Information

Fred Spiksley


Fred Spiksley was born on 25th January, 1870. A talented footballer he played as a junior for Gainsborough Jubilee Swifts. At the age of 17 he signed for Gainsborough Trinity in the Midland League. In his second season at the club Spiksley scored 28 goals in 21 games. He was also a member of the team that won the Lincolnshire F.A. Cup, the Gainsborough News Charity Cup and the Midland League.

In 1891 Spiksley signed for Sheffield Wednesday. The following year the club, then known as Wednesday, was elected to the First Division of the Football League. In the 1892-93 season the club finished in 12th place and Spiksley was top scorer with 18 goals in 31 games.

On 13th March, 1893, Spiksley won his first international cap playing for England against Wales. Also in the team that day was Billy Bassett, Charlie Perry, Bob Holmes, and John Goodall. Spiksley scored two goals in England's 6-0 victory. The following month he played in the match against Scotland. England won the game 5-2 and once again Spiksley got two of the goals.

Sheffield Wednesday had moderate success in the Football League: 1893-94 (12th), 1894-95 (8th) and 1895-96 (7th). After beating Sunderland (2-1), Everton (4-0) and Bolton Wanderers (3-1) the club reached the 1896 FA Cup Final. Spiksley scored both goals in Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Spiksley won his last international cap against Scotland on 2nd April, 1898. The team included Steve Bloomer, Ernest Needham, William Athersmith and Gilbert O. Smith. England won 3-1. Overall, Spiksley scored five goals in seven games and was never on the losing side when he played for his country.

Sheffield Wednesday finished bottom of the First Division of the Football League in the 1898-99 season. Spiksley scored ten goals in the 1899-1900 and helped his club win the Second Division championship.

Ernest Needham played with Spiksley and his autobiography he pointed out: "Spiksley, of Sheffield Wednesday... delights to dribble the ball into the corner and then centre across, and it is seldom he fails to place the ball in the goal mouth for his fellow forwards to put through. He is about ten stone, but what he lacks in weight he makes up in speed. He can play the combination game to perfection, and I can state this at first hand, as I have often had the pleasure of playing with him. When he finds himself in difficulties he will try to give the ball to someone better placed - a form of unselfishness which a good many well-known players might copy. Instead of this, many men would rather lose the ball by trying to beat one or two opponents, than give it to a partner; not so Spiksley."

J. A. H. Catton, the leading football journalist at the time was also a great fan of Spiksley: "Spiksley's control of the ball, his individuality, and his pluck for a man of modest stature, without much weight, were amazing... Fred Spiksley could do almost anything he wanted with either foot, and was a sure marksman. Spiksley as a football player was a wonder."

Frederick Wall, the president of the Football Association, wrote in 50 Years of Football that: "Whenever I saw him (Spiksley) he played well, but never better than at Richmond, for he scored the three last goals in about ten minute s... Conjurers have sleight of hand. Let me vary the phrase and say that Spiksley had sleight of foot. He did most of his dribbling with the outside of the right foot. I do not like making sweeping statements, but I have never seen so thoroughly competent an outside-left as Spiksley, who relied not on weight, or even on speed alone, but upon his craft and power over the ball."

In 1902 Spiksley left Sheffield Wednesday. During a 11 year period he scored 100 goals in 293 league games. He also scored 14 goals in 28 FA Cup appearances. Spiksley also played for Glossop, Leeds City, Southend United and Watford before retiring from professional football in 1906.

In 1911 Spiksley was appointed as coach with AIK Stockholm. After the club won the Swedish Championship he became the coach of Swedish national team. Spiksley also worked with TSV 1860 München and Nürnberg in Germany. When the First World War broke out Spiksley was interned at Ruhleben Detention Camp. Fellow detainees included Fred Pentland, John Cameron, Steve Bloomer and Sam Wolstenholme.

After the Armistice Spiksley continued to coach in Europe. He worked in Spain for three years before spending time in the United States and Mexico. He returned to England in 1924 to become assistant coach at Fulham. In 1926 he returned to Germany and helped Nürnberg win the German football championship in 1927.

Fred Spiksley died in Goodward on 28th July, 1948.

Wednesday were at full strength for the final, while Tennant replaced the injured William Rose in the Wolves' goal, for whom Richard Baugh and Harry Wood were making their third FA Cup Final appearance.

Wednesday dominated the early stages of the final, which resulted in the opening goal when Fred Spiksley slotted an Archie Brash throw-in past Tennant in the Wanderers' goal. The Wolverhampton side were soon on level terms, though, when David Black intercepted a Tom Crawshaw clearance to place the ball wide of goalkeeper Jimmy Massey.

The Sheffield side eventually regained the lead when Harry Davis set up a goal-scoring opportunity for Fred Spiksley, who sent a tremendous shot into the Wanderers' net for his second goal of the game, while Tom Crawshaw saw a shot hit a post as Wednesday continued to dominate the proceedings. Wanderers came more into the game during the latter stages of the final as they sought an equalising goal. However, the Yorkshire side held on to a 2-1 victory as team captain Jack Earp proudly received the new FA Cup from Lord Kinnaird.

Spiksley, of Sheffield Wednesday... Instead of this, many men would rather lose the ball by trying to beat one or two opponents, than give it to a partner; not so Spiksley. I have heard a great deal of criticism levelled at him because he waits for the ball to be put to him; but when you have a player of the style of Spiksley this method pays. When he does get the ball he is fresher and faster than if he had been working hard to fetch it - most likely from close by his own goal.

I will jump to 1892 when Arthur Dunn led on to the field at Ibrox an eleven which were supposed to be ready prey for the Scots even if they had to recall Wattie Arnott, who was then not only beyond his prime but short of practice and training. This English team was called "The Old Crocks." I suppose that was because Arthur Dunn, the Old Etonian, who was one of the two centre forwards against Ireland in 1884, was at last re-called, and came in as a full-back, if you please.

"The Old Crocks" consisted of George Toone, of Notts County, in goal, Arthur Dunn and "Bob" Holmes, of Preston, as backs, John Reynolds (then of West Bromwich), Johnny Holt, that "little devil of Everton" as Sam Widdowson called him, Alfred Shelton (Notts County) as halfbacks, with "Billy" Bassett and Johnnie Goodall on the right wing, Jack Southworth ("Skimmy") in the centre, and Edgar Chadwick and Dennis Hodgetts on the left wing. Why did the Scotsmen and the critics call this lot "the Old Crocks"? The Scottish journalists labelled them in this manner, and the triumph of Scotland was assured.

The evening before the match the players of both teams fraternised. They were not kept in separate camps, or hotels, in those days. Oh yes, these Scotsmen openly boasted what they were going to do with these English "veterans" (vide Bassett, then about twenty-three years of age).

Their confidence was boundless. Sandy McMahon was going to sand-dance round Johnny Holt, carry the ball on his head from the half-way line, and pop it into goal, and do all sorts of wonderful juggling. William Sellar was to score again and again, and Kelly of the Celts, was to put Southworth in his pocket and button it up.

What did Bobby Burns say about the best laid schemes of mice and men? That "little devil" Johnny Holt was "all over" McMahon; he climbed up him and over him, brought him down to earth and sand-danced on him.

For twenty minutes the Scots never touched the ball, and in seventeen minutes the "old crocks" of England had scored four goals, so completely outwitted were Kelly, Dan Doyle, and Wattie Arnott.

Within ten seconds England had scored. John Southworth kicked off, and Goodall tipped the ball to Bassett, who swung a pass towards the left, Chadwick gained possession, dribbled round Arnott, and drove past McLeod, of Dumbarton, the goalkeeper. The trick was done and the Scots had never played the ball.

The "Old Crocks" gave a display such as I have never seen-either before or since. That was not the only goal which was perfect in conception, combination, and execution.

This was a far more wonderful exhibition of the game than that of the following year at Richmond, when England won by 5-2. The Surrey Cricket Club felt compelled to refuse the use of The Oval as part of the cricket ground had been re-laid, and the match was taken to an athletic ground at Richmond, which was well known as a Rugby rendezvous. The match furnished a splendid "gate."

But it also furnished what is far more important-a splendid match. The issue was in doubt in the second half, and I thought that the Scots would win. As a rule, my interest in the issue of a match is negligible, but I do like to see England triumph in this great match. The feeling is only natural in an Englishman.

The match was, however, won by rare combination and enviable endurance. The unity of the team was not really developed until after the interval, when Bassett cross-kicked to the left wing again and again, and Spiksley (by the way, he writes his name without an "e" in the centre) scored three goals in succession in about ten minutes! I cannot remember any other Englishman performing "the hat trick" against Scotland. These goals were brilliants.

The Scots protested on the ground of off-side to the referee, who I think was Mr. J.C. Clegg, but he was against them every time. It seemed to me that the Caledonians were not allowing for the speed of Spiksley, who was much faster than he looked, and a player worthy to rank with Mosforth, Hodgetts, or any other outside-left.

Spiksley's control of the ball, his individuality, and his pluck for a man of modest stature, without much weight, were amazing. Like Hodgetts, Fred Spiksley did his ball work with the outside of the right foot. In fact, Fred Spiksley could do almost anything he wanted with either foot, and was a sure marksman. Spiksley as a football player was a wonder.

During this season of 1892-93 England won her three international matches by so large an aggregate as 17 goals to 3.

Now five of these goals were scored by F. Spiksley, of Sheffield Wednesday, including three in this match at Richmond. He had played against Wales less than a month before the match against the Scots, who declared that he was a "regular flier." That he had extraordinary speed for a young man of his build is beyond doubt.

I should say, at this distance of time, that he was about 5 ft. 8 in., if that, and a light-weight. Long ago, when he was still playing, Spiksley was referred to as weighing 11 st. 71b. I should take two stone off that estimate, as he was a trim trickster, neat and slim and sure in all that he tried to do.

A native of Gainsborough, he played for the Trinity club, and went from that prolific nursery to Sheffield Wednesday. A natural footballer, if ever there was one, he had the advantage of playing both at Gainsborough and Sheffield with some Scotsmen who had the characteristic quality of their race-ball control.

Thus a youngster who could use either foot with equal facility had the advantage of developing his gift to the top of his bent. Whenever I saw him he played well, but never better than at Richmond, for he scored the three last goals in about ten minutes. I cannot recall any other Englishman obtaining three goals in a match against Scotland. It may have been done, but if so it happened before I was keenly interested in these big matches.

The Scots tried to keep the ball away from Spiksley, who had such a clever partner as Edgar Chadwick, at inside-left. Of course, all the credit for these three goals cannot go to Spiksley, for Bassett made long passes of much accuracy, and if Chadwick got the ball he gave his mate a perfect position.

Spiksley was so alert, so apt to anticipate the next move, and so quick that he baffled his opponents.

The Scots were insistent in their appeals for off-side, but Mr. Clegg, who was the referee, held that the goals were legitimate. Of course, there were people who did not agree with him. That has been the lot of the referee in every age, but, Mr. Clegg, who was not only a good and bold referee, but always trusted his own eyes, was well aware of the speed of Spiksley and where he was positioned when Bassett made his cross-kick.

The moment the ball left Bassett's boot Spiksley was off in a flash. He would trap the ball with his right and crash it into the net with his left. This seemed like one movement because he was so rapid.

Conjurers have sleight of hand. He did most of his dribbling with the outside of the right foot.

I do not like making sweeping statements, but I have never seen so thoroughly competent an outside-left as Spiksley, who relied not on weight, or even on speed alone, but upon his craft and power over the ball.

When his playing career closed he devoted his thought, experience and energy to teaching football in all parts of the world, from Mexico to Mannheim, or some other place in Germany.

For ten years he played in representative matches for the F.A. and the Football League, and was never on the losing side. He was England's mascot; he has not had a successor and his fortune on the field has not clung to him in more material matters, for he had several trying accidents and was one of the many to whom the European War made such a difference in circumstances.


Fred Spiksley: Football’s First Great Working Class Story

One thing you can say about Sheffield Wednesday’s footballing hero Fred Spiksley is – he lived a fucking life!Footballers were made of different stuff back in those days.

Fair play to the West Midlands Owls for organising this event. And because it’s happening in October you’ve got no excuses not to book an early train ticket to erm, Birmingham. Sounds like a cracking bit footballing history, something which seems to be slipping further and further away.

Event:
A late afternoon/early evening illustrated talk by Mark Metcalf and Clive Nicholson telling the first great working class football story. The authors of Flying Over An Olive Grove present a 2 hour talk about Victorian football and the remarkable life of Fred Spiksley. Accompanied by one of the finest collections of pre-1900 football photographs this talk has delighted audiences in London and across Yorkshire and is being brought to the Midlands for the first time.

This is a free event and everyone is welcome. Copies of Flying Over An Olive Grove, which has gained national media attention, will be available to purchase.

Date and Time:
Sat 7 October 2017 – 5pm

Location:
The Wellington
37 Bennetts Hill
Birmingham
B2 5SN

The England team that faced Scotland in 1898, with Fred front row, far right.

Fred Spiksley bio:
Born at a unique moment in the history of the beautiful game, Fred Spiksley was amongst a new wave of teenagers who, in 1885, could aspire to be a professional footballer and dodge the inevitability of industrial labour. He became the first player to score a hat-trick against Scotland and in 1896 he guided Sheffield Wednesday to FA Cup glory with 4 goals and 8 assists. His first goal in the final is considered by some to be the fastest ever goal in FA Cup final history.

At his peak he was the fastest winger in England and possessed total ball control. He was a player with such ability that he was able to take his club and country to the pinnacle of football during an era where his slender frame did not suit the rough treatment that was often meted out to him. With Fred Spiksley on the field no match was ever lost. Even with two broken ribs, he had the pluck and tenacity to remain on the field and score the winning goal in an epic FA Cup tie at Olive Grove, the ground where he made his name ‘the Olive Grove Flyer’.

He scored over 300 career goals and won every major honour in the game, and holds the record for the highest goals- to-game ratio of any winger in the history of English football. His fame extended around the World as he became the first professional footballer to coach across three continents. In Europe alone, he managed the Swedish national team and guided FC Nuremberg to the German Championship in 1927.

Football presented Fred Spiksley, a small lad from the backstreets of Lincolnshire, with a lifetime of adventure. He would share the stage with Charlie Chaplin, escape from a German prison in 1914 and be chased along the touchline by the future Queen of England. An addicted gambler and self confessed womaniser, Fred Spiksley’s character meant that he was not always the hero off the pitch that he was on it. Flying Over An Olive Grove aims to bring Fred Spiksley’s remarkable but long forgotten story to a new audience and contains a superb collection of images, including the earliest know photograph of an international goal being scored.


The Journey

So, I’ve found a little time to add some more to the blog. So I thought I’d give a bit of background about how this all started and the journey.

I’m pretty sure that it all started off around 1990, I would have been 9 or 10 at the time and was in Gainsborough at my grandparents (Spicksley) house. For some reason, that year I was shown 2 medals and told that they belonged to an old relative and that they were the FA Cup Winners medal and the League Championship winners medal. These medals have long since been sold, infact nothing original remains of Fred’s in the family. Of course this would have not been the case had it come my way!

The Spicksley side of the family were never into football and I quickly worked out that one of the medals was not the FA Cup winners medal at all, but an English League Representative medal V Scotland in 1895. I should say here that the name Spicksley is not miss-spelt, nor does it mean that I am unrelated. As detailed in our book there were a few spellings of Spicksley through some illiterate famil members back in the Victorian times, well, namely Freds dad. Fred was a Spiksley and his brother was a Spicksley, I’m from Fred’s brothers side. There are no direct decentants of Fred as his son Fred Jnr had no children.

That day I took some rubbings of the medals and the research started soon after. Back then I was only 9 years old. I looked in some basic books and got the basic facts. Mainly the Newspaper reproduction style books that were all the vogue at that time and a couple of large books by Bryon Butler. I still have them and the medal rubbings.

I soon discovered Fred had played for England and Scored the winning goals in the FA Cup final. For a 9 year old I didn’t think I’d be able to find much more out but was obviously delighted with what I had found.

I think my uncle phoned Sheffield Wednesday around this time and for some reason ended up speaking the manager at the time – Million Pound Man Trevor Francis. I don’t think he liked Trevor as he was not very helpful. If I was Trevor I don’t think I would have cared either!

Anyway, they sent me some poor photocopies out of Farnsworth’s book. This gave me the first ever picture that I ever saw of Fred. It was distorted and poor quality. Still, I loved it at the time. It was the first one of Fred in a Wednesday Line-up in 1891. I have a lovely reproduction of it now.

With a these few bits of information I wrote my first article about Fred at the age of 11. It was for a school English project. I still have it and it is full of mistakes due to assumptions I made at the time. I think I had Fred winning the League title twice, not knowing that he left Wednesday after their first championship victory.

Some time later I realised that you could order books to be sent to your local library. So I spent some time filling in these little postcards with a list of football books. A few on the FA Cup but mostly Sheffield Wednesday History books by Keith Farnsworth. Gradually the books started to arrive, they took a month or so for the library to find and get to the small Uttoxeter library. If only I had asked my dad to take me to Sheffield Library at the time!

There have been some significant moments along the way. Reading the pen picture in Farnsworths Complete Record book. It was then that I realised that Fred was not just a decent Victorian footballer who won a few things. This was obviously a special player. I think I bored some of my schoolmates to death back then.

After reading all the Wednesday books and meeting Jason Dickinson the information did start to dry up a little as I progressed through school. I’d done well for a youngster, probably having 2 or 3 ring binders of info and pictures by the age of 16.

Through A’Levels and University not a lot got done. I thought I’d got everything I would ever find and I gradually got interested in other things. Mainly music and my artwork. It was Music that ultimately led to possibly the biggest most important discovery that would influence the book.

In 2001 I visited Glastonbury Festival for the 2 nd time, mainly to celebrate the end of University. Whilst looking through the market stalls with friends we came across a second hand book stall. It wasn’t anything particularly special, but art students like 2 nd hand books. I honestly would have left the stall within one minute, it just so happened that I opened the long line of books up to a book called ‘To the Palace for the Cup’. I obviously know what is was and what may be in it.

Flicking to 1896 as soon as possible I discovered a double page that was almost entirely covered by an etching of Fred scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup Final. The ٦ or 㾶 the book cost was found very quickly I can tell you.

So after a good 6 years of assuming nothing more would come my way all of a sudden was this picture. Not only that, but the picture was referenced to a newspaper, the Illustrated News. Also the Author was easy to get in touch with and he directed me to Andy, a brilliant guy who’s passion for Victorian football and in particular the Crystal Palace FA Cup Finals is just wonderful.

I soon realised that there were hundreds of newspapers to look in and my contact list of grew. I was in the Newspaper Library in London for hours on end. I spent a fortune on reprographics. I’ve travelled up and down the UK researching the story and amassed 14 hefty volumes, 4 of which contain all the photographs and illustrations for the book. I think we are looking at 350 pictures at the moment. Over 50 of which are photo’s of Fred.

The biggest moment so far for me had to be finding the Video of Fred on Craven Cottage in 1931. It took nearly a week from knowing it existed to actually being able to play it. Technology on websites in 2002 was not what it is now! The video is now on Youtube and was featured in the Guardian newspaper. It has been one long adventure really, with some years where little has happened for various reasons and then years of mega activity. It is all starting to come together now and I can’t wait for the final volume to come out.


The Remarkable Story of Fred Spiksley: The First Working-Class Football Hero

Gainsborough's Fred Spiksley was one of the first working class youngsters in 1887 to live 'the dream' of becoming a professional footballer, before later finding a role as a globe-trotting coach. He thus dodged the inevitability of industrial, poorly paid, dangerous labour. Lightning fast, Spiksley created and scored hundreds of goals including, to the great joy of the future Queen Mary who chased him down the touchline, three against Scotland in 1893.

The outside left scored both Sheffield Wednesday's goals in the 2-1 defeat of Wolves in the 1896 FA Cup Final at the Crystal palace. Forced by injury to stop playing at aged 36, Spiksley adventured out into the world. He acted with Charlie Chaplin, escaped from a German prison at the start of the First World War and later made the first 'talking' football training film for youngsters.

As a coach/manager he won titles in Sweden, Mexico, the USA and Germany, becoming the last Englishman to coach a German title-winning team with 1FC Nuremburg in 1927. He coached in Barcelona in 1932 and it was only after his involvement had exceeded 50 years, during which time, as this book explains, the game changed dramatically, did Spiksley's football career end. As an addicted gambler and womaniser, Spiksley had his problems away from football.

However, he was beloved by his football fans, including Herbert Chapman, the greatest manager of that era in English football who, towards the end of his life, picked him in his finest XI.

A full-time writer for over a decade, Mark Metcalf has written many books on football clubs and players, particularly prior to WWI, rediscovered numerous previously hidden football facts and organised a series of Professional Football Association plaques to former greats. An accomplished public speaker, he writes regularly for the Big Issue North magazine and Unite the Union.

Clive Nicholson is currently Head of Arts in a successful York secondary school, where he has taught Art & Design for sixteen years. At the age of 9 he discovered that Fred Spiksley is his Great Granduncle and has spent three decades researching and telling the story of his remarkable ancestor. Clive has collected hundreds of images and artefacts that provide a pictorial history of Spiksley's story, with many being used within this publication.


Fred Spiksley - History

Gainsborough&rsquos Fred Spiksley was one of the first working class youngsters in 1887 to live &lsquothe dream&rsquo of becoming a professional footballer, before later finding a role as a globe-trotting coach. He thus dodged the inevitability of industrial, poorly paid, dangerous labour.

Lightning fast, Spiksley created and scored hundreds of goals including, to the great joy of the future Queen Mary who chased him down the touchline, three against Scotland in 1893. The outside left scored both Sheffield Wednesday&rsquos goals in the 2-1 defeat of Wolves in the 1896 FA Cup Final at the Crystal palace.

Forced by injury to stop playing at aged 36, Spiksley adventured out into the world. He acted with Charlie Chaplin, escaped from a German prison at the start of the First World War and later made the first &lsquotalking&rsquo football training film for youngsters.

As a coach/manager he won titles in Sweden, Mexico, the USA and Germany, becoming the last Englishman to coach a German title-winning team with 1FC Nuremburg in 1927. He coached in Barcelona in 1932 and it was only after his involvement had exceeded 50 years, during which time, as this book explains, the game changed dramatically, did Spiksley&rsquos football career end.

As an addicted gambler and womaniser, Spiksley had his problems away from football. However, he was beloved by his football fans, including Herbert Chapman, the greatest manager of that era in English football who, towards the end of his life, picked him in his finest XI.

About The Author

Mark Metcalf is a freelance writer with a passion for football, especially the formative histories of northern teams. His recent work includes books on Manchester United, the 1960 FA Cup and Sunderland (he's a lifelong fan). Mark has also completed a biography of the Sunderland legend Stan Anderson.

Born in County Durham, Mark now resides in Halifax with his wife Ruth and two-year-old son Charlie. David Wood was born in Barnsley in 1963 and was first taken to Oakwell by his father in 1970. He has seen 'The Reds' play matches on 124 different grounds and now serves as Official Historian to the Club.

Married to Sarah, with a daughter, Rachel, David lives in Bedfordshire.

Clive Nicholson is currently Head of Arts in a successful York secondary school, where he has taught Art & Design for sixteen years. At the age of 9 he discovered that Fred Spiksley is his Great Granduncle and has spent three decades researching and telling the story of his remarkable ancestor. Clive has collected hundreds of images and artefacts that provide a pictorial history of Spiksley’s story, with many being used within this publication.


The Remarkable Story of Fred Spiksley: The First Working-Class Football Hero

Gainsborough&aposs Fred Spiksley was one of the first working class youngsters in 1887 to live &aposthe dream&apos of becoming a professional footballer, before later finding a role as a globe-trotting coach. He thus dodged the inevitability of industrial, poorly paid, dangerous labour.

Lightning fast, Spiksley created and scored hundreds of goals including, to the great joy of the fut Gainsborough's Fred Spiksley was one of the first working class youngsters in 1887 to live 'the dream' of becoming a professional footballer, before later finding a role as a globe-trotting coach. He thus dodged the inevitability of industrial, poorly paid, dangerous labour.

Lightning fast, Spiksley created and scored hundreds of goals including, to the great joy of the future Queen Mary who chased him down the touchline, three against Scotland in 1893. The outside left scored both Sheffield Wednesday's goals in the 2-1 defeat of Wolves in the 1896 FA Cup Final at the Crystal palace.

Forced by injury to stop playing at aged 36, Spiksley adventured out into the world. He acted with Charlie Chaplin, escaped from a German prison at the start of the First World War and later made the first 'talking' football training film for youngsters.

As a coach/manager he won titles in Sweden, Mexico, the USA and Germany, becoming the last Englishman to coach a German title-winning team with 1FC Nuremburg in 1927. He coached in Barcelona in 1932 and it was only after his involvement had exceeded 50 years, during which time, as this book explains, the game changed dramatically, did Spiksley's football career end.

As an addicted gambler and womaniser, Spiksley had his problems away from football. However, he was beloved by his football fans, including Herbert Chapman, the greatest manager of that era in English football who, towards the end of his life, picked him in his finest XI. . more


Fred Spiksley on Film

I mentioned Fred Spiksley here yesterday – he was one of the group of Edwardian football coaches and ex-players interned by Germany with John Cameron at Ruhleben near Berlin.

This group, plus Jack Reynolds, William Townley and Jimmy Hogan, pioneered the teaching of football, and had to go abroad to do it. Of these, Fred Pentland (Spain), Jimmy Hogan (Hungary and Austria) and Jack Reynolds (Holland) were undeniably excellent coaches who had remarkable careers and left considerable legacies.

Three out of that group is quite a high proportion. It’s worth bearing in mind that these men were self-selecting: not only did they have to regard teaching football as worthwhile, but they had to have the self-confidence and self-assurance to leave home for years on end, and, in most cases, to stay abroad even after the bitter experience of imprisonment during World War I.

That self-selection doesn’t include any factor about ability to coach. British football was looked up to by Europe’s small happy band of early adopters, and one suspects that any “name” from the Football League would have more than satisfied a club who were simply too far away to perform any kind of quality check upon their new gaffer.

It might be that outside of the great three of Pentland, Reynolds and Hogan, the others were pioneers merely by being where they were and doing what they were doing i.e. creating the idea of football as a sport to be learned and developed. Whether they were any good as coaches is impossible to tell – there are no contemporaries to compare them with, and hindsight is worthless given that they were breaking the ground for others.

But this brief film of Fred Spiksley coaching at Fulham in the early 1930s is interesting nonetheless. We are always being told, for instance, that street football taught skills that coaching cannot reach. Not much sign of that here. And then what of Spiksley himself? Is he any good?

Interesting to note that 1930s Fulham was also home to Jimmy Hogan for a while. They fired him, contemptuously, saying that professional footballers “didn’t need to be coached”, whilst Hogan was recuperating in hospital. For all that, to have both Spiksley and Hogan on board for part of the time hints at something important almost dawning on the club. Craven Cottage has always welcomed players of genuine skill and intelligence: was it close to taking the same attitude with its managers? Vic Buckingham, who discovered Johann Cruyff and almost won the double with West Brom in the 1950s, would be there later, and so would Bobby Robson. Fulham dealt both of them unusually unpleasant sackings too..

Here’s the film. Clearly, the film makers have insisted on an easy-to-shoot scenario, and Spiksley is having to shout for the microphone. And are the players camera-shy? The whole thing is very artificial. What do you think?


Karriere als Spieler

Frühe Karriere

Spiksley begann als Jugendlicher für die Gainsborough Jubilee Swifts zu spielen. Im Jahr 1887 erreichte er mit dieser Mannschaft das Halbfinale des Lincolnshire Junior Cup und beendete den Wettbewerb als bester Torschütze mit 31 Toren in sechs Spielen.

Am 19. März 1887 absolvierte er im Alter von 17 Jahren in einer Begegnung mit Notts Jardines sein erstes Spiel in der ersten Mannschaft von Gainsborough Trinity. Da er seinen Kapitän Billy Brown nach einem guten Lauf mit einem Pass versorgte hatte, war Spiksley am einzigen Tor der Mannschaft beteiligt, trotzdem ging das Spiel für Trinity mit 3-1 verloren. Während seiner ersten Saison bei Trinity erzielte er in 29 Spielen 31 Tore und war nach Jake Madden, der später für die Schottische Fu�llnationalmannschaft und für Celtic Glasgow spielte, der zweitbeste Torschütze der Mannschaft. Bei seinem ersten Spiel im FA Cup trug er auch zwei Treffer zum 7:0-Sieg ﲾr Boston Town bei, genauso im Finale des Gainsborough News Charity Cup. In seiner zweiten Saison erzielte er 28 Tore in 21 Spielen und war, trotz eines an seinem 19. Geburtstag erlittenen Beinbruchs in einem Spiel des Gainsborough News Charity Cup gegen The Wednesday, der beste Torschütze seiner Mannschaft der Saison 1888�. Während der Saison 1889/90 gewann Spiksley mit seiner Mannschaft Trinity zwei Pokale, zum einen den Lincolnshire F.A. Cup und zum anderen den Gainsborough News Charity Cup. Während der Saison 1890/91 gehörte er zu der bekannten Mannschaft von Trinity, die den Titel der Midland League gewann.

Sheffield Wednesday

Im Januar 1891 war er kurz vor einer Vertragsunterschrift beim FC Accrington, erbat sich aber noch eine Bedenkzeit zur Pr࿏ung des Vertrages. Während der Reise nach Accrington legte er in Sheffield einen Zwischenstopp ein und wurde von den beiden Vorständen John Holmes und Fred Thompson ﲾrzeugt, stattdessen bei Sheffield Wednesday zu unterschreiben. In der Folge blieb er die n์hsten elf Spielzeiten bei Wednesday und erzielte 100 Tore in 293 Ligaeinsätzen, dazu kamen weitere 14 Tore in 28 FA-Cup-Spielen seines Vereins. Im Pokalfinale 1896 erzielte er beim 2:1-Sieg Wednesdays ﲾr die Wolverhampton Wanderers beide Treffer. Neben den beiden Toren galt er mit seinen guten Spielzügen auch sonst als spielbeherrschendes Mannschaftsmitglied. Mit seinem Verein gewann er auch die English Second Division im Jahr 1900 und die English First Division im Jahr 1903.

Einsätze von Spiksley bei Sheffield Wednesday:

Saison 1891/92 1892/93 1893/94 1894/95 1895/96 1896/97 1897/98 1898/99 1899/1900 1900/01 1901/02 1902/03 TOTAL
Einsätze: 3 31 33 33 35 28 32 30 34 14 27 34 324
Tore: 2 18 16 10 13 10 17 3 10 4 5 8 116

Southern United

In der Saison 1905/06 wechselte Spiksley zur Mannschaft von Southern United in London, die in der Southern League Division 2 spielte.

Spiele für die englische Nationalmannschaft

Spiksley gehörte siebenmal zum Aufgebot der englischen Nationalmannschaft und erzielte sieben Tore. Beim Gewinn der British Home Championship in den Jahren 1893 und 1898 gehörte er zum Team. Im Jahr 1893 erzielte er bei seinem ersten Einsatz in der Nationalmannschaft beim 6:0-Erfolg gegen die walisische Fu�llnationalmannschaft drei Treffer. Zu den anderen Torschützen des Tages gehörten Jack Reynolds und John Goodall. Weitere drei Tore erzielte er beim 5:2-Sieg gegen die Schottische Fu�llnationalmannschaft. Sein siebtes Tor im dritten Spiel erzielte er beim 2:2-Unentschieden im Jahr 1894 gegen die irische Fu�llnationalmannschaft. Zu seinen Mannschaftskameraden bei diesem Einsatz gehörten Steve Bloomer und Ernest Needham. Am 14. März 1903 traf Spiksley einmal beim 3:0-Sieg des Englischen Meisters der English League XI Sheffield Wednesday ﲾr den Schottischen Meister der Scottish League XI im Celtic Park.

Für die Gesamtzahl der von Spiksley für die Nationalmannschaft erzielten Tore werden von verschiedenen Quellen unterschiedliche Zahlen genannt. In seinem Buch 50 Years of Football 1895� zählt Sir Frederick Wall, der Sekretär des englischen Fu�llverbandes im Jahr 1893 Spiksley einen Hattrick in der Begegnung mit Schottland zu. bei seinem ersten Länderspiel wurde das letzte Tor des 6:0-Sieges ﲾr Wales in den Spielberichten der meisten Zeitungen, darunter auch der The Times und der Athletic News, nie einem bestimmten Spieler offiziell zugeordnet, daher wurde das Tor wohl falsch gezählt. Einige Zeitungen, darunter der Guardian, zählten es mit und schrieben es Spiksley zu. Spiksley selbst hat immer angegeben, in seinem ersten Einsatz für die Nationalelf einen Hattrick erzielt zu haben, ebenso wie in seinem zweiten Spiel gegen Schottland.

Einsätze von Spiksley für die englische Nationalmannschaft:

Datum: 13. März 1893 1. April 1893 3. März 1894 7. April 1894 7. März 1896 28. März 1898 2. April 1898
Gegner: Wales Schottland Irland Schottland Irland Wales Schottland
Ergebnis: 6:0 5:2 2:2 2:2 2:0 3:0 3:1


Flying Over an Olive Grove - The Remarkable Story of Fred Spiksley A Flawed Football Hero

Flying Over An Olive Grove is the first great working-class football story. Born at a unique moment in the history of the beautiful game, Fred Spiksley was amongst a new wave of teenagers who from 1885 onwards could aspire to be a professional footballer and dodge the inevitability of industrial labour. He became the first player to score a hat-trick against Scotland and i Flying Over An Olive Grove is the first great working-class football story. Born at a unique moment in the history of the beautiful game, Fred Spiksley was amongst a new wave of teenagers who from 1885 onwards could aspire to be a professional footballer and dodge the inevitability of industrial labour. He became the first player to score a hat-trick against Scotland and in 1896 he guided Sheffield Wednesday to FA Cup glory with 4 goals and 8 assists during the cup run. His first goal in the final is considered by some to be the fastest ever goal in FA Cup final history.

At his peak he was the fastest winger in England and possessed total ball control. He was a player with such ability that he was able to take his club and country to the pinnacle of football during an era where his slender frame did not suit the rough treatment that was often meted out to him. With Fred Spiksley on the field no match was ever lost. Even with two broken ribs, he had the pluck and tenacity to remain on the field and score the winning goal in an epic FA Cup tie at Olive Grove, the ground where he made his name 'the Olive Grove Flyer'. He scored over 300 career goals and won every major honour in the game, and holds the record for the highest goals-to-game ratio of any winger in the history of English football. His fame extended around the World as he became the first professional footballer to coach across three continents. In Europe he managed the Swedish national team and guided 1FC Nuremberg to the German Championship in 1927.

Football presented Fred Spiksley, a small lad from the backstreets of Lincolnshire, with a lifetime of adventure. He would be chased along the touchline by the future Queen of England, share the stage with Charlie Chaplin and in 1914 escape from a German prison. An addicted gambler and self confessed womaniser, Fred Spiksley's character meant that he was not always the hero off the pitch that he was on it. Flying Over An Olive Grove brings Fred Spiksley's remarkable but long forgotten story to a new audience and contains a superb collection of images, including the earliest known photograph of an international goal being scored. . more


Fred Spiksley

Flying Over An Olive Grove is the first great working-class footballer story. Born at a unique moment in the history of the beautiful game, Fred Spiksley was amongst a new wave of teenagers who, in 1885, could aspire to be a professional footballer and dodge the inevitability of industrial labour. He became the first player to score a hat-trick against Scotland and in 1896 he guided Sheffield Wednesday to FA Cup glory with 4 goals and 8 assists. His first goal in the final is considered by some to be the fastest ever goal in FA Cup final history.

Flying Over An Olive Grove

At his peak he was the fastest winger in England and possessed total ball control. He was a player with such ability that he was able to take his club and country to the pinnacle of football during an era where his slender frame did not suit the rough treatment that was often meted out to him. With Fred Spiksley on the field no match was ever lost. Even with two broken ribs, he had the pluck and tenacity to remain on the field and score the winning goal in an epic FA Cup tie at Olive Grove, the ground where he made his name ‘the Olive Grove Flyer’. He scored over 300 career goals and won every major honour in the game, and holds the record for the highest goals- to-game ratio of any winger in the history of English football. His fame extended around the World as he became the first professional footballer to coach across three continents. In Europe alone, he managed the Swedish national team and guided1FC Nuremberg to the German Championship in 1927.

Football presented Fred Spiksley, a small lad from the backstreets of Lincolnshire, with a lifetime of adventure. He would share the stage with Charlie Chaplin, escape from a German prison in 1914 and be chased along the touchline by the future Queen of England. An addicted gambler and self confessed womaniser, Fred Spiksley’s character meant that he was not always the hero off the pitch that he was on it. Flying Over An Olive Grove aims to bring Fred Spiksley’s remarkable but long forgotten story to a new audience and contains a superb collection of images, including the earliest know photograph of an international goal being scored.

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