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CHAPTER 44. Play the game, Guards

CHAPTER 44.  Play the game, Guards.  



On Saturday the first of the semi-finals in this season’s contest for the possession of the Luton Charity Cup took place on the Athletic Ground, when the clubs engaged were Luton Town and the 1st Scots Guards.  The encounter had been anticipated with considerable interest, and there was a very large attendance, the crowd numbering somewhere about 4,000.  The weather was delightfully fine, bright sun shining during the whole of the afternoon.  Shortly before the advertised time of commencing the teams took the field in the following order :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and J. Wilson ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian (capt.) and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left).  1st Scots Guards : Goal, Fairclough ; backs, Thompson and Dawson ; half-backs, Manning, Gorman and Davies ; forwards, Kirk and Cresswell (right), Sansen (centre), Beckwell and Thompson (left).  Mr. A. Roston Bourke acted as referee, and the linesmen were Messrs. Cox and Sharpe (St. Albans).  For a few minutes before the commencement of the operations and again at the interval the Red Cross Band played lively selections of music.  Shortly before 4 o’clock the rival captains tossed for positions, with the result that Julian and his companions, who were almost unrecognisable in white, had to play with the sun in their faces.  Soon after the start Brown kicked out from a pass by Galbraith, and afterwards by a series of throws-in Luton got down, but somewhat unluckily sent the ball over the line.  Taylor was responsible for hands being awarded against his side, and the same player was afterwards very badly fouled.  The soldiers defended their fortress against some sturdy assault, but at length Galbraith put in a very fine run and finished up by opening the scoring amid enthusiastic applause.  The Guards secured and put in some capital play, but the result of their efforts was that the ball was sent high over the Luton bar.  Finlayson was playing a remarkably good game, while Brown’s centres were something to be proud of.  After a corner Allen almost scored with a grand shot, and by this time the forwards were having all the best of matters.  A splendid centre by Brown led to a corner being obtained and a hot bombardment ensued, but unfortunately the ball went out off Taylor.  Hands against Galbraith was followed by the Guards being penalised for fouling Julian.  An opportunity of improving the score was not taken advantage of, Dimmock sending over the line.  After a foul had been awarded against Taylor, Dimmock obtained a corner, and from this the ball was sent on the top of the net.  A lovely shot by Brown passed right across the mouth of the goal, but unfortunately none of the forwards were sufficiently near to put on the finishing touch.  From just as admirable a pass Allen steered the ball over the bar, and Brown emulated his example a minute later.  It should be said here that the right wing pair were playing a very fast game, Finlayson especially putting in a tremendous amount of hard work.  Galbraith exerted himself to the full and on one occasion he made a grand opening, which Dimmock spoiled by kicking out.  When hands had been given against Luton Galbraith attempted to score, but the only result was that the leather skimmed the cross-bar.  Julian from the centre of the field sent into the goal-keeper’s hands, and a like attack on the Guards’ citadel failed, forward after forward making unsuccessful attempts to elude Fairclough that player eventually conceding a corner.  Dimmock distinguished himself by making a magnificent run along the line, finishing up somewhat tamely by sending out.  The left-wing next sent a hot shot into the side of the net.  The home forwards were giving unmistakeable proofs of their superiority.  Time after time they ran down their wings capably and centered brilliantly, but despite all this the score was not added to, the defence of the Guards being extremely strong.  After a foul against Watkins, Luton resumed pressure, Finlayson sending in splendidly.  The inside right man had another try a minute later, but unfortunately miscalculated somewhat and kicked a foot or two too high.  The Guards next made an excursion to the other end, and had a narrow escape of scoring, the ball going into the side of the net.  Luton returned and attacked in force, but despite their utmost endeavours they failed to send the ball through the posts.  Galbraith made a very tricky run, but was forced to send outside.  At the interval the score was unaltered, it then standing as follows :

Luton, 1 ; Guards, 0.

After the resumption the Guards took a spell of attacking, but this was short-lived, and their opponents exhibited marked superiority.  Finlayson made a splendid shy at goal, and then Taylor was badly hurt.  Excellent goal-keeping on the part of the Guards’ keeper staved off the downfall of his citadel for a time, but the result of a great melee in front of the strangers’ fortress was that Julian scored a second point for his side.  A little later Allen headed a beautiful goal from a well-judged pass by Brown.  Allen narrowly escaped repeating this performance a little later, the leather going just beside the post.  Finlayson later in the game sent in a good shot, to which Galbraith put the finishing touch, and in the end the homesters had qualified for the final by four goals to none.  The results of the match—or rather one of them, for another important outcome of the encounter was that upwards of £50 was taken at the gates in the sacred cause of charity—was so conclusively demonstrated that the professionals were an infinitely better team than their adversaries.  The forwards played a first rate game and little weakness was manifest, though it must be confessed that Dimmock’s display was scarcely so satisfactory as could have been wished.  At times the home front line completely nonplussed the soldiers’ defensive lines, and it was only Fairclough’s magnificent exhibition of goalkeeping that accounted for the score being so low.  Among the half-backs the palm for once must be awarded to Watkins ; and this is no disparagement to players, for it only tends to prove that Watkins played a far better game than usual.  The backs were safe, and some of Chesher’s kicks were excessively clean and neat.  Bee had very little to do in goal, and that little he did well.  The main strength of the Guards was in the rear, for their forwards were not by any means conspicuously brilliant.  At times the game threatened to be unduly rough, but a timely word from the referee sufficed to check all this.  The decisions of Mr. Rostron Bourke proved satisfactory to the onlookers, and altogether the event passed off exceedingly well.

BENEFIT FOR TAYLOR.—It has been arranged that in view of Taylor’s forthcoming retirement from the football world he shall have a benefit match in recognition of the long and valuable services which he has rendered to the Town Football Club.  The match is to be played between the Town Club and an eleven selected by Mr. Rostron Bourke, and it is understood that it will probably be played on Monday week.

19th March 1894 committee meeting – 

“Letters received form Messrs Dickerson of St. Albans, W. Long of Upton, W. Copson of Grantham Rovers, J. Thompson of 3rd Lanark, E.R. Tinneous of Chesterfield, S.J. Brown of L.S.B.L., J, Bickley of Casuals, A. Talbot of Bow, Frazer of Scots Guards, Swain of Wolverton, G. Wheeler of West Herts, G. Rae of Burton Swifts, C.D. Pepper of Luton Cricket Club, J.G. Robins of West Herts, W. Caroley of St. Albans.

“Teams selected against 1st Scot Guards, Finedon and Derby County team for Tuesday left for selection after Monday’s match.

“Poplar at home, ref Wheeler, Linesman Mr Fryerer. 

1st Scots ref Mr Smith Linesman Mr Shane

Finedon ref Mr Hill Linesman Mr Hinson

Bow ref Mr Shane Linesman Mr Smith

Derby County ref Mr Chase Linesman Mr Horn

A. Rostron Bouke’s 11 ref Mr Wilson Linesman Mr Arnold

Linesman away Tuesday Mr Horn.

Gatemen Good Friday morning Messrs Fryerer and Hackett.  Afternoon Hinson and Horn.

Saturday Pakes and Thompson. 

Easter Monday morning Webdale and Wilkins, Afternoon Wright and Arnold.

Tuesday Messrs Austin and Barford.

“Resolved to offer 3rd Lanark £15 for a match on our ground”. 

“resolved that Secretary reply to Mr Long respectfully declining his offer”. 

“That April 2nd be selected for Mr Taylor’s benefit if agreeable to Mr Rostron Bourke”. 

“resolved that the offer of a Military Tournament on our ground and also the offer from Chesterfield, Grantham and Burton Swifts be respectfully declined”.  

“resolved that 5/- per match be paid to each player for the extra matches this Easter”. 

“”carried that the ground be let to the cricket club from the 1st May until 31st August also to play during September except on Saturday, for the sum of £15 with power to sub let for cricket only. Half the rent to be paid by June 30th and the remainder by September 30th. Whit Monday and August Bank Holiday to be reserved for the Athletic Club.  In the event of the rent not being paid by the end of June the ground to be closed”. 

Resolved to meet again on Wednesday 28th March at 8.30.

“resolved that Wheeler play on Good Friday afternoon.  Robins and Dickerson on Tuesday afternoon”.  

23rd March 1894 was Good Friday.  26th March was Easter Monday.  

From the 31st March 1894 Luton Reporter.  


Sir,—There are different rumours just now about the People’s Park.  It is stated that the Council wish to have control and government of the Park instead of the Moors Committee.  This much I for one could not object to, but there are further rumours that when it gets into the hands of our Town Council they intend to sell or exchange some portion of the Park, and with the proceeds to get a recreation ground somewhere between Park-street and the River Lea.  This intention has certainly got abroad.  Now, sir, I maintain that to take away any portion of the playgrounds at the lower part of the Park would render the upper portion of very little good ; indeed, it would spoil the Park.  We must remember that the grass part is fenced in with strong iron cattle fending (that part close to High Town, and also that part abutting on the Old Bedford-road).  All these grass parts are intended for the graziers—parties keeping one or two heads of cattle.  They have had this right ever since the old Moor was laid out.  It seems to me that to curtail or encroach upon the Park in any way would be a very unwise proceeding for the people of Luton, and especially for the North Ward, where the population is so dense.  High Town is perhaps the most closely built portion of Luton, and all parts of the Park are near it.  I know whole families who spend a good portion of their time on fine summer days in the lower and grass parts of the Park.  Where can be the wisdom to interfere with the Park, with its hills, slopes, and also level ground?  It is stated by gentlemen who take the petitions round for signatures that none but freeholders have the right to sign.  But, sir, have not the whole of the people the right of recreation upon the grass part and all parts, whether they are freeholders or not?  It is to be hoped that our Town Council may see how unwise it would be to spoil one recreation ground to make another.—I am, yours truly,



The fixture on Good Friday afternoon was with the 1st Scots Guards, who had made such a brilliant fight in the Luton Cup semi-final on the previous Saturday.  The excellence of the weather, combined with the calibre of the opposing team, resulted in attracting an extremely large crowd, a very considerable number of members of the fair sex gracing the proceedings with their presence.  Long before the time announced for the commencement of operations the ropes were lined, and the grand stand was crowded, while later arrivals brought up the number of those present to about 4,000.  The Guards had journeyed from London and were consequently somewhat late in reaching the ground, but in fair time the following elevens took up their positions in the centre : — Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, J. Wilson and W. Chesher ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian (capt.) and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left).  1st Scots Guards : Goal, Fairclough ; backs, Gorman and Thompson ; half-backs, Manning, Robinson and Davies ; forwards, Kirk and Cresswell (right), Ganson (centre), Cole and Allen (left).  The referee was Mr. Isaac Smith (secretary of the Town Club), and the linesmen were Mr. H. Shane (Luton) and Sergeant Fraser (Scots Guards).  The homesters wore white, the colours of the Guards being the familiar red and blue.  There was a somewhat strong wind blowing, and the Guards had this in their favour in the opening half, though the sun was against them.  Having lost choice of positions the Guards started the game from the Dallow-lane end.  At the outset the Guards got rapidly into their stride and were soon found in the neighbourhood of the home goal, but only to kick over the line.  Their left-wing next became prominent, but Julian relieved splendidly, and then Dimmock finished up a neat run by sending into the goalkeeper’s hands.  When in a capital situation for scoring the soldiers kicked into touch, and an attempt by the opposite wing was noted directly afterwards.  Hands against the Guards in mid-field led to the scene of operations being transferred, and from a good pass by Finlayson, Allen was enabled to head in.  For an appreciable space the struggle was confined to the Scots’ territory, and an exciting period ensued.  The homesters were unable to score, however, their most determined efforts being staved off.  The referee roused the ire of a section of the spectators by allowing a palpable infringement of one of the rules by the Guards to pass unnoticed, but he made amends just afterwards by promptly visiting a like fault with the usual penalty.  Julian came through in grand style, but he unfortunately put too much force into his final pass, the result being that the ball went out of play.  The Guards exhibited good style a little later on, and more than once they attacked hotly.  Brown had up to this stage been afforded few opportunities of displaying his ability, but hereabouts he sent in a grand centre, which almost resulted in the desired notch.  Bee saved finely, and though the ball was returned across the mouth of the goal no unwelcome results followed.  Watkins was badly fouled, and shortly after a corner was forced by the “reds.”  A great storming of the Guards’ goal ended in a corner, and the Guards subsequently exhibited some pretty forward play.  A grand centre by Brown enabled Dimmock to open the scoring, this success being received with enthusiastic applause.  Immediately after the return to mid-field Luton obtained a corner, which was nugatory, and then Galbraith threw away what appeared to be a capital chance of adding to the total.  Davies and Finlayson attracted attention by wrangling, but the intervention of the referee sufficed to put an end to this.   The soldier just afterwards fouled the Lutonian somewhat badly and was duly penalised, while the displeasure of the referee was evoked by a like performance by Gorman.  These exhibitions of bad temper were received by the onlookers with cries of “Play the game, Guards.”  Hands was awarded against Galbraith, and the next noticeable feature was a magnificent centre by Brown, Allen heading just over the bar.  An unfortunate occurrence took place at this stage.  Bee was knocked down in goal and was at once assailed by several of his opponents.  Despite this he succeeded in throwing out the leather, but while on the ground he was brutally kicked on the head by one of the Guardsmen.  His right eye was badly injured, and he was compelled to retire to the pavilion.  Julian took the position until the midway stage was reached, there being no alteration in the score meanwhile.  When the interval arrived the Guards were hooted freely, the spectators having previously evinced their disapprobation of the condemnatory tactics which had been indulged in.  When the teams resumed, and it was seen that Bee was enabled to again take up his position the onlookers broke into hearty cheering.  The opening portion of the second half was close contested, decisions against the sides being given in rapid alteration.  In the midst of a great struggle in front of the soldiers’ citadel the ball appeared to go under the bar and a goal was claimed, but for an inexplicable reason the referee declined to concede what was undoubtedly a point.  The military thereafter improved greatly, and twice in rapid succession Bee was called upon to clear, which he did in his usual capable manner.  A round of hearty applause broke forth when Brown took advantage of a well-judged pass by Dimmock and sent the ball past Fairclough.  Allen broke through and took a long shot, but this failed by about a yard, while a grand attempt by Finlayson was followed by a strenuous effort by the Lutonians to increase their advantage.  A corner was next given by the Guards, and then Dimmock had a try at scoring, but he failed by a few inches.  Again the ball seemed to have passed under the bar, but the referee apparently did not see it and accordingly declined to accede to the general demand that a notch should be allowed.  This did not much matter, though, for in less than a minute Galbraith scored with a magnificent long shot.  Towards the end the Lutonians pressed strongly, but they were unable to again break through the defence, and in the end victory rested with them by three goals to none.  The verdict undoubtedly should have been two goals more, for they were palpably obtained.  The game was excellently contested and was very fast, the Lutonians infusing considerable dash into their movements.  It goes without saying that the Guards played in determined fashion, and at times it seemed that their rushes would result in a score.  Apart from the unwelcome tendency of some of the Guards to abuse their weight, the game was contested in a good spirit.  The two beatings which the Lutonians have inflicted on the soldiers in the course of a week conclusively show that they are superior to their antagonists.  It is satisfactory to be able to add that Bee’s injury did not prove so serious as was at first feared.  The under part of the eye was badly contused, but fortunately the sight was not injured.  It is rather singular that this is the second occasion on which the plucky keeper has been badly mauled by soldiers, the first time being in the match against 2nd Scots Guards at Tufnell Park, when the spectators plainly indicated their disapprobation, and the referee punished the offenders.  Such exhibitions are—fortunately for the sake of the winter game—exceedingly rare in this part of the country, and they cannot too strongly be condemned.  It is only reasonable that the authorities should visit those guilty of such unworthy exhibitions with their displeasure.


The Northants team made their first appearance against Luton on Saturday afternoon, when the holiday spirit was manifested by the attendance of a large crowd of spectators.  The weather was again delightful, and everything conduced to an enjoyable afternoon’s sport.  The start had been announced for 3.30, and shortly afterwards the sides ranged up in the following order :—Luton Town : Goal, Fairclough ; backs, J. Wilson and W. Chesher ; half-backs, A. H. Taylor, J. W. Julian and J. Watkins ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right wing), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left wing).  Finedon : Goal, Dixon ; backs, Woolley and Lilley ; half-backs, Moore, Howe and Robinson ; forwards, Garfield and Baker (right wing), Henfrey (centre), Yorke and Nelson (left wing).  The referee was Mr. F. W. Hill, and the linesmen Messrs. G. Hinson (Luton) and T. Threadgill (Finedon).  The visitors wore red and black stripes, while the homesters were attired in white.  It will be noticed that Bee was for once absent from the ranks of the Lutonians, his Friday’s injury rendering it desirable that he should not appear.  His place was generally taken by the keeper for the 1st Scots accorded a hearty greeting, Henfrey coming in for a particularly good reception.  Julian won the toss, and Henfrey started against the wind, but with the sun in his favour.  At the start the visitors made a little ground by a couple of throws in, and immediately afterwards a miss by one of the home backs enabled them to have a shot, though this went over the bar.  A minute later Henfrey broke through and finished up a capital single-handed run by sending the ball past Fairclough.  This reverse called forth cries of “Play up Luton,” and the “whites” responded, but some indifferent play on their part led to the “stripes” again obtaining possession.  The home forwards exhibited some capital combination.  A bad miss by Wilson let Nelson through and that player put his side further ahead with a long, swift shot which fully deserved to score.  Half a minute later a corner fell to Luton, and, this being admirably taken, a hot attack on the Finedon fortress followed.  Dixon managed to stave off the danger, however.  A splendid show by Watkins was cheered, that player effectually preventing Henfrey from shining.  A slice of hard luck was next experienced by the home contingent, and another corner resulted, this going behind.  A tricky display by Julian was warmly applauded, Henfrey coming off distinctly second best.  Wilson stoned for his previous questionable display by defending brilliantly.  A determined onslaught by Finedon ended in a corner being conceded by the Luton keeper, and a temporary cessation ensued, one of the wearers of the “stripes” having been a trifle injured.  Hands against the strangers was chronicled thrice in as many minutes, and another decision against them for a like reason was given.  Henfrey badly fouled Chesher, and was duly penalised.  The homesters subsequently made a little better show, but Brown sent over the opponents line.  Play was thereafter confined to the Finedon territory for a space, Watkins putting in some acceptable work.  Hands against the Northants. men near goal appeared threatening, but the leather went harmlessly out of bounds.  An uneventful period followed, and then Taylor sent in a capable attempt, which led to a corner being given.  This was as nugatory as others had been, and again the ball was sent behind from a free kick for hands.  A well-judged centre by Dimmock almost had the desired result, Finlayson evoking some laughter by going for the custodian in determined fashion.  Henfrey managed to elude the backs just later, and sent in a long attempt, which Fairclough easily disposed of.  A foul was given against the leaders, who were once more penalised for handling the leather.  The Luton men were now pressing determinedly, and more than once experienced terribly hard luck, though it must be confessed that the visitors were displaying excellent form.  When Julian had been cheered for a sterling exhibition, the red and black men rushed the ball through, but the notch was disallowed on the score of an infringement of the laws of the game.  Julian, from a long distance, landed the leather on the net amid audible expressions of disappointment from the crowd.  Garfield a minute afterwards ran right through and put on a third point amidst ironical applause and laughter at the failure of the home defenders.  Another miss barely escaped having a like disastrous ending, the attacking force being stopped for getting off-side.  A combined rush by the home combination was staved off by the strangers.  The Finedon centre half-backs was showing up exceedingly well.  A well-meant effort by Brown did not succeed, and next a failure by Wilson threatened danger, but Fairclough covered the defect in first-rate style.  A scrimmage from hands in front of the adversaries; citadel was unproductive, and the same terrible fortune was experienced just after.  A second or two later Allen atoned for previous bad luck by scoring splendidly from a pass by Watkins.  Considerably more dash was now infused into the locals’ efforts, and the game became fast and exciting.  There were now about 3,000 onlookers present, and the operations were followed with eager interest.  From a free kick for hands Julian placed well, and Finlayson headed in, the goal-keeper sending through in an endeavour to score.  Half-time arrived immediately after, with the score standing

Finedon, three : Luton, two.

The first noticeable feature after the resumption was a foul against Luton, and then hands fell to the Finedon men.  The homesters carried on a fierce attack, but this was unsuccessful.  Brown was injured somewhat, but not sufficiently to call for a cessation of play.  With the wind against them the “whites” showed up very prominently, but a fourth notch was scored against them in an exasperating manner.  The backs failed and the goal-keeper, rushing out from his post, missed, the result being that the ball rolled between the posts in tantalisingly easy fashion.  Henfrey had a plucky shy at goal, but sent outside.  Brown centred splendidly and Galbraith shot with great force, Dixon being fortunate in disposing of the ball safely.  Another escape of the Finedon fortress from capture was witnessed just now.  The Luton end was then visited, but nothing came of it.  Dixon had an anxious time, a couple of fierce onslaughts being noted, while Galbraith steered the ball wide just afterwards.  Finlayson made a fine attempt, Dixon giving a corner in saving.  A like result followed in a minute, but then the siege was raised.  Galbraith missed execrably, and Lilley put in some admirable work.  From a fine centre by Dimmock, Brown narrowly missed.  Towards the close the leaders had vastly the best of the exchanges, though at times the Lutonians displayed flashes of their wonted brilliancy.  Nothing more was scored, however, and when time arrived the totals were as follows :

Finedon, four ; Luton, two.


This was the principal match on Easter Monday, and, there being a continuance of the brilliancy fine weather, there was a very large attendance, those present numbering upwards of 4,000.  It was shortly after 3 when the sides took up their position in the following order :—Derby County : Goal, Dockery ; backs, Hemstock and Staley ; half-backs, Bloomer, Forman, and Hickenbotham ; forwards, Brooks and Rabold (right), Keay (centre), Francis and Rose (left).  Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, J. Wilson and W. Chesher ; half-backs, A. H. Taylor, J. W. Julian, and J. Watkins ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left).  Luton loss the toss, and played against the sun, but with a slight wind in their favour.  At the outset the home side started off at a good pace and forced hands against the County in goal a minute from the start.  They maintained the pressure, and Dimmock experienced hard luck in sending out.  The “reds” played exceedingly well in mid-field, and Watkins sent a long attempt into the hands of the goal-keeper.  Derby secured and took the ball up excellently, but it was steered over the line.  The Luton men returned but kicked into touch.  A foul on Finlayson was duly punished, and from the free kick the ball was sent just over the bar, a corner being awarded.  Another corner followed immediately, and from this Julian headed out.  Another foul was given against the visitors, and after a period of hot play at the Derby end they managed to break away.  Keay made two or three very tricky runs, and was duly applauded.  Five minutes from the start Brown made a capital pass to the centre, Finlayson shot, and Galbraith put on the finishing touch, thus opening the score for the locals.  They maintained the pressure for a space, but the County players showed better form, although the play continued at their end for some time.  Julian sent in a long attempt, and an attack on the Luton goal followed, Bee being called upon to relieve.  The Lutonians subsequently returned to the front, and Brown gave Dockery a handful with a long shot.  Dimmock sent over the line after a good run, and a corner followed against the County.  From a very fine long pass by Dimmock, Galbraith was enabled to secure a second point, this success being heartily cheered.  Watkins was badly fouled, and this infringement of the rule was visited with the usual penalty, the game still continuing in the County quarters.  A little later Derby came up in great force, but the Luton defence was too good to allow of their getting through.  Dimmock sent into the goal keeper’s hands, and the strangers returned the compliment by sending over the bar.  Hands against Julian was next chronicled, and then a beautiful pass by Dimmock and Allen was noted, the last-named running it out.  Brown sent out, and then a corner followed to Luton, while the County goal had two exceedingly narrow escapes, another corner being secured in the next minute or two.  When the interval arrived the score stood at two goals to nil in favour of Luton.  Immediately after the resumption hands was awarded against the wearers of the stripes, and Galbraith missed by a foot.  Another determined attack was foiled, and then Derby were pulled up for off-side.  The Derby centre man had been playing a grand game, and he experienced hard luck in failing to score once or twice.  The County were playing up very much better now, and their centre half-back (who had been rendering himself conspicuous by his brilliant tackling) tried a long shot which proved ineffectual.  The visitors more than once managed to force their way through, but the home defence proved too strong.  On two or three occasions the Luton forwards made excellent attempts, and Watkins sent in a beauty, which was as capably disposed of.  After one or two of the Derby forwards had put themselves in evidence, Dimmock put in some admirable play, and Allen emulated this example.  Galbraith was hurt sufficiently to cause his retirement for a space, but his companions did not by any means allow this drawback to detract from their efforts.  At length the visitors were enabled to open their score, Forman sending through with a long shot which seemed to most people Bee should have saved.  A minute afterwards Bee was troubled with a hot attempt, this fortunately going just outside the post.  Finlayson from a pass by Brown troubled Dockery, and then was witnessed a fierce onslaught by the visitors, the home goal being preserved only at the expense of a corner.  Towards the close the home contingent had somewhat the best of the exchanges, though the game continued to be splendidly fought, and in the end they were found to have secured an exceedingly creditable victory by two goals to one.  In justice to the locals it should be stated that their opponents were by no means a mediocre side, for they included amongst them several members of the Derby County League team who had during the previous few days been performing such brilliant feats in the North.  The referee was Mr. H. Chase, and the linesmen Messrs. A. Staley (Derby) and G. Horn (Luton).  The Red Cross Band attended and played selections.


On Tuesday afternoon the Town Club played a match with a strong team selected by Mr. A. Roston Bourke, when there was good weather and a large attendance of spectators.  The home club gave places to Dickerson and Dixon (St. Albans), Robins (West Herts.) and Gorman (1st Scots Guards).  It was about 4 o’clock when the teams lined up as follows :—Mr. Roston Bourke’s XI. : Goal, W. Stirling (London Caledonians) ; backs, C. McGahey and G. Ritchie (City Ramblers) ; half-backs, F. Smith (Old St. Stephens), G. Mordin (City Ramblers) and H. Taylor (Crouch End) ; forwards, E. Calderwood (Old St. Stephens) and D. Goodall (London Caledonians) (right), Sergt. Dudson (3rd Grenadier Guards) (centre), and Hill and Corpl. Tomlinson (Grenadier Guards) (left).  Luton : Goal, Dickerson ; backs, Chesher and Gorman ; half-backs, Julian, Robins and Taylor ; forwards, Brown and Dixon (right), Finlayson (centre), Allen and Dimmock (left).  The referee was Mr. W. J. Wilson ; linesmen, Messrs. H. Arnold and Gibbons. Luton lost the toss and played against the sun.  In very little time the homesters were hotly attacking the visitors’ goal, and they ended by sending over the bar.  Dudson followed this example when his side had visited the other end.  From a well judged pass by Finlayson Dimmock sent in a splendid attempt which missed by very little, a corner following.  From this the ball went through off McGahey, the goal-keeper patting it down on him.  When hands had been awarded against the strangers, Calderwood and Goodall showed some pretty passing, but the former sent over the line.  Tomlinson was penalised for getting off-side, and then an unproductive corner was obtained against the locals.  Finlayson experienced hard luck with a brilliant shot, and Gorman put in some admirable play.  When the “reds” had been in the adversaries’ territory for a time Goodall raced away, but he was pulled up by Gorman.  Two or three of the visitors displayed good form, and thereafter Dimmock was stopped for getting off-side.  Corners off Gorman and Taylor were registered, and the latter gave his foemen a further advantage by handling the ball.  Mordin and McGahey conceded corners, and Goodall subsequently displayed remarkably fine style.  A little later Finlayson sent in an excellent shot which Sterling failed to keep out, and thus the second notch was credited to the Lutonians.  Despite the fact that they pressed continuously until the midway stage was reached, the homesters were unable to improve their position, and when ends were changed they led by two goals to none.  In the second half Dixon replaced Finlayson in the centre, and this change worked well, the old combination on the right wing being restored.  The leaders went off with a great rush, and in a minute or two Brown availed himself of a chance of beating Sterling, both backs missing the leather.  Hands against Luton checked them for a little, but Dimmock was soon seen racing away at a great pace, his effort terminating with sending the ball into the side of the net.  London next got down and headed out, while Calderwood shot over the bar.  Dixon had a plucky shy at Sterling’s charge and Allen put on the finishing touch, thus further improving the home score.  The visitor’s left wing were seen to advantage afterwards, a fine burst ending in the ball going into the side of the net.  Dimmock managed to beat Sterling with a long attempt.  The Londoners had a period of pressing afterwards, but towards the end of the homesters had matters all their own way.  No further scoring took place, however, and when the end arrived the “reds” had gained an extremely creditable victory by five goals to none.  It was the superior combination of the winners that secured them the game.  Individually the visitors were brilliant, but their combination was far from perfect.  Their backs and half-backs were excellent, while the right wing pair put forth some admirable efforts.

RESERVES’ MATCHES.—On Good Friday the Luton Reserves played Poplar Reserves, whom they defeated by four goals to none.—On Easter Monday they vanquished Bow by nine goals to two.—A match between the Reserves and Lewisham St. Mary’s took place at Lewisham on Tuesday before a good number of spectators, and a good game resulted in a win for the home team by one goal to nil.  Luton won the toss.  The single goal was put in by the Lewisham inside right (Taylor), and was obtained some 20 minutes after the commencement of the game, the score at half-time thus being the same as the final result.  The visiting eleven experienced hard luck in not scoring, for they were pressing throughout nearly the whole of the game.  The teams were as follows :—Lewisham St. Mary’s : Goal, Henstall ; backs, Johnson and Russell ; half-backs, Cowell, Ireland, and Aitkinson ; forwards, Turner and Taylor (right), Boundy (centre), Thompson and Wiggins (left).  Luton Reserves : Goal, A. Tearle ; backs, H. Whitby and P. Read ; half-backs, Fox, Simpkins, and Gazeley ; forwards, Bird and Catlin (right), Groome (centre), Deacon and Conquest (left).  The referee was Mr Carr.

28th March 1894 committee meeting – Meeting held at the library.  

“Letter received from Swain, Wolverton

Gate Money

Good Friday morning £2 14 5 pav 1/10 £2 16 3

Good Friday afternoon £40 8 10 pav£5 1 10 £45 10 8

Easter Monday morning £3 13 2 pav 3/1 £3 16 3

Easter Monday afternoon £53 5 1 pav £11 13 4 £64 18 5

Saturday March 24th £29 10 10 pav£3 0 0 £32 10 10

Tuesday 27th March £28 16 10 pav £3 19 4 £32 14 8

£158 9 2£23 19 5£182 8 7

Expenses of reserves at Lewisham £2 5s 7d

Resolved that Mr Taylor’s benefit match to be played on April 23rd the local papers to advertise it and take up subscriptions for the same.  

Resolved to write to Mr Gorman of the 1st Scots Guards asking him to play against the Arsenal on April 16th.  

Proposed by Mr Horn, seconded by Mr Thompson and carried unanimously that we offer Gorman 30/- per week to play with our team during season 94/95.  

Mr Thompson then reported Mr J Burley for insulting the opponents goal keeper and using obscene language during the match on Tuesday March 27th.  

The matter was discussed after which it was proposed by Mr Hinson, seconded by Mr Austin and carried unanimously that Mr Burley be not allowed on the ground during the remainder of the season , the Secretary to notify the Charity Committee of the same.  

resolved that Secretary write Mr Burrows asking him to help us in the Final for the Luton Charity Cup”. 

31st March 1894.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 7th April 1894.  




The second of the semi-finals in this season’s competition for possession of the Luton Charity Cup was played on Saturday on the Dunstable-road ground, when the holders for the year (Rushden) were opposed by Wolverton L. And N.W.  A goodly amount of interest was evinced in the encounter, there being something like 4,000 persons present, these including about 300 who had travelled by an excursion train on the Midland Railway.  It was generally thought that the holders would establish a right to meet Luton Town in the final, but popular sympathy was curiously enough with the railway men.  Just before the time announced for the start the brilliant weather which had been prevailing through the early part of the day was broken through and a heavy rain storm swept over the ground, this serving at once to deter a good many from attending and to render the turf somewhat slippery.  A little later than the advertised time the teams placed themselves under the control of Mr. A. Roston Bourke (the referee) in the following order :—Rushden : Goal, F. Johnson ; backs, J. Lilley and W. Clarke ; half-backs, T. Minney, A. Bailey, and H. Parker ; forwards, G. H. Jaques and H. C. Lewis (right), F. Tear (centre), Pendred and G. H. Claridge (left).  Wolverton : Goal, Turner ; backs, Timbrell and Brocklehurst ; half-backs, Kirby, French, and Bull ; forwards, Poole and Sharpe (right), Gosson (centre), Wesley and Roddis (left).  The linesmen were Messrs. J. Gibbons (London) and E. A. Barford (Luton).  Rushden won the toss and elected to defend the goal at the Workhouse end.  Gosson started operations, and Rushden almost immediately obtained possession and got down smartly, a corner falling to them.  This, however, was unproductive.  Hands against Bailey was followed by a hot attack on the Wolverton fortress, but this was admirably staved off.  A series of throws-in by Wolverton enabled them to make their way into their adversaries’ territory, but the wearers of the white secured and raced away to the other end.  A foul against Claridge was awarded, but this resulted in only a temporary cessation of the Rushden men’s onward march, and the Wolverton fortress had an exceedingly narrow escape of being captured a minute or two later.  Lilley received a kick in the mouth, but this fortunately did not prove serious, and thereafter the Wolverton outside left had a long shot.  Hands against Gosson was followed by a foul and a corner against the same side, but the railway lads swarmed to the attack, and French kicked high over the bar.  Parker sent in a good attempt which ended in a corner against Wolverton, while a minute afterwards Roddis headed over the Rushden goal.  Wesley followed this example, a corner against the whites being forced.  Hands was awarded against Rushden twice in rapid succession, and a corner followed.  The railway representatives next obtained three corners in rapid succession.  Roddis was pulled up for off-side, and the referee cautioned two of the players for somewhat objectionable tactics.  From a free kick for hands Wolverton opened the scoring, and by this point they continued to lead when the midway stage was reached.  In the second half Gosson, who had been somewhat badly injured, went into the half-back line, and his side played with four forwards.  The “Wolves” got down and kicked out in the first half minute, and Rushden retaliated by sending over the cross-bar.  From a foul against Wolverton the ball was sent between the posts but no score was allowed, the ball not having touched a second player.  Rushden was stopped for getting off-side, and when Wolverton got near goal they were pulled up for fouling.  Hands against French was followed by a corner against the “Wolves,” and then Jaques was cautioned for fouling.  Some exceedingly pretty play was shown by Wolverton, and soon after that side succeeded in sending the leather through, but no score resulted.  Bailey experienced hard luck in failing to score,  one of his shots going remarkably close.  Hands against Rushden was awarded twice in rapid succession, the second occasion being when the leather was uncomfortably close to goal.  Lewis was pulled up for fouling and cautioned, and a corner against Rushden was next chronicled.  A steady bombardment of the Wolverton goal ended in a goal kick, Bailey having struck the post with a plucky attempt.  When a free kick for hands had been given to them, Wolverton put on a second point through the medium of Poole.  In the course of a determined onslaught on their foemen’s citadel, Rushden met with extremely bad luck, bailey being once more conspicuous in the struggle.  The Wolves managed to obtain a corner, but one of their men was punished for fouling Bailey, a corner against them following.  Rushden at length were credited with a point, Pendred being responsible for this.  From this stage to the end of the game matters were fairly even, and when the time had expired Wolverton had beaten the holders by two goals to one and thus qualified to meet Luton Town in the final.  It should be said the quality of the football was not such as the regular visitors to the Town Club’s enclosure are accustomed to witnessing.  Wolverton played with a much better combination than their opponents, their forward exhibition being at times good.  Bailey was the most noteworthy exponent on the Rushden side, and but for his services the wearers of the white would have fared badly.  It should be said that Rushden right wingers displayed an unwelcome tendency towards adopting foul tactics, and the action of the referee in regard to them was perfectly justified.  The Red Cross band attended and played selections during the afternoon, and it only remains to add that the proceeds realised the sum of close on £70.”

4th April 1894 committee meeting – 

“Letter received from Messrs Hayward, Clapton, Haddon Brooke Wolverhampton Wanderers, Edgar Wilson Grantham Rovers, S. Anstee Truman S.J. Brown Luton Schools Boy’s League, A. Rostron Bourke”.  

 “Teams selected against Clapton for Sat 7th.

Bee, Chesher, Vickers, Taylor, Julian, Watkins, Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson, Brown.

Linesman Mr Hackett.  referee Mr Carr failing him Mr Kent.

Resolved that sec write Mr Freeman declining the offer made.  

That M Brown’s letter stand over until Monday 9th

that as Mr A. Rostron Bourke was engaged on 23rd April, 30th April be offered for Mr Taylor’s benefit.  

That sec write Messrs Arnold, Horn, Pakes and Webdale asking them to clear their ticket account at the next meeting.  

Gatemen for Saturday 7th Messrs Davey and Fryer.

Resolved that Secretary see secretary of the Charity Committee with regard to admitting Mr Burley on the ground.  

It was proposed by Mr Hinson, seconded by Mr Barford and carried unanimously that Messrs Galbraith and Finlayson be offered the sum of £1 per week during the close season and 30/- per week during the playing season to sign on for season 94 and 95.  

Resolved that Mr Julian be offered the same terms as last year and Bee £1 6s 6d during the playing season.  

Proposed by Mr Barford seconded by Mr Hinson and carried that Messrs Allen, Dimmock, Brown, Watkins, Chesher and Taylor be offered 10/- per week for next season.  

Resolved that kick off on Monday 16th be 4 o’clock”.  

7th April 1894.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 14th April 1894.  


This return game was played at Luton on Saturday before a fairly good number of spectators and in magnificent weather, though the sun’s rays were so hot that playing must have been very taxing for those engaged.  The visitors were well represented, though Hewett and others were absent from their ranks, whilst Vickers signalised his recovery from the severe twist which he experienced some weeks ago by again appearing in the home eleven, thus replacing Wilson.  The sides were as follows :—Clapton : Goal, A. J. Davies ; backs, Cook and Watts ; half-backs, Andrews, Mayes, and Craig ; forwards, Roberts and Smith (right), Danks (centre), Hughes and Gallon (left).  Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and R. Vickers ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian, and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right wing), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left wing).  The referee was Mr. Kemp (London), and the linesmen were Messrs. J. H. Hackett and H. Wilkins.  The start was delayed inordinately by the late arrival of the Claptonians, it being long after 4 ‘o‘clock when operations commenced.  The visitors lost choice of positions, and started the game against the sun, but with the wind in their favour.  After the “Spotted Dog” men had visited the home confines, the Luton forwards went away with a great burst, and Galbraith was presented with a splendid opening, which he spoiled by sending the ball Rugby fashion high over the cross-bar.  Not many minutes had expired, however, before Dimmock drew first blood with a long, dropping shot which effectually baffled the goalkeeper.  Though this scored, it must be conceded that the notch was distinctly lucky.  The homesters maintained the pressure, and hands and a corner fell to their share in rapid succession, Brown sending behind from the latter.  Vickers was playing in good style, some of his kicks being very useful, while Chesher was as cool and capable as ever.  A foul against the strangers led to Finlayson striking the post with a capital attempt.  The same player again put himself in evidence a few minutes afterwards, when the keeper had thrown the leather out during a fierce attack, the inside right man secured and narrowly missed with a sterling shot.  Galbraith followed suit, and then a corner to the “reds” was noted.  A grand long attempt by Julian was well fisted out, but the strangers could not raise the siege, and a foul against them made matters appear ominous.  The danger was averted, and then Allen put an end to the attack by sending in a tame shot when he had a splendid chance.  The visitors then took a turn at pressing, and a foul against Galbraith and a corner off Vickers were awarded, but neither of these opportunities was profited by.  The Claptonians had exceedingly hard lines, and after a couple of free kicks against the “reds” Bee conceded a corner in clearing under great pressure.  Dimmock evoked a shout of laughter by shooting over the posts when he had passed all the opposing backs.  Hands against Clapton was followed by Bee being given some work to do, that player having to clear his lines twice in rapid succession.  The strangers were penalised four times in as many minutes, and then Bee saved two more grand attempts in capital fashion.  The spectators expressed their delight just after when Galbraith broke through and scored in exceedingly smart fashion.  Julian handled the ball when in mid-field and Clapton were given off-side, but they had their revenge shortly, the ball being sent past Bee.  Luton showed better form thereafter, their preceding efforts having been extremely scratchy, and Finlayson rendered himself conspicuous.  Hands against Watkins was the only interesting feature before the interval, when the home combination were leading by two goals to one.  A minute from the re-start Dimmock scored a third notch from a scrimmage.  Julian sent in a long swift shot which failed by very little.  At this stage an incident occurred which caused considerable surprise and amusement.  The ball had gone over the Clapton line and the homesters appealed for a corner.  Before deciding the referee consulted one of the linesmen (Mr. Wilkins), and after giving a corner changed this to a goal-kick.  To complete the extraordinary nature of the affair the linesman was deprived of his flag and another gentleman appointed.  These proceedings were viewed with amazement by the crowd, and a burst of derisive laughter saluted the officials on play being resumed.  A corner against Clapton was followed by a foul against them, and from this Taylor sent the leather just over the bar.  When Watkins had been pulled up for fouling, Allen scored a brilliant goal, this being obtained after a single-handed run.  Succeeding a corner against the visitors, Dimmock kicked the ball into Davies’s hands.  Luton were pulled up for an alleged foul and from the free kick the ball was sent into the net, but inasmuch as it had not touched a second player no score followed.  As the result of a determined struggle in front of the home fortress Clapton secured their second point, and so determined was the attack which they afterwards initiated that it seemed as though they would draw level.  In response to loud demands, however, the locals played up and were soon swarming round Davies’s charge.  Four corners in rapid succession were obtained, but none of these produced the desired addition to the score.  A few minutes afterwards, though, Galbraith, profited by a good centre by Brown, and put on a fifth notch for the leaders.  Allen and Brown made unsuccessful attempts during some excellent play which ensured, but nothing further was scored, and the result was a win for Luton by five goals to two.  The game was not productive of very scientific play, the homesters showing much more smartness than the losers.  The home side thoroughly deserved their win, and they thereby succeeded in stamping themselves as the superiors of the Claptonians, who have thus been beaten twice by the “reds” this season.  Several decisions by the referee were by no means acceptable to the crowd, who expressed their disapprobation in the usual way.


On Wednesday night the fixtures for next season in connection with the Southern League were arranged as follows :—

Sept. 22—Royal Ordnance Factories v. Ilford, Swindon Town v. Reading, Chatham v. Clapton.

Sept. 29—Millwall Athletic v. Swindon Town.

Oct. 6—Luton Town v. Millwall Athletic, Ilford v. Swindon Town, Clapton v. Royal Ordnance Factories, Southampton St. Mary’s v. Chatham.

Oct. 20—Reading v. Luton Town, Southampton St. Mary’s v. Royal Ordnance.

Oct 27—Luton Town v. Southampton St. Mary’s, Millwall Athletic v. Ilford, Chatham v. Royal Ordnance Factories, Clapton v. Reading.

Nov.10—Ilford v. Southampton St. Mary’s, Clapton v. Luton Town, Millwall Athletic v. Royal Ordnance, Reading v. Swindon Town.

Nov.17—Ilford v. Clapton, Royal Ordnance v. Reading, Southampton St. Mary’s v. Millwall Athletic, Luton Town v. Chatham.

Dec. 1—Ilford v. Reading.

Dec. 8—Royal Ordnance v. Luton Town, Clapton v. Millwall Athletic, Chatham v. Ilford, Reading v. Southampton St. Mary’s.

Dec. 22—Ilford v. Royal Ordnance, Southampton St. Mary’s v. Luton Town, Reading v. Millwall Athletic, Swindon Town v. Chatham.

Dec. 26—Millwall Athletic v. Clapton.

Dec. 29—Swindon Town v. Royal Ordnance.


Jan. 5—Ilford v. Luton Town, Chatham v. Millwall Athletic, Royal Ordnance v. Clapton, Southampton St. Mary’s v. Reading.

Jan. 12.—Reading v. Chatham, Millwall Athletic v. Luton Town, Clapton v. Southampton St. Mary’s Swindon Town v. Ilford.

Jan. 26—Clapton v. Swindon Town, Luton Town v. Ilford, Millwall Athletic v. Reading, Royal Ordnance v. Southampton St. Mary’s.

Feb. 9—Clapton v. Ilford, Chatham v. Luton Town, Reading v. Royal Ordnance, Swindon Town v. Millwall Athletic.

Feb. 23—Reading v. Ilford, Luton Town v. Royal Ordnance, Swindon Town v. Southampton St. Mary’s, Clapton v. Chatham.

March 2—Luton Town v. Reading.

March 9—Ilford v. Millwall Athletic, Luton Town v. Swindon Town, Chatham v. Southampton St. Mary’s.

March 16—Ilford v. Chatham.

March 23—Royal Ordnance v. Swindon Town, Luton Town v. Clapton, Millwall v. Southampton St. Mary’s, Chatham v. Reading.

March 30—Southampton St. Mary’s v. Swindon Town, Royal Ordnance v. Millwall Athletic.

April 6—Reading v. Clapton, Swindon Town v. Luton Town, Ordnance Factories v. Chatham.

April 12—Southampton St. Mary’s v. Clapton.

April 13—Southampton St. Mary’s v. Ilford, Chatham v. Swindon Town.

April 20—Swindon Town v. Clapton, Millwall Athletic v. Chatham.

9th April 1894 committee meeting – 

“Letter received from Messrs Henderson Southern League, Mayo Vampires, Murray Uxbridge, Burrows Plumstead, G.H. Barford Luton Charity, Murray 2nd Scotts, A.E. Bourke Referee Association, W.G. Aylott Luton Athletic, J. Gorman 1st Scotts”. 

Team selected against Wolverton for Sat 14th April 

Bee, Burrows or Whitby, Chesher, Watkins, Julian, Taylor, Brown, Finlayson, Galbraith, Allen, Dimmock.  

Against Woolwich Arsenal for Monday 16th April.

Bee, Gorman, Chesher, Watkins, Julian, Taylor, Brown, Finlayson, Galbraith, Allen, Dimmock.  

Gate money for Sat 7th £19 11s 9d Pav £2 6s 5d.

Gatemen for Monday 16th Messrs Hackett, Hinson. Dallow Lane boys entrance Mr Shane.  

“The ground be let to the Luton Athletic Club on Whit Monday also for training purposes up to that date at the charge of £12 10s 0d this amount to include the grand stand.  It was also resolved that secretary should call the attention of the Cricket Club (in the event of their taking the ground) of the danger to cyclists while training and ask them to use a little more discretion with regard to the placing of the ball at such times”.  

“that at the expiration of Mr Gorman’s term in the army, £5 be granted to him in order to obtain civilian clothing providing he signs on for the Town Club”.  

“that Wilson be paid up to the end of the season and discharged.”

“Resolved that the Grand stand be tarred at once”.  

That Messrs Shane, Arnold and Barford sign the guarantee for safe custody of the cup in the event of the club winning the cup”.   

“Resolved that procuring of a safe be left over until next meeting”.