  A capable centre forward, a strong back and an improved half back line have been engaged.  Perhaps the best investment that the Club made was in securing the services of Julian, for he has rarely been seen except in grand form, and one or two others may be mentioned with satisfaction.  Taylor, the veteran half-back, has proved a tower of strength to the side, and one or two of the younger forwards have displayed admirable style and have worked consistently well.  This side is even now susceptible of improvement, and the responsible managers will require to again grapple the question before another season.  It should be added that the organisation is in a good financial position.  The Club has during the last few months triumphantly vindicated its claim to be included in the first half dozen Southern organisations.  The teams with whom fixtures have been decided this season have been infinitely stronger than those engaged in former years, and yet the results have been more acceptable.  The number of matches played has been 33 (excluding the fixture with the Reserves which opened the season, when the juniors turned the tables on the first eleven).  Of these 20 have been won, nine lost and the remaining four ended in draws.  105 goals were scored for the side and 55 against, a goal record of nearly two to one in their favour.  The fact that the Club did not progress further than the third round in the Association Cup qualifying contest was distinctly surprising, for after beating Old St. Mark’s by 4-0 and the Old Etonians by 4-2 in the most brilliant style, they succumbed to the Polytechnic in astounding fashion by 4-2.  Their performance in the Luton Cup competition presents somewhat of a parallel.  Having started by eliminating Chesham by 4-0 they followed this up by disposing of the 2nd Scots Guards – who had been thought to have an excellent chance of securing the trophy – by 2-1, and this, too, after the soldiers had beaten last year’s holders, Millwall Athletic.  reaching the final, however, a change came over the spirit of the dream, and after playing tamely a draw of 1-1 with Rushden the local seniors were beaten extremely badly by 3-2, and thus the cup which had been thought well within their grasp was carried away into Northants.  The combinations which have proved their superiors during the term are :- Notts. Forest (3-2), Derby County (3-2), Sherwood Foresters (4-2), Millwall Athletic (twice, 3-2 and 1-0), Casuals (4-2), Polytechnic (4-2), Rushden (3-2), and Royal Arsenal Athletic (4-1).  The draws were Clapton (1-1), Highland Light Infantry (3-3), Royal Engineers (1-1), and Rushden (1-1).  The teams which have been compelled to acknowledge the supremacy of the Lutonians were: West Herts (twice, 4-1 and 3-0), Wolverton L. and N.W. (twice 2-0 and 4-3), Sherwood Foresters (twice, 2-0 and 2-0), Clapton (4-1), Royal Arsenal Athletic (4-0), 2nd Scots Guards (twice, 3-1 and 2-1), Old Etonians (4-2), Vampires (4-0), Woodville (5-1), Old St. Mark’s (4-0), city Ramblers (twice, 2-0 and 7-4), Old St. Stephen’s (4-3), Guy’s Hospital (9-3), St. Mary’s Hospital (11-0), and Chesham (4-0).  

The Town Club Reserves have met even more pronounced success, and the Luton authorities will in another season be compelled to find better fixtures.  The rising team has been beaten only three times in 25 matches – twice by Millwall Reserves (6-2 and 2-0), and Hitchin (4-1).  One game with Dunstable Grammar School was drawn at two goals all, and the remaining 21 were victories.  The juniors scored 140 goals, and only 26 were notched against them.  Double figures were secured on several occasions, and once they scored as many as 13-1.”  

There followed a review of Luton Montrose, Christ Church Club, Luton Excelsior and even St. Albans who won the Herts. County Cup.  Luton Montrose three teams had played a total of 55 matches, won 36, drew 7 and lost 12.  Christ Church had played 26, won 13, drew 3 and lost 10.  Of Luton Excelsior’s 43 matches they won 19, drew 8 and lost 16.   

 The Luton Reporter also advertised a game between

“Luton v London.  We are requested to draw special attention to this match which is to be played to-morrow (Saturday) in aid of the funds of the Cricket Club.  The finances of this organisation are at a very low ebb, and it is certain that unless additional support is given the club will have to be given up.  Apart from the idea of greatly benefitting the Cricket Club, footballers may well consider the calibre of the side who are to represent London.  It is one of the strongest that has appeared on the Luton ground this year, and the struggle is certain to be a keen one.  The names of the players were published last week.  

In local football Gordon Wanderers beat Slip End Choristers 2 0.  

24th April 1893 committee meeting –

“Team selected against Mr Rostron Bourke’s team.  

Auditors of accounts for season 92 and 93 Messrs Hackett and Shane.

“Mr Shane stated that he had made arrangements with Mr Faunch for the tea at 6.15 also for an entertainment afterwards, Mr A. Carruthers in the chair”.  

“Mr Wilson waited upon the committee offering his services for next year at the remuneration of 10/- per week for the entire year.  Half of the money for the close season to be paid down at once, the other half on Sept 1st 93.  This was accepted by the committee and Hon Sec instructed to write Mr Wilson to that effect”.  

Insurance left in the hands of Mr Austin.”