Winslow's first recorded football matches, 1879-80 and 1886

Although it was called football, this would have been more like rugby. The location of the pitch isn't stated but was probably at Hollow Furrow (Granborough Road). The report from the 1880 match is the first full team list, and shows that most of the team were middle-class or gentry. The James brothers were later part of the very successful Schorne College team at North Marston. Alfred Hornblower was a boarder at Mr Grace's school. D. Day was probably George D. Day, a pupil auctioneer with George Wigley. Winslow's first football club soon died out, and association football wasn't played seriously until 1891 when Winslow Town F.C. was formed.

Buckingham Advertiser, 22 March 1879

FOOTBALL – WINSLOW V. BICESTER. – On Thursday, March 13, a game was played between the above clubs, at Winslow.   Some excellent play was shown by the home party, who kept their opponents in subjection nearly all the afternoon, and ultimately won the match by 3 goals against 1.   The Bicester captain, winning the toss, chose the Western goal, obliging their opponents to play against the wind, which was, however, very slight, and with the sun in their eyes.  The ball, however, kept rather in the Bicester half, but no goal was scored until within two minutes of half time, when a goal was kicked for them, after a combined rush on the part of their forwards.   After change of ends, matters were speedily equalized by a goal kicked by Norton for Winslow.   Shortly after, Neal scored one for the same side, and a third was afterwards obtained, Norton heading the ball through from a corner kick.   No further score was made, so the Winslow team were declared winners.   The return match is to come off at Bicester on March 29.

AYLESBURY V. WINSLOW.- On the following Thursday, Winslow took a team to Aylesbury.  After a hotly contested game, the match ended in a draw.   Winslow won the toss, and chose the goal furthest from the town, a strong wind blowing nearly right across the ground.   After Aylesbury kicked off Winslow quickly score the first goal.   Norton middling the ball well to Lowndes, who passed it between the posts.   Aylesbury, however, soon made the game level, and scored also a second goal.   Shortly before half time, Norton scored a second for Winslow.   After changing, each side scored a further goal.  The last quarter of an hour Aylesbury had the best of the game, but no further score was made, in spite of several strokes at the Winslow goal.

Buckingham Advertiser, 18 Dec 1880

FOOTBALL. – BICESTER v. WINSLOW. – This game was played at Winslow on Saturday, December 11 and attracted some amount of attention.  For the first quarter-of-an-hour, the Bicester side had slightly the best of the game, and keeping the ball well in the home territory, shot the leather under the tape;  but an objection was raised on account of the “off side.”  Setting to work again Bicester scored an undoubted goal, after which Winslow secured a couple of goals in rapid succession.   Fortune still favoured the Winslowites after change of ends, and Bullock, with a splendid shot, sent the ball through the Bicester posts and thus placed another goal to the credit of his team.  The Bicester representatives, who, up to this time, had not been playing in their usual form, now put forth strenuous exertions to equalise matters, and succeeded, within four minutes of time, in obtaining a second goal.   No further advantage occurred and at the call of time Winslow, for whom Bullock and Neal played remarkably well, were left winners by three goals to two.   The following were players :- Bicester : T. Wilson (goal);  M.F.E. Bush (back);  J. Coleman and T. Fowler (half-backs); E.H. Paxton (captain), C. Shillingford, W. Shillingford, F. Toms, H.L. Toms, J.D. Simons (forwards). – Winslow : Hornblower (goal); [name missing] French (backs); H. Bullock (captain) and F. James (half-backs); W. S. Neal, J. Dockray, M. Selby-Lowndes, J. James, H. Anstiss and D. Day (forwards).

After the 1880-81 season there is a long gap until the next report of a Winslow team, evidently playing something even closer to rugby. There don't seem to be many Winslow names in the team.

Buckingham Advertiser, 23 Oct 1886

FOOTBALL. – WOLVERTON V. WINSLOW. – The first match between these clubs was played on Saturday, October 16th, in Wolverton Park.   It was a very unequal match, the Wolvertonians being altogether too strong and fast for their opponents.  It is only just to say that the Winslow club are in their first season.  For Wolverton the most conspicuous players were J. Howe, who scored 2 goals, and one from a try by P. Williams, and the other from his own try;  W. Williams, who also scored a goal, and W. Eldridge succeeded in doing the same from a try gained by P. Williams.   W. Hough, from a brilliant run, gained a grand goal from the field.  Other tries were gained as follows : G. Gillard 3, . Gallop 2, W. Aldred, H. Ball, G. Covington, and W. Hough one each.  At the close of the game the score was – Wolverton, 5 goals, 9 tries, and 18 touch-downs, to nil.  The sides were : Wolverton – W. Aldred (back), J. Goodridge, W. Hough (right), H. Ball, W. Williams (left three-quarter backs), J. Howe (Captain), W. Gallop (half-back), P. Williams, A. Shaw, G. Covington, A. Clewitt, J. Clewitt, H. Bailey, F. Swain and G. Gillard (forwards).   Winslow – Letts (back), Hyde, Reynolds (right), Harris, Thompson (left three-quarter backs), Wakelin (Captain) and King (half-backs), Foster, Inman, Lines, Radburn, Ross, Barnett, and Goodridge (forwards).

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Copyright 15 June, 2020