Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer



A survey in 2020 revealed that Luton Town are the most successful F.A. Cup giant killers of modern times.  I have always thought that our overall record would be hard to beat.  But where and when did it start?  Ironically our first giant killing occurred at Wembley on the 4th November 1893.  Luton Town had been drawn away to the Old Westminsters, one of the top teams in the country whose line up included six England international players – Ralph Tyndall Squire, Billy Moon, Alban Harrison, William Winckworth, John Veitch, and Rupert Sandilands.  The Old Westminsters should have achieved more but they did reach the F.A. Cup quarter finals in 1884, 1886 and 1887.  They were winners of the London Senior Cup in 1887, 1888, 1890, 1892 and 1893.

There are lots of interesting references in this chapter on all aspects of the game.  Note the enthusiasm in the first report.  Plus the reference to the share issue in the minutes of the 27th November committee meeting to raise money for a grand stand.  Also, at this time there were no turnstiles.  After the cup-tie against Norwich CEYMS, the proceeds were divided between the two clubs.  It seems from the 4th December committee minutes that Norwich wrote to ask for the exact attendance.  We could not give it to them.  At this time, clubs did send “checkers” to away games where the gate receipts were to be divided between the clubs.  These would be committee men who would stand at the entrances and count in the crowd. This acted as a check on their share of the gate money.

4th November 1893.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 11th November 1893



A stranger visiting the town on Saturday evening would have been at a complete loss to account for a roar of triumph which went up from a large crowd in the centre of the town and even a good many towns-people were unable to explain the outburst of enthusiasm.  To the football lover the cheering served as an unmistakable indication that the Luton Town team had once more given a good account of themselves and had qualified for the third round of the qualifying competition for the English Cup.  It may, perhaps, be explained that the club was not engaged in the first round, the ninth division (in which Luton is included) containing an insufficient number of clubs.  The eight combinations who had entered were accordingly awarded byes, and these were engaged in mimic warfare on Saturday.  When the result of the draw for the second round became known fear and dismay fell upon all football loving Lutonians, for it was found that the “reds” had been pitted against the strongest side in the division, the Old Westminsters.  The usual predictions as to the probable result of the encounter were made prior to the fray, and these were invariably distinctly adverse to Luton’s chances of success ; indeed, the prophets confined their forecasts to the number of goals which would be registered against their players.  The chances of the locals were not increased, to say the least, by the fact that they had to play away from home.  In anticipation of a goodly number of admirers following the fortunes of the team both railway companies ran excursion trains to London, and a fairly satisfactory use was made of these opportunities to visit the scene of the encounter at Wembley Park.  The Midland train was the more largely patronised, upwards of 100 taking tickets.  The weather in this early part of the day was not of a very inviting nature, and the lengthy journey was not of the most pleasant description, but the travellers beguiled the time by discussing various interesting football topics—for nobody would be so venturesome as to intrude extraneous subjects upon the attention of enthusiastic partisans of any football eleven.  Everything mundane has an ending, and the weary voyages rejoiced that this was the case with the journey to Wembley.  The opportunity of rambling about the charming grounds and of inspecting the tower which is to beat the record was, however, sufficient  to compensate for any discomfort which had been experienced, to say nothing of the treat in store.  The weather had improved somewhat, and the Lutonians were correspondingly jubilant.  An inspection of the ground revealed the fact that the rain which had fallen during the morning had had the effect of saturating the turf, though not of rendering it slippery.  The footballer’s vocabulary contains many curious terms, and as it is considered nowadays that no account is complete without the introduction of several of these it may at the outset be conceded that the ground was “on the heavy side”.

The start had been announced for 2.45, and a little later the teams took up their position in presence of upwards of 1,000 spectators.  A piercingly cold wind swept over the ground , and the lot of the onlookers was the reverse of pleasant.  Those who lined the railings, however, did not allow the cold to benumb their partialities, for the applause during the game ranged up in the following order :—Old Westminsters : Goal, *W. R. Moon ; backs, *A. H. Harrison and *R. T. Square (captain) ; half-backs, A. W. Ferrers-Guy, *W. N. Winckworth, and E. G. Moon ; forwards.  W. P. Winckworth and J. G. Veitch (right wing), R. R. Sandilands (centre), E. L. Clapham and F. Street (left wing).  *International players.  Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, J. Taylor and J. Wilson ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian (captain), and A. J. Taylor ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right wing), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left wing).  The referee was Mr. R. Evans, and the linesmen were Messrs. H. Wetton (Old Westminsters) and W. G. Wheeler (Luton).  It will be noticed that Vickers and Hayes were missing from the Luton team.  The former had not recovered from the injury which he sustained at Millwall in the previous week, and Hayes had been injured during the week.  The “pinks” won choice of positions, and Galbraith started some minutes after the advertised time.  The Westminsters went off with a rush, but the Luton defenders returned and the ball went out at the pavilion side.  When the “reds” looked like getting near Moon’s goal Guy put himself in evidence and cleared with a terrific kick.  The Luton forwards had apparently made up their minds to try their utmost, and a minute later they took the ball up the field by means of some good passing, Allen concluding the run by receiving the sphere when off-side.  A little later the old boys had to kick off from their goal-line, the visitors having come unpleasantly close to scoring.  Dimmock was showing capital style, and with Galbraith and Finlayson in the pink of condition the Lutonian forward string were giving the opposing half-backs considerable trouble.  When they had had a spell in the homesters’ territory, however, Street raced away to the other end and Veitch secured possession, but he found the Town backs too strong for him.  Brown experienced extremely hard luck a moment afterwards, a splendid shot from his foot travelling across the Westminsters’ goal in tantalising fashion.  Next the home forwards visited Bee’s end and gave a display of neat passing in front of the ex-Arsenal man ; in fact, they passed too much and shot too little, and so failed to score.  On one occasion Sandilands struck the cross-bar with the ball, but at no time were the “pinks” very dangerous.  Hands against the homesters was followed by a corner against Luton off Taylor.  Brown shortly afterwards tried Moon with a capital attempt, but the international managed to clear his goal-line.  A corner followed, but this was not improved upon.  The play was hereabouts in the neighbourhood of the homesters fortress and the “reds” looked like scoring.  A first-rate centre by Brown presented Galbraith with an opportunity, but the centre man failed in his shot.  A good display by J. Taylor was succeeded by a capable exhibition on the part of Bee, who on one occasion saved in marvellous style.  Brown was penalised for lying off-side and a corner to the enemy was conceded by Julian, and thereafter the Luton end was the scene of operations for a space.  The Bedfordshire men were not long content with this state of affairs and presently went away at a great pace.  Their progress was checked, and in turn the “pinks” became invaders.  Street got off splendidly but was pulled up by Wilson, who was exhibiting grand defensive ability, and then Veitch spoiled a fine opening by bad shooting, while Sandilands was similarly unfortunate.  The home players attacked fiercely and corners fell to them in rapid succession, but the Lutonians bore themselves gallantly and no score resulted.  Bee was sorely tried a trifle later, but he was on his best behaviour and could not be induced to let a shot pass him.  Brown was most prominent in a rattling run by the visiting forwards, but Dimmock missed badly when the right winger centred admirably.  A minute afterwards Veitch received from Sandilands and sent the ball in at a great pace, but it struck the bar and went over.  Luton subsequently had a look in and from a capital pass by Dimmock Brown sent in a beauty which Allen had the misfortune to head over the bar.  Harrison was evoking considerable applause by his sturdiness at back, and a mingled roar of laughter and applause saluted him when he tricked one of the attacking force very cleverly.  Brown experienced hard luck by seeing the ball miss by a yard only, when he had sent in a capable attempt.  Sandilands was well in evidence, and he again tested Bee’s ability, but that player demeaned himself gallantly, and the famous international failed in his attempt to give his side the lead.  W. P. Winckworth tried hard, but again the Luton custodian frustrated the enemy’s designs.  At this stage the hearts of the Luton supporters were filled with dismay by seeing Watkins writhing on the ground after colliding with Clapham.  It was found that his right leg was injured, and he had to leave the field.  The loss of a man seemed to render the “reds” more determined than ever to give a good account of themselves.  Galbraith was especially prominent, but inasmuch as the whole of the forward line were at their best it is, perhaps, a trifle beside the mark to select an individual for commendation.  Wilson at back was, however, displaying rare ability, while Julian and A. Taylor were working magnificently, the captain doing an immense amount of service.  Veitch having kicked behind the Town Club’s line, Street was stopped on two occasions when he placed himself off-side.  Watkins here resumed, the applause which greeted his re-appearance being both generous and general.  Dimmock sorely tested Moon’s powers after a clever run, and next Allen muffed a chance presented to him by Finlayson, who centred finely after a tricky dribble.  Half-time arrived with the score-sheet in the following condition : Old Westminsters, 0 ; Luton, 0.  After a brief cessation the game was resumed, the Luton spectators being on fairly good terms with themselves, inasmuch as the play of their favourites had far exceeded their most sanguine expectations.  After the re-start , the visitors had considerably the best of matters, and Harrison was compelled to display his best ability in order to stem several determined rushes.  Finlayson sent in a beauty, which Moon fisted out, and it was only the magnificent back play of the Westminsters that stopped the Luton forwards more than once.  Great dissatisfaction was caused by the referee pulling up Galbraith on the score of off-side, the general feeling being that the decision was unjust.  Brown from a pass by Allen sent the ball over the bar, and a minute afterwards a great burst of cheering hailed the opening of the score by Luton, Dimmock taking advantage of a mis-kick by Harrison and sending the leather into the net.  Stimulated by this success the “reds” showed splendid style and matters looked ominous for the old boys.  Sandilands got within shooting distances subsequently, but he was too much hampered by Julian to be dangerous ; indeed, it was the visitors’ captain’s fine tackling that took the sting out of the “pinks’” centre man during the whole of the game.  Finlayson was badly fouled, and then Brown had a trial to himself, but Harrison cleared.  Hands against Squire produced a stout tussle in front of the Old Westminsters’ uprights, but Moon behaved brilliantly.  Corners were credited to the homesters, and when hands had been awarded against Squire, Dimmock was pulled up for alleged infraction of the off-side rule.  Veitch was similarly visited, and a free kick against Luton in goal looked ominous, but no bad results accrued.  For a considerable space thereafter the “pinks” maintained a steady bombardment of the Luton citadel, and Wilson and Julian were loudly hooted for kicking into touch when matters appeared dangerous.  A few anxious minutes for the supporters of the Town men were experienced, for as the determined rushes were made in rapid succession a score seemed inevitable.  By-and-bye the siege was raised, several shots by Street being ineffectual.  Then the visitors had a turn at the other end, and when the game ended the ball was in mid-field.  Before the finish loud cries of “Time” were heard from all parts of the ground, and when at length the referee blew his whistle it was found that he had allowed several minutes more than the proper time limit.  When the struggle ceased and the “reds” were hailed as the winners of an exceedingly well-fought game an extraordinary scene of enthusiasm was witnessed near the pavilion, the Lutonians being delighted with their brilliant victory.  The receipt of the news in Luton was attended with a like outburst, for the success had been altogether unexpected.  The “reds” are entitled to the utmost credit, for the win is not only the most notable with which they have ever been credited but it was obtained by sheet merit.  Every man played up to his reputation, from goal-keeper to centre forward.  Excuses have been made for the moderate display by the Old Westminster forwards, but a complete explanation is to be found in the unceasing attention paid to them by the opposing half-backs.  Julian stuck to Sandilands like a leech and has never exhibited better tackling ability, while A. Taylor exerted himself strenuously to stop the progress of Veitch.  Watkins was unfortunate in being injured, but despite his injury he did really well.  At back Wilson played magnificently, and he was little short of being the best back on the field; at any rate his mistakes were few and far between.  J. Taylor showed up prominently, while Bee in goal exhibited superb style.  Amongst the forwards there was little to choose, for all did well. Galbraith and Finlayson repeatedly tricked the Westminster half backs, while Allen was as plucky as ever in the open field.  Brown’s centres were very fine, and Dimmock was prominent both for dibbling and shooting.  For the losers Harrison played in best style, his defence being grand.  Winckworth was the best of the half-backs, while of the forwards the most successful were Street, Veitch and Sandilands.  Moon effected some marvellous saves in goal.  It should be added that the referee was by no means popular, many of his decisions being far from satisfactory.

It may be interesting to add that the remaining ties in the division resulted as follows: Norwich C.E.Y.M.S., a bye, the Swifts scratching ; Wolverton L. And N.W. beat the Casuals at Wolverton by two to none ; Sherwood Foresters beat Polytechnic at Wimbledon by five to none.

LUTON AND THE ENGLISH CUP.—Last (Thursday) night Luton Town were drawn against Norwich C.E.Y.M.S. at Luton.  Wolverton play Sherwood Foresters at Woverton.

To-morrow (Saturday) the Town Club play the Casuals, when their team will be as follows:—Goal, Bee ; backs, Vickers and Chesher ; half-backs, Wilson Julian and Taylor ; forwards, Brown and Finlayson (right), Allen and Dimmock (left), H. Galbraith (centre).  The referee will be Mr. J. Wright.”


Probably owing to the large number of football enthusiasts who followed the Town Club to London and also to the encounter between the Luton Montrose and Finedon Clubs, there was only a small number of spectators on the Town Ground on Saturday afternoon, when the reserves met and vanquished the Bedford Swifts.  Including everyone on the field there were not more than 150 persons present, and as a result there was a great lack of enthusiasm.  In fact it is highly probable that there would have been little enthusiasm had there been a much larger company, for a more miserable display of football has rarely been witnessed on the Town Ground.  Certainly the ground was in a sodden state, but that did not account for weak passing and the erratic shooting at goal.  The result of the match was six to one in favour of the home team, but with proper play the game ought to have been won by double that number .  The visiting team displayed very little combination, and when the home forwards became in any ways dangerous they simply packed the goal.  That, however, ought not to have prevented the Lutonians from putting on a larger number of goals, for several times different members of the team had the goal at their mercy.  The shooting, however, was very erratic, and the ball was continually sent against the posts or over the net, much to the amusement of the spectators.  It was quite a quarter of an hour late when the teams faced each other in the following order :—Luton Reserves : Goal, R. Fox ; backs, Harden and C. Read ; half-backs, H. Whitby, J. Simpkins, and F. Gazeley ; forwards, F. Conquest and W. Deacon (right), G. Groom (centre), W. Chesher and W. H. Catlin (left).  Bedford Swifts : Goal, W. Buckle ; backs, H. Adams and W. Racher ; half-backs, H. Bennett, Jeffries, and Deane ; forwards, E. Humphreys and S. Long (right), G. Darlow (centre), J. Pearson and P. Lenton (left). Mr. A. E. Barford was the referee, and the linesmen were Messrs. Wheeler (Luton) and M. A Barber (Bedford).  It will be noticed that there were several changes in the Luton team.  Whitby played at half-back in place of Walker, who has left the town.  Hurcombe and Brown were both absent from the team, and their places were taken by W. Deacon (who, on Saturday, played in the Reserves for the first time) and W. Chesher, a member of the first eleven, but, who being on the sick list, did not feel competent to join the Town Club in a most important encounter.  Tearle was also unable to play owing to sickness, and his place was taken by R. Fox, an old member of the team.  The Bedford captain won the toss, and started the ball with a slight wind in his favour.  Play settled in mid-field for some minutes, both teams putting in some good work.  A foul against the Bedford men removed the play into the visitor’s quarters, but nothing came of it, and Adams relieving, the visitors pressed.  After a free kick for hands against Bedford, Simpkins and Whitby did some good tackling.  An onslaught was afterwards made on the Luton goal, but Harden and Read were in evidence and sent the ball into mid-field.  Luton then pressed, but the ball was kicked over the line.  Some indiscriminate kicking followed, and this was succeeded by some pretty passing between Chesher, Catlin, and Gazeley.  From a kick by Gazeley, Chesher centred well, but the ball went wide of the post.  Luton still pressed , and Groome eventually managed to get past Buckle.  When the ball had been re-started the Bedford men rushed down the field and Darlow put in an easy shot, which Fox ought to have stopped, the score being thus equalised.  The visitors again pressed, but Read saved nicely, a corner, however, being conceded by Luton shortly afterwards.  Nothing came of the centre, and Groom carried the ball into the centre of the field where it remained for some time, neither team showing very smart play.  Whitby sent in a capital shot which Buckle saved, and then Luton pressed.  Shot after shot was made at the goal, and time after time Luton were near scoring, but more than a quarter of an hour passed before Luton made any impression on the pack in the visitors’ goal.  At last Catlin obtained an opening and sent in a clinking shot.  The slippery state of the ground interfered considerably with the play, but notwithstanding this Luton showed some very fair tackling and pressed again and again.  Nothing further was scored before half-time, when the result was—Luton 2, Bedford Swifts 1.  During nearly the whole of the second half Luton pressed, and never at any time did the visitors become dangerous, Fox not touching the ball more than twice during the whole of the time.  Simpkins sent in the first shot, but it went wide and a corner was conceded.  Nothing came of the centre, and then Conquest had a try at the goal, but the ball went across the goal.  Bedford then carried the ball to the Luton goal, but Groom relieved and Chesher sent in a splendid shot, but was unable to get the ball through the “pack.”  This was followed by several ineffectual shots at the visitors’ goal, nearly the whole of the members of the home team making unsuccessful attempts to score.  Some very loose play followed, but eventually Gazeley managed to get through, the third goal being thus scored.  Several corners were subsequently forced by Luton, and Lenton relieved the pressure by carrying the ball down the field.  Harden returned, and Conquest had another try at scoring, but the “pack” was too strong for him.  The Luton players continued to bombard the visitors’ goal until about 10 minutes before the finish of the game, when Catlin managed to score number four.  This was quickly followed by a fifth goal from the foot of Groom, and just before the whistle sounded, Chester sent in a stinging shot, thus scoring the sixth goal.  The final result was—Luton 6, Bedford Swifts 1.

6th Nov 1893 committee meeting –

“resolved that the boys match should be over by 12.30”. 

Team selected against Casuals for Sat 11th – Bee, goal; Vickers and Cheshire, backs; Wilson, Taylor and Julian, half backs; Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson, Brown, forwards.” 

Gate money for sat 4th 11/-

Expenses of cup match to Wembley Park £5 6s 6d.

11th November 1893.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 18th November 1893.  


The Casuals had been due to meet Luton Town on the last Saturday in September, but owing to some misunderstanding on the part of the Casuals’ secretary the home side were compelled to go further afield for opponents.  The ordinary match for Saturday last was with Guy’s Hospital, but this was scratched in order to make way for more formidable opponents.  The Casuals were forced to make a division of their strength, owing to the fact that they were engaged on the same date against the Old Brightonians.  As a consequence the team which visited Luton was not the full strength of the metropolitan organisation, but at the outset it may be stated that the side was by no means inferior calibre.  The day was brilliantly fine, though cold, and upwards of 2,000 spectators lined the ropes.  Shortly after the time announced the teams took up their positions in the following order :—Casuals : Goal, F. A. Simpson ; backs, E. H. Beazley and S. L. King ; half-backs, C. C. Hoskins, F. H. Walter, and H. W. Looker ; forwards, R. C. Stotter and J. H. Farmer (right), J. M. Farrington (centre), W. Ferris and F. H. Carlton (left).  Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, R. Vickers and W. Chesher ; half-backs, J. W. Julian (captain), A. H. Taylor and J. Wilson ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left).  The referee was Mr. J. Wright, and the linesmen Messrs. R. S. Osborne (Casuals), and Sid. Pakes (Luton).  The visiting captain won the toss, and the home men played against the sun and with a slight wind in their favour.  Hands against the Lutonians was the first noticeable point, and then Taylor put in some very fine play.  Subsequently the “reds” manifested their superiority, and a tremendous struggle took place in front of Simpson, but the attacking party failed to elude the vigilance of the amateurs’ goalkeeper.  Galbraith was injured in this melee, but his absence from the field was only for a few minutes.  The visitors managed to transfer the play by a brilliantly-executed long run, but the ball was soon returned and Brown forced a corner.  Another followed a minute later, but both were abortive.  Luton continued to press severely and hands against the Casuals was awarded.  An admirable opening presented itself to Galbraith, but that player unfortunately shot rather too high.  Bee had up to now been troubled very little, but he was given a chance to display his ability, which he did in first-rate style.  Dimmock now put in one of the lightning runs for which he is becoming famous, and finished up by centering in admirable fashion ; but Galbraith overran the ball and nothing resulted.  One of the Casuals’ backs displayed his strength somewhat unduly upon Dimmock, an action which evoked hearty rounds of hooting and hissing.  The defence of the amateurs was very sorely taxed just now, for Luton continued to have all the best of the game.  Finlayson made a splendid attempt to lower the colours of the visitors, but the ball went out at the side of the goal.  Galbraith was distinguishing himself by exceedingly tricky play.  On one occasion he ran round three or four of his bulky adversaries in a manner which created intense amusement.  That player and Finlayson had shies at goal, but failed in producing the desired effect.  Dimmock followed their example by shooting over the bar, and as an illustration of the soundness with which the locals were carrying out their invasion it may be mentioned that their opponents rarely managed to get over the half-way line.  At length, however, they managed to take a turn at the other end, but the ball went behind.  The Londoners were penalised for a foul throw-in, and from the free-kick which followed a determined scrimmage took place in the vicinity of the visitors’ uprights, Galbraith evoking a great shout of applause by sending the ball into the net.  In the next few minutes two corners and a free kick for hands were registered against the Casuals, and then a dire misfortune happened to the homesters, their captain being compelled to leave the field from an injury to his ankle.  Despite this loss the latter came down in determined fashion, and a strenuous struggle ensued at the Causal’s end.  By means of some really good defence they managed to stave off further disaster for a time, and though free kicks were given against them on two or three occasions no further score followed.  Luton were penalised for an infraction of one of the rules, and then Dimmock put in a capital run, and Brown finished up by putting the ball barely a foot above the cross-bar.  Allen but rarely missed and the “Reds” had a corner conceded to them.  Julian resumed amid high applause, and Dimmock signalised his return by making another plucky attempt to lower the fortress of the amateur combination.  When the interval arrived the score stood : Luton, one ; Casuals, none.  Immediately after the re-start the Casuals had a trifle the best of matters for a space, but thereafter the Luton forwards got away and forced a corner.  Brown sent in a beauty and another corner followed.  A great shout arose when Dimmock from the corner line sent the ball screwing into the net, but the exultation gave way to disappointment when it was found that no score could be allowed, owing to the fact that the ball did not touch a second player.  A further corner was obtained, and from this a genuine goal was put to the credit of the home side, the home forwards heading through.  Simpson afterwards had a somewhat anxious time, the Luton forwards giving him no rest.  The Casuals emulated this example, and Bee was required to give a further sample of his prowess.  The Casuals here-abouts were again having the advantage, for in about five minutes these managed to secure a corner and a free kick for hands.  At length one of their forwards was pulled up for off side, and the “reds” raced away rapidly, Galbraith finishing up a terrific struggle by again eluding the vigilance of Simpson.  The same player sent in a splendid shot just afterwards, but nothing followed.  The game for an appreciable period resolved itself into a series of attacks on the Casuals; citadel, and the manner in which it escaped was little short of marvellous.  When the end was rapidly approaching the home representatives managed to add one more point to their total, and eventually they were enabled to claim the victory by four goals to nil.  In view of the statements which have been made in the course of this description, it is scarcely necessary to repeat that the Lutonians were by far the better team, but it may be reiterated that London combinations do not seem to have a just perception of the strength of the locals, and that if clubs of such standing as the Casuals do not send down more formidable combinations they cannot hope to secure a victory against Luton Town, who are going exceedingly strongly just now.  It only remains to state that the whole of the local players did themselves full justice.  Their defence was very sound, the presence of Wilson in the half-back line adding strength to this point.  The forwards all played an excellent game, though their shooting might have been improved somewhat.  The Casuals played on the whole in fairly good style, but their form was by no means what the spectators had hoped to see.  The goal-keeper played a magnificent game, and had it now been for his prowess the score would doubtless have been much larger.

To-morrow (Saturday) the “reds” journey to Chatham to meet the club there.  They will have staff task set them to win, but on the form recently displayed they should be able to achieve a victory.  The Luton team is to be as follows :—Bee ; Chesher and Wilson ; Taylor, Julian and Simpkins ; Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson and Brown.  The match at home will commence at 3.15.

13th Nov 1893 committee meeting –

“Team selected against Chatham for Sat 18th.  Bee, goal; Wilson and Cheshire, backs; Taylor, Julian, Simpkins, half backs; Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson, Brown, forwards.  In the event of Julian being unable to play, Sec write him to send a player to fill his place.  

“resolved that Messrs Dimmock and Brown be asked to sign for the Town Club”. 

Gate money for Sat 11th £21 18s 8d, Pav 3/8.   

Resolved that shoes be found by the club for Mr E. Bee.  

18th November 1893.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 25th November 1893.  


The Luton Town men undertook another journey from home on Saturday, when they met Chatham on their own ground.  It is several years since a meeting took place between Chatham and a Luton eleven, and the strangers put a decided stop to any thoughts which the Lutonians might have had of progressing further in the English Cup contest.  The advances which the “reds” have made since that date have been so great that it was agreed there was a reasonable hope of obtaining a victory.  There were not many who ventured upon the journey from Strawopolis, but those who went were well repaid, for not only did they witness a splendidly contested game but they were enabled to enjoy it.  The unfortunates who remained at home were deprived by the tempestuous weather of the opportunity of witnessing a contest.  The visiting team was not quite full strength, Simpkins appearing at right half-back and Wilson replacing Vickers at back.  The elevens were as follows :—Chatham : Goal, J. Albert ; backs, J. Robertson and E. F. Prall ; half-backs, S. Whitehead, J. Brisley and H. Lewis ; forwards, A. Hall and G. Allen (right), W. Incledon (centre), H. Hobart and J. Stanford (left).  Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and J. Wilson ; half-backs, J. W. Julian, A. H. Taylor and J. Simpkins ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (eight), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left).  Julian won choice of positions and elected to take advantage of the wind.  The start was made in dull weather and before upwards of a thousand spectators, Incledon kicking off.  Stanford missed what appeared like an easy chance, and then Galbraith improved upon a capital pass by Brown by putting on the first goal of the game with a splendid shot.  This was about five minutes from the start.  Disaster came to the Lutonians in their turn, Hall finishing up a good run by his companion forwards by equalising.  In the play which ensued the “reds” had much the best of matters, their superior combination enabling them to do most of the attacking.  Good passing and excellent centering on their part was witnessed, but the opposing backs proved too strong, and their utmost efforts were frustrated.  Corner after corner fell to Luton, but without result, though Albert was severely tested upon more than one occasion between the posts.  Hobart and Stanford were prominent for Chatham, and Bee was at one period called upon to save a capital shot from the first-named, a task which the Luton keeper performed in admirable style.  The game continued to be exceedingly fast until the midway stage, but the visitors did most of the pressing.  When the elevens changed ends the score stood at one all.  During the second half rain fell heavily, and this served to render the ground far from satisfactory.  The homesters quickly got through and a mistake on the part of one of the Lutonian rear-guard let through the Chatham forwards.  Bee was at his best, however, and managed to stop the shot which Hobart finished up with.  Finlayson, in turn, taxed Albert to his utmost, but the home custodian acquitted himself excellently.  Stanford managed to kick the ball past Bee, but the point was disallowed on the ground of an infringement of the off-side rule.  Dimmock thereafter succeeded in beating Albert and thus giving his side the lead.  No further goals were obtained, and the visitors were at the close enabled to claim a victory by two goals to one.—The Morning Leader, which cannot be said to be altogether favourable to Luton, thus comments on the win :—“Luton’s victory at Chatham over the home club stamps the straw-plaiters as a real good lot, and does much to confirm the Wembley Park affair as being no fluke.  Chatham made a good fight of it, and only succumbed by two to one, but the Luton lads were always a bit the better team.”

To-morrow (Saturday) the Town men meet the Norwich C.E.Y.M.S. in the third round of the English Cup qualifying contest, and there does not seem much doubt that they will qualify for the final round of the division.  They may be warned in time, however, to abstain from rating their adversary too cheaply.  There may be a possibility of their winning easily, but it is advisable to display their best style, and thus prevent a repetition of last year’s Wimbledon fiasco.  The Norwich men are to make the journey overnight, and it is likely that they will be found fit.  It is understood that their ability is not at all mean, a statement which is amply justified by their play recently.

20th November 1893 committee meeting –

“Team selected against Norwich C.E.Y.M.S. Bee, goal; Wilson and Cheshire, backs; Taylor, Julian, A.N. Other, half backs; Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson and Brown, forwards.  The right half to be left to the Secretary.  Referee Mr Rostron Bourke, Linesman, Mr Hackett. 

Decided to look at the state of the pitch before allowing games on it on Saturday mornings – i.e. the boys games.  

“Proposed that the Secretary write to Mr Hayes informing him that his services are no longer required”.  However, and amendment was carried that this be held over for one week.  

“secretary stated that the ground question was settled and that during the week an agreement would be drawn up for Messrs Shane and Webdale with the Secretary to sign on behalf of the club”. 

“The stand be proceeded with forthwith”.  

“Carried that a barrier be constructed at the large gate”.  

Gate money for Wednesday 15th, £1 0s 6d.  

Expenses to Chatham £5 4s 2d. 

“Resolved that Mr Wright’s offer of (£3 and find horse for rolling and mowing purposes) for the keep and erection of stable be accepted”.  SOME CROSSING OUT HERE SO THIS DOES NOT READ PROPERLY

22ND NOVEMBER 1893 committee meeting –

“Letters from West Herts, 1st Scots Guards, Old Westminsters, Norwich and the Boys League.  

“secretary write Scots Guards in order to get a reduction if possible in the guarantee”. 

“Advertise in the usual way for a match in the place of West Herts”.  

“Secretary then read a statement of receipts and expenditure in connection with the cup tie at Wembley Park.  In going over the different items the general opinion seemed to be that it was a very unsatisfactory statement.  It was therefore proposed by Mr Barford, seconded by Mr Hinson, and carried unanimously that the Secretary communicate with the Old Westminsters informing them that we cannot accept the statement and that unless a more equitable and fair statement be furnished the matter be laid before the association”.  

25th November 1893.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 2nd December 1893.  



On Saturday last the ties in the third round of the qualifying contest for the English Cup were decided, and at the end the number of clubs engaged was reduced to a score.  Luton Town had been drawn against Norwich C.E.Y.M.S. and had been fortunate enough to obtain choice of grounds.  It had been rumoured that the strangers would not undertake the long journey from the East, but these prognostications were falsified by last week’s definite announcement that the team would arrive in Strawopolis on Friday night.  They fulfilled the engagement and stayed in the town overnight.  The morning of the important encounter was fair, but just at the time announced for play to commence rain began to fall heavily and for the greater part of the period during which play took place the rain storm swept the ground.  This served nor only to seriously interfere with the comfort of the couple of thousand enthusiasts who lined the ropes, but it had the effect of rendering the ground slippery and treacherous.  From the point of view of the visiting eleven, however, there was  distinct set-off, for the downfall caused a general rush for seats in the pavilion and thus swelled the receipts, which in the end amounted to well-nigh £40.

At the time arranged the referee (Mr. A. Roston Bourke) made his appearance on the scene of the operations, and he was rapidly followed by the following elevens :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and J. Wilson ; half-backs, A. H. Taylor, J. W. Julian (capt.), and R. Vickers ; forwards, J. Dimmock and F. Allen (left), H. Galbraith (centre), J. Finlayson and W. Brown (right).  Norwich : Goal, G. S. Burleigh ; backs, E. W. Bewby and G. L. Horne ; half-backs, R. Webster (capt.), J. Coleby, and P. Looker ; forwards, F. Dains and H. Amos (left), F. Snelling (centre), A. Clarke and J. C. Nutchey (right).  The linesmen were : Messrs. J. H. Hackett (Luton) and C. Palmer (Norwich).  The C.E.Y.M.S., who lost choice of positions, played in red while the Lutonians were well-nigh unrecognisable in white.  The homesters had the advantage of the wind and were not slow to utilise it, for from the start they made their way into the opposition quarters.  A free kick for hands was awarded against the Norwich men, and a little later something more substantial was secured, for from a pass by Dimmock, Finlayson sent the ball into the net.  A corner against the visitors was unproductive, and then Luton’s cup tie bad luck asserted itself, Galbraith being kicked and forced to leave the field.  Julian was conspicuous during an attack by the strangers, and hands against Luton followed.  Galbraith resumed, but a few moments later he was kicked on the head and compelled to again retire, his absence this time being considerably more lengthy.  The Norwich representatives got away once, but a foul against them stopped their progress.  The Lutonians, though a man short, played a determined game and the Norwich defence was sorely taxed.  On several occasions the downfall of the adversaries’ goal seemed imminent, but it was continuously averted.  Hands against Luton near goal appeared dangerous, but the ball was sent over the bar.  One of the Norwich players was cautioned by the referee, and this was followed by a corner to the home combination.  The Norwich goal-keeper, who had been displaying remarkable ability in spite of a physical infirmity, was tempted from his post and the homesters took advantage of this by putting on a second notch.  Hands against Luton was succeeded by Chesher making a bad mistake, but Taylor came to the rescue in admirable fashion.  Minor points were gained by either side, and then Burleigh saved splendidly two shots in rapid succession.  The Lutonians added a third point as the result of some excellent combined play.  After the visitors had visited the Luton end once or twice their outside right man tested Bee’s ability with a capital attempt.  Dimmock was pulled up twice for getting off-side, and Wilson put himself in evidence.  The Norwich centre man was cautioned, and thereafter Finlayson narrowly missed scoring, while that player was subsequently spoken to by the referee.  Towards the end of the first half the homesters put on a fourth notch,. This being obtained after some excellent all-round play.  When the interval arrived the score stood as follows :—Luton, 4 ; Norwich, 0.  In the second portion the homesters started with 10 men, and it was feared by some that Galbraith would not be able to resume, but these anticipations were proved incorrect by that player making his appearance a couple of minutes after the resumption.  Allen and Dimmock gave a capital exhibition of passing, but the ball went into touch.  Burleigh saved magnificently, and then Brown sent over the cross-bar.  The same player troubled Burleigh with a splendid shot a minute later, and the Norwich keeper behaved excellently.  Galbraith shot over the top, but he had been off-side and was penalised accordingly.  Allen made use of an opportunity near the Norwich line, and scored when this seemed next to impossible.  Galbraith missed an apparently easy chance close in goal, and thereafter the Lutonians, who continued to have the best of matters, came down in strong force, but Burleigh effected some marvellous saves.  Until the end the leaders continued to have by far the best of matters, but they were unable to add further to the total ; and when the time came for the cessation of hostilities the locals had qualified for the divisional final by five goals to one.  It cannot be said that the game was in any degree a great one.  The calibre of the visitors had been very much over-rated, and they never appeared very dangerous.  Their style of play formed a singular contrast to that of the Luton men, though it should be added that the home contingent were scarcely seen at their best.  The unfortunate injury to Galbraith undoubtedly adversely affected the Luton attack, and it is certain that had it not been for this drawback the straw town representatives would have piled up several more points.  It is not necessary to select any individual on the Luton side for special commendation, but—though it may savour somewhat of the common place—it should be said that the exhibition of goal-keeping by Burleigh was among the finest ever witnessed on the ground.  Considering the disability under which he laboured his services were really magnificent.

The Sherwood Foresters succeeded in defeating Wolverton on the ground of the latter by three goals to one, and it will accordingly be necessary for the Lutonians to meet them in the final round of the division.

LUTON FALCON v. CARRUTHERS BROTHERS.—The above clubs met on the Bury Park on Saturday.  About a quarter of an hour from the start Hawkes scored for the Falcon, and no more goals were added before the interval.  On re-starting, the Falcon did a lot of pressing and added two more through Hawkes and Whitby, thus winning by three to none.  The Falcon team was :—F. Gentle, goal ; J. Bavister and A. Farr, backs ; F. Smart, W. Bonfield, and T. Aitkin, half-backs ; I. Smith, B. Moody, H. Pakes, J. Whitby, and F. Hawkes, forwards.

27th November 1893 committee meeting –

“Letters received from Messrs Bee, Dowsett, Peacock and Hayes.  

“Resolved that West Herts be scratched for Saturday Dec 2nd.  Secretary should wire Wolverton, Rushden, Finedon and Swindon to ascertain whether they could fill up the date, failing these to advertise in the sporting papers on Wednesday”.  

Team selected for Sat 2nd, Bee, Cheshire, Wilson, Taylor, Julian, Watkins, Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson and Brown. 

“The Secretary then stated that Mr Smart had suggested certain alterations from plan of stand however, it was resolved to adhere strictly to the specifications”.  

“It was then resolved that Secretary advertise in local papers for persons to take up shares of £2 each in grand stand 5% per annum being guaranteed, the same also guaranteed to be paid off in four years.  And in the case of withdrawals, notification required on either side share list open 14 days.  

“Resolved that match with North Kent for Dec 26th be scratched and Secretary advertise for match with strong team on that date”.  

“That we advertise for matches for the reserves the travelling expenses to be guaranteed”.

“Hire of ground”.  The application for Charity Committee for the ground for the Semis and Final ties was then brought forward.  It was proposed by Mr Hinson, seconded Mr Horn, that £12 10s per day be charged.  This sum to include everything appertaining to the ground viz., goals, canvas, stand and preparing and making out ground”. 

“Mr Bee’s case was the brought before the committee when it was resolved that for all matches played at Luton whilst he was out of work, his money should be made £1 clear”.  

Gate money for Sat 25th Nov £35 19s 9d.  Pav £1 10s 8d = £37 10s 5d.  

“Expenses re cup tie Printing and advertising 25/-, Posting 15/6 £2 0s 6d

Ground man 13/6, Preparing ground 10/-, Police 12/6, Gatemen 10/- £2 6s 0d

Ball 12/6, Canvas 10/-, Referee £1 7s 0d. £2 9s 6d

sub Total £6 16s 0d

Travelling expenses of visiting team 11 train at 11/1 £6 11s 1d

Total £13 7s 1d

Therefore leaving £24 3s 4d for division

Norwich portion £12 1s 8d travelling £6 11s 1d total £18 12s 9d

Resolved secretary send statement and cheque for the same”.  

2nd December 1893.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 9th December 1893.  


Luton’s fixture on Saturday last was with West Herts., but the fact that the folks over the border were engaged in an Amateur Cup tie prevented them from meeting the home combinations.  The local authorities were at considerable disadvantage in failing to procure a match until almost the last moment, when they were obliged to content themselves with encountering the 3rd Grenadier Guards.  The calibre of this side proved far superior to the estimate which had been formed of it, and there were many who afterwards wished that they had attended.  At the hour advertised for-commencing the field was well-nigh deserted, but thereafter people flocked in and the crowd eventually numbered about 1,000.  The sides were as follows :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and J. Wilson; half-backs, J. W. Julian (capt.), A. H. Taylor, and J. Simpkins ; forwards, J. Dimmock and F. Allen (left), H. Galbraith (centre), J. Finlayson and W. Brown (right).  Grenadier Guards : Goal, Pte. Menham ; backs, Corpl. Barker and Pte. Milarview ; half-backs, forwards, Corpl. White and Corpl. Tomlinson (right), Sergt. Dudson (centre), Pte. Moon and Pte. Raisin (left).  Referee : Mr. J. Wright ; linesmen : Mr. A. F. Austin (Luton) and Sergt. Copeland (Grenadier Guards).  It will be seen that Vickers was re-placed at half-back by Simpkins, but that otherwise the full cup team was engaged.  The weather was exceedingly cold, though fine, and the hard frozen state of the ground rendered accuracy of play difficult.  Luton lost the toss and kicked off against the sun and wind.  The Guards at once took the ball up in exceedingly good style, but Chesher put himself in evidence.  Again the soldiers rallied to the attack and they came within an ace of scoring, the ball ultimately being sent over the cross-bar.  The “reds” thereafter came down by means of good passing, but a goal-kick followed.  The visitors were penalised for an infraction of the off-side rule, and Dimmock headed in splendidly from a kick by Julian, but no score resulted.  From a pass by Wilson the same player attempted a shot at goal on the line, but he was stopped for off-side.  A foul against the Guards was followed by more good play on the part of the left-winger, and then one of the solders’ backs inadvertently made a kick at this own uprights, the ball passing over the bar.  Galbraith shortly afterwards had the goal at his mercy, but threw away his chance by bad shooting.  Hands against the homesters was awarded, and then a decision was given against Julian for an alleged foul, though it seemed that the Luton captain was more sinned against than sinning.  The Guards were in the meantime playing splendidly, and twice in rapid succession they forced the home custodian to clear his lines.  Hands against the Guards near their goal looked ominous, but the homesters neglected to avail themselves of the opportunity.  A little later Galbraith atoned for his previous deficiency by sending ion a grand attempt, the ball striking the end of the bar with great force.  When the soldiers had been penalised for a foul their forwards managed to pass the Luton backs and the first point was credited to them, Bee falling in goal while attempting to save.  Julian and Galbraith experienced hard luck in failing to score, but the first-named had his revenge a little later, for he was enabled to give a pass after a kick for hands which was improved upon.  Thus the scores were equalised, but they were not long suffered to remain so.  Luton maintained the pressure, and from a splendid pass by Brown, Allen scored in magnificent style.  When the elevens crossed over the homesters continued to lead and they continued to hold the upper hand to the close.  The second half for the most part consisted of a series of fierce onslaughts on the solders; fortress, and out of one of these Finlayson managed to put his side still further ahead.  Thus the homesters won a well-contested game by three goals to one.  The winners were on the whole far superior to their adversaries, their passing being infinitely better.  The Guards, however, showed themselves to be a smart team.  They were always exceedingly quick on the ball, and were very clever in heading.  It is stated that they were abundantly satisfied with the show which they made.

LUTON EXCELSIOR v. VOLUNTEERS.—First elevens of these teams met on the People’s Park on Saturday, when the Excelsior, who played much better football than their opponents, won easily by six goals to none.

POST OFFICE 2ND XI. V. WINSDEN ROVERS.—Played on the Moor.  The Rovers scored first goal, and the P.O. followed suit off Rayment.  At half-time the score stood at one goal each.  The P.O. added another goal, Rutland doing the needful needful neatly with a tricky shot.  The game ended in the Her Majesty’s servants proving their superiority by two goals to one.  The referee was Mr. T. Hulks.

MIDLAND v. G. N. RAILWAYS.—A game was played between the Midland and Great Northern Railway Companies on Saturday, and resulted in a win for the Midland Railway by one goal to nil.  Midland : Goal, A. King ; backs, Elks and Wildman ; half-backs, Hines, Thorn and Rogers ; forwards, Raybone and Raggett (right), Lowe (centre), Swann and Hawkes (left).  Great Northern : Goal, Ireland ; backs, Johnson and Another ; half-backs, Coles, Newel and Ballsen. ; forwards, Eyres and Stokes (right), Darby (centre), Sub. and Ball, jun. (left).

4th December 1893 committee meeting –

“Letters read from Football Post, Messrs Blackham (Share Trustees), Baldwin (Norwich), Hartwell, Rushden, Holdum, Old Westminsters, Armitage, North Kent, Augrave, Leicester, Hawes, Chesham Generals”.  

“Resolved that we accept £8 8s 0d as our share of the gate at Wembley Park”. 

“That offer of £20 be made to Sherwood Foresters to play their cup tie at Luton”.  

“The Secretary reply to Norwich expressing great surprise at the request for exact statement of the numbers present at their match”.  

“That Secretary write to Mr Augrave for further information re Midland League”.  

“That Secretary write and put the fixture with 1st Scots Guards on original terms in order not to lose the game”.  

“The Secretary reply North Kent and maintain scratch of their fixture also to write West Kent Regiment for that date failing advertise for match”.  

“Team for Sat dec 9th selected. Proposed by Mr Hinson seconded by Mr Fryer that same team play as last Saturday with Watkins vice Simpkins.  Amendment proposed by Mr Hackett, seconded by Mr Thompson same team as last Saturday with Watkins and Vickers instead of Simpkins and Wilson.  Amendment carried.  Therefore team, Bee, Vickers, Cheshire, Taylor, Julian, Watkins, Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson and Brown”.  

“Proposed by Mr Wrights, seconded by Mr Thompson that Vickers doctors bill of 7/6 be paid”.  

“Resolved that if the stand is ready by Saturday the charge be 3d”.  

“That Mr F. Turner be written to and reminded that his conduct and language upon the ground must be respectable”.  

6th December 1893 committee meeting –

“Letters read from Telegraph Messengers and Messrs Turner and Alcock.

“That secretary make the Montrose an offer of 30/- for a match with the reserves and Sat 9th, provided this sum to be insufficient, not to go beyond £2”.

“Resolved to allow the Telegraph Boys use of the ground for Christmas morning”.  

“That a new lock be put put upon small gate at entrance to ground and each committee man to be supplied with a key”.  

9th December 1893.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 16th December 1893.  


On Saturday the Luton Town men undertook the journey to this Northants.  centre of football, the alteration in the programme being rendered necessary by the fact that Wolverton London and N. W. were prevented by a cup-tie from receiving the “reds.”  The Midland Railway Company rendered the task getting to Rushden somewhat easier than it otherwise would have been by stopping trains at Irchester, which reduced the inevitable tramp for those other than players to about two miles.  When the time announced for the commencement of the match arrived there were few spectators present beyond a little brand from Luton, but later on the attendances increased until about 600 lined the ropes.  The Lutonians were fully represented, but the home side was scarcely representative, more than one Rushdenite preferring to play for his county against London.  The elevens were as follows :—Rushden : Goal, S. Allen (captain) ; backs, E. Attlee and F. Ambridge ; half-backs, A. Hanger, H. Parker, and C. Denton : forwards, H. C. Groome, F. Tear (right), C. Jacques (centre), C. Pendred, and G. H. Jacques (left).  Luton : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chester and J. Wilson ; half-backs, A. H. Taylor, J. W. Julian (captain), and J. Watkins ; forwards, W. Brown, J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen, and J. Dimmock (left).  The referee was Mr. W. Freeman, and the linesmen Messrs. S. Brightwell (Rushden) and J. Wright (Luton).  The weather was brilliantly fine, but a piercingly cold wind swept over the ground, this being the reverse of acceptable to the onlookers, who were compelled to stand  upon the damp turf.  The Luton captain loss the toss, and was thereby deprived of the advantage of the wind, while the sun was also against this side in the opening portion.  A minute from the start Brown kicked over the bar after getting down exceedingly well, and then Rushden took up the attack, the ball eventually being sent over the rear line.  The Lutonians again made an inroad into their opponents’ bounds, and here occurred an incident which formed an indication of what the nature of the game was to be ; Galbraith was unmercifully hustled by two or three adversaries, who did not scruple to unduly use their weight.  Parker at length went a little too far in this direction, and was penalised for fouling the Luton centre man.  After some pressing by the home men, Julian sent in a good attempt which S. Allen saved splendidly.  Finlayson was the next recipient of the homesters’ attention, and from a free kick which was awarded the ball was sent high over the cross-bar.  The Rushden representatives continued to play in a style which would not be tolerated for a moment on the Luton ground, and the only occasions when the spectators appeared to derive satisfaction from the display was when an unfortunate visitor was ruthlessly bowled over.  Later on they exhibited something like decent style and experienced hard luck, Bee having all his work cut out to save one shot.  Hands against the strangers was followed by a splendid run and centre by G. H. Jacques, the ball being eventually sent over the cross-bar by Groom.  Galbraith distinguished himself by sending in a long but ineffectual shot, and a foul against that player was succeeded by hands against Rushden.  Pendred made a capable attempt, and a foul against Luton was productive of a corner off Chesher.  Hands near Allen’s charge looked ugly, and from a splendid pass by Dimmock, Galbraith sent into that player’s hands.  Parker was again penalised for foul tactics, and when a stiff tussle had taken place in front of the home fortress Attlee tripped Dimmock very badly.  Luton had by this time got into their stride, and were constantly out-manœuvring their opponents.  For a considerable period they maintained the pressure, but ultimately hands against Julian had the effect of raising the siege.  A grand attempt by the Rushden right wing was witnessed, the ball falling on the top of the net, and thereafter Galbraith succeeded in opening the score from a free kick for a foul.  A corner was awarded to the home players but nothing resulted, and then hands was given against the visitors’ captain.  The Lutonians continued to have the best of matters until the interval arrived; when they led by one goal to none.  Immediately after the re-start Wilson conceded a corner, but nothing serious resulted.  A little later S. Allen left his charge with the intention of clearing, but he missed his kick and his namesake profited by the mistake and put on a second notch for Luton.  The home custodian made a similar error a few minutes afterwards, but the fates were kinder to him on this occasion—at least, the Lutonians did not manage to further increase their total.  At length, however, Galbraith eluded his vigilant watchers and scored a third goal in magnificent style.  The decisions of the referee had been far from satisfactory to the Luton section of the spectators, and shortly after the visiting team had notched their third point he aroused their ire by a verdict which was  the reverse of satisfactory in any light.  The Rushden goal was being fiercely attacked, and during the scrimmage Allen sent the ball through.  The referee promptly disallowed the score, but his reason was difficult to ascertain.  It is understood that it was on the ground of unduly hampering the goal-keeper, but inasmuch as that player was handling the ball it is difficult to discover where the justice of the decision lies.  It certainly could not have been an off-side goal, for the keeper had played the ball.  Allen was not to be denied, however, and put on a notch which the referee found himself unable to disallow.  Towards the finish the pace became very much faster, but neither side scored again and when the end came the Lutonians had added another win to their list with a margin of four to none.  Of the home players the most noticeable were the left wing pair, who put in some brilliant runs, and Tear on the opposite wing occasionally rendered himself conspicuous.  Of the rear division it is sufficient to state that science was subjected most of the time to bashing tactics, much to the delight of the Rushdenites who watched the game.  Of the visitors the forwards worked splendidly, though accurate play was often rendered well nigh impossible by the singular methods of their opponents.  The half-backs were in fine form, and the backs were sure, though a trifle wild occasionally in their kicking.  Bee had comparatively little work, and the blank sheet against him denotes that he performed that little well.  The decisions of the referee have been already mentioned, but it may be well to emphasise the remarks by stating that little opportunity was lost of favouring Rushden at the expense of Luton.  Two or three free kicks given against the Town men for alleged fouls were by no means deserved.  The conduct of the crowd cannot be condemned.  Execration was heaped upon the Luton players, and the vilest language was used towards them.  Even the visiting spectators  were badly treated in this respect, and the Luton Press men who undertook the journey were not only howled at by the ruffians who surrounded the ring but treated with extreme discourtesy by persons who were stated to be officials—but who it may be hoped, for the sake of the club, had no connection with the organisation.  The Luton crowd has been given a bad name, but at its worst it was never able to hold a candle to the Rushden roughs in point of vileness of behaviour.  If they had contented themselves with hostile behaviour on the ground it would have been bad enough, but about 50 or 60 of the worst of them trudged to Irchester for the purpose of hooting and insulting the Luton players on leaving.  Altogether the Lutonians have never had a worse reception, and the best advice that can be given to the Town executive is to abstain from subjecting their men to the possibility of such unsportsmanlike treatment in the future.


These teams met on the Town ground on Saturday afternoon, and the match was played before 800 spectators.  The afternoon was as fine as could be desired, although the ground was somewhat sticky owing to recent rains.  The fixture was one which led to a good deal of excitement, and those present included partisans of either club, though those favouring the Reserve team were preponderant.  The teams were as follows :—Luton Reserves : Goal, A. Tearle ; backs, P.l. Harding and J. Whitby ; half-backs, F. Day, H. Simpkins and Gazeley ; forwards, J. Reed and Conquest (right), Groome (centre), Catling and W. Deacon (left).  Luton Montrose : Goal, E. Fisher ; backs, B. Sanders and G. King ; half-backs, J. Goodliffe, A. Hoy, and W. King ; forwards, S. Moody and G. Draper (right), G. Rowe (centre), F. Hoy and C. Colling (left).  Mr. G. H. Barford acted as referee, and the linesmen were Messrs. Shane and Fuller.  The Montrose team having won the toss, the Reserves kicked off, attacking the pavilion goal.  At the outset it seemed likely that the Reserves were to have the best of matters, and they pressed with some vigour.  Read sent in a shot for his side, which was prevented by Fisher from scoring, and soon afterwards the Montrose team had a free-kick for a foul.  Deacon here and throughout the game played very well, and made some very fine bursts.  Colling put in a fruitless shot for his side, and the Reserve backs were pretty well occupied for some time.  Tearle prevented the downfall of his side by leaving his citadel, but a little later a hot shot from Conquest was very near scoring, the ball hitting the cross-bar.  Another shot at the Montrose goal was without result, and for some time the play was confined to the latter’s quarters.  Montrose again pressing, a corner—the first of the game—was obtained against their opponents.  The latter again pressed, and obtained a free kick for hands near the enemy’s citadel.  A scrimmage in front of goal resulted, but the ball went behind.  Montrose obtained a free kick for hands, and this was followed by a corner against them.  The Reserve goal-keeper was called upon to save just before half-time, and at the interval neither side had scored.  On the resumption of play the Montrose colours nearly came down, and they were finally lowered some minutes after the game had been re-started by Catling, who sent the ball in from a scrimmage.  A second goal was almost directly afterwards obtained by Catling, and a free kick for a foul against the Reserves came to nothing.  Montrose here pressed, but the ball returned to their end of the field, and two corners in succession were obtained by the Reserve men.  Their opponents’ forwards took the ball down the field, and this ineffectual run was followed by a further reverse to the visitors, in the shape of another goal.  Groome was responsible for the score.  Montrose obtained a corner, which proved ineffectual, and soon afterwards Colling made an unsuccessful shot at goal.  Fuller then made the first score for his side, sending the ball through the Reserve posts from a scrimmage.  Just before time the play was hot in front of the Reserve goal, but no further score was obtained, and thus the termination of the game left the match at three to one in favour of the Reserves.  The game was not of an interesting character, for the play was extremely slow throughout, and a large number of the spectators left towards the close, when there was little doubt that the Reserve team would prove victorious.  It should be stated that towards the close W. King had a fall and the game was discontinued for some moments.  King went on playing and appeared to be all right, but at the close of the game it became known that his collar-bone was broken.

11th December 1893 committee meeting –

“Letters received from Messrs JJ. Mansell, Electric, C.W. Paul, Strutton, W, Burbury, West Kent, C.W. Alcock E.F.A., J.E. Blackburn, W.C. Muir, Liverpool, E. Turner, J, Bulman, Derby County, F.A. Augrave, Leicester, W.H. Blackhurst, Fleetwood Rangers, J.W. Howes, Norwich.  

“Resolved that Secretary write Mr Augrave thanking him for the rules sent and that the matter re Midland League was receiving our consideration”.  

Team selected against Sherwood Foresters, Bee, Wilson, Cheshire, Taylor, Julian, Watkins, Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson, Brown.  Linesman Mr Arnold, chequers Mr Hinson Hackett.  Referee at home Mr Wright, Linesman Mr Horn”.

“That the team go on Friday afternoon”.  

“expenses of Rushden match £3 15s 11d.  

gate money for Saturday £5 12s 7d, pav 1/6. 

“Secretary reported that Vickers had failed to play when requested against Montrose and in consequence a man had to be found on the field.  This was thought to be a very serious matter and it was resolved that secretary write Vickers explaining that when secretary ordered him to play he was expected to abide by the same and should it occur again it would be necessary to take more stringent measures”.  

“the whole committee stand as security for shares in the grand stand”.  

“that 5/- per man extra be allowed if they should win against Sherwood Foresters”.