There is a very impressive piece of Old Etonian and Arthur Kinnaird memorabilia coming up for auction. It is this single card programme from the 1882 FA Cup Final
, in which Old Etonians beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 and was the scene of Arthur's famous post-match handstand.
The programme is being auctioned by Graham Budd at Sotheby's New Bond Street auction rooms in London, on Tuesday, 14 May 2013. You can access the catalogue at www.grahambuddauctions.co.uk
but be warned the estimate for this programme, lot 895, is an eye-watering £20-25,000. When Graham Budd sold the 1889 cup final programme it reached £19,000, thought to be a world record, so this could see a new bar being reached.
It just goes to show what wonderful things can turn up in scrapbooks, and who knows what else is out there, waiting to be discovered.POSTSCRIPT:
The auction went even better than expected, the winning buyer choosing to stump up a new world record price of over £35,000. Not bad for a piece of paper 'found in a box of papers bought as a job lot at a previous auction'! Full story at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-22532857
This unusual postcard was published in Shrewsbury in 1906 to celebrate the victory of Colonel the Rt Hon William Slaney Kenyon-Slaney
, Unionist candidate in the general election of January 1906.
Kenyon-Slaney is perhaps better known as the scorer of the first goal in international football, a feat he managed in the opening minute of the England v Scotland game in March 1873. He scored again in the second half, and rounded off an excellent month by winning the FA Cup with Wanderers. That, however, was pretty much the end of his football activity as his main focus thereafter was on his military career with the Household Brigade.
A contemporary of Arthur Kinnaird, also born in 1847, he was educated at Eton, where he learned his football. He was MP for Newport in Shropshire from 1886 until his death in 1908, so the election of 1906 was his last.
It is 150 years this month since Arthur Kinnaird won his first football trophy, as his tutor's house, JL Joynes's, won the Eton House Football Cup in the autumn of 1862. Despite being only 15 and one of the younger boys, he was brought into the team captained by Alfred Lubbock (pictured). It was an unexpected victory, as Lubbock recalled in his memoirs: "At the outset there was no particular favourite, and the betting would certainly have been 6 to 4 on the field – Marriott’s, Gulliver’s or Stevens’ perhaps the most likely. My tutor’s were not considered to be in it. We first managed to beat Wayte’s, then Gulliver’s and, to our surprise, had to play Stevens’ for the final."
At that point Lubbock's gift for tactics came into play, and helped his side to an unlikely victory: "I had coached up our eleven beforehand what to do. I gave Tritton strict injunctions, when he saw me running with the ball, to guard behind, and when he had the ball I agreed to do the same. In this way we kept fairly on the safe side, and after a very hard fight we managed to win by 1 rouge to 0. Arthur (now Lord) Kinnaird played for us, but was only a small boy then and in lower division."
Lubbock's sporting talents had already won one trophy that year, as his batting was the decisive factor in Joynes' winning the House Cricket Cup in July.
I have just obtained a couple of interesting photos from the 1860s, which almost certainly contain some prominent early footballers. The are both of the Eton boarding house run by JL 'Jimmy' Joynes, who looked after Arthur Kinnaird from 1861 to 1865. One photo is from 1865 but probably taken in the summer or autumn as Arthur is nowhere to be seen - he left the school in April that year. The one shown here is dated 1869, but apart from Joynes himself in the middle, none of the boys can be identified (the Eton College archive don't have a record either).
This is a great shame, as among them would be Alexander Bonsor, an FA Cup winner with Wanderers in 1872 and 1873 and also capped twice by England against Scotland, scoring a goal in 1873 and keeping goal in 1875. There are no known photos of AG Bonsor, as it is thought that the family tried to erase all memories of him after he brought shame by a string of affairs and a messy divorce. The newspaper reports of his divorce case in 1896 were the final straw, with accusations from his estranged wife that he used to come home drunk and threw things at her including, on one occasion, a chicken.
Delighted with a review in the new edition of Sport in History, the house magazine of the British Society of Sports History. It was written by no less than Professor Emeritus Tony Mason, one of the greatest names in sporting academia. He was one my earliest inspirations in this field with his classic book Association Football and English Society 1863-1915, on which I spent the then vast sum of £15.95 when it was published in 1980.
He writes that my biography of Arthur Kinnaird clearly establishes his place in football history. "He [Kinnaird] wrote little, left no sporting memoirs and made few speeches. Andy Mitchell has had to rely largely on newspapers to tell his story and he has done it pretty well."
On a recent visit to London I passed by Arthur Kinnaird's final home at 10 St James's Square. It is quite a famous property, with a long and prestigious history as no less than three Prime Ministers lived there. They are named on a blue plaque by the front door: William Pitt, the Earl of Derby and WE Gladstone. Arthur bought the house in 1892 and lived in it for over 30 years until his death there in 1923. It is now called Chatham House as the home of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and gave its name to 'Chatham House Rules', ie for meetings whose contents remain confidential.
What a shame: English Heritage have knocked back my suggestion that Arthur Kinnaird should be commemorated by a blue plaque on his birthplace in London. Almost two years after my original letter, and numerous committee meetings, requests for further information, letters and so on, the verdict came through: financial constraints and the fact that the only London building was his early childhood home meant that the 'overall case for awarding him a plaque was still not quite convincing enough.'
With the 150th anniversary celebrations of the Football Association on the horizon, I think that's an opportunity missed. There is still just one blue plaque in London for a football man: that of Herbert Chapman.
I missed out recently on the opportunity to buy two very early Etonian booklets on football, the Eton Football Registers from 1859 and 1861. They had already gone by the time I called the dealer.
The latter is particularly relevant to Arthur Kinnaird, as in 1861 he won his first football trophy, the House Cup, as part of Joynes's team. Although these little booklets would not have contained much more than results and team lists, they are among the earliest publications in existence which relate specifically to football, and pre-date the formation of the Football Association.
This superb aerial image of Arthur Kinnaird's family home, Rossie Priory, was taken in 1927, four years after his death. It shows the full extent of the building before the main part was demolished, emphasising what an extraordinary structure it was.
The picture comes from the fascinating Britain from Above
website which was launched recently. This image can be found by clicking here
, but it is worth spending time browsing the rest of the site for some amazing views, including a number of football and cricket grounds.
One of the most enigmatic players in the 1860s and early 1870s was Alexander Morten, who was at least 41 years old when he captained England in March 1873. His date of birth, even his parentage and background, has proved maddeningly elusive, so I had the idea of tracking down his gravestone to see if there were any clues.
He died in 1900 and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, a vast burial ground in north London. The staff there could not have been more helpful in pinpointing the location of the grave, where he was buried with his wife Flora and two chilldren who had died young. I duly found plot number 14493, beside the path in an overgrown section, amidst a row of elaborately carved headstones and tombs, all packed with detail about families and dates. Yet, when it came to the Morten stone, to my immense disappointment, there is nothing whatsoever carved on the stone slab. The only identification is the plot number along one edge, not even the family name. It is hard to imagine why this is the case: certainly the deaths of Alexander and Flora took place fairly close together (both in 1900, him on 21 February, her on 9 December) but one would have expected them to have erected a marker for the children (Frances died in 1858, Frederick in 1864). Not only that, but what about their surviving children, who were not short of money and could have provided a memorial to the parents? It all adds to the enigma, and unfortunately I am no further forward to discovering his identity.