Spartacus Educational

Goslin joined the 53rd Field Regiment and was killed in Italy on 18th December, 1943.ByJohn Simkin© September 1997 (updated August 2014).

Stanley Matthews, Jimmy Hagen,Eddie Hapgood, Don Welsh and Joe Mercer.

After theFirst World War, Scotland emerged as the leading football power in Britain. Their chief rivals were Wales who won the championship six times between 1920 and 1937.

Charles W. Alcock, the secretary of theFootball Association, andArthur Kinnaird, his friend fromCambridge University, who had been born inScotland, arranged the first international football game to be played on the 30th November, 1872.

In 1907 theWelshteam beatIreland(3-2) andScotland(1-0). They clinched their first Home Nations Championship with a 1-1 draw withEngland.Billy Meredithand the goalkeeperLeigh Roose, were outstanding in these games. This was a fantastic achievement as in none of the three games had Wales managed to field the side originally selected. The main reason for this was thatFootball Leagueclubs often refused to allow Welsh players to represent their country in international fixtures. As Meredith pointed out: In those days, Wales was never really sure of a first team and there used to be a sigh of relief when the party trickled up in twos or threes. Reserves were usually standing by, but a reserve goalkeeper was not thought of when Dick (Leigh) Roose was holding down the position.

Over the next few years,ScotlandandEnglanddominated the British International Championship. It was not until Ireland was involved in a three-way tie in 1902-03 that there were signs of a shift in power.

to right,Harry Goslin, Joe Bacuzzi, George Marks,Denis Compton,Stan Cullis,

is wearing the goalkeepers jersey. The captain,Billy Meredithis holding the ball.

TheIrish Football Associationwas formed in 1880. They played their first game in 1882 when they were beaten 13-0 by England. The following year the British International Championship was established. Each country met the other three over the course of the season.Scotlandwon the initial championship by beatingEngland(1-0),Wales(4-1) andIreland(5-0). The following season Scotland scored 8 against both Wales and Ireland. However, they could only manage a 1-1 draw against England.

Alcock took a team of English born players to play against a team fromScotland. The match, played inGlasgow, ended in a 0-0 draw. The main objective was to publicize the game of football in Scotland. It had the desired effect and the following year theScottish Football Associationwas formed and the England-Scotland match became an annual fixture.

James Forrestwon his firstinternational capforEnglandagainstWaleson 17th March, 1884. The following year he was selected to play againstScotland. Scottish officials complained as they argued that Forrest was a professional. At the time he was receiving 1 a week fromBlackburn Rovers. Forrest was eventually allowed to play but he had to wear a different jersey from the rest of the team. Over the next few years international sides contained more and moreprofessionalplayers. It was another sign of the decline inamateurfootball.

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In 1876Walesestablished its own Football Association. Later that year Wales played Scotland. The more experienced Scottish side won 4-0.

Although England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland played in friendlies against foreign opponents, no British teams took part in the first threeWorld Cups.

Leigh Roosewas captain of theWelshteam that played in the game againstIrelandat Wrexham in March, 1906. The match was filmed by Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon (included inEdwardian Sports). Approximately two-and-a-half minutes of the footage survives today and it is believed to be the oldest anywhere in the world featuring an international football match.

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