Picture : Scotland national team 1902
Interesting and curious facts about full internationals and national players (1902-1903)
The Scotland-England international at Ibrox Park (Glasgow) on April 5, 1902, was played before a then world record crowd of 80,500 spectators. The newly-built westside stands had been seriously damaged by the pouring rain during the previous night. In the 51st minute, a section of these stands collapsed, bringing down thousands of spectators with them. Panic ensued, the British Championship match was stopped at 1:1, and Irish referee James Torrans led both teams to the locker rooms. When a few minutes later the full extent of the catastrophe became apparent – 26 dead and 587 injured – it was decided to abandon the match.
The Scottish Football Association (SFA) had arranged a full international with the Irish Football Association (IFA), the entire proceeds of which were to be donated to the Ibrox Disaster Fund. The IFA accepted, but preferred August 9, 1902. In order to ensure a good attendance however, it was essential that both national teams field their England-based players. However, the English clubs cynically refused to release them, and the Football Association (FA) did not intervene. Since both sides could field only home-based players, turnout was accordingly low, a paltry 3,000 spectators watched Scotland beat Ireland 3:0 at the Balmoral Show Grounds, and the aid for the Glasgow families was rather modest.
The England-Scotland encounter (2:2) in Birmingham on May 3, 1902, was the first time that the two had met since the first full “A” international back in 1872 with. This time, however, both sides consisting entirely of professionals. Nicol Smith of Scotland was playing his 13th and last full “A” international.
Nicol Smith, born in Darvel (Ayrshire) on December 25, 1873, played for Vale of Irvine FC, Royal Albert and Darvel FC before joining Glasgow Rangers in 1893. The right full-back was an eager tackler, fearless and strong, but always fair. He was still playing football when he died of typhoid fever on January 5, 1905, at the age of 31. His wife also died of the disease at about the same time. Nicol Smith won every Scottish championship with the Rangers from 1899 to 1902, and from 1894 to 1904 also reached the Scottish Cup final five times, winning it on three occasions.
Originally, the match played on the Wiener WAC ground on October 12, 1902, was just an encounter between the Vienna and the Budapest town selections (5:0). At the time, Austria and Hungary were part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. A few years later, however, the national FAs of Austria and Hungary agreed to declare this match a full “A” international. This was not as arbitrary as it might seem, given that both FAs had had a hand in arranging the match and that during subsequent years all national players of both FAs belonged only to clubs of these two cities.
At the beginning of the 20th century, being a national player was not all that safe in Austria, especially for those in academics. Thus, not a few of those who played also in the national team did so under the guise of a pseudonym. From 1901 to 1906, these included: “Eipel” (Wilhelm Eipeldauer, First Vienna FC), “Omlady” (Emil Waducha, Wiener Athletiksport-Club), “Quick” (Raimundo Mössner, Deutsche Jugendmannschaft Währing [Vienna]), “Mac John” (Max Leuthe, Wiener Athletiksport-Club), “A.N. Other” (Pulchert, First Vienna FC), and “Lintsch” (Heinrich Lenczewsky, First Vienna FC).
Henry Davis, born in Wombwell near Barnsley on February 25, 1880. He started playing football in his native town before he joined Sheffield Wednesday in January 1900, and with the “Owls” won the English championship in 1903 and 1904. “Harry” Davis played for England three times. The outside right was very dangerous in front of goal, being gifted with determination as well as a precise and powerful shot. Standing only 1,62 m tall, he was the shortest player in the English league, but quite heavy, weighing in at 76 kg. He broke a leg during the 1906/07 season, after which he only played occasionally, and so took on the duties of assistant trainer. He died in 1962.
When Uruguay played Argentina in Buenos Aires on September 13, 1903, it was the first time ever that there were three brothers in Uruguay’s national team: goalkeeper Amílcar Céspedes(born on May 15, 1882), outside right Bolívar Céspedes(born on December 10, 1883), and centre forward Carlos Céspedes(born on December 31, 1884), all of them with Club Nacional de Football (Montevideo). The latter two also scored all three goals in Uruguay’s victory over Argentina (3:2).
Juan Pena(1882-6.4.1964), who played inside right for CURCC Montevideo, played for Uruguay ten times from 1905 to 1910, and captained the national team twice. He was a great all-round sportsman, being national golf, rowing, tennis and football champion as well as a first-rate cricketer. He played football for five different Montevideo clubs, and in 1908 for Belgrano AC (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
John Sharp, born in Hereford on February 15, 1878, played for Hereford Thistle before joining Aston Villa in 1897. Two years later he transferred to Everton FC, with whom he reached the English Cup finals in 1906 and 1907. During the first decade of the 20th century, the outside right was a prominent player in the English top league, yet he only played for England twice, once in 1903 and again in 1905. “Jack” Sharp was very quick at the start, clever and unusually tough wing forward. As a cricketer, he was so good that he also played for England, from 1899 to 1925 also for Herefordshire und Lancashire, scoring a grand total of more than 22,000 runs. By profession he was a sports supplies dealer in Liverpool. From 1923 onwards he one of the directors of Everton FC, the club he had played for until 1910. “Jack” Sharp died on January 27, 1938.
James Watson was born in Motherwell on October 4, 1877. From 1895 he played for Burnbank Athletic before transferring to Clyde FC (Glasgow) in December 1897. Two years later the left full-back transferred to Sunderland, where he was part of the 1902 champions winning side. From 1907 to 1910 he still played for Middlesborough FC. Between 1903 and 1909, “Jim” Watson played for Scotland six times. Despite his 86 kg, he was one of the best defenders in Britain, and very good in the air. After his active career ended, he worked as assistant trainer before emigrating to Canada, where he died during World War I.
Defender Carlos Carr Brown (25.2.1882-12.8.1926) was a member of the famous Brown family, one of the pioneers of football in Argentina. He studied and also played football in Great Britain. His four brothers were also in Argentina’s national team. Jorge Gibson Brown(3.4.1880-31.1.1936) started as centre forward before gaining popularity as a defender. Left half-back Ernesto A. Brown(7.1.1885-12.7.1935), like all the brothers, played for Alumni AC (Buenos Aires). The other two brothers, Alfredo C. Brown(1.12.1886-30.8.1958) and Eliseo Brown(bprn on October 29th, 1888) were forwards. These five Brown brothers had a cousin, Juan Dodds Brown (born 21.6.1888), who starting in 1906 played in defence for the national team. There were never more than three Brown brothers and their cousin in the national team at the same time.
The five Brown brothers played a total of 44 full “A” internationals, thus setting a world record for brothersplaying full internationals in 1910, ahead of William Henry and Samuel Meredith of Wales (41), John and Archibald Goodall (34), John, Robert and Charles Richard Morris of Wales (31), Robert and Samuel Torrans of Ireland (27), Thomas David and Maurice Pryce Parry of Wales (23), and Charles and Arthur Cambier of Belgium (21).