HISTORY : CURIOSITIES OF WORLD FOOTBALL (1901-1905)

Picture : Pachuca AC 1905

1901

A native Swiss wins the Belgian championship 10 times – both football and sprinting

Frank König, born to Swiss parents on May 7, 1874, studied in England and then came to Belgium, where in 1895 he was one of the founding members of the Belgian Football Association (UBSSA). He was an all-round sportsman, active in football, track and field, boxing and rowing. He was 100m sprint champion three times, and four times at aquarter mile. No wonder, then, that he was an extremely fast forward on the pitch, as well as dangerous in front of goal and good at passing. Frank König was Belgian champion with Racing Club de Bruxelles in 1897, 1900 and 1902, and at the beginning of the 20th century alsowas one of the three top referees in Belgium. He later alsoworked as trainer and as sports journalist. It is likely that he later eventually took onBelgian citizenship.

English international and British long jump record holder

Charles Burgess Fry (25.4.1872-7.9.1956) studied at Oxford and was an outstanding cricketer (30,886 runs), rugby player and athlete. He was very good at the 100 yards sprintand excellent at the long jump. He held the British long jump record for several years, and almost set the world record in 1893. Regarding football, he developed into an athletic full-back who also played for Southampton FC, Portsmouth FC and Corinthians (London). On March 9, 1901, he played one match for England (3:0 Ireland).

10 players together are national vice-champions with two different clubs within 13 months

During the summer of 1900, Belgian runners-up Antwerp FC did not enter the first division, preferring to play in the second division instead. The reason for this decision was that apart fromgoalkeeper René Moreels, all the league players had quitout of dissatisfaction with the club board and joined local rivals Beerschot AC (founded in 1900), which had a good sports complex and were surprisingly admitted to the top division. The Beerschot team scored the most league goals and were evenBelgian runners-up, with only one point behind the champions. As a resultten field players altogether were Belgian runners-up with two different clubs in two consecutive seasons (within 13 months).

1902

The first all-professional full “A” international

The encounter between England and Scotland (2:2) at Villa Park (Birmingham) on May 3, 1902, was the first full “A” international where both sides fielded only professionals. This happened only after almost 30 years after the first full “A” international in the world, and despite professionalism already having been legalised in England in 1885, and in the other British countries in the early 1890’s. All previous full “A” internationals during this period (1872-1902) had featured anywhere from 1 to 22 amateurs on the pitch.

National players forced to adopt pseudonyms to avoid reprisals

In order to avoid reprisals at school, at work and privately, many footballers in Austria used a pseudonym, including national players like Wilhelm Eipeldauer (“Eipel”), Emil Wachuda (“Omlady”), Raimund Mössmer (“Quick”), Max Leuthe (“MacJohn”), Heinrich Lenczewsky (“Lintsch”) and Pulchert (“A.N. Other”).

Englishmen took home the Welsh Cup

In 1902, another English club from the county of Shropshire– Wellington Town – won the Welsh Cup (1:0 Wrexham AFC). Already inthe previous year did Oswestry United FC had managedthe same trick when they beat Druids FC Ruabon (1:0) in the Welsh Cupfinal. The difference consisted in the fact that Oswestry fielded five Welsh players whereas the Wellington side was all English.

Record-holder of the draw Sheffield United continued its tradition in the FA Cup

World record-holder at drawing league matches, Sheffield United FC, also continued the tradition inthe English Cup, and in 1902 ended the quarter-final (against Newcastle United FC), the semi-final (against Derby County FC) and the final (against non-league Southampton FC) a total of 4 times 1:1 after extra time before securing a narrow win in the replay in each of these rounds. Sheffield had  reched the Cup final during the 1900/01 season, when they drew the semi-final (against Aston Villa) and in the first final (against Tottenham Hotspur) 2:2.

Football champion wins Olympic silver for the javelin throw and sprint relay

In 1902, inside right Knut “Knatten” Lindberg won the Swedish football championship with Örgryte IS (Göteborg). He was an even better athlete, however. At the 1906 Olympic interim games in Athens, he won the silver for the javelin throw and was placed fifth in the ancient pentathlon. He participated inthe 1908 (London) and 1912 (Stockholm) Olympics as a sprinter, and in 1912 even won the silver with the Swedish 4 x 100 m sprint relay. From 1906 to 1936, Knut Lindberg held the Swedish record for the sprint 100 metres, which was 10.6 seconds.

Championship final goes to six extra times

The French championship final between Racing Club de France de Paris and Racing Club de Roubaix, played in Bécon-les-Bruyères on April 20, 1902, ended drawn (3:3) after regular time. After consulting with English referee John Wood, the two sides agreed to keep extending the match by 15 minutes until the tie had been decided. This, however, did not happen until the sixth extension, when English centre-half Peacock put Roubaix ahead 4:3 in the 175th minute to give them the title.

Relegated with a positive goal average

The 1901/02 season kicked off with 18 teams in the English elite league. At the end of the season, league climbers Small Heath FC from Birmingham ranked 17th with a positive goal average (47:45), but with 30:38 points were relegated again. The table was quite tightby the end of the season, however, and with seven more points, Small Heath would have been level with third-placed Newcastle United FC. Three years later, Small Heath FC was renamed Birmingham FC.

1903

The dynasty of Argentina’s Brown brothers

Full-back Carlos Carr Brown (25.2.1882-12.8.1926) was a member of the famous Brown family, one of the football pioneers in Argentina. He studied and played football in Great Britain. He had four brothers who also played for Argentina. Jorge Gibson Brown (3.4.1880-31.1.1936) started out as centre forward before he became very popular as a full-back. Left wing half-back Ernesto A. Brown (7.1.1885-12.7.1935) played for Alumni AC (Buenos Aires), like all the brothers. The other two brothers, Alfredo C. Brown (1.12.1886-30.8.1958) and Eliseo Brown (*29.10.1888), were forwards. The five Brown brothers, who played  44 full “A” internationals between them, had a cousin named Juan Domingo Brown, who from 1906 onwardsalso played for Argentina as full-back. As it was, there never were more than three Brown brothers and their cousin playing in Argentina’s national team at the same match.

Champion player won four Olympic medals in gymnastics

The team of 1903 Norwegian cup winners, Odds BK (Skien), included the brothers Guttorm and Petter Hol. Outside right Petter Hol, born in Kristiania (now Oslo) on March 19, 1883, was a multi-sportsman. He won Olympic silver for gymnastics (team) in 1908 and 1920, and bronze in 1912 (as well as gold at the interim games in Athens in 1906). He was alsoan excellent track and field athlete, speed skater and skier. Even though he stood only1.58 m tall, he jumped as high as 1.70 m and pole-vaulted 3.10 m. He emigrated to Canada in 1922, where he lived to a ripe old age.

The Pasteurs – creative in very different fields

Swiss Eduardo Pasteur (1877-1969) was one of the fathers of Italian football. He was player, referee and president of the Genovese club (Genoa Cricket and Foot-Ball Club), and later a driving force behind the Italian football federation, where he made Vittorio Pozzo national coach. As aplayer, Eduardo Pasteur won the Italian championship six times, this after having studied in Bern and Lausanne (Switzerland). A close relative of his was Louis Pasteur (27.12.1822-28.9.1895), the famous French chemist and founder of the modern science of microbiology, who amongst others developed vaccines against rabies and anthrax as well as the sterilisation process now known as pasteurisation.

DFB president’s team fools everyone

As winners of the championship of the “Verband Deutscher Fußball-Vereine” – the association of German football clubs in and around Prague – the Deutscher Fußball-Club Prag (DFC) qualified for the final rounds of the German championship. In the qualifying round, the Prague Germans were drawn to play against the strong south German champions, Karlsruher Fußball-Verein (KFV). DFC, however, asked for the match to be moved, and did not wish to play away, either. KFV, for their part, refused to travel to Prague. The DFB [Deutscher Fußball-Bund] thus ruled that this match now in the semi-final be played on neutral ground in Leipzig. Shortly before, however, KFV received a bogustelegramstating that the match had been postponed again, and so did not travel to Leipzig – where DFC Prag awaited them, and so received a bye to the final.

There was method behind DFC’s deception, for on certain weekends – including this one (semi final) – DFC were without several Austrian national players (all using a pseudonym) who were with other clubs and thus not eligible to participate. The Prague side thus fielded seven (!) Austrians in the final, six of which were international players and not affiliated with the club. Wily DFC, however, had announced a different squad. The German reporters present in Altona were unable to identify the Prague players and thus uncover the deception. As it was, then DFB president, Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Hueppe, also happened to be chairman of DFC Prag.

Excesses of Bruges football passion

The Belgian town of Bruges, with its two first-division clubs Football Club and Cercle Sportif, developed a great passion for football. Sadly, this passion often gave rise to excesses or even turned brutal, both on thepart of the fans and the players. After the local derby on October 12, 1902, which Cercle Sportif won (2:0), FC player Léonard Guillini, who had alreadyspat chewing tobacco into referee Henri Boon’s face during the match, was at home waiting for the Cercle Sportif fans, who as usual were coming to pay homage to their best player, Louis Saeys, who lived next door. Guillini was hiding by a window in the upper floor of his house. When the Cercle fans came, he quickly emptied several buckets of water over their heads.

Brussels referee Paul de Bormann, who himself was a good player of Léopold Club (Brussels), and from 1898 to 1912 had won the Belgian tennis singles championship nine times, experienced the brutal Bruges passion first-hand. Even though FC Brugeois won the league match against Léopold Club de Bruxelles (2:1) during the 1902/03 season, the referee was viciously attacked by a home fan at the café where he and the players of both teams were changing. The Léopold players rushed to the referee’s aid, and in no time at all found themselves fighting all the customers in the café.

1904

Distracted Hungarian “professor” forgets his own national team

On October 9, 1904, Hungary played Austria in Vienna. Ferenc Gillemot already had coached the Hungarian national team at their previous four full “A” internationals. The Hungarian coach was so absent-minded, however, that he missed the date and the train, and he had the trunkwith all the players’ kit.It did not occur to him to take a later train, either. Consequently,the Hungarian national team were stranded in Vienna without acoach, money or kits. The Austrians were generous, however, and helped them out in every way. They also won the match (5:4), which was played on the Cricketer playing field.

France travel to full “A” international without sleeping first

When France played their first ever full “A” international, only 12 players were allowed to travel to Belgium. The team set out from Paris by rail at 10:00 p.m. (22:00) and travelled through the night to arrive in Brussels on the day of the match at 4:00 a.m. They drew lots to decide whether Émile Fontaine or Jacques Davy would play. The latter actually was a better hockey than football player, but won the draw. Playing in Vivier d’Oie before a crowd of 1,500, France drew 3:3. France’s first international goal was scored by Louis Mesnier, who used the protective pseudonym “Didi”. The French player had achieved a considerable result without sleep.

English rogue and drunkard makes it to “World Goalgetter” in Austria

On September 23, 1904, Charles Stansfield of England scored plenty and so made a furious start with Vienna Cricket and Football Club. Even though he was not eligible to play, Austria fielded him as centre forward for their full “A” international against Hungary on October 9, 1904, where he contributed four goals to Austria’s 5:4 victory. With these four goals he became “The World‘s best Goal Scorer 1904″ (World Goalgetter). He was most unsportslikein his private life, however, and was seen drunk more and more often. Sothe Viennese repatriated “Charly” Stansfield to England in spring of 1905. The suit he wore on the occasion was a gift, as he had drunk away his own.

Swedish footballers as well as Olympic gymnastics winner and wrestling champion

Erik “Gobben” Lund, left inside forward with Örgryte IF (Göteborg), won the Swedish football championship in 1904, and for the second time since1902. He also was an outstanding wrestler and alsowas Swedish wrestling champion in 1904, 1907 and 1908. Axel Norling, captain and centre-half of the runner-ups Djurgårdens IF (Stockholm), won the gold for gymnastics (multiple-discipline event for teams) at the Olympic games of1908 and 1912, and withhis brother Daniel Norling the bronze for tug-of-war at the interim games in 1906 (Athens). Daniel Norling, who played for IFK (Stockholm), was alsoon the team which won Olympic gold for gymnastics in 1908 and 1912. He also won Olympic gold a third time: horse-jump (gymnastics) in 1920.

Hungarian champion with an average player age of 19

While defending champions Ferencvárosi TC (Budapest) protested in vain against their 1:2 defeat to 33 FC (Budapest) on September 18, 1904, their great rivals MTK (Budapest) were awarded both points from their 1:1 draw with MAFC (Budapest) after successfully filing a complaint. This cost Ferencvárosi Torna Club the title, even though they had the much better goal average. MTK had only one point more, and with an average player age of just 19 (!) in 1904 were the youngest Hungarian champions ever.

Bilbao win the unofficial Spanish championship without playing one match

In the quarter-finals, Athletic Club Bilbao received a bye to the semi-finals, as Club Español Football (Barcelona) did not appear for the match. The Basques reached the final of the tournament, but on March 28, 1904, they stood in the Hipódromo (Madrid) without an opponent as the replay of the semi-final between Español FC (Madrid) and Moncloa FC (Madrid), which had been scheduled in the morning on the same day, had not been played. SoBilbao wasdeclaredthewinner of the tournament and unofficial champion without having played a single match. According to the rules ofFIFA & IFFHS only a national sport organization can carry out a national championship – and there was none such inSpain before 1910.

The world turned upside-down

Liverpool FC, English champions from 1902/03, finished second last in the following seasonand were relegated. Manchester City FC, on the other hand, were promoted as English runners up during the1903/04 season and, also afterhaving scored the most goals in the English top division.

A new DFB president, and a new scandal

On May 29, 1904, at the DFB elections in Kassel (just before the German championship final), Prof. Dr. Hueppe from Prague was relieved of his duties and Friedrich-Wilhelm Nohe from Karlsruhe wasmade new DFB president. It was strange that despite losing 1:6, Karlsruher FV managed to find fault with Berlin champions Britannia 1892, arguing that this quarter-final had not been played on a neutral ground – as also not other matches. Led by the new DFB president, who also was at the helm of Karlsruher FV, the club lodged a protest, and after some argument, it was decided not to hold the German championship final which had been scheduled for that afternoon – both finalists had travelled to Kassel and were ready to play – and to declare no national champion in 1904. Thus did Nohe, in a display of utter selfishness and gross unsporting behaviour, keep VfB Leipzig from successfully defending their title as well as denyingBerliner Thor- u. FC Britannia 1892 of a chance of winning it.

Karlsruher FV had been demanded second-class tickets for the 680 km railway trip from Karlsruhe to Berlin, this although the statutes only allowed third class. The club hosting this quarter-final, Sportpark Friedenau, had only been given third-class rail tickets. This behaviour and thearbitrariness of the new DFB president caused great friction and led to him being relieved of his duties soon afterin 1905.

The “Apaches” of football

Union St. Gilloise won the Belgian championship for the first time during the 1903/04 season, and quite impressively. Due to their athletic and at times brutal style, the whole country knew Union St. Gilloise only as “Apaches”. The winning side from Saint-Gilloise (a Brussels district adjacent to the southern part of downtown) included the brothers Joseph, Charles and Gustave Vanderstappen. Joseph was goalkeeper, centre forward Gustave was the team captain and an avid scorer. Charles Vanderstappan played on outside left. “Union”, as the club was known to its fans, would dominate Belgian football for many years to come.

1905

National goalkeeper gets around long suspension by using a false name

During the 1902/03 season, Welsh goalkeeper John Tracey (who had started out as centre forward) saved12 of 18 penalties awarded against Druids FC Ruabon. In 1905 – meanwhile having won the Welsh Cup with Wrexham a third time – he played once for Wales,  before he was found outto be a professional the following year and disqualified. However, one year later he adopted the name “Morgan” (which was his uncle’s) and in 1907 started playing for the same club, which kept quiet about it. Thus hefooled the Football Association of Wales, and heentered the annals of Welsh football as John Tracey Morgan. By profession he was a coal mine manager in Chirk, and also spent some time in China in a coal mining.

A roaming stagecoach, a protest, and the consequences

The full “A” international between Belgium and France on May 7, 1905, was to be overseenby famous English referee John Lewis. However, the carriage which should have picked him up at the Brussels railway station badly lost its way. Thus he only arrived 15 minutes after kick-off – the match had already been delayed by afull hour – but he immediately took over the role as referee. Up to that point, the later Belgian FIFA president Rodolf William Seeldrayers had taken chargeof the match, which so far had remained scoreless. In the end, hosts Belgium won a sensational victory (7:0).

The reason why the match had been delayed one hour was that the French had protested against Belgium fielding English goalkeeper Eric Thornton. Consequently, Belgium had to bring  inan other keeper, Robert Hustin of Racing Club de Bruxelles. Eric Thornton had kept goal for Belgium against the Netherlands one week earlier.

This one-hour delay, caused by said protest, was the cause of further problems in turn. French goalkeeper Georges Crozier of Union Sportive Parisienne, who was doing military service, had to leave the field in the 65th minute at a score of 0:4 so as to be able to catch his train and be back at the barracks in time. Thus France finished the match short-handed. Captain and full-back Fernand Canelle took Crozier’s place in goal, where he was passed another three times.

Clubs of the first division barred from the Dutch Cup

During the 1904/05 season, the Dutch football association (KVNB, Koninklijke Nederlandse Voetbalbond) barred its12 first-division clubs from the district Westen from entering the seventh edition of the Dutch Cup. Eight of these then participated by fielding their “B” team. The second team of HBS Den Haag even reached the final, where they only succumbed to the VOC Rotterdam “A” team (0:3) in extra time. The next season, the first-division clubs from District Oosten were also barred from the Dutch Cup. This explusion of the first division clubs would continueforsome years and devalued the competition.

Footballer and modern pentathlon Olympian

On October 29, 1905, IFK Stockholm lost the Swedish championship final 1:2 to Örgryte IS (Göteborg). Stockholm’s outside left Åke Grönhagen was also an outstanding fencer and a universal sportsman who at the Olympic Games in 1912 came fourth in the modern pentathlon.

11 Brits win the Mexican championship

In Mexico, Pachuca AC won the national championship for the first time in 1905, but only because their goal average (division procedure) was better than that of British Football Club from the capital, Ciudad de México. (Mexico-City). This was not the Mexican triumph it might seem, however, as Pachuca was an all-British side: Their team consisted of 12 English, two Welsh and one Scottish player.

Postás Budapest lose the title half a year after the season ended

In Hungary, Postás SE (Budapest) had finished the championship two points ahead of local rivals Ferencvárosi TC, and so celebrated the title which they thought was theirs. However, the Hungarian football association (MLSZ, Magyar Labdarúgó Szövetség) sued Postás, as prior to the league match in November 1905, their captain Sámuel “Samu” Bienenstock had offered Fővárosi players ErnőRoóz and Miklós Rusz good jobs if they changed clubs atthe end of the season. The MLSZ looked into the affair and banned all three players for life. Then, on June 22, 1906 – a full six months later – the MLSZ annulled the league match Postás SE 7:0 Fővárosi and deducted points from both clubs. Postás and Ferencvárosi TC were thus levelon points, but Ferencvárosi had the better goal average (division procedure) and so were proclaimed the champions. After protesting unsuccessfully, an embittered Postás withdrew from the league and even left the Hungarian FA.

Title holders VfB Leipzig refuse to be a part of DFB match fixing

In Germany, eleven regional champions entered the national championship, which was to be played in a cup system. The DFB leadership (Deutscher Fußball-Bund) started fiddling again and introduced a redundant second qualifying round where FC Victoria (Magdeburg) and FC Eintracht (Braunschweig) even had to play twice (each timeagainst a different opponent). FC Eintracht had to play against still-defending German champions VfB Leipzig. VfB Leipzig, however, refused  to go along with this match rigging and withdrew. The official DFB version was that they had forfeited because the travel expenses would have been too great, but one look at Leipzig’s friendlies programme for those months made it clear that this was nothing but a threadbare excuse. The quarter-finals consisted of only three pairs. The final was thenlost by Karlsruher FC – the side of the corrupt DFB president Nohe, who in due coursewas relieved of his duties. He was replaced (Whitsum 1905) by goalkeeper Gottfried Hinze of Duisburger SV (who had won the West German championship several times), a professional, sporting and morally sound man.

Fielded a six-man side and only lost 0:6

On February 26, 1905, Cercle Sportif (CS) Brugeois travelled to the Beerschot AC match in two separated groups. One group did not arrive in Antwerp, though, as the train wasderailed. CS thus had to play with but onlyseven players, and to add to their misfortunes, they lost goalkeeper Richard Deloof because of injury after the change of ends. Thanks to superb full-back Julien Six and his Armenian team-mate Vahram Kevorkian (a football artist), Cercle Sportif lost this first-division match by the relatively slim margin of 0:6.

Points lost because the letter went to the wrong address

As the general assembly of the Belgian football association (UBSSA, Union Belge des Sociétés de Sports Athlétiques) was taking place on the afternoon of January 15, 1905, the secretary of Léopold Club de Bruxelles wished to postpone the league match against FC Brugeois. He sent his request in writing, but mistakenly addressed the letter to local rivals Daring Club (Brussels). Even though Léopold Club received no reply, they did not travel to Bruges – and promptly lost, as the match was awarded 0:5 to FC Brugeois.

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