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Why did Jimmy Forrest have to wear a different shirt?


John Simkin
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Jimmy Forrest of Blackburn Rovers won his first international cap for England against Wales on 17th March, 1884. England won 4-0. The following year he was selected to play against Scotland. Scottish officials complained about him being in the team. Forrest was eventually allowed to play but he had to wear a different jersey from the rest of the team. Why?

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Guest Gary Loughran
Jimmy Forrest of Blackburn Rovers won his first international cap for England against Wales on 17th March, 1884. England won 4-0. The following year he was selected to play against Scotland. Scottish officials complained about him being in the team. Forrest was eventually allowed to play but he had to wear a different jersey from the rest of the team. Why?

I know this one...but I'll not spoil it for others. In fact it was a quiz question about a year ago in the quiz I go to every week asked in a slightly different way though.

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Football was initially a game played by the working-classes. The first recorded description of football being played in England dates back to the 10th century (William FitzStephen 1170). FitzStephen, who was a monk, warned that these games resulted in disorder.

The game was eventually banned in 1314 by Edward II. At the time he was trying to raise an army to fight the Scots and was worried about the impact that football was having on the skills of his archers. Thus began a struggle to stop the working-classes from playing football that lasted over 600 years.

However, it was legal for football to be played in the public schools where the upper-classes sent their children to be educated. In the 18th century football was played by most of Britain's leading public schools. There is documentary evidence that football was played at Eton as early as 1747. Westminster started two years later. Harrow, Shrewsbury, Winchester and Charterhouse had all taken up football by the 1750s.

In 1848 a meeting took place at Cambridge University to lay down the rules of football. As Philip Gibbons points out in Association Football in Victorian England (2001): "The varying rules of the game meant that the public schools were unable to compete against each other." Teachers representing Shrewsbury, Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Marlborough and Westminster, produced what became known as the Cambridge Rules. One participant explained what happened: "I cleared the tables and provided pens and paper... Every man brought a copy of his school rules, or knew them by heart, and our progress in framing new rules was slow."

The Football Association was established in October, 1863. The aim of the FA was to establish a single unifying code for football. All the delegates had been educated at the UK’s leading public schools. One way of keeping the working-classes from the game was by insisting that footballers could not be paid.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Fhistory.htm

As a result, in the early days, football was dominated by teams that had been established by former public school students. In 1871, Charles W. Alcock, the Secretary of the Football Association, announced the introduction of the Football Association Challenge Cup. All ties had to be played in London. Clubs based in places such as Nottingham and Sheffield found it difficult to find the money to travel to the capital. Each club also had to contribute one guinea towards the cost of the £20 silver trophy.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Ffacup.htm

In the first 11 years the FA Cup was won by public school teams. However, the best players were from the working class. A group of former public school boys living in Blackburn decided in November 1875 to establish Blackburn Rovers.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Fblackburn.htm

Two years later, Sidney Yates, the owner of a local iron foundry, decided to establish his own team. Unlike, Blackburn Rovers, his team were made-up of working men. On 15th September, 1879, these two teams from Blackburn played each other. Olympic beat Rovers 3-1.

Olympic decided to enter the FA Cup in 1882-83. Coached by former England player, Jack Hunter, Blackburn beat Lower Darwen 9-1 in the second round of the competition. This was followed by victories against Darwen Ramblers (8-0), Church (2-0) and Druids (4-0). Hunter, who also played at centre-half for Olympic, led his team to a 4-0 victory over Old Carthusians in the semi-final of the competition.

Over 8,000 people arrived at the Oval to watch Blackburn Olympic play Old Etonians in the final. Blackburn selected the following team: Thomas Hacking (dental assistant), James Ward (cotton machine operator), Albert Warburton (master plumber and pub landlord), Thomas Gibson (iron foundry worker), William Astley (weaver), John Hunter (pub landlord), Thomas Dewhurst (weaver), Arthur Matthews (picture framer), George Wilson (clerk), Jimmy Costley (spinner) and John Yates (weaver).

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/FblackburnO.htm

Old Etonians were appearing in their third successive FA Cup Final. Their captain, Arthur Kinnaird, was playing in his ninth final and his side was hot favourites to win. However, Blackburn Olympic won 3-1. The message was not lost on their upper class rivals, Blackburn Rovers. They began recruiting players from Scotland (football in Scotland was very much a working-class game). They were given jobs in Blackburn by wealthy supporters of the club.

They also began persuading local working-class lads to join their team. They paid them £1 a week. This was illegal at the time so payments had to be secret.

In the 1883-84 FA Cup Blackburn Rovers beat Padium (3-0), Staveley (5-0), Upton Park (3-0), and Notts County (1-0) to reach the final. After Blackburn beat Notts County the club made an official complaint to the Football Association that John Inglis was a professional player. The FA carried out an investigation into the case discovered that Inglis was working as a mechanic in Glasgow and was not earning a living playing football for Blackburn Rovers.

John Inglis played in the final against Queens Park at outside left. Other Scots in the team included Jimmy Douglas (outside right) Fergie Suter (left-back) and Hugh McIntyre (centre-half). Queen's Park scored the first goal but Blackburn Rovers won the game with goals from local lads, James Forrest and Joe Sowerbutts.

The Football Association could not ignore the talents of these working-class lades and in 1884 James Forrest was selected to play for England. The following year he was selected to play against Scotland. Scottish officials complained as they argued that Forrest was a professional. At the time he was receiving £1 a week from Blackburn Rovers. Forrest was eventually allowed to play but he had to wear a different jersey from the rest of the team. Blackburn Rovers also had to agree not to pay him his wages in the week that he played for England. Despite the indignity of having to play in a tight-fitting off-white shirt, Forrest had become the first professional to play for England.

The Football Association had to accept defeat and on 20th July, 1885, it was announced that it was "in the interests of Association Football, to legalise the employment of professional football players, but only under certain restrictions". Clubs were allowed to pay players provided that they had either been born or had lived for two years within a six-mile radius of the ground.

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Guest Gary Loughran
I posted this question on the BBC 606 website. When I posted the answer it was rejected because I had used an "offensive" word. Can you work out the word they found offensive?

No idea. Guinea, Scot, Alcock (in case it was automatically parsed i.e. not proof read), disorder, monk, Sowerbutts (how unfotunate a name), idignity, off-white, Druids.

Maybe indignity used in connection with representing England!!!

I can't believe this was rejected BTW. World gone mad.

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I posted this question on the BBC 606 website. When I posted the answer it was rejected because I had used an "offensive" word. Can you work out the word they found offensive?

No idea. Guinea, Scot, Alcock (in case it was automatically parsed i.e. not proof read), disorder, monk, Sowerbutts (how unfotunate a name), idignity, off-white, Druids.

Maybe indignity used in connection with representing England!!!

I can't believe this was rejected BTW. World gone mad.

Sowerbutts was the word they disliked. Now they have deleted the whole posting because they claim I have stolen the information from the Spartacus Educational website. I have told them that I own Spartacus but that does not seem to matter to them.

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Guest Gary Loughran
I posted this question on the BBC 606 website. When I posted the answer it was rejected because I had used an "offensive" word. Can you work out the word they found offensive?

No idea. Guinea, Scot, Alcock (in case it was automatically parsed i.e. not proof read), disorder, monk, Sowerbutts (how unfotunate a name), idignity, off-white, Druids.

Maybe indignity used in connection with representing England!!!

I can't believe this was rejected BTW. World gone mad.

Sowerbutts was the word they disliked. Now they have deleted the whole posting because they claim I have stolen the information from Spartacus Educational website. I have told them that I own Spartacus but that does not seem to matter to them.

That is incredible; perhaps they are not used to having well thought out pieces on their site and prefer juvenile tribalism.

It's a tough one to prove from their perspective. re: Spartacus ownership, perhaps they checked the site and decided that there's no way the owner would be posting on 606. Get Simon Jenkins to confirm your identity. :rolleyes:

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Sowerbutts was the word they disliked. Now they have deleted the whole posting because they claim I have stolen the information from Spartacus Educational website. I have told them that I own Spartacus but that does not seem to matter to them.

Now I know the Beeb's hot button word, I'll use it mercilessly in future postings to Mr Richard Missing-Tapes Porter.

I see his 'debunking' of the BBC's miracle reporting has attracted no less than 469 comments at the time of writing.

I hope, deep down, he feels as sowerbutt about the bullxxxx he writes as the rest of us.

Edited by Sid Walker
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