Picture : Linfield FAC 1891

 

The most goals in a single national cup final were also scored by a Scot. On March 12, 1892, Robert Hill scored four goals for Linfield FAC (Belfast) against Black Watch (Limerick). “Bob” Hill, 24 years old at the time, had come to Ireland with the Gordon Highlanders Regiment, and also scored in the Irish league. During the 19th century, six players scored three goals in a national cup final: two Scots, two Irishmen as well as one Englishman and one Welshman. 

 

4 Goals: Robert Hill (Scotland)
  Belfast, 12.03.1892:  Linfield FAC – Black Watch Limerick  7:0
   
3 Goals: William John Townley (England)
  London, 29.03.1890: Blackburn Rovers FC – Sheffield Wednesday FC 6:1
   
  Albert Thomas Davies (Wales)
  Oswestry, 31.03.1891: Shrewsbury Town FC – Wrexham AFC 5:2
   
  Alexander McMahon (Scotland)
  Glasgow, 09.04.1892: Glasgow Celtic FC – Queen’s Park FC Glasgow 5:1
   
  James Logan (Scotland)
  Liverpool, 31.03.1894: Notts County FC – Bolton Wanderers FC 4:1
   
  Joseph Croft McAllen (Ireland)
  Belfast, 23.03.1895: Linfield FAC – The Bohemians FAC Dublin 10:1
   
  Robert George Milne (Ireland)
  Belfast, 23.03.1895: Linfield FAC – The Bohemians FAC Dublin 10:1

 

            The top scorers at national cup finals during the 19th century were three Scots, with six goals each. However, the first place goes to Thomas Cochrane Highet, who only played in four Scottish Cup finals (including one replay) and scored minimum one goal in each final, thus also helping Queen’s Park FC to three cup wins. “Tom” Highet, born in Ayr in 1853, attended the Ayr Academy before joining Queen’s Park FC (Glasgow) in 1873. He played under the pseudonyms “Herriot” and “Cochrane” for a good while at first. He was a vigorous, lively and diligent player. He also was an excellent cricketer. The four times Scottish international died on January 28, 1907.

 

In second place comes the famous Alexander McMahon, who from 1892 to 1900 scored six goals in seven Scottish Cup finals. Details about his career are given elsewhere on this site. Likewise forRobert George Milne, who was a Scot by birth but played in Ireland’s national team. The centre-half scored his six goals in ten Irish Cup finals. 

 

  Player (Nationality) Club Period  Number of
matches
Number
of goals
           
  Spieler (Nationalität) Verein Periode Anzahl der
Spiele
Anzahl
der Tore
           
  Jugador (Nacionalidad) Club Período Número de 
partidos
Número
de goles
           
  Joueur (Nationalité) Club Période Nombre de
matches
Nombre
de buts
           
1. Thomas Cochrane Highet (Scotland) Queen’s Park FC Glasgow 1875 – 1880 4 6
2. Robert George Milne (Ireland) Linfield FAC 1890 – 1899 10 6
3. Robert Hill (Scotland) Linfield FAC 1891 – 1892 2 5
4. Olphert Martin Stanfield (Ireland) Distillery FC Belfast 1888 – 1896 5 5
5. Alexander McMahon (Scotland) Glasgow Celtic FC 1892 – 1900 7 5
6. William John Townley (England) Blackburn Rovers FC 1890 – 1891 2 4
7. George Alfred Owen (Wales) Chirk AAA 1887 – 1893 4 4
  Joseph Croft McAllen (Ireland) Linfield FAC 1894 – 1899 4 4
  James Vaughan (Wales) Druids FC Ruabon 1898 – 1899 4 4
10. John Vaughan (Wales) Druids FC Ruabon 1878 – 1886 6 4
11. John James Campbell (Scotland) Glasgow Celtic FC (3) 1892 – 1900 8 4
    Aston Villa FC (1)      
12. Edward Bowen (Wales) Druids FC Ruabon 1878 – 1886 10 4

 

            The worldwide most successful scorer of national FA-run national cup competitions in the 19th century was Henry Alfred Cursham, who from 1880 to 1887 scored 48 English Cup goals for Notts County. He was born in Wilford (Nottingham) on November 27, 1859, and attended Repton School, where he also found his football legs. He joined Notts County early, where he made a name for himself as a wing forward and a very good dribbler. He remained true to his club, although he occasionally played for Corinthians (London) and Thursday Wanderers (Sheffield). Henry Cursham played for England eight times from 1880 to 1884 and was the younger brother of six times English international Arthur William Cursham. Henry Alfred Cursham also was a good cricketer, and from 1889 to 1939 worked as an insurance salesman. He died on August 6, 1941.

 

            Details on the career of Scotsman James Donaldson Ross, who from 1885 to 1900 played for the English clubs Preston North End, Liverpool, Burnley and Manchester City and scored a total of 43 goals at the FA Cup, are given elsewhere (see national championships). Just as of the third-placed Scotman Alexander McMahon, who scored its cup goals from 1889 to 1900 for Hibernian (Edinburgh) and Glasgow Celtic.

 

            Samuel “Sam” Torrance(see full international) played 62 Irish Cup matches from 1887 to 1900 and scored 34 goals all together, even though he played in defence for the last few years of the 19th century. Far more effective, however, was his compatriot Robert McIlvenny, who from 1889 to 1895 played for Distillery FC Belfast and local rivals Ulster FC, scoring 31 goals in only 23 Irish Cup matches.

 

            Archibald Hunter, the son of a farmer, was born in Joppa (Ayrshire, Scotland) on September 23, 1859. He left school early and joined Ayr Star FC. His three brothers were all good athletes. “Archie” Hunter played for Eastern Glasgow (1874-1875) and 3rd Lanark Rifles Volunteers before he came to Birmingham in 1878 shortly after he had reached the Scottish Cup final with 3rd Lanark Rifles Volunteers (1878), the forerunner of Third Lanark. With Aston Villa he quickly developed into an outstanding inside forward who could also play as half-back. He played an at times grand game and was always very dangerous in front of goal. Although he became the team captain of Aston Villa and was the playmaker on the field, he never did make any friends. From the 1878/79 to the 1889/90 season, Hunter scored 32 English Cup goals for the “Villans”. Add to this the goals which he scored at the Scottish Cup for 3rd Lanark Rifles Volunteers in the previous years. In 1890 “Archie” Hunter left the “Villans” and returned to Scotland, where he coached Linthouse FC (Glasgow). Health problems later caused him to return to Birmingham, where he died on November 29, 1894, at the age of 35.  

 

 

  Player  Nationality Club Period  Number of
matches 
Number of
goals
  Spieler  Nationalität Verein Periode Anzahl der
Spiele 
Anzahl
der Tore
  Jugador  Nacionalidad Club Período Número de
partidos  
Número
de goles
  Joueur  Nationalité Club Période Nombre de
matches 
Nombre
de buts 
             
1. Henry Alfred Cursham England Notts County FC 1878-1887   48
2. James Donaldson Ross Scotland Preston North End FC (37) /       
      Liverpoll FC (3) /      
      Burnley FC (2) /      
      Manchester City FC (1) 1885-1900   43
3. Alexander McMahon Scotland Hibernian FC Edinburgh (  ) 1889-1891    
      Glasgow Celtic FC (35) 1891-1900   >35
4. Samuel Torrans Ireland Linfield FAC 1887-1900 62 34
5. Archibald Hunter Scotland 3rd Lanark Rifles Volunteers (  )    1876-1878    
      Aston Villa FC (32) 1879-1890   >32
6. Robert McIlvenny Ireland Distillery FC Belfast (6) /       
      Ulster FC Belfast (25) 1889-1895 23 31
7. James Brown England Blackburn Rovers FC 1879-1889   30
8. Harry Chester Goodhart England Old Etonians (London) 1878-1884   29
  Edward Hagarty Parry England Oxford University (7) /       
      Old Carthusians (London) (22) 1874-1890   29
10. Olphert Stanfield Ireland Distillery FC Belfast /  1887-1898 38 28
11. John Peden Ireland Linfield FAC (23) /       
      Distillery FC Belfast (4) /      
      Newtown Heath FC (1) 1887-1899 45 28
12. John Barry Ireland Cliftonville FC Belfast 1887-1891 31 26
13. John Southworth England Blackburn Rovers FC 1887-1893   26
  George Gaffikin Ireland Linfield FAC 1888-1895 48 26
15. Edward Charles Bambridge England Swifts London (22) /       
      Upton Park FC (3) 1879-1890   25
  Dennis Hodgetts England Birmingham St.George‘s (3) /      
      Aston Villa FC (22) 1883-1896   25
  Stephen Bloomer England Derby County FC 1892-1900   25
18. Francis Becton England Preston North End FC (20) /       
      Liverpool FC (4) /       

 

            The players who played the most national cup matches during the 19th century cannot be determined precisely since line-ups of cup matches were not always recorded back then, and this information is lost now. The exception is Ireland, where there were seven players who during this period played 40 or more Irish Cup matches. Six of them played for Linfield either exclusively or for several years. The seventh, William Crone, played 47 Irish Cup matches for Distillery FC (Belfast) from 1881 to 1892. Three Linfield players have more matches to their credit: George Gaffikin (48), Thomas Gordon (51) and Samuel Torrans (62). Such detailed records were not kept for Welsh and Dutch cup competitions, and while data for the English and Scottish Cups do exist, they are incomplete. 

 

  Player  Nationality Club Period  Number of matches
  Spieler  Nationalität Verein Periode Anzahl der Spiele
  Jugador  Nacionalidad Club Período Número de partidos
  Joueur  Nationalité Club Période Nombre de matches
           
1. Samuel Torrans Ireland Linfield FAC 1887-1900 62
2. Thomas Gordon Ireland Linfield FAC 1887-1897 51
3. George Gaffikin Ireland Linfield FAC 1888-1895 48
4. William Crone Ireland Distillery FC Belfast  1881-1892 47
5. John Peden Ireland Linfield FAC (34) /     
      Distillery FC Belfast (10) /    
      Newtown Heath FC (1) 1887-1899 45
6. Robert Milne Ireland Gordon Highlanders Belfast (7) /    
      Linfield FAC (36) 1889-1900 43
7. William Dalton  Ireland Oldpark FC Belfast (2) /    
      Belfast YMCA (9) /     
      Linfield FAC (30) 1887-1896 41
8. Olphert Stanfield Ireland Distillery FC Belfast 1887-1898 38
9. John Turnbull Gibb Ireland Wellington Park FC Belfast (10) /     
      Cliftonville FC Belfast (23)  1884-1891 33
10. John Barry Ireland Cliftonville FC Belfast 1887-1891 31

 

            The club which won the national cup competition of its national FA most often during the 19th century was Queen’s Park FC (Glasgow), who from 1874 to 1893 won the Scottish Cup 10times. In second place comesDruids FC (Ruabon), who from 1880 to 1899 won the Welsh Cup 7 times. The third place is shared by two Belfast clubs, Distillery FC and Linfield AFC, which won the Irish Cup six times each. Five cup wins were registered by the English clubs The Wanderers (London) and Blackburn Rovers FC and the Welsh club Chirk AAA.

 

  Club Seasons Number of cup
victories
  Verein Saisons Zahl der
Pokalsiege
  Club  Temporadas Número de las
victorias de copa
  Club Saisons Nombre de
victoires de coupe
       
1. Queen’s Park FC Glasgow 1873/74 (Sco), 1874/75 (Sco), 1875/76 (Sco),  10
    1879/80 (Sco), 1880/81 (Sco), 1881/82 (Sco),   
    1883/84 (Sco), 1885/86 (Sco), 1889/90 (Sco),  
    1892/93 (Sco)  
       
2. Druids FC Ruabon 1879/80 (Wal), 1880/81 (Wal), 1881/82 (Wal), 7
    1884/85 (Wal), 1885/86 (Wal), 1897/98 (Wal),   
    1898/99 (Wal)  
       
3. Distillery FC Belfast 1883/84 (Irl), 1884/85 (Irl), 1885/86 (Irl), 6
    1888/89 (Irl), 1893/94 (Irl), 1895/96 (Irl)  
       
  Linfield FAC 1890/91 (Irl), 1891/92 (Irl), 1892/93 (Irl),  6
    1894/95 (Irl), 1897/98 (Irl), 1898/99 (Irl)  
       
5. The Wanderers (London) 1871/72 (Eng), 1872/73 (Eng), 1875/76 (Eng),  5
    1876/77 (Eng), 1877/78 (Eng)  
       
  Blackburn Rovers FC 1883/84 (Eng), 1884/85 (Eng), 1885/86 (Eng),  5
    1889/90 (Eng), 1890/91 (Eng)  
       
  Chirk AAA 1886/87 (Wal), 1887/88 (Wal), 1889/90 (Wal), 5
    1891/92 (Wal), 1893/94 (Wal)  
       
8. Wrexham AFC 1877/78 (Wal), 1882/83 (Wal), 1892/93 (Wal), 4
     1896/97 (Wal)  
       
  Cliftonville FC Belfast 1882/83 (Irl), 1887/88 (Irl), 1896/97 (Irl), 4
     1899/1900 (Irl)  
       
10. Vale of Leven FC Alexandria 1876/77 (Sco), 1877/78 (Sco), 1878/79 (Sco) 3
       
  Aston Villa FC 1886/87 (Eng), 1894/95 (Eng), 1896/97 (Eng) 3
       
  Glasgow Rangers FC 1893/94 (Sco), 1896/97 (Sco), 1897/98 (Sco) 3
       
  Glasgow Celtic FC 1891/92 (Sco), 1898/99 (Sco), 1899/1900 (Sco) 3
       

 

            The coach who won the most national cup competitions during the 19th century was the above-mentioned Archibald Rae of Scotland. From 1874 to 1893, he led Scotland’s first superteam, Queen’s Park (Glasgow), to win the Scottish Cup nine times. The second place goes to Thomas Brown Mitchellof England, who led Blackburn Rovers to win the English Cup five times – in 1884, 1885, 1886, 1890 and 1891. In third place are the ScotsmenJ. B. Wright, who won Scottish Cup three time Vale of Leven FC Alexandria, George Ramsayof Scotland, who won the English Cup three times with Aston Villa, and William Wilton, who won the Scottish Cup three time with Glasgow Rangers. Nine coaches (secretary-managers) won repeated the national cup competition, six Scotmen, two Irishmen, but only a Englishman.

 

 

  Entraîneur Nationalité Club Saisons Nombre de
victoires de coupe
           
1. Archibald Rae  (Scotland) Queen’s Park FC Glasgow 1873/74 (Sco), 1874/75 (Sco),  9
        1875/76 (Sco), 1879/80 (Sco),   
        1880/81 (Sco), 1881/82 (Sco),   
        1885/86 (Sco), 1889/90 (Sco),   
        1892/93 (Sco)  
2. Thomas Brown Mitchell  (England) Blackburn Rovers FC 1883/84 (Eng), 1884/85 (Eng),  5
        1885/86 (Eng), 1889/90 (Eng),   
        1890/91 (Eng)  
3. John B. Wright  (Scotland) Vale of Leven FC Alexandria 1876/77 (Sco), 1877/78 (Sco),  3
        1878/79 (Sco)  
  George Ramsay  (Scotland) Aston Villa FC 1886/87 (Eng), 1894/95 (Eng),  3
        1896/97 (Eng)  
  William Wilton  (Scotland) Glasgow Rangers FC 1893/94 (Sco), 1896/97 (Sco),  3
        1897/98 (Sco)  
6. James Chapman  (Scotland) Heart of Midlothian FC Edinburgh  1890/91 (Sco), 1895/96 (Sco) 2
  Robert Torrans  (Ireland) Linfield FAC 1897/98 (Irl), 1898/99 (Irl) 2
  Hugh McAteer  (Ireland) Cliftonville FC Belfast 1896/97 (Irl), 1899/1900 (Irl) 2
  William Maley  (Scotland) Glasgow Celtic FC 1898/99 (Sco), 1899/1900 (Sco) 2

 

            At the top of the world ranking of the players who won the most national cup competitions during the 19th century are the aforementioned Scots Charles Campbelland Robert George Milne(each 7 times), the latter of which played for Ireland, followed by Samuel Torransof Ireland (6 times). A condition for this category is that a player must have participated in a final or the replay of a final. Seven players won the national cup 5 times; three Welshmen, two Englishmen and two Scots. Two of these were:

            William Owen, born in Chirk in 1862, found his football legs at his local Amateur Athletic Association, where he developed into a diligent and tricky, if selfish, player. “Billy” Owen loved the art and show in football, which often caused him to lose sight of the goal in a game, scoring. He also was known as the John L. Sullivan of inside forwards, after the heavyweight world champion in boxing. He always stayed with Chirk AAA, winning the Welsh Cup with them five times, and from 1884 to 1893 played for Wales 16 times. Inside forward “Billy” Owen concluded his career as a player in 1895 and became a referee. He always worked as a miner in the Chirk area. People later helped him with charity matches. His brother “Jack” Owen, who was four years his junior, played one match for Wales in 1892. “Billy” Owen died in his native town on March 2, 1946.

 

            James Henry Forrest, born in Blackburn on June 24, 1864, first played for the local clubs Imperial United, Witton and King’s Own Blackburn before joining Blackburn Rovers in 1883. Lightly built, he was a superb runner and gave remarkably precise passes, truly one of football’s greats. He played as either left half-back or centre-half, won the English Cup five times with the “Rovers”, and from 1884 to 1890 played 11 full internationals for England. “Jim” Forrest transferred to Darwen in 1895, but ended his career the same year still. In 1906 he became one of the directors of Blackburn Rovers, which post he held until his death on December 30, 1925.

 

            13 players won 4 national cups during the 19th century, and 62 did so three times. The first player to win a national cup competition with three different clubs – and then in two different countries – was David Kennedy Russellof Scotland. Russell, who was born in Airdrie on April 6, 1886, played for Stewarton FC and Broxburn before he moved to England and joined Preston North End (PNE), with whom he was both English champion and cup winner. In 1890 he joined the “Hearts” (Edinburgh) and won the Scottish Cup during the following season. In 1893 he returned to PNE, but one year later was back with Heart of Midlothian FC, with whom he then won both the Scottish championship (1894/95) and the Scottish Cup (1895/96). Thereafter he transferred to Celtic FC (Glasgow), with whom he won the national championship during the 1897/98 season. In 1898 he moved to England for a third time and joined PNE again, then in 1899 went back to Glasgow Celtic yet again, with whom he won the Scottish Cup both before and after the turn of the century. The powerful centre-back played for Scotland six times from 1895 to 1901. After World War I he worked as a miner in Fauldhouse. 

 

  Player  Nationality Club Seasons Number of cup
victories
  Spieler Nationalität Verein Saisons Zahl der
Pokalsiege 
  Jugador Nacionalidad Club Temporadas Número de las
victorias de copa 
  Joueur Nationalité Club Saisons Nombre de
victoires de coupe 
           
1. Charles Campbell Scotland Queen’s Park FC Glasgow 1873/74 (Sco), 1874/75 (Sco), 1875/76 (Sco), 7
         1879/80 (Sco), 1880/81 (Sco), 1881/82 (Sco),  
        1885/86 (Sco),   
           
  Robert George Milne Ireland Gordon Highlanders Belfast (1) 1889/90 (Irl), 1890/91 (Irl), 1891/92 (Irl),  7
      Linfield FAC (6) 1892/93 (Irl), 1894/95 (Irl), 1897/98 (Irl),  
         1898/99 (Irl)  
           
3. Samuel Torrans  Ireland Linfield FAC 1890/91 (Irl), 1891/92 (Irl), 1892/93 (Irl),  6
        1894/95 (Irl), 1897/98 (Irl), 1898/99 (Irl)  
           
4. Charles Henry Reynolds
    Wollaston 
England The Wanderers (London) 1871/72 (Eng), 1872/73 (Eng), 1875/76 (Eng),  5
          1876/77 (Eng), 1877/78 (Eng)  
           
  Henry McNiel Scotland Queen’s Park FC Glasgow 1873/74 (Sco), 1874/75 (Sco), 1875/76 (Sco),  5
        1879/80 (Sco), 1880/81 (Sco)  
           
  Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird  Scotland The Wanderers [London] (3) 1872/73 (Eng), 1876/77 (Eng), 1877/78 (Eng) 5
      Old Etonians [London] (2) 1878/79 (Eng), 1881/82 (Eng)  
           
  Edward Bowen Wales Druids FC Ruabon 1879/80 (Wal), 1880/81 (Wal), 1881/82 (Wal),  5
        1884/85 (Wal), 1885/86 (Wal)  
           
  William Williams Wales Druids FC Ruabon 1879/80 (Wal), 1880/81 (Wal), 1881/82 (Wal),  5
        1884/85 (Wal), 1885/86 (Wal)  
           
  James Henry Forrest England Blackburn Rovers FC 1883/84 (Eng), 1884/85 (Eng), 1885/86 (Eng), 5
         1889/90 (Eng), 1890/91 (Eng)  
           
  William Owen Wales Chirk AAA 1886/87 (Wal), 1887/88 (Wal), 1889/90 (Wal), 5
         1891/92 (Wal), 1893/94 (Wal)  
           

 

            The footballer who won the most national cup competitions in one or more countries as either player and trainer (coach) during the 19th century wasRobert Torransof Ireland. In 1892, 1893 and 1895 he won the Irish Cup three times as player with Linfield FAC, and twice in 1898 and 1899 as trainer with the same club. Robert Torrans, born in Belfast on November 26, 1866, was three years older than his brother Sam. “Rab” Torrans, who also played a full international for Ireland in 1893, was a versatile player who preferred the position of left half-back, but could also play on outside left or left full-back. As a trainer he was very circumspect and determined.

 

            The same number of national cup victories archieved the Irishman William Cronewith Distillery (Belfast), four time as player and seven years later once as coach. The third place goes to William Maley of Scotland, who was born in Newry (Down) on April 25, 1868. He played for Hazlebank Juniors, Third Lanark and Cathcart FC joining Glasgow Celtic in 1888. The largely built wing half was extremely fast – he also was a 100 yard sprinter and quarter mile runner – and played a very cool game. Quite a character, he always remained an amateur, and in 1890 was made the club secretary. As a player, he won the Scottish championship three times with the “Celts” and played in four Scottish Cup finals before concluding his career in 1897, but before already took on the post of manager at his club, where he would remain for the next few decades. He also owner of sports equipment outlets in Glasgow and Dundee, and of a restaurant in Glasgow. He also wrote the book The Story of the Celtic, which was published in 1939. He died on April 2, 1958.

 

  Player / Coach Nationality Club Seasons Number of cup
victories 
  Spieler / Trainer  Nationalität Verein  Saisons Zahl der
Pokalsiege   
  Jugador / Entrenador Nacionalidad Club Temporadas Número de las
victorias de copa 
  Joueur / Entraîneur Nationalité Club Saisons Nombre de
victoires de coupe 
           
1. William Crone Ireland Distillery FC Belfast 1883/84 (Irl), 1884/85 (Irl), 18885/86 (Irl), 1888/89 (Ir)  
      Distillery FC Belfast 1895/96 (Irl) 5 (4/1)
           
  Robert Torrans  Ireland Linfield FAC 1891/92 (Irl), 1892/93 (Irl), 1894/95 (Irl)  
      Linfield FAC 1897/98 (Irl), 1898/99 (Irl) 5  (3/2)
           
3. William Maley Scotland Glasgow Celtic FC 1891/92 (Sco)  
      Glasgow Celtic FC 1898/99 (Sco), 1899/1900 (Sco) 3 (1/2)

 

“Sam” Rea, one of the founders of Linfield Football and Athletic Club, played on outside left for the club before he started coaching it. His son Robert also played for Linfield, from 1895/96 to 1902/03. His other son, Samuel, played for the Belfast clubs Linfield, Belfast Celtic, Ulster and Glentoran from 1896/97 to 1907/08.

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