Title: Football And How To Play It

Author: Writer 71

Language: English

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Writer 71

(Late Queen's Park, Everton, and Player-Manager, Tottenham Hotspur F.C.)

One Shilling Net



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Then strip, lads! and to it though sharp be the weather,
And if by mischance you should happen to fall,
There are worse things in life than a tumble in heather,
And life is itself but a game of football.

From the above quotation by Sir Walter Scott, it is evident that football is quite an ancient game. Time alters everything, and it has undoubtedly done so in football. Where one used to play with half the village on one side and the same on the other, it is now restricted to sides composed of eleven players. As I have been requested to write on the modern game it is not worth while dwelling upon how it was played a hundred years ago. Football is really supposed to be a Scottish game, but it was in England that a proper Association with defined rules was first started.

This was in the early sixties, and since then the F.A. has grown to be one of the most powerful bodies connected with sport of any shape or form. They are a most wealthy association, and their power is paramount. It must be said that they have had everything to do with making the game what it is at present. Although autocratic, they deal thoroughly and honestly with both clubs and players, and it will be a bad day for the game when any body of clubs break away. At the time of writing rumours are very rife, but it is to be sincerely hoped that once again "rumour is a lying jade." Friendly matches were the order of the day in the early stages of the game. Then came the establishment of the English Cup Competition for all clubs in the Kingdom. This was in the year 1871, and it was only after eleven years had elapsed that the Cup went to the North, when Blackburn Olympic were the winners. May we say en passant that a Scottish club, namely, the Queen's[Pg 8] Park of Glasgow, took part in the final contest in 1884 and 1885, but were beaten by the Blackburn Rovers in both cases. After that the Cup had a long sojourn in the North, and it was not until 1901 that my old club, Tottenham Hotspur, managed to bring it back to the South. Again, since then, the North have had a monopoly of it, and Southern enthusiasts are longing for it to have its resting-place somewhere in the South.

Another epoch in the game was the starting of the League system of playing matches. The idea came from the fertile brain of Mr. W. MacGregor, who is familiarly known as the Father of the League. This system undoubtedly proved a great success, and although loyal amateurs still play in the same friendly style the public took to it immensely, as is well shown by the difference between the attendance at league and friendly matches. Senior, junior, and school-boys' are the names of the leagues now existing, not to mention tradesmen's and shopkeepers' Thursday afternoon associations. The mere fact that at Cup-ties and International matches the attendance has been over 100,000 is convincing testimony to the winter pastime's popularity. A record crowd assembled at Hampden Park, Glasgow, last April to see England v. Scotland, the attendance reaching 130,000, and the sight was a most magnificent one. Before the close of my preface I should like to express my regret at the separation of a portion of the Amateur Element from the Parent Body last year, and, personally, I could see no reason for their so doing—I can only say, "The pity of it." Again, football and charity are synonymous, and it would surprise many critics if the total amount of money collected by clubs and associations was reckoned up. The last match in aid of charity was played at Stamford Bridge, between Manchester United and Queen's Park Rangers, and realised over 1,000, and I think that speaks for itself.[Pg 9]

Association Football



Goalkeepers and Goalkeeping.

Goalkeepers, like poets, are born, not made. It is really the most difficult position on the field to occupy. If the half-back makes a mistake it can be rectified by the man behind him, but if the goalkeeper makes a blunder it is fatal. It is the one position on the field that I have never occupied, and I never had any desire to figure there. My ideal for that position would be a man who stood six feet and weighed at least thirteen stone, with an eye as keen as that of a hawk. He must be able to divine where and when the opposing forward is about to shoot. All the great goalkeepers have been of a fearless disposition, practically throwing themselves at the ball, even at the risk of receiving a kick from the attacking forward. Fearlessness is undoubtedly a tremendous asset in the making of a great goalkeeper. He must also have a perfect understanding with his backs, and they must trust him infinitely, which makes his responsibility all the greater.

I have often been asked the question whether[Pg 10] the goalkeeper should train as regularly as any member of the eleven, and I have replied without any hesitation "Certainly." In one way he does not require such a severe course as a half-back, who has to go through much more work than he does. He should go in for plenty of short sprinting, so that when running out of his goal to meet any forward who has broken through he will be able to meet the ball quicker than his opponent. The reason for this is obvious, as half a yard in twenty will make all the difference between a goal being scored or not. I do not believe a great deal in gymnastics for footballers in general, but this method of training does a goalkeeper a world of good.[Pg 11]


Punch-ball exercises are some of the best he can practise, and nearly all clubs have a ball fitted up in their training room. He ought to also practise place kicking, and endeavour to do so with both feet. I have often seen a goal scored simply through a poor return by the goalkeeper. Many allow one of the backs to take the goal kicks, but this is a big mistake, as it entails extra work on him, and he probably has as much to do as he can get through. I always like to see the ball thrown or kicked to the wings instead of the centre, where the play is generally concentrated. It is a mistake to attempt to punch a ball when it is wet and greasy and there is plenty of time to give it a lusty kick. Many a match has been won and lost through the goalkeeper attempting the former. The inauguration of the penalty kick has made the position more difficult than in the olden days. Critics say that[Pg 12] eleven goals should be scored out of twelve. This is all very well in theory, but in practice it is another matter. It is, however, from both points of view a most trying time in any game, especially when the result of the match depends upon whether a goal is scored or saved. I shall never forget last year at Chelsea, when in the closing moments of the game Notts County were allowed a penalty, from which they scored.

That goal saved them from going down to the Second Division of the English League, and also saved thousands of pounds for the County.

When I was Manager of the 'Spurs I always made a rule that a goalkeeper should have plenty of practice in this department. I found that in a big match things were certainly different, and especially if there was a large crowd present. The eye of the multitude is concentrated on the keeper and the kicker, and there is a great strain on both, although to my mind the goalkeeper has the advantage in this way. If a goal is scored no one blames him, as it is expected. If the forward fails there is usually a loud groan.

L. R. Roose, the great Welsh International, in a well-written article for a standard book, has very well defined the chief duties that fall to his lot.

1. To prevent the ball passing between the space bounded by the upright posts.

2. To kick off when the ball has been sent behind the goal-line by one of his opponents.

Another great point where the goalkeeper must use special discretion is whether to run out to meet the forward or to "stay at home," as it is called in[Pg 13] the football world. Undoubtedly if the forward is clear of the other players he should leave his post and endeavour to meet the forward. Every yard he goes out means that he leaves less space to be guarded. It is a well-known fact that the more work the goalie has to do the better he shines, and it often happens that the side that has been resting for half an hour breaks away and a goal results. A forward or a half-back is always in the midst of it, and gets warmed whether his side are losing or winning, but the keeper has often to exercise the faculty of patience. There have been many great goalkeepers, and it is very hard to pick out even half a dozen who stand out for their fame. In Scotland, when I was a boy, Macaulay was considered to be the principal goalkeeper, and quite deservedly so, if only for the simple reason that in International matches, especially against England, he always rose to the occasion. Moon, of the Corinthians; A. Trainor, of Preston North End; Toone, of Notts County; and, later on, Sutcliffe, of Bolton, and Robinson, of Southampton, were always to the fore, and of the pair it is very difficult to say which was the better. Both have played for England on many occasions, and at no time were they ever disgraced. Their methods in many ways were different, but the one thing they had in common was that they both knew the right moment to go for the ball. Robinson was without hesitation the more fearless, but Sutcliffe made up for it in many other ways. I have played against both on several occasions, and cannot honestly say that one is greater than the other, for[Pg 14] what one is deficient in the other makes up for in some other way or by some other method. The goalkeeper, like the policeman, has a very happy time in comparison with fifteen years ago. In the olden days one could practically do as he liked, and it was not at all uncommon to see the goalie bundled over the line ere the ball came near him. He is protected now in every way, and he cannot now be charged except when in actual contact with the ball. This is a good rule, and has done a great deal for the game.


Full-Back Play.

One associates the full back with long and lusty kicking, but he must possess many more qualifications. He must be speedy, a fine tackler, and, above all, a good header of the ball.

He must also keep himself thoroughly fit, although in one way he has not so much to do as the men in front of him. He must be strong in defence, but again, when his side is having the most of the play he should be able to put in many a good shot. It is also requisite that he should be able to kick as well with one foot as the other, and boys especially should study this point. It is simply a case of practice. Every opportunity should be utilised in developing the left foot,[Pg 15] which is rather weaker than the other, and every eleven out of twelve are greatly inclined to use the right foot, but if you keep on practising, it will not be long before you will be quite as proficient with your left as your right. To become a good artist you must study kicking the ball from any position or angle that it may come to you. There is what we call the drop kick, the free kick, the overhead kick, the place kick, and taking the ball on the run. The overhead kick is practically one to be avoided, except in a grave case of emergency, because you are never certain of it coming off, or of placing it to any advantage. The drop kick also takes a great deal of practice to be accomplished with anything like success, but the essential thing is to be able to keep the ball on the run and kick it where you desire. A back should be of a steady disposition and always keep cool, for if he loses his head he is of little or no use to the side. It is also necessary to know when to head or kick the ball. It is often imperative that a back, for the good of his side, should punt the ball over the touch-line, but when doing so he should not make a lusty kick and put it over the grand stand. All that is wanted is a gentle touch to the railings, which is the proper thing to do. As I have already remarked, to know how to head the ball is of the utmost importance, and it is effective in clearing the line, especially from corner kicks. Heading is quite an art of its own, and takes a long time to master. You should be able to get at the ball not only with the forehead, but with either side of the head.[Pg 16]


There should be a general understanding between the two backs, and also between them and the goalie. Each should understand the other's play to a nicety, and cover one another's mistakes to a certain extent. They must have confidence in their goalie, and should give him plenty of room in which to operate. It is also important to know when to pass back to the goalkeeper, and to do so correctly. I have seen many goals scored from faultiness in this respect. In tackling, a back must be quick in turning, so that if the forward beats him he has a chance of overtaking his opponent. This has always been a strong point in the play of all our greatest backs, and should be cultivated by all those who wish to succeed. To the uninitiated it seems that when the ball comes to a back he should return it vigorously, and nothing more. This is far from being correct. Many of our best backs have been moderate kickers, but when they did kick they did so with discretion and judgment, placing the ball to the half-back if he was free or to the outside right or left, as the run of the play might be. Above all, a back should be a fine tactician, knowing when to go for the ball or when to put it quickly into touch, thus giving his fellow players time to get back and save the position. There have been many fine full backs during the last decade of football history, and probably the greatest were the brothers Walters, of Corinthian fame; Nick Ross, of Preston North End; and Walter Arnott, of Queen's Park. The two Walters understood each other thoroughly, and as a pair were second to none. Arnott[Pg 17] was the prettiest back to watch that I have ever seen, and Ross was about the most effective. The latter was certainly the most fearless player that I have ever run across, and seemed at times to plough his way through the attacking forwards.[Pg 18]


The Middle Line.

There is no shadow of doubt but that the half-back line is the backbone of a football team, and probably the centre half catches the eye more than any other member of the eleven. He ought really to be a general, as he is in command of both the attack and the defence. For, many reasons he should be the captain of the side, for he can always encourage either the defence or the attack. He is like a wicketkeeper in cricket, who sees more of the game than any other player, and if he be not the captain, his advice should always be taken into serious consideration. I have seen so many expert half-backs that I must refrain from dwelling upon the abilities of individual players. However, taking such great examples as C. Campbell, of Queen's Park, Glasgow; Johnnie Holt, of Everton fame; J. Cowan, of Aston Villa, now manager of Queen's Park Rangers, and many others, their methods[Pg 19] practically agree. A half-back should be able to distribute the ball when it comes his way to the best advantage, and a long swinging pass from centre or outside right or left, according to his judgment, has always proved most effective. No one understood this game more than Cowan, and I am certain others who know the player and game will testify to this. I prefer a fast man for this position, if only for the reason that from the kick-off he gets going invariably before anyone else in the field. His head work ought to be excellent, and a great deal depends upon him whether the run of play be in the opponents' hands or otherwise. As a matter of fact, the distribution of play to the best results is practically left to him. It is a debatable point regarding the halves whether they should direct their main efforts against the opposing inside or outside forward. To my mind, there ought to be an understanding between the back and the half, but in theory the half-back should tackle the inside forward and leave the outside man to the back. The best of critics disagree on this point, and I only give my own personal view from the long experience I have had in playing the game. Still touching on the wing half, a half-back should certainly cultivate speed as well as ability, for he must never know when he is beaten. If a forward outmanœuvres him, he should instantly fall back on his own goal, so that when his back tackles the opposition the half-back should be available to retrieve the position; that is to say, if the outside left, for instance, beats the right half-back, the[Pg 20] latter should immediately get between the forward and the goal post, especially when his opponent is known to be a dangerous attacker. It is understood that a half-back has much more to do in proportion than any other player in the field, and should always be in the pink of condition. He has infinitely more running and twisting about to do, and should be most elastic. Many wing half-backs are rather prone to wander all over the field, which is a mistake (except in isolated cases). Probably E. Needham, of Sheffield United, was the most adaptable player in this respect, although H. Wilson, the Scottish International, ran him close. The mention of the latter's name brings back to my mind the period before the law as to throwing in the ball from touch was altered. Wilson was the expert, and stood alone. When playing for Sunderland it was nothing unusual for him to throw the ball from the half-way line right into the goal-mouth. Much may have been lost owing to the alteration in the law, for the player now must stand with both feet on the line instead of being able to have a good run ere he parts with the ball. The half-back should be a good shot, and should cultivate taking the ball on the run when shooting at goal. More goals would be scored if the half-backs did not hesitate but shot straight at the goal. "The man who hesitates is lost," says a well-known proverb, and its truth is shown in half-back shooting as in any other way. Why more goals do not come from the half-back line is a mystery to me, but upon reflection I think it is because[Pg 21] they do not act on the spur of the moment. Still, this is a failing in the forward line as well as in the half-back division, and it is hardly fair to criticise them severely. In summary, my ideal half-back would be quite as proficient in defence as in attack, and to secure this result he will be wise to constantly develop the latter department, for it is especially true of football that attack is the best defence. This may seem a tall order, but a half-back should be both a forward and a half-back combined. Half-backs should certainly receive a great deal of assistance, especially from the forwards, and if this is not forthcoming it puts an extra amount of work upon their shoulders. This I shall deal with in another chapter from a forward's point of view. I cannot conclude this chapter without alluding to the late J. Crabtree, who played for many years with Aston Villa, and upheld his club so well in half-back and full-back play. I have played against him on many occasions, and he certainly was the finest man I ever came across in defence and attack. He seemed to be able to read the forwards' thoughts, and knowing what was going to be done with the ball, intercepted in a way that has rarely, if ever, been equalled. This, in one way, is a gift which is not mastered by cultivation, but still practice is a great thing, and it is only by this means that any man can hope to come to the front.[Pg 22]


Forward Play.

A good forward line is perhaps a club's chief asset. If the forwards continue to attack, the defence has an easy time, and, as previously mentioned, the best defence is attack. It is not the man who scores that is necessarily the best forward, but to get goals should be the aim of a forward whether he gets the goal himself or leaves a comrade to shoot the ball into the net. From this it will be gathered that a forward should really understand something of the art of goalkeeping, so that he may know how best to defeat the goalkeeper. The object of every forward movement should be to get to the goal by the nearest way possible, eluding the goalie by placing the ball out of his reach. We have all heard of Johnnie Goodall's method in this line. It is a well-known fact that he used to put a tall hat on top of the bar and endeavour to knock it off. In this way he practically put the ball wherever he wanted to, and this was the great secret of his goal-scoring power, which, as I have already remarked, is the chief asset in a forward. While we are on the point of shooting, another thing is to be able to take the ball on the run, which is to say that a forward should shoot without having to[Pg 23] trap the ball. By doing so he gives the goalkeeper no possible chance of knowing where it is going. If he can do this while running at top speed, he will certainly be an artist in this department, and no one was better able to do this than Stephen Bloomer, the great International. I have often been asked what was the secret of his success, and I have always put it down to this reason: running at top speed and being able to give the ball—without slackening down—the final kick into the net. In the last decade the forward line was purely individualist, and there were certainly many giants of the game. Combination was, generally speaking, unknown, and every forward was quite on his own. The forward line is now a combined one, and in one way it is more effective than the old style. It is hardly possible to get a blending of both, but it can be done, and if a team are fortunate enough to do so they would certainly come out on top at the end of the season. It is a recognised fact that the forward play of to-day is rather too mechanical, and we miss the individual efforts that we used to appreciate so very much in the days gone by. Naturally, the centre forward is the connecting link of the rank. He should be tall, a fine dribbler, and more often an individualist than any of his comrades. He should also be able to keep his wings well together, and distribute the play to the best advantage, and most of all to be a fine shot. The inside forwards should do what is called "the donkey work," to fetch and carry, and to help the half-backs when they are in a dilemma. Theirs is the most thankless job of[Pg 24] the lot, and a great deal done by them is often unappreciated. How often I have heard the crowd cheer a centre forward for a goal while the man who did so much to lead up to it was quite overlooked! Happily he has the consolation of knowing that the men with him quite appreciate his work, as also does the educated public. I always try to impress upon the young and old that it is not the man who scores the goal that deserves the credit, but that in an ideal forward line each one should work for the benefit of the side, treating the getting of the goal as a mere item of the play. Perhaps, having played mostly on the inside, I may be inclined to be biassed. Still, I think not, and I can fortunately plead my long connection with the game, and I care not what others may say, this is the esprit de corps that must prevail in any team which intends to reach the highest pinnacle in the Association world.[Pg 25]


One would imagine that it is the simple duty of the inside right to pass the ball to his outside man or on occasions to the centre forward, but this is far from being correct, and one of the most effective passes is from inside right to outside left or vice versa, from inside left to outside right. The reasons for this are obvious. In the first place, all the play is concentrated on the right wing, and the outside left, being correctly placed, passes it with a long swing to him, and that always means danger to the opposition. Another reason is that he retrieves the play to a certain extent by carrying the play right up the field and so giving the defence an opportunity to reveal itself. An[Pg 26] inside forward must also come back for the throw-in when the ball goes out of touch. Coming to the outside man, he should be able to shoot accurately from any angle. Often a great failing of his is running the ball towards the corner flag instead of making a bee-line for goal. It is given to few to be able to land the ball in the mouth of the goal from the corner flag when on the run, and even if anyone is able to do so, it would certainly be more effective to make straight for the goal. I do not believe in an outside forward coming to the assistance of the defence, save under exceptional circumstances. An outside may do so and receive a cheer for it, but it is much more important that he should be in position to take up the ball next time it is sent where he should be waiting. One of the virtues that an outside man should possess is that of patience. Often on the run of the play the ball goes on quite the opposite side of the field, and he must control the impulse to go after it. It is a great mistake to leave your place, for when the ball does come along the outside man will be practically clear and have a straight run before him. I know it is a great strain on an outside man to stand still while all the others are in the thick of the play. Still, it is his place to do so, and it should be done. Centring the ball is a great feature, and the best position from which to do so is about thirty yards out, landing the ball close upon the twelve yards line. If he puts the ball further than that the goalkeeper is in a position to catch it and thus save the position. The art of being able to place[Pg 27] corner kicks effectively is a thing of the past. Perhaps this is due to the restrictions against charging the goalkeeper unless he is in actual contact with the ball. Still, it behoves an outside man to study this point. It may seem strange, but the best way for the outside right to kick is with his left foot. The same applies to the outside left; he should kick with his right foot. The reason here is surely obvious, because kicks with your left foot from the right wing cause a slight swerve on the ball. There have been many great forwards both in the individual and combination line. Aston Villa maintain that Archie Hunter was the greatest centre forward and the best general that ever kicked a ball, and this statement is endorsed by very many competent judges. I was fortunate enough to see him play in Scotland when on tour twenty years ago, and he very greatly impressed me. As I was very young at the time, perhaps I should not make any definite statement. I have played with G. O. Smith, and he was a great forward, as also is V. J. Woodward, with whom I have played in later days. These three played the game as it should be played. With no unnecessary charging, they always got on the ball, and knew when it was best to dribble and when to shoot. William Bassett, of West Bromwich Albion fame, was a great outside right, and could centre the ball from any position. He and Johnnie Goodall, now manager of Watford, made a great wing. We all know the abilities of Bloomer, who has been the greatest goal getter of recent years. The outside left position is the most difficult one to fill[Pg 28] in the forward line, and consequently there have not been so many giants in this position. Probably this is owing to the fact that few can kick as well with both feet, but with practice there should be no difficulty in acquiring this accomplishment.




Not the least important thing about football is[Pg 29] the matter of training, and nearly every professional club has a trainer, whose business it is not only to get the men fit, but also to keep them so for eight months. I have spoken to a great many whose work it is to get their men into condition and keep them so, and I find that a great many of them have different methods, but nearly all are agreed that every individual must be taken by himself. The majority of people, however, are not paid players, although, as I have already said, these are largely increasing in number, because year by year we see fresh clubs springing up, besides which every member of an ordinary club should be bound to turn out in as perfect a condition as possible. Many make a practice of walking to and from their work, and[Pg 30] this in itself is excellent. When Montague Holbein was training for his Channel swims he used to make a practice of walking from Catford to the City, and also back, a distance of several miles, and this he found very valuable indeed. In the early days of some of the more important clubs a great many of the players who were professionals went to their ordinary occupations all the week and used to play on a Saturday. When West Bromwich Albion, captained by William Bassett, won the English Cup against Preston North End twenty years ago, the Midlanders were all local lads, whose wages totalled about ten pounds a week, while Preston's pay-list was four times as much. Indeed, men who are regularly at work, especially if it be out of doors and if it taxes one's bodily powers, need very little training. No one ought to play football unless he has a sound constitution, and[Pg 31] every organ in the body must be sound, especially the heart and lungs; it is a game for those who are healthy and vigorous. A good plan is to pursue some exercise during the "close" season, i.e., the summer months. Professionals will tell you that August is their hardest month, a large number of them having done nothing since the end of April. Their muscles have become stiff, and they have probably too much surplus flesh. It is very different where professionals take up first class cricket, and trainers have frequently told me that those professionals and amateurs who play the summer game require little or no preparation, and there are many instances of that. Take, for instance, J. Sharp, the[Pg 32] famous Everton forward. He must be getting on in years, and yet season after season he plays cricket up till the end of August and then turns up at Goodison Park and shows how well he can carry the ball along and whip it into goal, like "a rocket, though not so straight up," as one great judge has written of him. He has been an International this year. He has done splendid work as a cricketer, and is second on the list of Lancashire averages, and may be described as one of the greatest all-round men in England. Now, in his thirty-first year, he has given evidence that if you keep in condition there is no need to worry about special preparation or anything of the sort. Another instance is E. Needham, the captain of Sheffield United, and perhaps the greatest half-back for many years that we have had. He is now thirty-five, and it is a long time since he played his first International match, and long before he was a cricketer he had made his name as a footballer. He is a tireless worker, as anyone who has watched him with the Sheffield United club knows quite well, and long before his age many men have retired from the game. He has the respect and admiration of everyone, and this year he has come to the front as a cricketer and finished at the head of the Derbyshire averages. The result of his always keeping in condition is that he will probably go on for some years as a great cricketer, and as one career is on the wane the other seems to be beginning. He is great indeed at both games. Two other members of the Sheffield United club have also made their presence felt at[Pg 33] the summer game. I refer to the two half-backs, the brothers Wilkinson. W. H., the half-back, has never done better as a cricketer. He is a left-handed batsman, and has made a great advance on anything he has done before, while B. Wilkinson is a player of some repute. Lewis, of Somerset; Makepeace, of Lancashire; Ducat, of Surrey; Iremonger, of Notts; and Leach and Vincett, of Sussex, are all cricketers who have done splendid work during the summer game, and have turned out footballers perfectly fit at the beginning of the season. Indeed, if you play cricket as it should be played it is magnificent training for football. It is hard work getting fit at the start of the season if you have allowed your muscles to become flabby, while there may be no regular circulation of the blood, and generally the muscles that you require are very lethargic, so the difficulty is with those who do not play tennis or cricket, or go in for rowing or swimming or some other form of active exercise during the summer, that they will have to take up some serious practice. Skipping is good, walking and running, especially short sprinting, while punch-ball exercise and dumb-bells may be used. There should be moderation in all things, and one must start carefully at first and increase the amount of training until one feels fit. During the season walking and some practice at kicking, with an occasional sprint, are quite enough to keep the player well. It is quite possible that some may suffer from the tremendous amount of energy that they put into their game. I do not think that those who work indoors, such as[Pg 34] clerks and others who are called upon to follow indoor occupation, require more than moderate regular exercise. It is very likely that they will have to do their training after or before business hours, and in the evening brisk walking of a couple of miles, with a sprint of 100 yards four or five times, is a good way of getting rid of superfluous fat, and everyone can do this if he likes, though laziness will often lead some to shield themselves under the excuse, "They have no time." One well-known forward, thoroughly conscientious in his training, used to exercise on the Embankment, an excellent plan. Everyone who has to work sitting down should take a morning bath and a little practice with a skipping rope or dumb-bells. The question of diet is of some importance. The game is so strenuous and exhausting that a substantial meal should be taken at least two hours before a match. Many have a beef steak well cooked, with stale bread and vegetables that are well done, always excluding potatoes, and they are able to play right through the game without feeling in any way fatigued. The plainer the food the better. All players are better if they leave alone intoxicants. Needham earnestly advises young players to abstain from them. He says that his experience is that they do not sustain any long continued effort, and their stimulating effect is followed by an invariable depression. From my own observation of players who have abstained and those who have not, I am sure the former have done far better than the latter. Plenty of Internationals and men whose names are[Pg 35] household words are total abstainers. I remember Vivian J. Woodward at a dinner in the football season would neither touch intoxicating drinks nor smoke, and England's captain knew what he was about. Kirwan, who captained Ireland; John Goodall, one of the props of the game; John Lewis, the famous penalty king; C. Williams, the Brentford and Tottenham goalkeeper; Ducat, of Woolwich Arsenal, are only a few of the total abstainers, and to them I might add R. M. Hawkes, International and the Luton captain. Indeed, if you want to be of the greatest value to your side you may take it from me that you will do better service by leaving alone all sorts of alcohol, and as to smoking, I am quite sure it is thoroughly bad. I see one picture which explains to me why a great deal of the slackness is creeping over our boys. Again and again I have watched mere lads of fourteen and fifteen, as well as young men of twenty-five, come on to the cricket and football field smoking those horrible, cheap, inferior "fags." How any captain can allow it is a great mystery to me, because if we are training for a match we always say do not smoke a day or two before, because it interferes with one's staying powers. Yet I have seen boys come down to Tottenham smoking all the way from London, all the time they are changing, and actually come from the dressing room with cigarettes, and blow and blow away right to the moment of kicking off. Not content with that, they get through some more cigarettes at the interval, and then wonder why they are tired before the match is over. I have often[Pg 36] begged of our youths if they wish to be athletes to remember that it means a certain amount of self-denial, and if they want to do their best for their side they will take this matter seriously to heart and remember that smoking and drinking intoxicants make one unfit rather than otherwise. I do not think that the ordinary player need think about special training, but if, on the other hand, staleness comes to him a complete rest is necessary. When you are overworked at the end of a long season your feet will seem heavy and your kicking will be uncertain, while you will fall and stumble about. This is the time to retire and make room for someone else. With a little care you will gain the necessary freshness, and you will be able to tell when you have got that, because you will be anxious to play the game.



Hints to Junior and Amateur Clubs.

It is an old adage that the boy is father to the man, and this applies casually to football circles. The boy of to-day has a great advantage over a boy of say ten or fifteen years ago. Every possible opportunity is put in his way for developing his play, as schoolmasters take a bigger interest in[Pg 37] their boys than in olden days. Schoolboy Internationals and shield competitions are the order of the day, while years ago boys used to meet together, pick sides, put their jackets down for posts, and go full speed ahead without any referee or any official. I have followed closely these schoolboy competitions, and in my heart think they are really a mistake. A boy of twenty years ago had to do all the initial work, which amounted to carrying the goal-posts to the field of play, whether it were a common or any other open space. They had to find their own ball, and many times I have given a few pence to an aspiring club. The blowing up of the ball was another great event, and in those days it took a lot of doing, the youth with the strongest and biggest lungs having the privilege of giving the ball its last few blows. The captain always had the honour of carrying the ball to the field of play, and could do practically what he liked with it. Nowadays things seem completely altered. The boy, instead of doing everything for himself, has everything done for him, and all he has to do is simply turn up in time to change and go on to the field of play. I think this is a great mistake, and if the youth of to-day had to go out of his way to a great extent for his Saturday pastime he would be all the better for it. When I was a youngster it was nothing unusual for an enthusiast to get out of bed at an unearthly hour in the morning and make all the preparations for the day's game, go back to breakfast, and then turn up at the office at the usual time. To do this one must be very fond of the game, and such a[Pg 38] spirit will carry any club or player right to the front. I have been secretary to both amateur and professional clubs, and my sympathy goes out to the secretary of the first-named. The professional secretary or manager has only to say to the player "Do this," and he does it, like the centurion of old, but the man who holds the reins of an amateur club has to put up with many disappointments through the thoughtlessness of members of his team. I should like to put this point very strongly before these players, and ask them to consider their secretary in every way. Charles Reade[Pg 39] wrote a very fine novel, Put Yourself in His Place, and this applies to the case in point. The hon. secretary of an amateur club as a rule is a very busy man, and takes the position from mere love of the game. It must be admitted that it is rough on him to find on Saturday morning that many players cannot put in an appearance at the match and could have saved him all the trouble of wiring and sending round the district for another player if they had only let him know a day or two before, so that he would have had a chance of filling the places they had vacated. It means a great deal of trouble to him which, for the sake of a little thought, could have easily been avoided. I am speaking feelingly now, and if any player happens to read this chapter I hope he will consider this matter seriously. Junior and amateur clubs have a few failings that I might be permitted to point out. I might start in the first place with punctuality. Although this is considered by many a virtue, it is not so considered by them. Probably[Pg 40] before a match starts twenty players have to wait for the dilatoriness of the other two. Of course there are exceptional circumstances which are excusable, but the unpunctuality of the players in junior and amateur matches has done a great deal of harm from a spectatorial point of view. Professional clubs soon realise this point, and much of their success in league matches is due to players and officials being invariably ready to start at the advertised time of kick off. If a professional is late a severe penalty is imposed upon him, and the Football League are most autocratic in knowing that the referee and linesmen are always[Pg 41] there at the correct time, and if they are late they are liable to be fined. Regarding training for juniors, it only behoves a boy to be thoroughly fit and well. If he indulges in some summer game, such as cricket, tennis, or golf, or if he plays regularly lawn tennis, he should start the season quite fit and well. If, however, he feels in the summer not inclined to follow any of these pastimes, he ought to go in for walking or swimming, so as to reduce his weight, and thus enable him to go on the field and play as usual. In recent years one has heard and read a great deal about special training, and I may remark that special training is not really necessary, even from a professional point of view. What is necessary is to keep the players well together, regular hours for meals, and off to bed in good time. It is the esprit de corps that must be cultivated. The junior who is at business all the week should require but little training. His match on the Saturday, if he leads[Pg 42] a regular life, should be quite sufficient to enable him to turn up on that day as fit as possible. Still, if he has a little time to spare a few short sprints once or twice a week will do him a great deal of good. He may probably add two or three yards in a hundred, and speed is a great asset in modern football. Probably one yard in twenty is of infinitely more advantage than say five in a hundred, and for that reason alone I have always encouraged a player, if he can possibly do so, to go in for short sprints from twenty-five yards to fifty. Should he not be able to run on an open piece of ground there would be no harm in putting on a pair of canvas shoes at home and sprinting for fifty yards on the pavement opposite his house or on the road if the district is fairly quiet. Nobody will take any notice, especially after the first once or twice, and on coming indoors take a hot bath; if going out again never forget to have a cold plunge afterwards. I am a great believer in hot baths for taking away any nasty knock or soreness, but they must be taken with the greatest possible care so as to avoid catching cold. There is no finer sensation after having a hot bath than to jump into a stone cold one or to stand under a shower. It makes you tingle all over, and after having a rub down you feel like a giant refreshed. "Am I a believer in Turkish baths?" is a question often asked me, and I must admit that I generally qualify my reply. Once now and again does no harm; to indulge in them regularly to me seems a great mistake, as they are certainly most lowering. Another point[Pg 43] I should like to dwell upon is that the junior of to-day makes a practice of playing with his cap on, especially in wet weather. I must honestly state that I hate to see anyone playing with a headgear. It seems to me strange, and I know many a player who has caught a very bad cold through playing in this way, and after changing, going home in the same. If he has a change it is not so bad, but it takes a longer time for this cap to dry than his hair, and it is some considerable time before the former is fit to wear after getting soaked. Just a word in conclusion to the juniors. Play the game as it should be played. Do not hold your opponents up to ridicule by beating them two or three times when once will suffice. Get as many goals as you possibly can, for a team will prefer to be beaten by double figures rather than know that their opponents were toying with them and could score whenever they chose. Be loyal to your club and clubmates, and do not forget that enthusiasm is the great thing that will carry you to the front in football as well as in other spheres in life. Unselfishness is also another great point. Should your captain or committee choose another man as your superior, do not grumble, but turn out for the second eleven, and play with all your heart and soul, and if you have the merit you will soon regain your old position in the first team. Above all, play the game fairly and squarely, and you will succeed either as a professional, senior, junior, or amateur.[Pg 44]




There are a good many people who think that the office of captain is not very important, but my idea is that the judicious choice of a skipper is very great indeed. I have heard it said that the office is an empty honour in a professional club, but I am sure that this is a great mistake, and in an ordinary club as much depends on the leader as all the rest put together. The best players in the world are sacrificed if placed under an inefficient general, but on the other hand a leader of ability and energy has often made a strong club out of what seemed to be very unpromising material. So the best all-round player should be skipper. It seems to me quite necessary that whoever holds this position must have the confidence of every member of the side, and there can only be one leader in the field, and unless any fellow has ability and character enough to gain the loyal support of his men, he had certainly better never think about taking the office. So many clubs fail because they have no confidence in their leaders. Ernest Needham, the great leader of the Sheffield United side, has said that when a team is in a winning mood how proud the captain may be, but what a difficult post he has to fill when a team is on the downward[Pg 45] grade and losing match after match. The man you choose should have a thorough knowledge of the game, and also enthusiasm and keenness, which should be a standing rebuke to that subtle spirit of slackness which is so characteristic of our men to-day. Personally, I am very sorry to see this, and if you have at the head one who sets an example of hard work, coolness, and determination, you may be sure that he will do his best to get all he can out of his men. "Example is far better than precept." Now the captain should be the oldest member of a team as a rule, and the one with most experience. Alexander Tait and Walter Bull, when they were leaders of the 'Spurs, were examples of ability and experience going hand in hand, and they naturally commanded respect. As a rule the captain should decide on the composition of the team and what they should do. If he has an idea he can improve it by giving a few new men a trial, he should inform his committee, who in a small club should always be men who have played and know the game. They, too, must have perfect confidence in the man they have chosen, and allow him a very free hand if they wish to get the best results. One caution which has often been uttered but each season seems to need repetition, is this that when the side is playing the captain has absolute control of his men, and is responsible for their formation and play. He should be above favouritism, for in junior clubs the leader has often favourites, and no matter how very able the man may be himself one player does not make a team, and it is necessary to be friendly[Pg 46] with all and not be partial to anybody. The game and the ability of each for his particular part in it must be the chief consideration, and I hope that this will ever be so. Without it there will be no success. Again, it is very necessary that a captain should be in a position to be able to point out the errors of each one, so that there may be no resentment. On the field of play, too, he must feel that he has the support of his men, because it is when they are playing matches that he has great responsibility. He will carefully watch for openings on the part of the opposing club, and if he thinks he detects a weak place, will direct the play so as to take advantage of this and gain the upper hand, giving his comrades hints as to how this may be done. Many captains that I know of hardly speak a word on the field of play, but the interval forms a very useful opportunity indeed for advice, which must be taken in the proper spirit. He will watch the play of his opponents, and adopt what he thinks will be the best game. Ernest Needham remembers how in the great Cup-tie, Sheffield United against Liverpool, his side were, ten minutes from the close of play, two goals down, and then played eight forwards, one back, and one half-back, and in this way managed to get a drawn game. Of course, as he explains, goals against them mattered little, but the Liverpool forwards were soon offside in their attempt to break away. In this case the captain was in a weak position, and reverted to what may seem a strange formation in order to save the day. Two great captains who[Pg 47] have left their mark upon the game have been Howard Spencer and V. J. Woodward. Spencer was the leader of Aston Villa, and he gained his unique position by qualities that may well be imitated. He was something more than an English gentleman and sportsman. He was, perhaps, the fairest player ever known to the game. He has never been known to lose his temper, and self-restraint seemed to him perfectly natural. No player or referee has ever accused him of a wilful foul, and he has nothing except honest and straightforward play and skill. His knowledge of the game was very great, and is shown by the fact that his club won the League Championship four times, while three times in ten years he helped Aston Villa to win the English Cup. I dare say, like the rest of humanity, he had faults, but at the same time he stood out a man who was a brainy player of great ability. The other man is V. J. Woodward, who has hardly reached the zenith of his fame. He is very fair in his play, and is ever heartily welcomed by those who have the pleasure of his acquaintance. It was a mere accident that brought him to the front. A Tottenham supporter happened to see him taking part in a local game at the time when G. O. Smith was retiring, and he was invited to show his prowess in good company, with what result everybody knows. If he has been left out of a side it is perhaps because he is so unselfish that he has not been chosen on every occasion that he might have been, but nature and skill asserted themselves, and he is the unanimous choice of the selectors now. He would[Pg 48] rather lose a game than win it by dirty tactics. He is never individual, and always gives the others a chance. To my mind, he is the ideal captain of the day, and everyone who wishes to be successful as a leader should go and watch him. The young player must always remember to keep perfect control over his temper, or he will do very little. Walter Bull thinks the ideal place for a "skipper" is that of centre half, but some others have preferred the goalkeeper's place. In the latter you have all the play before you, but from centre half hints can be passed unobserved to the front line. Alexander Tait, of Leyton, was ever quiet as a captain, no shouting on the field of play, but a friendly "tip" during the interval. What you regard as "hard lines" will often try your temper, but if you expect your side to obey the referee and the spectators to behave well, you must show the way. The skipper who succeeds is the man of few words on the field, though off it he may say a great deal. The club's affairs will go much more smoothly if he tries to be fair. No personal feeling must interfere with his choice of a player—the best man for the position, and the one who plays not for himself but for his side. To-day combination is required. I know one brilliant International who was very individual. Remonstrances were of no use, and at last came the time when he had to be left out of the team. He was a nice fellow, and since he left he has been captain for his country. One man, good as he may be, cannot win a match, and the captain, at least, should be free from reproach.[Pg 49]



The Referee.

In one way the most important man on the field is the referee, as the success of the game depends a great deal on his ability to control the play and players adequately. He is commonly known as the "Knight of the Whistle," and his responsibilities are manifold. To be a successful referee one must keep thoroughly fit, and be able to turn out on to the field in as good a condition as the player does, for he has got to go through more running than any of the twenty-two players, and must keep up with their pace. Like Csar's wife, he should be above suspicion, and give his decisions without fear or favour. It is the weak referee that often spoils a game and brings football into disgrace.

Refereeing in a first class match is much easier than taking the whistle in what we might call junior ones. In senior circles players know the game from "A" to "Z," and play accordingly; but often a referee has to use more judgment than if he were officiating for the English Cup at the Crystal Palace. However, this is only by the way, and I must dwell upon the senior referee more[Pg 50] than the junior. In brief, my ideal referee must have the following qualifications:—

  1. A thorough knowledge of the rules of the game.
  2. Be strong minded enough to enforce his decisions when once they are given.
  3. He should have been a player himself, and still be as active as ever on the field.
  4. He must be an autocrat. (If necessary, the F.A. will support him to the fullest extent possible.)

Really the duties of a referee are manifold. He has full control of the play, and must use a great amount of tact, for if he does not, he not only spoils the game but his own reputation. He should be quick in giving his decisions, and must adhere to them, despite the grumblings and comments of the players or spectators. The professional footballer of to-day is very quick in weighing up the referee. He knows in his heart whether he can do as he likes or if the referee is to be obeyed. Supposing the man with the whistle is weak, no one knows better than the players, and again, if he is strong, they know they can take no liberties during the course of the game. In ordinary games the referee must be strong and have no connection with the clubs engaged. The most able referees that I have played under or witnessed were men who were slow to speak, but when occasion arose were quick to act. As a matter of fact, they have simply to say "Do this," and it is done; and there is trouble for anyone who endeavours to dispute their[Pg 51] ruling. The greatest referee may make mistakes. Still, he must maintain the dignity of his decisions when once given. In many ways a referee is born and not made, and all the best referees are those who have played the game when they were young, and have followed it up continually since leaving off, actually taking part in the kicking of the ball. Their hearts are in the game, and this makes all the difference, to a great degree, whether they are successful or not. In senior circles referees are supposed to be unbiassed, which I am glad to say in the general run of cases they are. The crowd of the home side are naturally in favour of their friends, and the referee has often to put up with any amount of comment and ridicule. It is then that he should show his character and worth by distributing the law of the game as it ought to be done in all honesty and fairness.

Probably it may be considered vanity on my part to give the would-be referee a few ideas from a player's point of view. A referee should, if possible, know each man by name and the position he occupies in the field, so that if a reprimand is necessary he can say, "Jones or MacPherson, stop that!" A little phrase like that goes a very long way, and I may attribute the secret of some of our referees' success to knowing the names of the players they are refereeing, and so being able to call them personally to order when necessary.

The relation of the referee to the linesmen is a very great question, and whether he should be persuaded by the two men on the line has often been discussed both on and off the field. To sum it up[Pg 52] briefly, my opinion is that a referee should act upon his own discretion, but when in doubt should consult his linesmen. If he gives a decision on the spur of the moment when he is certain he is quite correct, he must not be persuaded by the opposition one way or the other. Still, when he is in doubt he should certainly appeal to the linesmen, and the referee who does not do so is bound to get into bad odour. The linesman is closely connected with the referee in every way, although his duties are not really arduous. In reality, he has simply to follow the ball up the field, give his decision as to whether the sphere has gone over the lines, and to say which side should have the benefit, and whether a corner kick should be given or not.

Of recent years the penalty kick has often been a great trouble to the referee, and should a man be forgiven for overlooking a certain foul it must be decided by the opinion of the man on the line. The penalty kick is probably the most difficult point the referee of to-day has to deal with, and he should give it instantly with the courage of his convictions, and even if the decisions of his linesmen are different. Quickness and decision are what is really wanted in a referee.

Just a word or two to the spectators. They should not judge quickly or harshly, and should always recognise that it is one man that must decide, rightly or wrongly. They must not overlook the fact that he has got to do so on the spur of the moment, and that he has no time for reflection. Whilst dwelling on the subject of referees, it is a matter of regret that many players do not take any[Pg 53] interest in junior circles, where their personality would command respect. The boy of to-day, knowing that a certain International is going to officiate in the game he is taking part in, will play much better than if Tom, Dick, or Harry had the control, a fact which proves for itself that personality is a great thing in the "Knight of the Whistle." John Lewis, of Blackburn, has been crowned King of Referees, and undoubtedly this was greatly due to his personality on the field. The player knew he could take no liberties whatever, and when a warning was once given it was given so that the player was sure that his next act of disobedience would ensure for him his marching order off the field, and that later he would be dealt with by the F.A. Mr. Lewis always let the player know when he had gone too far in any way, and afterwards it was for a player to see that it did not occur again. It is a pity that more first-class players, when they have finished their playing career, do not follow it up by becoming referees. Referees of the class of Major Marindin, J. C. Clegg, J. J. Bentley, and many others, are badly wanted in the football of to-day. I might appeal to the older players to take a greater interest in the beginners than they are doing at the present time. They should remember the days when they were young and the interest taken in them by their elders, who used to go out of their way to encourage them in their sport, and endeavour to do to-day what was done for them years ago. Junior referees are badly wanted, especially men of a reputation that is well respected. I, even in my little way, refereeing[Pg 54] last year, found my name and fame as a Cup-holder and International was a great recommendation, and called for the respect that is really due to worthy officials. If this appeals to any player it is easy for him to become a referee by applying to his local association. The biggest bugbear that the referee has to contend with is the penalty and offside restrictions. To the uninitiated the offside rule appears quite simple, but to the referee it is the most difficult problem he has got to overcome during the course of the day. His eye is always on the ball, and whilst following it up quickly he is naturally inclined to miss some point which appeals to the onlookers, every one of whom considers himself a critic. The penalty kick plays an important part in the game of to-day, and this particular point requires instant decision, consequently the referee needs to be a man with good judgment, and one who is not to be deterred by criticism, whether it be by players, spectators, or directors.


Football as a Profession.

There are many young fellows who are inclined to take up football as a profession, and to these the writer would say, "Count well the cost before you do it." I have spoken to many players, and few[Pg 55] would let their boys take football up as the serious business of life. It is easy to start; any club that has paid players will give you a trial, and if you are capable will sign you on at perhaps a few shillings up to a pound a week. The objections are that the career is very short, and may be interrupted or terminated by an accident at any time, and then if you are not master of a trade you are practically ruined. When boys used to come to me and tell me of their wish to join the 'Spurs I always tried to get them to learn some trade first and be master of it, so when necessary they could fall back upon it. This provision for the future is necessary, because you may begin your paid career at seventeen or eighteen, before you have learned a trade, and play on till you are twenty-eight or thirty, and then find you are too old to begin to do so. I have known a number who had made no preparation for the future, and in some cases they are starving. It is one of the painful duties of a secretary's life to have to hear of appeals for help from veterans who have neglected to acquire some trade before taking up football. No club ought to be allowed, for the credit of the game, to sign on any players until they have given evidence that they have a marketable knowledge of some trade or profession. As I have said, many think 4 a week is a nice income; so it is, but how many get it, and how many years does it last? It may be that in the near future you may get as much as you can out of a club, but even then only a very few of the thousands of paid players will get more than they do now. Many a youth, talking of the[Pg 56] matter, has been under the impression that all professionals get the 4 per week. That is not so. Many of the smaller clubs cannot afford to pay it. There are many who never get beyond 50s. per week. No doubt the organisation of school games has had a great deal to do with turning the attention of promising lads at school to football as a career. It is true that one out of a thousand schoolboy players may get signed on, but I hardly know of half a dozen. Hundreds of young men apply to clubs for a trial, and are soon convinced that they have not skill enough, but those few who are lucky should weigh the matter seriously. I know there are many who may argue that they can, after their playing days are over, get a position as trainer or manager to some club. Such a place as I had, for instance, for many years, but, like everything else nowadays, there are only a very limited number of these positions, while there are scores of applicants for them, and for every vacancy to be filled there are generally one or two who have very strong backing, and there is little chance for the outsider. Others have often pointed out to me that after a certain number of years they will be entitled to a benefit. This is quite correct, but even if the benefit comes off how much does it bring in? I should fancy that an average benefit does not give more than 300 or 400—indeed, a footballer is considered very lucky if the match that he has chosen brings him 150. I have known a great many that have brought in less. Mr. J. J. Bentley, who is now the President of the Football League, once wrote an article on[Pg 57] "Football Finance," in which he stated that "not more than six professional clubs were solvent," and he asked the pertinent question: "If only six of the leading clubs can make it pay on a really lucrative scale, what is to become of the game?" By the game he doubtless means the professional part of it. Fourteen years have passed away, but I very much doubt if the situation is altered now. A few clubs, a very few, make a profit on their year's working. The majority show a deficit which annually becomes larger. For a time collapse is avoided by the bazaar or by turning the club into a limited liability company, but these are only temporary reliefs, and the fact remains that in most clubs either the expenses of management or the salaries of the players are larger than the receipts permit, and sometimes the clubs go under. Another important point for the would-be "pro." is the question of temperament. You must have exceptional qualities of a personal character. If you cannot take hard knocks as well as give them, and if you cannot control your temper, you are not likely to be successful. The day of the blackguardly dirty player is over, and the man with brain as well as brawn is needed for this work. Education makes all the difference, and the incoming professionals will have to be men of considerable culture. Neither is there any chance for the fellow who cannot control his appetite in the matter of strong drink. There arise before us sad and mournful pictures of men whose names have been "familiar as a household word," but whose sun has set years before it should have done,[Pg 58] owing to the fact that they soaked in beer. Some I have seen at the Palace in the Cup Final, the heroes of the day; apparently the world was at their feet. The next time one set eyes on them it was difficult to recognise in the battered specimen of humanity that stood before you the sprightly player of former days. The contrast is painful, but often, very often, has greeted my eyes.

"No," said a great Southern League captain to me, "my boys shall never be paid footballers, but they must learn a trade. The prospects are not pleasing enough." No, it is far better, unless you have superlative talents, to take to some other calling. It is only a small proportion who make their mark in professional football.

Some may make a better thing out of it if they are paid cricketers, for they will have wages for both games. But here again the area is limited, though the pay is good. It is not necessary to be a professional player to gain the highest honours. Take England's captain, V. J. Woodward; he is an architect, but from the first day I saw him there was great ability, and it was bound to come out. So with many other amateurs who have come to the front. They have succeeded because they had skill, but also because they kept in good condition owing to their ordinary work, which was well done. To boys I say stick to your job, and having worked well go and play your best. But leave professionalism out of the business.[Pg 59]


Continental Football: Its Growth and Possible Developments.

Football on the Continent is undoubtedly developing greatly, and a great deal of credit is due to the enterprise of the English and Scottish clubs. I have played in France, Germany, and Austria, and the enthusiasm displayed by the players and spectators holds forth great hopes of the game becoming as popular on the other side of the Channel as it is here. It is a few years ago since I last played there, and since then great developments have taken place, such as International matches with English and foreign sides. Practically the results have always been in our favour, but gradually the margin in the goals is becoming less. It will take many years yet before we can expect the Continentals to be able to give our English teams a real good game. However, the outlook is very rosy, as the enthusiasm is becoming greater week by week and year after year. The British elevens who used to visit the Continent were inclined to look upon it as a holiday trip. But after seeing the good done by these visits they have played more earnestly than hitherto.

While playing in Austria, I was greatly im[Pg 60]pressed with the spirit of our opponents. They were keen enough to learn, and wished to know precisely how the game was played. The captain of the native team (by the way, he could speak English) came to our captain and requested him to play the game as it should be played, and get as many goals as we could and not toy with them. We won by at least double figures, but at the finish of the match they called for three cheers for us, and of course we naturally responded. This is the spirit that prevails from my little knowledge of foreign football, and if it is continued there can be no doubt that at a future date they will be able to challenge any English or Scottish teams, and would give them a good game. It is rather awkward not knowing the language when playing on the Continent, as often times one would like to know exactly why such a decision was given. It has often had its ludicrous side, and I have often smiled at the broad Scotchman trying to explain something to a German without any success.

Refereeing is probably the point that wants more cultivating than even playing, and any amount of games have been spoiled by an official coming on to the field, not following the ball, and giving his decisions autocratically. He was generally dressed immaculately, and did not dream of following the run of play, and in many cases he has spoiled what would have been a good game. It is to be regretted that there have been some scenes on the Continent reminiscent of some of our outbreaks on home grounds. In one way this is certainly deplorable, but in another it shows that the game is[Pg 61] catching on on the Continent, the players showing a better appreciation of the rules, just as they are able to follow the rules of the game; and now what is wanted is an Association in every country just like the F.A. in England. The International games to be played at the Stadium this year have shown the decided taste of other countries for all kinds of sports that are played here, and as the matter now stands Great Britain should certainly come out first, but it is a matter of great speculation whether Sweden, Germany, Italy, France, or Austria will finish second. The countries mentioned are most enthusiastic about it, and great credit must be given to the F.A. for the magnificent sum they have contributed towards the entertainments of the visitors. In South Africa the game has been played longer than in any country outside the British Isles. The competition there is known as the Donald Currie Cup, and it is nothing unusual for a team to travel a thousand miles to take part in this competition. In conversation the other day with a player who has played a great deal there, he said the English footballer of to-day could not do well there, for the travelling on the rough roads and the hard ground would be quite unlike anything they experience in England. Argentina is a great many miles away, but the game there is also developing rapidly. It is only three years ago since Southampton undertook the long voyage and had a most enjoyable time. It must be said that they astonished the natives, but this missionary effort by one of the leading clubs in the country is[Pg 62] making the game popular all over the world. The Corinthians, too, have done a great deal in this way. They have been to Africa, and practically all over the world, and wherever they have been they have given an excellent exposition of how the game should be played. In South Africa they had perhaps to play with more vigour, the ground being as hard as asphalte, and the trying conditions affecting the play, but they nearly always came out top. France is stronger in Rugby than in Association Football, but the International matches between the two countries make the latter more popular with the public. The season in many countries on the Continent is about half as long as ours, and this makes all the difference to them, but it will be a long time before any Continental country will be able to claim supremacy.


Football Reform.

Has Association Football reached its zenith? "Certainly not," is the reply I invariably give to any enthusiast or cynic who asks me the question. Remember, there are a good many reforms that must be made, for a game must keep up its position and also retain its popularity with the masses, who are the mainstay of football. As I have al[Pg 63]ready remarked, I have a great respect for the F.A., and they have a great deal to do with the game which is recognised now as the game of the country. It is much easier to criticise than to legislate, and much of the work done by these associations does not get the credit it deserves. Facts are stubborn things, and when my old club, Tottenham Hotspur, played in the English Cup Final, at the Crystal Palace, in April, before a record crowd of 114,000, it was said that these figures would never be beaten. It certainly has not been done in England, although it has been very nearly approached, but last April, at Hampden Park, it was overshadowed by 20,000 more onlookers. Cricket has had an infinitely longer innings than football, but I can see no just reason nor impediment why football, especially Association, should not go on for at least the lifetime of the present generation. The majority of sports, such as cycling, running, etc., have died through the want of proper management, and sports as a whole should be controlled by an Association of Amateurs in the proper sense of the word. Probably it is not known to many of my readers that the F.A., to save the game from falling into the hands of a speculator, have restricted the dividends to be paid to any club to 5 per cent. By the way, this rule does not apply to Scotland, but before long I hope they will follow in the steps of their English brethren. Again, to show how pure professional clubs are, directors, whether they be five or fifteen, are not entitled to draw any money from the club, and this shows that the real sportsmanlike spirit[Pg 64] prevails at the helm of professional football, and certainly no reform in this way is desired or required. Rumours of a National League are quite rife in the air, but on going into the matter, I hardly see any desirability for the idea bearing fruit. For one reason, if it did come off it would become very speculative, and, like the big trusts in America have done, do much damage to the smaller tradesmen. Even look at the possibility of such a great league when one comes to deal with the matter thoroughly from a geographical point of view, and I have spent many hours in endeavouring to see how such a league could become workable. Rivalry in football is one of its biggest assets, and in this way I should like to see the big Southern clubs formed into a Southern League and the Northern clubs into a Northern League, and the two top clubs of each League to fight out the question of supremacy. As I have already stated, I consider that the present governing body of Association football is admirably constituted, and it will be a sorry day for the game if the leading clubs rebel. At the same time, systems are rarely if ever perfect, so I should like to make a few suggestions upon the following points:

  1. The transfer system.
  2. The wage limit.
  3. Neutral referees should be appointed by an independent body of the Association.

Dealing firstly with the transfer system, I think it is iniquitous, and when the Players' Union was first formed this was one of the burning questions[Pg 65] of the day. I fought the matter out strenuously, because at that time the rules of the F.A. were contrary to the League. As secretary I appealed to the F.A., and expected great things, but instead of compelling the League to bring its laws into line, the Association altered its own to correspond with those of the League. Looking at this from a broad point of view, it is hard on a player who has cost his club nothing, but has signed on for a year. At the end of that season he is free, and his old club can put an astonishing large sum on his head. This is hardly in accordance with English love of fair play, and is probably one of the few blots on the game. I am looking forward to the day when this system shall be abolished, and the player shall be a man, not a slave. Of course, if a club gets a large transfer for a player, then in one way it should have some compensation if he leaves them, but in some cases a young fellow goes elsewhere and they get more out of his transfer fees than they ever paid him in wages. It must be admitted that things at the present day are infinitely better than they were some years ago. The player has the right of a special appeal to a Committee of the League, and the amount asked for players' transfers has been greatly reduced. Still, I think that his club should keep him until his transfer is settled. Talking about the old Players' Union, it reminds me that at one meeting we had, a player stated that if a club had a horse they wanted to part with, some one would have to find the horse in fodder until the negotiations were finished. A[Pg 66] player is during that time between the devil and the deep blue sea, and has to entirely support himself during that period, and I have known many excellent players give up the game for this reason.

Turning next to the question of the limit wage of 4 per week for any professional, there are a great many pros and cons in this case, and once again I think there is a certain amount of room for improvement. Should the abolition of the transfer system become law, ere long the wage limit will have to be most seriously considered. The clubs themselves have the power to alter it at any annual meeting of the F.A. They brought it upon themselves to a certain extent, for at the general meeting it is the clubs that settle such points as these. It cannot be denied that much of the levelling of the clubs in recent years must be attributed greatly to this rule. Whether it has been for the good of the game is another question, but often a player knows that if he plays an ordinary game he can always secure 4 per week. He has no monetary incentive to improve himself, and this is perhaps the reason why "star artists" do not come to the front more frequently. Last year the F.A. raised the fee for playing in an International game from three guineas to ten, which, to my mind, was a step in the right direction, although the player should consider the honour of playing for his country above any mercenary reason. Again, if a professional footballer could have such a long connection with the game as a professional cricketer, a wage of 4 per week would not be so bad, but as his career is a short[Pg 67] one, no time can be depended upon. This should be well weighed by the administrators who look after the interests of the players. I should like to see the control of the game, as far as the appointment of referees and linesmen is concerned, left to an independent body to be appointed by the F.A., who will give the appointments without favour. It may be rather a tall order just at present, but the suggestion is worthy of consideration. Should an official who wears glasses referee in a first-class match? is a question which is greatly discussed throughout the land. After talking the matter over with an old player, my opinion is that if a player can play the game in glasses surely he can follow the ball as a referee. An old player who was in conversation with me the other day was exceedingly bitter on the question, and I should really think that if the matter was put strongly before the F.A., sanction would be given to an old player to follow his favourite game in the capacity of referee. Whilst speaking about referees, I should like to see the Association give him power to order a man off the field for a foul without having to report him to the parent body. The punishment to the club by losing him would be quite sufficient, and we may be sure they would not deal with him very lightly.[Pg 68]


Present-Day Football.

There are not wanting signs that football has not yet finished expanding. Every season sees more clubs in villages as well as in towns, and the County Associations also report a numerical increase. But whether or not there will be a sharper dividing line between amateur and professional is difficult to say. It may be that before long we shall have one authority for the amateur game and another for the professional. It must not be forgotten that there are tens of thousands of the one class, but only a few of the other. But the paid player, by reason of the leisure he has, shows the highest skill, and in that way has inspired the unpaid with a higher ideal of play, and it is a favourite contention of many that the best game is that played by the professional clubs. The junior who goes to see Aston Villa, Chelsea, Manchester United, or Newcastle is impressed by the play, and makes up his mind to try and put into practice what he has seen. It is good for the boy to go and see players of the highest skill, and if the ordinary club member would do this occasionally the average standard of play would be higher. A boy who is an enthusiastic right back, and is[Pg 69] anxious to play in that position, can hardly do better than go and watch Robert Crompton, the famous right back of the Blackburn Rovers. He is an example of what our elementary schools produce. As a lad he took part in the game at Moss Street Board School, an institution that had produced a side that had carried off the trophy offered to the schools. When at work as a plumber he played in the League team of a Sunday school, and when engaged one day was seen by Mr. John Lewis, who got him to play for the Rovers. For some couple of years he remained an amateur, but then became a professional. He became captain in 1899, and has several International "caps." He uses his head, and tries to anticipate the intentions of his opponent. He kicks with either foot with great power, and is a clean player. He follows the ball rather than the man. He is an excellent example of the man who, taking to football, has found it possible to stick to his trade as well.

Another player is James Sharp, who is a splendid outside right. In him you have a reminder that skill may make up for lack of inches. He is only 5 ft. 7 in., but he is one of the men who have worked hard to attain their position and also to keep it. He can dribble well, feint, pass, shoot, and yet keep control of the ball. He came from Hereford, where he was a member of the local club, and after two seasons went to Everton. In his every action you can see the man who plays for his club. He is determined and strong, given to making the most of an opportunity. It is difficult for the adversary to know what he is going to do.[Pg 70] Here is the ideal all-round sportsman. Little wonder he has succeeded so well on the cricket field. He is not content to excel in one department. Once we thought he would become a great fast bowler, then he began to progress as a batsman, and at the moment of writing has concluded a great season for his adopted county, whose fortunes have been very low. He, too, is in business, and life for him is truly strenuous, as his play is. We could do with more player-workers of this modest young man's type.

And if you come to the front line watch V. J. Woodward, our leading gentleman player. The son of an architect living in a house that overlooks the Oval, he learned his game at a school at Clacton, and then resided at Chelmsford, where one day a director of the 'Spurs, happening to know that a match was being played in the County Cup Competition, thought he would have a look, and did so. He was struck with the skill of Vivian J. Woodward as a centre forward, and as the result of a chat he was got to play for Tottenham Hotspur. This was some six years ago. He at once made his mark, and no man was ever so loved by professionals. No fairer player ever stepped on to the field. Note his clean, delightful runs, how unselfish he is; indeed, it was freely reported that he was left out of a series of Internationals because he showed so much consideration for his partners. What a glorious tribute to the sportsmanship of the man! Yes, for clean, clever, aye, cultured forward play, watch V. J. Woodward, who can only get away on Satur[Pg 71]days because he earns his living. He is a grand wicketkeeper and cricket captain who has not the time for county games. And he is a genuine amateur—no riding third class and charging first. He is an honourable performer, who looks to all to play a clean game, and expects the referee to see they do. If such amateurs are to be driven out of the Soccer game by "money-making limited liability companies" and their unending squabbles, it will be a bad day for sport. You can still see Needham, old, I suppose, as players go. What a strategist he is. His play is that of the man who loves the game; he can still tackle, pass, defend, and shoot as finely as of old. Of goalkeepers, one can see many. Ashcroft; Sutcliffe; Lunn, of Wolverhampton; Hardy, of Liverpool; Maskery, of Derby County, are all good. There are many misconceptions about the game, and most people think that the referee is compelled to use a whistle. But if you read the laws of the game or the directions to referees, you find that nowhere is he instructed to use a whistle. The word is "signal," but it might be by a trumpet, or a motion of the hands or arms. When the referee "signals," by whistle or otherwise, at the commencement of the game, it means that he is ready and the players can start as soon as they like, but the period of play is counted from the actual kick. The offside rule is very difficult for the spectator; talk to them, and they will tell you confidently that no player can be offside if he has three of the opposition in front of him, that is, nearer to their own goal. Yet, as Mr. William[Pg 72] Pickford has pointed out, a player could be offside with eleven opponents in front of him. It is not likely, but it could happen. If a player has not three opponents in front of him when the ball was last played by one of his own side, who was behind him, he is offside, and he remains so till someone else plays the ball, and if in the interval the rest of the team ran back on goal he would still be offside.

Again, what is an amateur? Well, conscience will decide in the light of the rule. He must not receive remuneration or consideration of any sort above his necessary hotel expenses and travelling expenses actually paid. The men who pay for their sport are getting fewer and fewer. It is a pity. But on these and many other points you can obtain valuable booklets from the F.A., 104, High Holborn, London, W.C. They publish also a referees' chart, with the interpretation that is officially put upon many rules. They are mines of useful information for those who know but little of the game.

It would seem as if the game is rapidly spreading on the Continent, and every country takes up the sport save Turkey and Russia. England is the mentor, and the Football Association have a great work. It may be that the love of sport will so grow that ere many years are over we shall see several European teams competing here year by year. In the early stages of the development the game will be amateur, but later on will come the paid player. One writer says, "No money, no first-class football." This is rubbish; it is much[Pg 73] to be regretted, such a sentiment, for we can get the highest skill from those who play for the love of the game. The giants of the past who created the present demand were unpaid, and the future will still produce those who will not play for gold.


A Few Famous Cup-Ties.

The English Cup is probably a bigger attraction to a footballer than any other. To a Scottish footballer his International cap against England is to achieve the height of his ambition, but somehow in England, to participate in the final at the Crystal Palace in April is the heart's desire of the average player. There is a glamour surrounding the English Cup Competition that nothing else can compare with.

I well remember when the Scottish clubs were entitled to enter into the arena, and such great clubs as Queen's Park, Glasgow Rangers, Cowlairs, Heart of Midlothian entering in the lists against the best clubs that prevailed at the time in England. Queen's Park, still the premier amateur club in Scotland, also the Heart of Midlothian, made history in this competition, but the first-named must be given the laurels.[Pg 74]

There are still many old players in Scotland who maintain that in the first year, when they were beaten by Blackburn Rovers, the result should have gone the other way. As it was before my day I cannot, naturally, go into the matter as thoroughly as I should desire, but when such players as Messrs. Smellie and Campbell have assured me that they should have had the victory, I rather feel inclined to believe their statement. Queen's Park, as already stated, were for many years the greatest club in Scotland, and they played the game for the love of it, for when in the two finals which were played at the Oval most of their members had to travel overnight to play on the following day, which speaks for itself. A great deal has been said, as well as written, about this matter, and it is often asked if the "Queens" deserved to win.

Perhaps the finest Cup-tie that has been seen at the Palace was the meeting of Everton and Aston Villa in 1897. I had thought at one time to participate in this final, but after playing three rounds I got knocked out, and was unable to play. I must say that my substitute at centre forward did exceedingly well, and I could not grumble in any way at being left out. The ordinary London man will always remember this match, when the Villa eventually finished winners by three goals to two. I followed it very keenly, and in one way my sympathy went to the losers, because there was little or nothing to choose between them.

Coming to Southern clubs, probably Southampton have been the most disappointed club that has[Pg 75] come into the list, especially through their great Cup-tie with Notts Forest, at the Crystal Palace, in the semi-final of the Cup. A great amount of correspondence was entered into at the time, and everybody really admitted that they were most unlucky to be beaten at the last minute in a blinding snowstorm. Many people will remember how this tie was stopped in the middle of the game, and after resuming it with only a few minutes before the finish the result was a draw. At almost the last moment Notts Forest broke away and scored a goal which many people considered should never have been allowed, simply because they did not see it. The snowstorm was heavier than when the referee stopped the game earlier on, but he allowed it to go on because he expected the game would result in a draw. Whether this is correct or not I cannot say, but the fact remains that the good people of Southampton still maintain that they had not their dues on that day.

Something has been written of late about a goalkeeper letting his side down in a final tie, but I cannot believe that any player, whether goalkeeper or forward, could or would let his side down.

I do not care to enter into the year when my old club, Tottenham Hotspur, won the Cup, but one of the biggest officials in the Football Association came along to compliment me, and said that my side gave the best display of football since Aston Villa won the Cup—indeed, he implied that it was even better than that given by the Villa, which compliment I naturally appreciated. It was indeed a great day at the Palace, and I do not propose to[Pg 76] dwell upon the goal allowed by Mr. Kingscott to our opponents. Our players were sure that the ball had not crossed the line, but as we won on the replay at Bolton everything was forgiven and forgotten.

Another great match in the early days was at Manchester, between Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Everton, the previous Saturday, had sent a reserve team to Wolverhampton. They won quite easily. I cannot say what the score was, but it was four or five goals to nothing. In the final at Manchester, Everton were eventually beaten by a long shot in the early part of the game. There was no doubting their superior skill, but this result simply proved that cup-tie football is quite different from league football.

There are two clubs in the South that have brought Southern football to the front: Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur. To the latter all due credit must be given for winning the Cup, but the "Saints," as they are called, have done equally as good work as the 'Spurs. They were really the pioneers of professional football in the Southern League, and when one considers they were in the final in 1900, and again in 1902, when they were beaten by Sheffield United after a drawn game, it reflects great credit upon them. They do not receive the credit they deserve from their own supporters, and the severance of two of their best local players in 1906 was a severe handicap to the team. By the way, they were both born and bred in the district, and caused a great sensation in the League. Perhaps one of the biggest[Pg 77] surprises in the finals of the English Cup was the great victory of Bury over Derby County. The former won by six goals to nothing, but this was entirely due to Fryer being far from fit to play and letting the first three goals go past him. If his knee had been all right it would never have happened.

My old friend, Charlie Campbell, often talks of his old Cup-tie experiences, and sometimes has referred to the meetings of his old club, Queen's Park, with Notts Forest and Blackburn Rovers. In my early days Mr. Campbell was to my mind quite a hero. He would go out of his way to advise and encourage juniors, and much of my success at Queen's Park and Everton was due to the advice which he gave me in those days. Talking about Tottenham Hotspur in the year they won the Cup, practically the best victory was over Bury, who were the holders of the "Little Pot" at that time. There was more enthusiasm shown over that match than I consider has been seen during any other Cup-tie that I have ever played in. The game was fought in a proper spirit, and when Bury scored in the first few minutes it was thought that all was over regarding Tottenham's chances. However, we got exceedingly well together, and won by two goals to one, amidst the greatest enthusiasm. It outshone the reception after the Bolton match, our victory over Reading, and all other great games the 'Spurs have distinguished themselves in. It is not for me to dwell upon the great reception the 'Spurs had on their return from Bolton. The only regret[Pg 78] is that they have not won the Cup again, nor has another Southern club had that honour. Southampton, as well as the 'Spurs, have done much to uphold the prestige of the South in the Cup, and it now behoves the other clubs to gird themselves for the fray, and demonstrate that Southern football is quite capable of holding its own against the North. The winning of the Cup by a Southern club next April would be the best possible proof of this.[Pg 79]


Number of Players.—Field of Play.—The Ball.

1. The game should be played by eleven players on each side. The dimensions of the field of play shall be—maximum length, 130 yards; minimum length, 100 yards; maximum breadth, 100 yards; minimum breadth, 50 yards. The field of play shall be marked by boundary lines. The lines at each end are the goal lines, and the lines at the side are the touch lines. The touch lines shall be drawn at right angles with the goal lines[A]. A flag with a staff not less than five feet high shall be placed at each corner. A half-way line shall be marked out across the field of play. The centre of the field of play shall be indicated by a suitable mark, and a circle with ten yards' radius shall be made round it. The goals shall be upright posts fixed on the goal lines, equi-distant from the corner flagstaffs, eight yards apart, with the bar across them eight feet from the ground. The maximum width of the goal posts and the maximum depth of the crossbar shall be five inches. Lines shall be marked six yards from each goal post at right angles to the goal lines for a distance of six yards, and these shall be connected with each other by a line parallel to the goal lines; the space within these lines shall be the goal area. Lines shall be marked eighteen yards from each goal post at right angles to the goal lines for a distance of eighteen yards, and these shall be connected with each other by a line parallel to the goal lines; the space within these lines shall be the penalty area. A suitable mark shall be made opposite the centre of each goal twelve yards from the goal line; this shall be the penalty kick mark. The circum[Pg 80]ference of the ball shall not be less than twenty-seven inches nor more than twenty-eight. The outer casing must be of leather, and no material shall be used in the construction of the ball which would constitute a danger to the players. In International matches the dimensions of the field of play shall be—maximum length, 120 yards; minimum length, 110 yards; maximum breadth, 80 yards; minimum breadth, 70 yards; and at the commencement of the game the weight of the ball shall be from thirteen to fifteen ounces.

[A] (The touch and goal lines must not be marked by a V-shaped rut.)

Duration of Play.—Choice of Goals.—The Kick-off.

2. The duration of the game shall be ninety minutes, unless otherwise mutually agreed upon. The winners of the toss shall have the option of kick-off or choice of goals. The game shall be commenced by a place kick from the centre of the field of play in the direction of the opponents' goal line; the opponents shall not approach within ten yards of the ball until it is kicked off, nor shall any player on either side pass the centre of the ground in the direction of his opponents' goal until the ball is kicked off.

(If this law is not complied with the kick-off must be taken over again.)

Changing Ends.—The Interval.—The Re-start.

3. Ends shall only be changed at half-time. The interval at half-time shall not exceed five minutes, except by consent of the referee. After the goal is scored, the losing side shall kick off, and after the change of ends at half-time, the ball shall be kicked off by the opposite side from that which originally did so; and always as provided in Law 2.

How a Goal is Scored.—If Bar is Displaced.—If Ball Rebounds or Goes Out of Play.

4. Except as otherwise provided by these laws a goal shall be scored when the ball has passed between the[Pg 81] goal posts under the bar, not being thrown, knocked on, nor carried by any player of the attacking side. If from any cause during the progress of the game the bar is displaced, the referee shall have power to award a goal if in his opinion the ball would have passed under the bar if it had not been displaced. The ball is in play if it rebounds from a goal post, crossbar, or a corner flagstaff into the field of play. The ball is in play if it touches the referee or a linesman when in the field of play. The ball is out of play when it has crossed the goal line or touch line, either on the ground or in the air.

(The whole of the ball must have passed over the goal line or touch line before it is out of play.)

The Throw-in.

5. When the ball is in touch, a player of the opposite side to that which played it out shall throw it in from the point on the touch line where it left the field of play. The player throwing the ball must stand on the touch line facing the field of play, and shall throw the ball in over his head with both hands in any direction, and it shall be in play when thrown in. A goal shall not be scored from a throw-in, and the thrower shall not again play until the ball has been played by another player.

(This law is complied with if the player has any part of both feet on the line when he throws the ball in.)


6. When the player plays the ball, or throws it in from touch, any player of the same side who at such moment of playing or throwing in is nearer to his opponents' goal line is out of play, and may not touch the ball himself, nor in any way whatever interfere with an opponent or with the play, until the ball has been again played, unless there are at such moment of playing or throwing in at least three of his opponents nearer their own goal line. A player is not out of play in the case of a corner kick, or when the ball is kicked[Pg 82] off from the goal, or when it has been last played by an opponent. A player cannot be out of play in his own half of the ground.

7. When the ball is played behind the goal line by a player of the opposite side, it shall be kicked off by any one of the players behind whose goal line it went, within that half of the goal area nearest the point where the ball left the field of play; but if played behind by any one of the side whose goal line it is, a player of the opposite side shall kick it within one yard of the nearest corner flagstaff[B]. In either case an opponent shall not be allowed within six yards of the ball until it is kicked off.

[B] (The corner flag must not be removed when a corner kick is taken.)

8. The goalkeeper may, within his own half of the field of play, use his hands, but shall not carry the ball. The goalkeeper shall not be charged except when he is holding the ball or obstructing an opponent, or when he has passed outside the goal area. The goalkeeper may be changed during the game, but notice of such change must first be given to the referee.

(If the goalkeeper has been changed without the referee being notified, and the new goalkeeper shall handle the ball within the penalty area, a penalty kick must be awarded.)

9. Neither tripping, kicking, nor jumping at a player shall be allowed. A player (the goalkeeper excepted), shall not intentionally handle the ball under any pretence whatever. A player shall not use his hands to hold or push an opponent. Charging is permissible, but it must not be violent or dangerous. A player shall not be charged from behind unless he is obstructing an opponent.

10. When a free kick has been awarded, the kicker's opponents shall not approach within six yards of the ball, unless they are standing on their own goal line. The ball must at least be rolled over before it shall be considered played, i.e., it must make a complete cir[Pg 83]cuit or travel the distance of its circumference. The kicker shall not play the ball a second time until it has been played by another player. The kick-off (except as provided by Law 2), corner kick, and goal kick shall be free kicks within the meaning of the law.

11. A goal may be scored from a free kick which is awarded because of any infringement of Law 9, but not from any other free kick.

12. A player shall not wear any nails, except such as have their heads driven in flush with the leather, or metal plates, or projections, or gutta percha on his boots, or on his shin guards. If bars or studs on the soles or heels of the boot are used they shall not project more than half an inch, and shall have all their fastenings driven in flush with the leather. Bars shall be transverse and flat, not less than half an inch in width, and shall extend from side to side of the boot. Studs shall be round in plan, not less than half an inch in diameter, and in no case conical or pointed[C]. Any player discovered infringing this law shall be prohibited from taking further part in the match. The referee shall, if required, examine the players' boots before the commencement of a match.

[C] (Wearing soft india rubber on the soles of boots is not a violation of this law.)

13. A referee shall be appointed, whose duties shall be to enforce the laws and decide all disputed points; and his decision on points of fact connected with the game shall be final. He shall also keep a record of the game and act as timekeeper. In the event of any ungentlemanly play on the part of the players the offender, or offenders, shall be cautioned, and if further offence is committed, or in case of violent conduct, without any previous caution the referee shall have power to order the offending player off the field of play, and shall transmit the name or names of such player or players to his or their National Association, who shall deal with the matter. The referee shall have power to allow for time wasted, to suspend the game when he thinks fit, and to[Pg 84] terminate the game whenever by reason of darkness, interference by spectators, or other cause he may deem necessary. But in all cases in which a game is terminated he shall report the same to the Association under whose jurisdiction the game was played, who shall have full power to deal with the matter. The referee shall have power to award a free kick in any case in which he thinks the conduct of a player dangerous, but not sufficiently so as to justify him in putting in force the greater powers vested in him. The power of the referee extends to offences committed when the play has been temporarily suspended and when the ball is out of play.

(Persistent infringement of any of the laws of the game is ungentlemanly conduct within the meaning of this law. All reports by referees to be made within three days after the occurrence (Sundays not included), and reports will be deemed to be made when received in the ordinary course of post.)

14. Two linesmen shall be appointed, whose duty (subject to the decision of the referee) shall be to decide when the ball is out of play, and which side is entitled to the corner kick, goal kick, or throw-in; and to assist the referee in carrying out the game in accordance with the laws[D]. In the event of any undue interference or improper conduct by a linesman the referee shall have power to order him off the field of play and appoint a substitute, and report the circumstances to the National Association having jurisdiction over him, who shall deal with the matter.

[D] (Linesmen where neutral should call the attention of the referee to rough or ungentlemanly conduct, and generally assist him to carry out the game in a proper manner.)

15. In the event of a supposed infringement of the laws the ball shall be in play until a decision has been given.

16. In the event of any temporary suspension of play from any cause, the ball not having gone into touch or behind the goal line, the referee shall throw it down[Pg 85] where it was when play was suspended, and the ball shall be in play when it has touched the ground. If the ball goes into touch or behind the goal line before it is played by a player, the referee shall again throw it down. The players on either side shall not play the ball until it has touched the ground.

17. In the event of any infringement of Laws 5, 6, 8, 10, or 16, or of a player being sent off the field under Law 13, a free kick shall be awarded to the opposite side from the place where the infringement occurred. In the event of any intentional infringement of Law 9 outside the penalty area or by the attacking side within the penalty area, a free kick shall be awarded to the opposite side from the place where the infringement occurred. In the event of any intentional infringement of Law 9 by the defending side within the penalty area, the referee shall award the opponents a penalty kick[E], which shall be taken from the penalty kick mark under the following conditions:—

All players, with the exception of the player taking the penalty kick and the opponents' goalkeeper, shall be outside the penalty area. The opponents' goalkeeper shall not advance beyond his goal line. The ball must be kicked forward. The ball shall be in play when the kick is taken, and a goal may be scored from a penalty kick; but the ball shall not be again played by the kicker until it has been played by another player. If necessary, time of play shall be extended to admit of the penalty kick being taken. A free kick also shall be awarded to the opposite side if the ball is not kicked forward or is played a second time by the player who takes the penalty kick until it has been played by another player. The referee may refrain from putting the provisions of this law into effect in cases where he is satisfied that by enforcing them he would be giving an advantage to the offending side. If, when a penalty kick is being taken, the ball passes between the goal posts under the bar, a goal shall not be nullified by reason of any infringement by the defending side.[Pg 86]

[E] (A penalty kick can be awarded irrespective of the position of the ball at the time the infringement is committed. In the event of the ball touching the goalkeeper before passing between the posts when a penalty kick is being taken at the expiry of time, a goal is scored.)

Definition of Terms.

A place kick is a kick at the ball while it is on the ground in the field of play.

A free kick is a kick at the ball in any direction the player pleases when it is lying on the ground.

A place kick, a free kick, or a penalty kick must not be taken until the referee has given a signal for the same.

Carrying by the goalkeeper is taking more than two steps while holding the ball or bouncing it on the hand.

Knocking on is when a player strikes or propels the ball with his hands or arms.

Handling and Tripping—Handling is intentionally playing the ball with the hand or arm; and tripping is intentionally throwing, or attempting to throw, an opponent by the use of the legs, or by stooping in front of or behind him.

Holding includes the obstruction of a player by the hand or any part of the arm extending from the body.

Touch is that part of the ground on either side of the field of play.



Speedy on the "wing"—strong in defence—accurate in every shot at goal—players keep in excellent form by training on BOVRIL.

And for warding off the colds and chills to which the spectators are susceptible BOVRIL has been found invaluable.

[Pg 88]

[Pg 89]

Advert: Boy attempting overhead kick of football


Drawing of a SAGA football


The "SAGA" (Regd.)

(Association or Rugby) FOOTBALL.

Finest Selected Scotch Cowhide, specially treated and hand sewn. Best quality Red Rubber Bladder. The "SAGA" is guaranteed perfect shape and size. A MASTERPIECE! Price 11/6, Post Free. The "MARATHON" Ball, Round, Sound, and Reliable. Price 9/-, Post Free. The "PRACTICE." Sterling Value. A Ball for all-round Club play. Price 7/6, Post Free.

Black and white striped long-sleeved football jersey


Latest Patterns and Colours. 5,000 in Stock.

——Supplied to all Leading Clubs.——

2 INCH STRIPES, 1/11, 2/6, 3/6. Postage 3d. Post free, 21/9, 28/-, 37/6 per dozen.

PLAIN COLOURS, 1/3, 1/11, 2/6. Postage 3d. Post free, 13/6, 21/9, 27/- per dozen.

A.V. DESIGN JERSEYS, 2/6 & 3/6 each. Postage 3d.

RUGBY JERSEYS, 33/- and 45/- per doz. Post free.

Knee-length football shorts


White or Navy.

Youths', 1/3, 1/9, 2/-; All Wool, 3/9. Postage 3d.

Men's, 1/4, 1/11, 2/3; All Wool, 3/11. Postage 3d.

Dozens post free.

A leather football boot


Russet Calf, Waterproof Sole, 7/11. Postage 6d.

All best made Boots stocked.


Turned-down Coloured Tops, 10½d., 1/2, 1/8, and 2/6 per pair. Postage 2d.

Goal Posts and Nets, Shin Guards, Boundary Posts and Flags, Sweaters, etc. See List. Lists Post Free. Prompt Dispatch.


(H.S. Dept.) 56, EDGWARE RD., LONDON.

[Pg 90]

1s. net. Post free, 1s. 2d.

[Pg 91]



Gamages Referee Match Ball

The "REFEREE" Football.

Made in eight sections, finest selected hides. Perfect shape, every ball guaranteed. Extra strong red rubber bladder, 10/6.

The "HOLBORN" Football.

Stout cowhide hand-sewn case. A strong serviceable ball, complete with red rubber bladders. No. 4, 5/6; No. 5, match size, 6/3.

The "ARMY" Football.

Specially recommended for barracks and public schools. Capless, eight sections. The best ball for hard wear, 9/6; post 4d.

A footballer dribbling the Gamage referee football


White drill, 1/4. White swansdown, 1/10. Boys' sizes ditto, up to 28in., 1/8. Strong navy serge, 1/4, 1/10. Super quality navy serge, 2/11, 3/11, & 5/11. Boys' ditto, 2/8, 3/8, and 5/8. Superior white swansdown, 2/10. White flannel, 3/11 and 5/11. Boys' ditto, 3/8 and 5/8. Post 4d. pair.


Black or navy, ribbed legs, in various club coloured stripe tops.

1/- pair, 11/6 dozen
2/- " 23/- "
2/6 " 28/6 "



(As worn by all the leading Clubs)

No. 1.—Button front plain coloured body with coloured or self-ribbed neck, 2/3 each; 24/6 doz.

No. 2.—Plain coloured body with self or coloured-ribbed neck and laced fronts, 2/11 each; 33/- doz. For colours in stock see Sports List.

A woollen jersey with lace-up front
A leather lace-up boot with two studs visible at the toe


Expressly designed to give ease and pliability when playing, support to the ankles, and a firm grip of the ground, ensuring great power when kicking. In Scotch chrome, waterproof soles, cane waists, solid hide toes, bars or studs. Men's, 8/6; Boys' sizes, 2 to 5, 7/6; postage 6d. Other patterns and qualities in stock. Men's sizes from 4/11 to 12/6 pair.

End of Football And How To Play It, by Writer 71