The Secretaries:

R Wright (1901-1904)

H Brooks (1904-1908)

W. L. French (1908-1927)

The first set of minutes that we possess record a ‘General Meeting’ held at the Osborne Hotel on 4th September 1901. The first page of this Minute Book is reproduced. This was, in fact, a meeting of representatives of schools with teams in the League; such meetings were held monthly, though the Minute Book also records Committee meetings and meetings of the Sports Committee for we have to remember that it refers to BSAA which dealt not only with football (though that was its main concern) but also with the Park Avenue Sports and, for a year or two, as we shall see, with rugby also.

The committee of the Association at this time consisted of Messrs. W. Heaton (President), F. Hickling (Vice President), R. Wright (Secretary) H.S.S. Long (Treasurer),  Woodhead, Charlesworth, Law, Barker, Kenyon, Pearson, Brunt, Shorter, Crowther, and Marriner.

At this particular meeting it was reported that 17 schools had joined for the present season; they were divided into two divisions, as follows:

Division one: Belle Vue, Hanson, Whetley Lane, Usher Street, Carlton Street, Commercial, ,Lilycroft, Barkerend, Fairweather Green, and Lorne Street.

Division Two: St James’s, Ryan Street, Parish Church, Drummond Road, Highfield, Horton National, and Wapping.

Subsequently Horton Board School were admitted to Division One and Fairweather Green were transferred to Division Two (which they won).

Fixtures were to commence on 14th September and were listed in the Minutes.

The Minutes also contain a list of some 15 - 20 referees of whom five (Messrs. Law, Wright, Hickling, Barker and Pearson) were members of the Committee

It was also decided:

a) that a football be presented to each school joining;

b) that copies of rules and the Laws of Association be forwarded to all ‘clubs’.


The Rugby Section


Though as we have seen, ‘soccer’ had replaced rugby as the major school game, there was still a great deal of interest in rugby in schools and this interest manifested itself in the attempt to form a Rugby Section of BSAA.

There was already a schools’ organisation organised by the Northern Rugby Union and 14 schools took part in its cup competition - Green Lane, Carlton Street, Hanson, Usher Street, Lilycroft, Wapping , Ryan Street, Belle Vue, St Mary’s, Lorne Street, St Paul’s, Barkerend, Whetley Lane and Dudley Hill.

On 6th February 1903, a Special General Meeting was held at the request of Messrs H.W Law (Ryan Street), W.H. Sykes (Wapping), H. Brooks (Highfield), D. Woodhead (Parish Church) and E. H. Hall (Barkerend) “.....  to discuss the attitude to be taken by our Association with regard to the introduction of the Rugby code”.    Sixteen teachers attended the meeting, which passed two resolutions:

1. That this meeting agrees to assist the supporters of the Rugby code in schools in the best possible spirit and will assist them on every convenient occasion in their proposed cup competition for the present season;     and

2. That immediately after the cup competition, a General Meeting is called for our Association to decide which code is recommended at the AGM to be adopted.

The Rugby cause was pressed by a deputation from the Bradford club, consisting of Messrs. Briggs, Lister and Hoyle, which attended the Committee Meeting on 8th April 1903.

The Yorkshire Sports had something to say on the Soccer v Rugby controversy in schools; in its issue of 17th January 1903, it commented on    ”..... the gradual but none the less sure decline in public interest in the great winter pastime.... ” i.e. Rugby, while, writing of the proposed schools’ rugby competition, it remarked that   ”.... schools are determined to have nothing to do with the thing at all preferring to stick to the Association game as the more suitable for boys of school age and more suitable to the wishes of their parents...”

At the 1903 AGM the matter was discussed further and it was finally resolved that “.... a section of Rugby be added to our Association” after two conflicting resolutions, one that our Association for the following season be changed from the Association code to the Rugby code, the other that, the Association remain as per rules (i.e. played Soccer), were lost.

At the AGM on 22nd May it was announced that  ”... the following schools decided to play under the Association code next season:  Ryan Street, Carlton Street, Commercial, Great Horton,  National, Highfield, Belle Vue, Undercliffe, Wapping, Hanson, Lidget Green, Barkerend, Carlton Street, Whetley Lane, Fairweather Green, Great Horton Board, Drummond Road and Green Lane.

The others under the Rugby code were:

Usher Street, Lilycroft, Parish Church, St Paul’s, Lorne Street, St Mary’s, and Woodroyd.

Hanson and Belle Vue in fact, elected to play under both codes.
A Sub Committee was formed to draw up the rules of the Rugby section.

At a subsequent Meeting, on August 2nd, it was agreed that a set of medals and a Trophy be awarded to the Rugby Section League Competition.

There was some controversy in September when the Secretary of the Rugby Association intimated that the Rugby Association would form a separate Association from ‘our Association’. This letter prompted the Committee to ask the Rugby ‘clubs’ if they intended to withdraw from the Association.  At the General Meeting on September 18th it was resolved   “... that it be taken for granted that the Rugby Section of this Association (BSAA) have resigned their membership from the SFA....”  It was further resolved, “ ... that the resignation of Mr. Woodhead and Mr Bennett (both at Rugby playing schools) is accepted.”

It is obvious that the Committee did not regard this breach as permanent, for, at the Meeting on 10th February 1904, a set of rules was drawn up for submission to the Rugby Section  ”... conditional on the union of Rugby clubs with our Association.” These were incorporated in the rules approved by the AGM on 18th May 1904 viz

Now that the Association (BSAA) consisted of two sections it was necessary to provide medals for the Rugby League and cup competitions as well as for the Association shields and cup; however, as the NRU had provided medals for the winners of the Rugby shield, the BSAA was able to reduce its order accordingly.

During the early months of 1905 the Yorkshire Sports reported that “the Schools’ Rugby Section and the Association section are working smoothly together” and that “... every week matches are raking place under both codes.”

At the 1906 AGM it was reported that Bradford had won the Yorkshire Shield (Rugby) and that St Mary’s were the Yorkshire Schools’ Champions.

At this meeting Mr D. Woodhead (Parish Church), the nominee of the Rugby Section, was elected Vice-President of the Association.

In the following season 1906 / 1907 it was reported that St Mary’s had again won the Yorkshire Schools’ competition but that Bradford had lost to Hull in the second round of the county competition.

The 1907 AGM however, saw the demise of the Rugby Section; it is fairly obvious that the apparent “.... sweetness and light” in the relations between the two sections concealed a good deal of tension and this surfaced at this Meeting, when it was resolved  “... that all words relating to the two sections be deleted.”

At this point Mr. Woodhead, President - Elect under the existing agreement, left the room and although he was nominated as President, Mr. A. L. Bolton was elected. Moreover, Mr. Bennett (Lilycroft), the Treasurer, and a Rugby protagonist, was replaced by Mr. R. A. Pearson, and Messrs. Lodge and Baldwin of the Rugby section lost their places on the committee, which was reduced in number to 7 in number.

“A night of ‘the long knives’ indeed!

In the Association’s rules for 1907 / 1908, though the BSAA is described as a ‘Combination of schools for the playing of Association and Rugby football’, there is no further mention of the latter.

As a tail - piece to these proceedings we read in the Minutes of the on 11thJuly 1913 that, in reply to a letter from the Secretary of the NRU Junior League, a letter be sent stating “ ... that at present we have no demand for Rugby football in schools.”

So BSAA reverted to being an Association, which simply ran Association football and the Park Avenue Sports, which sustained it. Needless to say Rugby continued to be played in Bradford schools, but not, for a long time under the aegis of BSAA.


Representative Matches


In the 1901 / 1902 season, of course, there were no organised inter - Association competitions, representative games being limited to a small number of ‘friendly’ matches.

Ironically enough, the first reference we have in the Minutes to a representative game appears in a resolution, at a meeting on 2nd October 1901, to the effect that “... the invitation of the Leeds Schools’ Football Association be not accepted re. the Yorkshire Schools Cup Competition”.    Indeed, though the Bradford Association had been chided in the Yorkshire Sports for its apparent tardiness in arranging inter-city games, there was a very real problem in the varying age limits imposed by different Association. As we shall see, this problem was to continue for some time yet.

Finance was now, due to the income assured by the Park Avenue Sports, not an obstacle to the arrangement of a modest programme of inter-city matches, and on 26th October 1901 the Committee resolved “ ... to intimate to Leeds that this match is under consideration, to forward a copy of our rules and if they will come to our age-limit, will try to obtain a ground and make all arrangements.”

At the same time Halifax were to be approached for a game, while the Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer were to make enquiries about grounds.

At the Committee Meeting on 11th December 1901 it was reported that both Leeds and Halifax had agreed to our terms and that a Trial Match had been arranged for 21st December at Horton Park. Following this trial a ‘probable’ City team was selected as follows:

Jefferson (Whetley Lane), Mahoney (Hanson), Silson (Carlton Street), Barber (Belle Vue), Hudson (Whetley Lane), Cottom (Belle Vue), Noble (Belle Vue), May (Barkerend), Ward (Whetley Lane), Worsnop (Lorne Street), Silson (Belle Vue).

Messrs. Charlesworth and Saxon were appointed to train the team and tram expenses were allowed to boys who have to travel some distance

A further trial was held at Horton Park on Shrove Tuesday 1902 (a school holiday in those days) and it was decided that all players who played in the City team would be photographed and would receive a memento of some sort.

The first City game of the season was played at Halifax, on 22nd February 1902, and was won by the home side by 2 goals to nil. The team was that named above, except that Harker (Belle Vue) replaced May.

Meanwhile steps were taken to organise the home game with Leeds; it was resolved that “... Mr Brunt approach the Committee of the Bradford and District FA with regard to obtaining the use of Valley Parade and Park Avenue for March 15th and March 22nd and report terms for use, etc., at the next Committee Mmeeting.”

Permission was obtained to play at Valley Parade on March 15th;boys were to be admitted at 1d each, tickets being sold in schools.

The result was a 3 - 2 win to the visitors.

As compared with the team that had played Halifax, Joyce (Drummond) replaced Barber; Ward and Hudson had left school and were replaced by Clegg (Carlton Street), and Summerscales (Parish Church). Harker and Noble were the scorers.

Tea was provided, at Belle Vue School, Manningham Lane, by the Co-op, for 50 people at 9d per head.

At the subsequent Committee Meeting it was decided that each player should be presented with a team photograph.

The third and final inter-city game of the season was a return game with Halifax played at Bowling Back Lane on 26th April and won by Bradford by 3 goals to 1. The team on this occasion was: Jefferson, Mahoney, Barber, Cottam, Layte (Fairweather Green), Silson, Harker, Watson (Hanson), Summerscales and Naylor (Whetley Lane).

There was only one game I the 1902 / 1903 season, against Leeds on 14th March 1903, on the Holbeck NU ground at Elland Road. Leeds were 2 - 0 winners. The game attracted 1500 spectators. The Yorkshire Sports singled out Jefferson, the Bradford goalkeeper, as their best player and Summerscales as “... a rattling good forward”. The Bradford team for this match was:
Jefferson, Walker (Hanson), Briggs (Carlton Street Commercial), Mannifield (Whetley Lane), Fieldsend (Hanson), Tetley (Belle Vue), Broadbent, Whiteoak (both Whetley Lane),  Illingworth (Hanson) Harker,  and Summerscales.

The first inter-city game of the 1903 / 1904 season took place at Valley Parade on 21st November 1903. Bolton were the visitors and they were beaten 5 - 0. The winning team was:
Jefferson, Smith (Carlton Street), Walker, Barraclough, (Barkerend), Clayton (Hanson), Stowell (Ryan Street), Naylor, Whiteoak, Broadbent (all Whetley Lane), Harker and Gibson (Hanson). The scorers were Whiteoak (2), Broadbent(2) and Naylor.

After Christmas matches were played against Leeds on 5th March 1904, against Bolton on 15th March and against Grimsby on 9th April, all at Valley Parade. The results were Bradford 3 Leeds 2 (“... our first win in six years”): Bradford 3 v. Bolton 4, scorers Gibson (2) and Broadbent:, Bradford 1 v. Grimsby1 scorer: Broadbent.

The team against Leeds was:
Daykin (Fairweather Green), Walker, Smith, Clayton, Stowell, Barraclough, Broadbent, Whiteoak, Naylor, Harker, and Gibson. In the Bolton game, Naylor played at centre-half and his place at centre – forward was taken by Cockeram (Whetley Lane).

Against Grimsby the team was:
Daykin, Briggs, (Carlton Street Commercial), Smith, Naylor, Barraclough, Fieldsend, Broadbent, Whiteoak, Cockerham, Harker, Gibson


The English Schools’ Shield


An important step in schools football was taken in 1904, with the introduction of what came to be known as the English Schools’ Trophy Competition.

The Minutes of the meeting on 5th October 1904 report the receipt of “... an invitation to join the National Cup Competition (NUT)”. The letter was referred to the Association Sub - committee. At a subsequent meeting on the 11th October it was resolved “.... that we enter the competition provided that the rules be amended to fall into line with our own in regard to age and that we stand to lose nothing on the venture” a typical Yorkshire reply combining robustness and caution.

It was also resolved that the Secretary Harold Brooks, should be empowered to attend the forthcoming meeting in Birmingham to consider the question. Thirteen Associations were represented at the meeting at The Birmingham Athletic Institute and the representatives agreed to form an “Elementary Schools’ Football Association” and to organise a Charity Shield Competition, a shield having been presented by the National Union of Teachers.

Mr. Brooks reported on this meeting at the Committee Meeting on 18th November, when it was resolved “ ... that we affiliate to the National Competition”, at a subsequent Meeting on 17th November the draw was announced.

An inter-city game had already been played at Valley Parade against Bolton on 29th October resulting in a 1 - 3 defeat (scorer: Newton) The team that played was: Stockdale (Hanson), Wilkinson and Laycock (both Wapping), Catherall (Belle Vue), Isherwood (Fairweather Green), Newton (Barkerend), Gibson (Hanson, Thompson and Whiteoak (both Whetley Lane) Haigh (Drummond) and Wishart (Barkerend). Whiteoak was playing in the City side for the third year.

With the trophy Competition in view, and with a defeat against Bolton behind them the committee organised a series of trials, the first of which was held at Horton Park on 23rd December “ ... before a numerous company of teachers.” (Yorkshire Sports). Further trials were held at Manningham Park on 28th December and at Horton Park again on January 6th 1905, a “... recommended side” being then selected. This became the official City side at the committee meeting on January 11th.

The meeting also heard that E.S.F.A. had accepted “... our terms and arrangements with Bradford City as being very satisfactory.”

The Secretary’s action in inviting the full co-operation of the Benevolent and Orphan Committee of the local branch of the N.U.T. was endorsed.

Our opponents in our first-ever English Trophy game were to be York and permission to play at Valley Parade on January 21, 1905.   ????????

The pre-match meal was arranged for the Co-op Café; tea arrangements were left over for the moment. Tickets were to be printed and ‘pushed’ as much as possible. Stewards were appointed and the importance of conscientious stewarding was emphasised, as there had been complaints from the ‘City’ authorities at the Bolton game.

The existence of 8 foot goal posts at Valley Parade presented a problem as 6 foot posts were used in school matches; York were asked whether they preferred to have stiff canvas placed over the space between 6 and 8 feet, a bar at 6 feet or tape at that height.

The importance of the production of birth - certificates was emphasised! It was decided that they should be obtained at once and, where boys were unable to get them themselves, the Committee would purchase them and retain them.

There was an emergency Committee Meeting on January 18th to make last minute alterations to the arrangements, the meals being taken at the ‘Silver Grill’.

Details of the team and scorers appear, as does much of the information in Appendix Two

There was a full description of the match in the Yorkshire Sports on the evening of January 21st and this is reproduced. Whiteoak was the leading light in Bradford’s 6 - 0 win, scoring three times, but the Sports, nominated Wishart as the outstanding player; the diminutive right - winger was always active and ever made the best use of all the opportunities which went his way.

Victory against York gave Bradford a second home game against Sunderland. This was also played at Valley Parade, on February 18th. The City club agreed to grant the Association half the gate-money and gave permission for tickets to be sold outside the ground on the previous Saturday (the match against Glossop).

Some 800 spectators were present at the start of the match, increasing to about 4,000 by the interval. The pitch was described as ‘soft’. Bradford dominated the first half “... pegging away at the Sunderland goal”, but they only managed a single goal, scored by Whiteoak. The second half saw the visitors press continuously, but Bradford broke away and were rewarded with a goal by Holden, Sunderland remained on the attack, managing however only one goal. Once again the press singled out Wishart for special praise; he “...  twice dribbled the whole length of the stand and played a magnificent game throughout, being without doubt the best forward on the field”.

The atmosphere in which this game was played seems to have left something to be desired. The Sunderland officials put forward “... a frivolous objection to the tapes” that were used, and subsequently, when they presented their “... little bill for £8-11s-11d, it was considered “... exorbitant” and the Bradford Committee referred the claim to the E.S.F.A., with what result we do not know.

The third round brought the powerful Sheffield side to Valley Parade on March 18th, not for the last time, it put paid to Bradford’s hopes. (Indeed there were to be six meetings between the Associations before Bradford recorded their first win in season 1923/1924.)

This particular game however was a very close one, Sheffield winning by 3 goals to 2. “... Fine weather favoured the fixture and a large crowd gathered at the ground.” In the first half “ ruled mostly in the visitors’ territory” and Greenwood gave Bradford the lead “....after a short movement in front of the Sheffielders goal. Following this Sheffield pressed the home defence hard and Stockdale was brought into continual action; just before half-time Sheffield equalised. Gibson restored the lead early in the second-half and the home team were palpably the superior of the two sets and were certain winners could they only manage to keep their form.”   This, unfortunately they were unable to do, and Sheffield fought back to equalise again and then in the last few moments, to score the decisive goal.

As a matter of interest Sheffield were to reach the Final of the Trophy this season where they were beaten by London.

After the Trophy campaign Bradford played one more inter-city game, beating Grimsby away 3 - 2 on April 8th.

In the following season, 1905/1906 there were only two Trophy games. Leeds came to Valley Parade on November 25th and were beaten by two clear goals before about 2,000 spectators. Half-time was called without any score being registered, ”.... but goals from Mitchell and Dobson in the second-half gave the home team victory.” This success earned Bradford the right to visit Sheffield in the 3rd Round, but against a strong Sheffield side, which went on to win theTrophy, where they were beaten 1-4. Bradford were not happy about the arrangements for this match, particularly about the appointment as referee of a Sheffield “supporter”. The Secretary was instructed to take the matter up with E.S.F.A.

There were four friendly games this season, all away from home. On Boxing Day we played Bolton at Burnden Park with the following team: Hall (Whetley Lane,) Rawlings (Drummond Rd.), Noble (Carlton Street), Licence (Whetley Lane,) Wade (Drummond Rd.), Spencer (Wapping), Mitchell (Hanson), Dobson (Whetley Lane), Dobson (Barkerend), Gilligan (Hanson), Tetlow (Whetley Lane,).

Hall took over in goal at the last minute when Breaks, the selected goalkeeper, had the misfortune to sprain his ankle on arriving at the station. The game resulted in 5 - 3 win after Bradford was behind 2 - 3 down at half time. The scorers were Dobson (Barkerend)3, Mitchell and Gilligan.

In the new year there were games against Leicester on March 24th: (this was lost 1 - 4, Hall scoring Bradford’s goal from the penalty spot); against York on Easter Monday:(this resulted in a draw 2 - 2, Bottomley and Slater being the scorers); and against Leeds on April 14th at Elland Road, (this also resulting in a 2 - 2 draw, with Mitchell and Dodson scoring.


Back To Friendlies


Before the 1906 / 1907 season began, the Association had decided not to take part in that seasons English Shield competition. The decision to this effect was taken at a Committee Meeting on May 9th 1906, the voting being 7 – 6. It was alleged that the game did not tend to raise the quality of schools’ football, unpleasant incidents marring the good feeling of matches and financial losses being the ground for complaint.

Thus the programme for the season comprised six inter - city games, five of which were won. The first of these was against Leeds at Valley Parade on November 17th, the match being abandoned owing to weather conditions, with the score 0 - 1.The Bradford team on this occasion was: Greenwood (Barkerend), Whiteley (Whetley Lane), Collins (Hanson), Hudson (Whetley Lane), Hall (Fairweather Green), Dobson (Whetley Lane), Broadbent (Hanson), Turton (Fairweather Green) Norton (Carlton Street), Waddington (Fairweather Green) and Slater (Barkerend).

The following week the City team visited Leicester and recorded a convincing 6 - 0 victory; the team was the same as had played against Leeds. The first match in the new year was against Grimsby at Valley Parade on March 2nd; there were inevitable changes in the team owing to boys having left school at Christmas:  Greenwood, Whiteley, Collins, Hudson, Sowden (Barkerend), Day (Barkerend), Broadbent, Dewhirst (Whetley Lane), Dobson, Bastow (Barkerend), and Slater.

Another victory, by 3 goals to nil, was recorded. Bastow, Dewhirst and Slater were scorers.

April 6th saw Bolton at Valley Parade, where the same team recorded a 4 - 0 win. The scorers were Bastow, Broadbent, Slater and an own-goal. Greenwood distinguished himself by saving two penalties.

York were the visitors to Valley Parade on April 20th  , and they were beaten 4 - 2. There were one or two changes in the team for this game, Dobson taking over at centre-half instead of Sowden, Cawthra (Fairweather Green) replacing Bradbent at right wing and Rawlings (Drummond Road) coming in at centre forward. The scorers were Dewhirst (3) and Bastow.
The final game of the season was a return game against Grimsby on April 27th and this resulted in a 2 - 0 win. Thus the seasons record was, Played 6, Won 5, Goals 20 - 3. The Bradford Daily Telegraph commented, “... There has been an array of capital players above the ordinary merit and I think this years City team will take some beating.”

There was another long discussion as to whether or not the Association should re-enter the English Schools’ League at the Committee Meeting of 26th July 1907 and “... the financial aspect” not meeting with the approval of the members as a whole, the Committee (by 3 votes to 2) recommended that the Association did not join E.S.F.A.

Once again, therefore, the 1907 / 1908 programme consisted of friendly matches, and the results were “ ...very poor, compared with last seasons’ brilliant record”, only four goals being scored in five matches. The season opened with a match against Leeds at Valley Parade on 5th November before Bradford City’s home game; “ ...there were 7 or 8 thousand spectators when Bradford’s centre-forward Rawlings started off.”

According to the Yorkshire Sports there was not much difference between the capabilities of the two teams. “... The lads all played hard, but they were at a big disadvantage on account of the size of the ground,” and the game ended in a 0 - 0 draw. The team that played was: Greenwood, Whiteley, Collins, Butler (Whetley Lane), Sowden, Robertshaw (Fairweather Green), Cawthra, Dewhirst, Rawlings, Oates (Carlton Street), and Derwent (Belle Vue).>

The Minute Book gives us a brief insight into the financial arrangements for an inter-city game at this time:

562 tickets were sold, bringing in £7- 0 -6d, of which £1 - 0 - 6d was handed over to the City club.
As expenses totalled £3 -10 - 5d, there was a net profit of £1-17- 9d.

There was some unpleasantness at this match as, “.... a large number of visiting teachers attended and were bent on seeing the match for free”.   It was proposed that Leeds be written to, stating that “ ... we consider the action of the visitors unkind and not the thing” but a more placatory amendment “... to let matters rest until the Valley Parade directors offered serious objection to the large numbers, and so prevent discord between Leeds and Bradford” was passed.
The return game with Leeds was played on the 16th November; the following team did duty: Greenwood, Whiteley, Collins, Sowden, Silson (Fairweather Green), Derwent, Dewhirst, Rawlings, Towler (Drummond Road), and Smith (Fairweather Green).
There is a rather sad footnote to the selection of this team, for at the Committee Meeting on 11th October it was reported that Robertshaw of Fairweather Green, who had played in the first Leeds game, was “very ill”;  the Committee decide “... to show its sympathy by making a grant, to be left to Mr. French to spend, upon such support as he deems necessary.”

The next inter-city game, against Bolton, was played at Park Avenue on the following Saturday, and the use of this ’new’ venue necessitated not only the provision of a suitable set of goalposts but also arrangements for the admission of the teams and officials.

Meals (Dinner at 1s - 6d for adults and 1s - 3d for boys, and Teas 1s - 0d all round) were arranged at the Hotel Metropole. The team was: Greenwood, Whiteley, Collins, Parkinson (St John’s), Butler, Blackburn (Barkerend), Dobson (Whetley Lane), Morrell (Belle Vue), McGlenn (St Joseph’s), Smith, and Towler.

The receipts for this game were £3 - 19s - 0d and the expenses £7 - 1s - 2d, but the loss was counterbalanced by a £6 guarantee from Park Avenue.

There was some difficulty in arranging further inter-city games and, in fact, there was not another until 14th March 1908 when the ‘Boys’ visited York, gaining a 3 - 0 win; the team showed one or two changes viz. Greenwood, Smith (Green Lane), Collins, Parkinson, Blackburn, Metcalfe (Drummond Road), Dobson, Morrell, Towler, Moriarty (Woodroyd), and Smith.

The final inter-city game was against Grimsby at Valley Parade on 4th April and this resulted in a 0 - 0 draw. The team on this occasion was: Greenwood, Collins, Parkinson, Clegg (Belle Vue), Bell and Graham (both Barkerend), Dobson, Morrell, Robinson (Whetley Lane), Towler and Smith.

This match was part of a Peter O’Rourke’s benefit and the player “... consented to present the City boys with a gold medal as a memento of the event”.

A return game with Grimsby had to be cancelled “... regretfully” as it proved impossible to make suitable travel arrangements.

The question of rejoining the English Schools’ Competition was again discussed at the 1908 AGM and it was again decided not to join.

Seven inter-city games are recorded in season 1908/1909. The season began with two games, at Leeds on 24th October and at Bolton on 7th November. The same team did duty in both matches, drawing 3 - 3 with Leeds but losing 1 - 5 at Bolton: Fox (Whetley Lane), Davis (Fairweather Green), Sadler and Rawlings (both Fairweather Green), Graham and Ellwood both (Barkerend), Whitham (Drummond Road), Smith (Barkerend), Robertshaw (Hanson) Rawlings (Drummond Road), Stead ((Fairweather Green)).

The return game with Leeds, played at Valley Parade on 30th January 1909 produced a 3 -1 win; there were two changes in the team, Fitton playing at centre-half and Jenkinson (Wapping) at left wing.

Bolton came to Valley Parade on 27th February and a game in which defences dominated ended in a 0 - 0-draw. The team that played was: Fox, Higgins (Barkerend), Heap (Carlton Street), Rollinson, Sadler, Ellwood, Whittam, Rawlings, Robinson (Hanson), Walmsley (Barkerend), Jenkinson.

On March 20th a game was played against Otley and the following team was taken: which won, 5 goals to 1: Fox, Mallinson (Wyke), Heap, Davis (Fairweather Green), Sadler, Rollinson, Whittam, Hodgson (Barkerend), Robertshaw, Ellwood, and Gardener (Lorne Street).

The season began with two games away on successive days, both against ‘fresh’ opposition. Keighley, who were played on Easter Tuesday 13th April, (score 3 - 0) were to become regular opponents, whereas Lancaster and Morecambe, our opponents on the following day (score 0 - 1) were not met again for many years. The Minutes comment on this game ”... we lost at Morecambe by 1 - 0 owing, no doubt to having to take the field under unusual conditions - full size ball and posts.

The teams for these games were: v. Keighley:  Stansfield (Barkerend), Whittaker (Drummond Road), Higgins (Barkerend), Wooller (Drummond Road), Sands and Warnett both (Barkerend), Baxter (Carlton Street), Ingle (Wyke), Hughes (Ryan Street), Gardner (Lorne Street), and Wilkinson (Whetley Lane);    and v. Lancaster and Morecambe: Fox, Davis, Heap, Rollinson, Sadler, Green (Drummond Road), Whittam, Gatenby (Whetley Lane), Robertshaw, Ellwood, Stead.

Friendlies continued in the 1909 / 1910 season, ten such games being played.

The first of these was at Leeds on the 23rd October, a game to mark the opening of the Oldfield Road ground, the home of Leeds SFA ever since. The Bradford team chose to mark the occasion in a somewhat unneighbourly manner by administering an 8 - 0 defeat on their hosts.

The successful team was: Stansfield, Davis, Pickles (Belle Vue), Wooller, Ashforth (Wapping), Aspinall and Sefton both (Whetley Lane), Pickles (Barkerend), Robertshaw and Leeds both (Hanson), Stead.

For this match Bradford turned out in a new strip,”... royal-blue jerseys and white pants.”

This successful ‘outing’ was followed by another good win against Bolton at Valley Parade on 6th November. The team was the same as had played at Leeds and although Bolton held us to 1 - 1 in the first-half, we did “... pretty much as we liked in the second half”, adding four goals without reply to win 5 - 1. Robertshaw (3), Pickles and an own goal were the scorers.

Park Avenue was the scene of the next inter-city game and Halifax were the hapless victims. There was one change to the team, Bradley (Barkerend), coming in at inside-left.

The margin was 10 - 1 and Robertshaw helped himself to six of them, the first four in succession “... amid frantic cheers from the fine crowd of schoolboys present.” (Bradford Daily Telegraph) Bradley and Pickles also contributed goals.

Keighley paid their first visit to Valley Parade on 22nd January 1910 and were beaten by 6 goals to 1; only one of the goals came in the first half through Bradley, but in the second, five more came, with Keighley getting one. Bradley completed his hat trick and Robertshaw (2) and Pickles contributed other goals.

The successful team was: Stansfield, Davis, Woollier, Halliday (Drummond Road), Ashforth, Aspinall, Greenwood (Wyke), Pickles, Robertshaw, Bradley, Stead.

The return game with Halifax came next on 8th February;  Pickles (Belle Vue) returned at left back, Wooller moved to right half, replacing Halliday, Hudson (Belle Vue) came in at right wing, Bradley moved to centre forward in the absence of Robertshaw, and Brain (Horton) came in at inside left. I have found no record of the result.

On 12th February the City team travelled to Dewsbury and further adjustments to the side were made, the team being: Stansfield, Davis, Higgins (Drummond Road), Wilkinson (Marshfield), Ashforth, Aspinall, Dobson, and Dearing (Barkerend), Moore (Whetley Lane), Bradley, Gray (Ryan Street).

The game resulted in a 3 - 1 win for Bradford.

Then on 5th March, came the return match with Leeds (prior to the City v Aston Villa game), which produced a surprise result and some recriminations. In view of Bradford’s 8 - 1 win at Leeds earlier in the season, the result, a 1 - 0 win for Leeds was something of a surprise. It was a good game,” ... undoubtedly the finest boys game ever seen”, wrote 'Adjutant’ in the Yorkshire Sports. He also commented on “ ... the extra size and weight of the Leeds team” and this is where the controversy came in. In the Bradford Daily Telegraph under the headline “ .... unfair treatment by Leeds” A.B.C. pointed out that Robertshaw, the ‘star’ of the game at Oldfield Lane was, because of his age, ‘.... a spectator ‘ at this one. “.... Confidence in our ability to preserve the unbeaten certificate would not have been shaken if our visitors had played under 14 years of age as we did “. The Committee contented its self with noting the fact in the Minutes. The team that played in this match was: Stansfield, Davis, Settle (Whetley Lane), Wooller, Ashforth, Aspinall, Hudson, Pickles (Barkerend), Bradley, Halliday, Stead.

Following this the team resumed its winning way against Dewsbury at Park Avenue on 19th March scoring five goals without reply.

There were several changes in the team: Stansfield, Gore (Belle Vue), Davis, Peacock (Fairweather Green), Taylor (Barkerend), Aspinall, Greenwood, Bland (Belle Vue), Bradley, Priestley (Drummond Road), White (Hanson).

There was the usual Easter Tuesday game with Keighley (played at Lawkholme on this occasion) when the same team (except that Chesterman played at centre half, Moore at inside left and Stead at left wing) was held to a 1 - 1 draw, Bland being the Bradford scorer.

A successful season ended with a 2 - 0 win over York at Park Avenue on 2nd April; our defence was unaltered but the forward line read: Stead, Moore, Robertshaw, Bradley, and Dobson.

The ten-match programme of the 1909 / 1910 season was regarded, by some committee members, as being too heavy; however the programme in the following year was increased to 11 matches six of which we won.

The opening game was against Bolton at Valley Parade (prior to the City v Oldham game) on 15th October. The team which won by 3 goals to 1 was: Stansfield, Gore (Belle Vue), Evitt (Whetley Lane), Thomas (Drummond Road), Taylor (Barkerend), Smith (Great Horton), Dobson, Brain and Pollard (both Great Horton), Moore, and Hudson.

The scorers were Hudson, Moore and Pollard.    On the 12th November 1910, Liverpool came to Valley Parade - the first meeting of the two Associations - and beat us 4 - 1. The Bradford side was: Wakefield and Core (both Whetley Lane), Hammond (Hanson), Thomas, Taylor, Smith, Dobson, Brain, Moore, Pollard and Hudson.

The next game at Dewsbury on 10th December produced a clear-cut 5 - 0 win. There were some new faces in the team, Coulthirst (Thornton Council), at left back, Fawcett (Carlton Street), at right half, Wood (Barkerend) at left half, Chester (Carlton Street), at inside right and Yates (Fairweather Green), at inside left.

This was followed by a 2 - 0 win at Huddersfield; the same forward line as at Dewsbury, but the defence showed several changes; Stansfield was back in goal, Robertshaw (Belle Vue), and Higgins (Barkerend) were at full backs, and the half back line read Fawcett, Reece (Great Horton), and Wood (Barkerend).

The first match of the New Year (1911) was the return game with Liverpool at Garston on 28th January and this was lost 2 - 0. There were further changes in the team which was as follows: Stansfield, Thornton (Wibsey), Higgins, Fawcett, Reece, Nichols (Whetley Lane), Hudson, Cawdry (Carlton Street), Moore, Yates and Mallinson (Wyke)

A month later there was a decisive win over South Leeds (away) - (The Leeds Association had suffered a ‘split’ at this time).   The team showed two changes in the forward line, Priestley (Drummond), being at inside right and Dobson (Barkerend), at left wing.

The Association broke some more new ground on 4th March when it visited Nottingham for the first time, losing by the only goal scored. Once again the committee was satisfied by the defence, but juggled again with the forward line, which read – Hudson, Cawdry, Moore, Priestley and Yates.

Keighley came to Valley Parade on 8th April (prior to the City v. Newcastle game) and gave a good account of themselves, earning a 1 - 1 draw, Bradford relying on an own goal to see them through. The Bradford forward line was re-jigged to read - Dobson, Priestley, Moore, Yates and Hudson, and there was a new right back, Crowther (Hanson).

In the return game the following Saturday at Keighley the home side did less well, losing by five clear goals. Another right back was selected, Stephenson (Wibsey), and the forward line was slightly adjusted - Hudson, Priestley, Moore, Yates, and Mallinson.

On 15th April Nottingham came to Valley Parade for the first time and were beaten 4 - 1, and the season ended with a 2 - 2 draw with South Leeds at Fairweather Green (scorers – Reece and Moore). In these two games the team was unchanged.

The six matches that constituted the 1911 / 1912 programme were notable for the 32 goals they produced, 23 of them by Bradford.

There were no new opponents this year, merely two games with York, away on18th November and at Valley Parade on 9th March, resulting in 4 - 1 and 7 - 0 wins, two games with Keighley, at Valley Parade on 9th March (5 - 0) and at Keighley on Easter Tuesday (2 - 2) and two games with South Leeds, away on 20th January (score 5 - 6) and at Fairweather Green (a match for which we have no result).

The team that played in the first match at York was as follows: Tarrant (Whetley lane), Catterick and Riley (both Barkerend), Fawcett, Dyson, (Marshfield), Harrison (Drummond Road, Coates and Hooley (Hanson) Moore, Gledhill (Thornbury) and Davies (Hanson).

Against South Leeds (away) Tiffin (Belle Vue) replaced Catterick, Atkinson (Horton) replaced Dyson, Hudson (Belle Vue) who had missed the previous game through injury, came in at centre forward instead of Moore, and Mallinson (Wyke) replaced Gledhill.

A fresh pair of full backs were selected for the home game with York, Dyson and Brooks (Drummond Road). Catterick for Dyson was the only change for the Valley Parade game with Keighley, while for the away game the team was unchanged. Finally for the game against South Leeds at home, another left back was selected: Scott (Horton).


Back to the fold


At the meeting on September 13th 1912, the committee considered an invitation from E.S.F.A. to join the Trophy competition and it was decided to accept. The Yorkshire sports, commenting on the decision expressed the view that the Trophy was now “much better organised.”

Our re-entry was marked by our best ‘run’ to date; in both of the first two rounds we were drawn at home- Gainsborough came to Valley Parade on 2nd November and Grimsby on the 23rd and both were beaten by the same margin 4 - 1. Rawlings (Drummond road) and Coyne (Barkerend) both scored three goals in these two games.

Thereafter we had to travel; in the 3rd round we were drawn at Kiverton Park, the original game, fixed for 11th January, was postponed owing to snow and the match actually took place on the 25th. Once more the margin between the teams was 4 - 1, Gill (Usher Street) scoring twice.

The 4th round game v. York was played on the Rowntree Ground in that city and once again we gained a good win, 5 - 1; once more Gill scored two of the goals.

This meant that we had to visit Sunderland on the 24th March, where a good crowd of some 6,000 were delighted to see their team victorious by 5goals to nil. Sunderland went on to reach the final of the competition in which they were defeated by Watford.

Naturally with such a good run in the Trophy the programme of ‘friendlies’ was much reduced to two matches with Keighley. The home game at Valley Parade on 5th April; was won 4 - 0 and the return game on Easter Tuesday by 3-0. Several players who had not played in the trophy games were given a run in these matches – North (Belle Vue), Charlesworth (Belle Vue), Hill (Whetley Lane), West (Hanson), Coates (Hanson), Rhodes (Fairweather Green), Kirkbright (Fairweather Green), Hirst (Fairweather Green), and Wallace (Belle Vue).

There was an interesting but abortive enquiry from Belfast; as the Yorkshire Sports commented in its issue of 5th April “Bradford Boys are in great demand.”

The opposition in the first round of the 1913 / 1914 trophy competition was provided by Wath on Dearne, who held us to a 2 - 2 draw at Greenfield on 8th November before succumbing on their ground a fort-night later by a single goal.

Hull also came to Greenfield on13th December and were beaten 2 - 1 but a single goal at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, in the 3rd round on the 24th January put paid to our aspirations for another year.

Sheffield went on to win the Trophy for a third time.

The fact that the home game against Wath and against Hull were played at Greenfield rather than valley Parade or Park Avenue prompted the Yorkshire Sports in its issue of 18th November to ask “Do the professional clubs do all they can? At Valley Parade the Schools no longer play before 1st XI games, Park avenue only give a game or two at the end of the season.”

The ‘friendly ‘ programme this season comprised five matches.The first of these was against York on 7th February, this resulting in a 1 - 0 win for us. The team was: Tarrant (Whetley Lane), Greenwood (St. Michael’s), Dobson (Grange Road), Charlesworth (Belle Vue), Mann (Dudley Hill), Gillett (Hanson), Hill (Whetley Lane), Nichol (Carlton Street), Peel (Grange Road), Broadbent (Whetley Lane), and Coe (Belle Vue).

Keighley were entertained at Valley Parade on 28th February and were beaten 3 - 0. There were some new faces in the team, and some old faces in different positions. Tarrant, Charlesworth, Dobson, Gillett, Mann Stansfield, (Barkerend), Hill, Gallimore (Ryan Street) Peel, Hooley (Belle Vue) and Broadbent, Hooley scored twice and Hill scored the other goal.

Unusually the same side was selected for the game against York at Valley Parade on 28th March, which was won 2 - 0. Hooley scoring one goal, and an own goal providing the other.

There was only minor changes for the Easter Tuesday match at Keighley; Grove (Ryan Street), played in goal and Chappell (Dudley Hill) came in at right back, allowing Charlesworth to play at right half and Gillett at centre half in place of Mann. Bradford won this game 4 - 2; Hill obtained two of the goals with Peel and a Keighley defender getting the others.

The final match of the season was against Dewsbury at Valley Parade on 25th April; only one change was made to the team, Barraclough (Barkerend) replacing hill. We gained a comfortable 3 - 0 win with Gallimore, Broadbent and peel getting the goals.

Before the next season commenced, war had broken out but the English trophy competition was not interrupted.

However, there were only two Trophy matches in 1914 / 1915; we contrived to win 3 - 0 at Dewsbury on 21st November, but we were well and truly’ thumped ‘ by Sheffield 7 - 3 in the second round at Greenfield on 5th December.

“Despite the wretched conditions (according to the Bradford Daily Telegraph) the attendance was fairly gratifying…. The ground was in an awful state, but still the lads contrived to play genuine football.” Bradford were twice in the lead, but faded in the second half in which Sheffield scored four times without reply.

It is interesting to note that Arnold, Wellock (at right wing) and Silson, who were to be members of the following season’s Trophy-winning side, played this year, both Wellock and Silson scored against Dewsbury.

Three friendly games were played in the 1914 / 1915 season. The first of these were an away game at Leeds on 3rd April 1915, which was won 3 - 1. The team was: Wood (belle Vue), Dobson, Glenton (Dudley Hill), Watson (Barkerend), Wellock (Drummond Road), Rawcliffe (Whetley lane), Whitaker (Grange Road), Silson (Fairweather green) Mackenzie (Hanson), Smith (Hanson), and Pearson (Whetley lane).

Three days later (on Easter Tuesday) Bradford Journeyed to Keighley, winning by 3 goals to one. The team was: Wood, Dobson, Glenton, Watson, Rawcliffe, Ockerby (Green Lane), Wellock, Whitehead (Hanson), Mackenzie, Kaye (Ryan Street), and Cullen (St Patrick’s).

The final game was the return with Keighley played at Valley Parade on 1st May and ending in a 4 - 1 win for Bradford. It is interesting to see that Wellock was again selected at centre half. The team was: Wood, Dobson, Glenton, Rawcliffe, Wellock, Ockerby, Alcock (Belle Vue), Whitehead, Mackenzie, Illingworth, and Pearson. Illingworth was in fact the reserve goalkeeper. Whitehead (3) and Ockerby were the scorers.

The trophy run of 1915 / 1916, leading to the winning of the English trophy, deserves a section of its own.

These matches and the trial games associated with them prevented the playing of more than one ‘friendly’ game. This was against Leeds who had specially requested the fixture conceding the English Trophy game. The match was played at Elland Road on29th January 1916, Bradford winning by 6 - 1. Wellock scored four times and Downes (Wyke) twice. The team that played was the same as had played against Grimsby in the ‘Trophy’ a week previously.

The 1916 / 1917 season was a briefer one; Leeds were dealt with 6 - 0 on their own ground, and York beaten 2 - 0 at Valley Parade on 2oth January but a single goal at Sunderland in the 3rd Round on21st April sufficed to put an end to our ambitions.

There is no record of ‘friendly’ matches being played in this season.

In the last season of the period, 1917 / 1918, the Trophy ‘run’ was even shorter, a 4 - 0 win over Leeds at Valley Parade 0n 8th December being followed by a 2 - 1 defeat against York on the same ground on 9th February 1918.

Again these two games would appear to have constituted the entire programme of inter-city games.




The first mention we have of a Bradford boy attending an international trial is in the \minutes of the committee meeting 0f 17th march 1913, which read-“Rawlings (left wing Drummond Road) had to visit Newark on 15th March and Mr. Bolton was appointed to accompany him”.

Rawlings did not ‘make’ the national side; neither did Tarrant (goalkeeper) and Hall (right wing), both of Whetley Lane, who attended Newark in the following year. ”The Secretary and Mr. Charlesworth accompanying them.”

In 1915 Maurice Wellock attended the international trial at York on 20th March in the company of Messrs Brooks and Wright without gaining selection; in the following season, as we shall see, he was to become Bradford’s FIRST schoolboy international.

In the 1916 / 1917 season, of course the England versus Scotland game was played at Valley Parade on 5th May and two Bradford boys were selected, C. Haigh (Lapage Street) at centre half and G. Hollis (Great Horton) at left back . Haigh received the further honour of the captaincy in this match.

This match, “the first schoolboy international to be played in the West Riding”, was only envisaged as late as the previous March, for we read in the Minutes of the committee meeting of 4th April that, “The Secretary’s action in inviting the Councils of English and Scottish football to play the next international at Bradford on 5th May was endorsed. It was hoped that the committee would do its utmost to make the affair a huge success.”

Clearly, the financial implications of staging an International in 1917 were rather less staggering than they are to day and all the arrangements were completed within the month.

Indeed, the committee dealt with the arrangements for the International and those of the Schools’ Cup Final simultaneously and with equal emphasis.

The match was as we have seen, arranged for Valley Parade, admission prices being fixed at 2d for boys, 9d. for adults, and 9d. and 1s. for the stand.

Bill Marshall (Schools Soccer Correspondent of the Telegraph and Argus, and a good friend of the Association) contributed an account of the match to the programme notes of a later international at Valley parade, the England v Switzerland Under 18 game in 1987, and, with his permission, I will quote it here: “Almost 70 years ago ‘ a game unique as far as the west Riding is concerned ‘ took place at Valley Parade.

In the days when beer was a cheap as five old pennies (two new pennies) a pint, and the papers were full of stories of the latest situation on First World war battle fronts, Scotland’s schoolboys faced England at the home of Bradford City.

The first Schoolboy soccer international to be played in the West Riding- hence the above quote from the Bradford Daily Telegraph’ of May 4th 1917- took place the following day and was given as big a build up as City, Park Avenue and Northern were given at the time.

Taking up quotes again from the ‘Telegraph’, the Scottish team, mainly from Glasgow, “were wonderfully clever and well-balanced” and their Association had every confidence in them returning home victorious.

The English Schools’ side were no mugs, however, and were reportedly “one of the strongest ever chosen.” Their goalkeeper, Keill of Birkenhead, was so tall and heavy that the Scots apparently thought he was too old.

This scepticism by the Scots led to Bradford’s Eric Rawnsley - one of two members of the host’s city’s 1916 English Schools’ Cup winning side still alive- being called up as reserve keeper.

(N.B. Bill was incorrect in describing Eric Rawnsley , as ‘One of the two members’ of the 1915 / 1916 side still to be alive- there were others.)

Bradford had two players in the English side through Haigh and Hollis. Both were “well known for their strong and resolute play, Hollis being one of the best backs in schools’ football,” said the Bradford Daily telegraph.

The Scots must have been keeping an eye on Birmingham’s Jakeman, who had already scored 123 goals that season.

The Bradford Weekly Telegraph of Friday may 11th, reported that the teams were faced with a lively ball, hard ground and a strong wind, but added that it was a “delightful game and some of the football displayed was remarkably good.”

The English Boys deserved their success because when they had the wind behind them, they shot better and much more often than their opponents.”

The only goal was scored with a fine cross-shot by Townrow of West Ham, who was one of the best forwards in the game.”

The match was watched by about 4,000 spectators. Mr. Arthur Lancaster, the President of Bradford City F.C., offered to present the caps to the English team The Scottish team had already been promised caps presented by Celtic.

Later both international teams had what was probably the equivalent of a trio round the national museum of Photography, Film and television- an hour at one of the local cinemas.

The sides for the 1917 clash were:

England Keill (Birkenhead), Hollis (Bradford),Rhodes (Sheffield), Barrett (West ham), Haigh (Bradford) Mason (Sunderland), Andrews (East ham), Townrow (West Ham), Jakeman (Birmingham), Fenwick (Grimsby0, Hopkinson (NE Derbyshire), Reserve Markell (York).

Scotland Fulton (Quarry Brae), Fuller (North Kelvinside), Hutcheson (Shakespeare), Murray (George’s Road),Rodger (North Kelvinside), Cant (Barrhead), Crawford (Wellshot), McKenzie (Falkirk), McCloud (North Kelvinside), Bryston (Barrhead), McGown (Barrhead).

The referee was Mr. H. Swift of Sheffield.


Domestic Competitions


When this period commenced the association operated only two competitions:

1. The schools’ Shield, which had first been competed for in 1892 / 1893, when it was a Rugby Trophy, but since 1895 / 1896 had been the trophy for the Schools’ soccer league;

2. The Schools’ Cup, presented in 1900 by Dan Mullarkey Esq.

In the 1901/1902seson Belle Vue did the ‘double’, winning the schools’ Cup for the second successive year, beating Hanson 3-0 in the Final, as well as the Schools ‘Shield. This was the third year in succession and the fourth year in all, that they had won the trophy.

As we have seen, a 2nd. Division was formed this season and was won by Fairweather Green with a tally of 27 points out of a possible 28.

The boys were awarded medals, although there was as yet no Trophy for this Division.

However, at a monthly meeting on 3rd march 1903, it was decided that there should be a Division 2 Trophy and that it should be a Shield costing not more than 3 guineas.

The first winners of this new trophy were Drummond Road after a play-off with Carlton Street Commercial, which they won 5 - 3 following a 3 - 3 draw.

In this season (1902 / 1903) Whetley Lane performed the ‘double’. In the Cup thy beat Ryan Street 1 - 0 at Valley parade, having beaten Hanson in a replayed semi-final at Park Avenue. It is interesting to read, apropos of this game, that the committee decided to engage two policemen for two hours

There were 17 teams in the League in season 1903 / 1904, divided into two Divisions as follows:

Division One: Belle Vue, Hanson, Whetley Lane, Barkerend, Fairweather Green, Carlton Street, Carlton Street Commercial, Drummond Road and Ryan street.

Division Two: Great Horton Board, Wapping, Highfield, Lidget Green, Green Lane, Great Horton National, Undercliffe and Christ Church.

Whetley Lane repeated their ‘double’ achievement; they were unbeaten in the League and beat Hanson 5-0 at Valley Parade in the Final of the Schools Cup.

Wapping won Division Two with an unbeaten record and gained promotion to the higher Division.

Less happy were Drummond Road, who, according to the Yorkshire Sports of 6th February 1904 “seem to have entirely collapsed”, they had conceded to Whetley Lane and “there seemed to be a lack of interest in the school”.

Hanson were once again beaten finalists in the schools’ Cup in 1904 / 1905 but their conquerors were on this occasion Barkerend, who beat Whetley Lane in the semi –final, Whetley lane however, retained the Schools’ Shield, which they won for the third successive year.

The Division two Shield went to St Cuthbert’s, their one and only success.

The league had grown to 23 teams in 1905 / 1906, 11 being placed in Division One and 12 in Division 2. (Subsequently Belle Vue, who had mistakenly notified their withdrawal, were added, making 24).

Whetley Lane won the Schools’ Cup for the third time, beating Barkerend 2 - 0 in the Final, which the Yorkshire Sports described as “the finest exhibition of schools football seen in a final or indeed in any match”, while Barkerend won the Schools’ shield for the third time.

It was an unhappy season for Belle Vue; in its issue of 10th March 1906, the Yorkshire Sports reported that they had failed to turn up for a match with Hanson, suggesting that there was” something radically wrong with Belle Vue, once the proud leader of the Association game in schools.” Would it not be better for them to withdraw? St. Joseph’s were the champions of Division 2.

There were only 16 entries to the League in season 1906 / 1907, so Division 1 was reduced to eight teams and St Joseph’s who would normally have been promoted as winners of Division 2, remained in that Division, which they won for the second year in succession. Barkerend and Whetley lane again contested the Schools’ Cup final at Valley Parade on 4th May “before a goodly crowd of spectators”, the former winning by a single goal to take the Trophy for the second time. Whetley Lane however ‘pipped ‘ them for the Shield in which they were unbeaten.

Barkerend appeared at Valley Parade again in 1907 / 1908 for The Schools’ Cup Final, their opponents on this occasion being Belle Vue, now restored to their former glory, Some 3,000 spectators saw the game. The Yorkshire Sports reported that the referee Mr. John Lewis, received an ovation on appearing to start the game. (Those were the days!) Though Belle Vue started brightly, “ it was obvious that, in spite of their superior weight, they were outclassed by the Barkerend boys, who won 2-0”.

Whetley lane, however, retained the Schools’ shield in which they were unbeaten. Ryan Street won Division “ for the first time and were promoted.

Season 1908 / 1909 saw 20 teams playing in the League divided into two Divisions of ten teams each. Drummond road won the Schools’ Cup this season for the first time; surprisingly, in view of their outstanding record in the schools’ Shield, it was to be 44 years before they won it again. Their opponents in the Final at Valley Parade were Barkerend and a grim struggle with play moving from end to end throughout resulted in Drummond road winning by the only goal scored. However Barkerend succeeded in winning the Shield, a feat they were to repeat for four years in succession.

Wyke won the Division 2 Shield for the first time, and in celebration, entertained the rest of Division 2 in a challenge match.

There was an extracompetition this in the form of the Robison - Millar Medal Competition.

In the Minutes of the committee meeting of 18th February 1909 it is reported that Messrs Robinson and Millar, two Bradford City players, who were enjoying a joint benefit that season, had offered a set of gold medals to be played for on the cup-tie principle, the Final to be played at Valley Parade on 10th April. The committee would have preferred an inter-city game, but, after consulting the two gentlemen, it was decided to invite “all likely schools.” Four teams were invited and the Final, played prior to The Schools’ Cup Final, was between Whetley lane and Hanson, the latter winning by the only goal, scored by Robertshaw.

£2 pound from the gate was handed over to the two beneficiaries.

In1909 / 1910 it was decided to divide the 14 2nd Division sides into two sections on a geographical basis. This would require a play-off between the winners and runners-up of the two sections. Great Horton emerged ultimate winners.

As we have seen, Barkerend won the Schools’ Shield for the second successive year and acquired the Schools’ Cup (for the fourth time) in addition, Hanson once again being the losing finalists 0 - 2.

The format of the League remained unchanged in 1910 / 1911 with ten teams in Division1 and seven in each section of Division 2.

Barkerend won the Shield for the third year in succession, but they lost their grip on the Schools’ Cup, which was won by Whetley Lane for the fourth time; they beat Great Horton 3 - 0 in the Final at Valley Parade. Marshfield were the winners of Division 2.

Division 1 continued to contain ten teams in 1911 / 1912 but the Division two sections increased to eight teams; the play-off, however was restricted to involve section winners only.

Barkerend won the Schools’ Shield for the fourth successive year and for the fifth time in all; this was in fact, the last time they were to do so. Great Horton beaten finalists in the previous year's Schools’ Cup, went one better this year and beat Carlton Street in the Final. Usher Street were Division 2 champions for the first time.

An article in the East Bowling Schools (No3) entitled “Early days at Usher Street Boys’ School (1906 –1916)” mentions this achievement: I can remember Usher Street Boys’ Football Club winning the Bradford Schools’ shield in 1912 and the Final was played at Park Avenue against a school from Wyke. The score was 1 - 0 and the boy who scored the winning goal was called Fed Hid (now deceased). Another boy who played in that historic match was called Charlie Wilkinson and he is still (in 1981) alive somewhere in Bradford.

The Schools’ Cup Final in 1912 / 1913 required two replays; both the first game at Greenfield, and the subsequent replay were drawn, Dudley Hill, the champions of Division 2, beat Great Horton to win the Trophy for the only time in their history.
Dudley Hill Division 2 Champions 1912/13

In the Schools’ Shield Hanson winning the competition for the first time, broke Barkerend’s four-year tenure of the Trophy.

For the 1913 / 1914 season both Divisions were divided into two sections as follows.

Division 1 (Section A): Whetley Lane, Fairweather Green, Belle Vue, Grange Road and Allerton.

(Section B) Great Horton, Carlton Street, Barkerend, Hanson Usher Street and Dudley Hill.

Division 2 (Section C): St Joseph’s, Marshfield, Ryan Street, Wyke, Carr Lane, Low Moor, Lorne Street;

(Section D) Wapping, Green Lane, St Michael’s, Parish Church, St Patrick’s St Anne’s.

Winners and runners up were to take part in the sectional play–offs. These resulted as follows:

Division 1: Belle Vue 1 Barkerend 0; Dudley Hill 1 Grange Road 0.

Division 2: Ryan Street 2 St Michael’s 0; Marshfield 2 Wapping 1.

In the Finals Belle Vue beat Dudley Hill 3 - 2 at Fairweather Green to win the Schools’ shield, while Ryan Street won the Division 2 shield for the second time, beating Marshfield 3 - 1 on the same ground.

Barkerend appeared amongst the honours for the last time, winning the Schools’ Cup Final at Fairweather Green against Dudley Hill by the only goal scored. Movements in population were soon to reduce the numbers at Barkerend so that they would no longer be the power they had been in schools’ football.

By the time the 1914 / 1915 season commenced, war had broken out, but schools’ football in Bradford proceeded normally. The League was organised in the same way as in the previous season with 24 teams participating.

Grange Road won the Schools’ shield for the first time, and combined this success with a first-ever winning of the Cup, in the Final of which they beat St Michael’s from Division 2 by a single goal. Wyke won Division 2 for the second time in their history.

During the season (29th March 1915) a letter was received from the Joint Hospital Fund Committee asking the Association to receive a deputation. The deputation, comprising Messrs. Gill, Widdowfield and Robertshaw, attended the committee meeting on 16th April; it proposed the running of charity knock-out competition for school teams. It was assured that its proposal would receive very careful consideration. The result was the introduction in the following season of the Charity Shield competition, to be known as the “Wickham Shield” after the donor, the draw for the 1st round of which was made in October 1925. Permission was given to the hospital Fund committee to send two collecting boxes to each home team, such boxes to be returned unopened to the committee after the match.

The semi-finalists were, Wyke, Belle Vue, Hanson and Whetley Lane. Both semi-finals were played in one afternoon at Valley Parade. Hanson beat Whetley Lane by one goal, scored by Greaves, to nil, “although” according to the Bradford Daily Telegraph “ Hanson seemed to devote almost all their energy to keeping out the Whetley team. At times the whole team were defending for all they were worth”.

In the semi-final two goals by Smithies enabled Belle Vue to beat Wyke 2 - 1 in spite of the valiant efforts of 'Juggy’ Downs 2 - 1.

The Final, Belle Vue v Hanson, was played at Park Avenue on 8th April, Hanson winning 3 - 1. The scorers were Williams, Greaves and Woods (a penalty) for Hanson and Dixon for Belle Vue. The Shield and medals were presented at a tea following the match at the Osborne Hotel.

Reverting to the regular competition, Belle Vue won the Schools’ Cup for the third time, beating Great Horton 1 - 0 in the Final but were beaten into second place in the Shield by Drummond road, spear-headed by their forceful talents of Maurice Wellock.

St Joseph’s won the Division 2 title for the third time.

Prior to the 1916/1917 season it was decided not to present trophies in the forthcoming season except for the Schools’ Cup and the Wickham Shield, the age limit for the latter competition being fixed at 13. Belle Vue retained the Schools’ Cup (their fourth success), beating Hanson 2 - 1 in the replayed Final, the original game having resulted in a 1 - 1 draw. Arrangements for the Final included the provision of three policemen, the issuing of 250 tram-bills and the fixing of admission prices at 3d. for adults, and 1d for boys, with an extra 3d. for the stands and an extra 6d. for the centre stand.

The Wickham Shield was won by Whetley Lane, who beat Grange Road 2 - 1 in the Final.

The following season, 1917 / 1918, in which 23 schools took part, again consisted of ‘friendly ‘ games except for the Schools’ Cup, in the final of which, Grange road beat St Joseph’s 1 - 0 at Valley Parade, and the Wickham Shield, which this year reverted to an under 14 competition. Grange Road also won this competition, beating Hanson 2 - 0 in the Final.


‘Law And Order’

On The Field And Off


Much of the committee’s time in this period was taken up with matters of discipline.

There were two aspects of this:

a) The discipline of players; and

b) The discipline of spectators.

At the very first meeting of which we have Minutes (18th September 1901) it was “proposed by Mr. Kenyon that The Secretary write to Mr. Smart (St James’s) notifying him of the letter. Bad language during the match”- agreed. Resolved, “that a circular be issued notifying clubs re. bad language used on the field of play”.

It is exceedingly difficult to determine whether discipline among players has improved or deteriorated over the years; there is no doubt at all that the committee dealt with far more cases if indiscipline in the early part of the century; one reason for this is that, in the past twenty or thirty years, Head Teachers have come to regard bad behaviour in inter-school football matches as part of school discipline and have taken action themselves without necessarily consulting the football committee. On the whole this initiative has been welcomed by the committee, though there has obviously been the risk of punishments being inconsistent.

Quit severe punishments were meted out to offending players in this early period; for instance, on 3rd March 1905, two Lilycroft players were suspended for the rest of the season and another “ from further part in schools’ football”; moreover, the letter expressing the committee’s disapproval of the tactics adopted by the Ryan Street team and also the detailed punishment for the three particularised offenders were to be read by the teacher in charge to the assembled team.

Just one more example of many must suffice. On 31st January 1913, Mr. Rawnsley reported the match St James’s v Allerton, and called attention to the bad language and conduct of a St James’s player; he was suspended sine die.

The most difficult problems facing the committee, however, were not those concerned with players but those caused by troublesome spectators. The Yorkshire Sports, in its issue of4th October 1902 described “a most disagreeable feature” of schools’ football matches being “ attended by a lot of youths who have turned out language of a disgraceful kind and who have conducted themselves in an abominable manner… A request has been sent to the Town hall for the presence of a policeman in the park so that these disgusting mortals may receive their marching orders.”

It is difficult to visualise school matches being watched by hundreds of spectators, but, of course, people’s horizons were more limited in those days and they found their entertainment close to their own front doors. Schools were more numerous and much smaller in size, so that local ‘derbies’ were frequent e.g. Hanson and Barkerend, Drummond road and Whetley lane, and what about Woodroyd, Ryan street, St Joseph’s St James’s and Marshfield? Also, these games were not played in the relative seclusion of school playing-fields but on public recreation grounds such as Manningham Park, Peel Park, Bradford Moor Park Horton Park, etc.

As early as 23rd October 1901, Barkerend were warned that any further infringement of Rule 11 on the part of their supporters would entail the penalty therein stated; Rule 11 read, “ Roughness or intimidation on the part of one club or its supporters to the players or representatives of another club may entail the loss of points and the suspension of their ground and, on a repetition of the offence the club will be expelled.”

Only a month or two later the players and spectators of Lilycroft were reported and the committee resolved:

a) that the Lilycroft players and spectators were guilty of disorderly conduct at the close of their match with Hanson;

b) that Lilycroft be severely ensured and warned that, if repeated, points will be deducted and any further offence will render them liable to expulsion.

It the following year Parish Church complained about the conduct of spectators at Horton park; it was resolved that the Secretary write to the Chief Constable asking that the parks’ constable be present on Saturday mornings from 10.30 to 12.30.

There was trouble at Barkerend again 0n 14th January 1903, the result being that Barkerend were ordered to play their matches on their opponents’ grounds.

Following further trouble in the match between Barkerend and Drummond road in October 1904, when, “there was stone throwing and abusive language”, although the actual game was played “in a fine spirit”, Barkerend were advised to seek another ground; alternatively, the services of a policeman would be requested (at the committees expense)

On 12th April1905, crowd trouble was reported at valley parade (at the Hanson v Drummond Road semi-final) and the Secretary was instructed to obtain the services of a policeman for matches at Valley Parade.

On September 16th 1905, Drummond Road failed to put in an appearance at Harewood Street for their match with Barkerend “alleging the violent character of the spectators. “The committee saw no alternative but to award the points to Barkerend, though they added a rider” that the Barkerend teachers be asked to see that, as far as lies in their power, proper protection be given to the visitors.”

There was another report of “intimidation and rough treatment by spectators” on 20th December 1905, in the match between St Joseph’s and St John’s. It was alleged that rubber-piping had been used. On this occasion the committee ordered the game to be replayed and issued a stiff warning to the two schools concerned.

Another stormy game was dealt with by the committee on 11th April 1906. It involved Barkerend and Fairweather Green the game being “abruptly terminated” through interference by spectators.

The committee’s decisions were:

1 that one Fairweather Green boy would be suspended for the rest of the season (not very long!)

2 that another, Hall, a member of the current City team, would be “kept out of City matches”;

3 That the match be replayed on a neutral ground with neutral touch-judges;

4 That Mr. French (who at the time taught at Fairweather Green) was to “talk seriously to the boys concerned.”

Those decisions infuriated the Barkerend representatives (and incidentally provoked a spate of angry letters in the Yorkshire Sports) who accused the committee of being biased and unfair; they also passed “unkind” remarks against the Chair besides, “ other unpleasantness”, after this they left the room.

At the next meeting (30th April 1906) a letter was read from Mr. Mariner of Barkerend protesting against the committee’s decisions, especially the lenient treatment of Mr. Hall, who, he claimed, had already been suspended, and argued that Barkerend should have been awarded the match or, at least, the game should have been continued at the point when it was called off- ten minutes before time. In fact Mr. Hall had not previously been suspended, and the committee adhered to its previous decisions.

A somewhat unusual ‘twist’ to the problems of discipline was reported at the meeting of 22nd November 1907 when a Dudley Hill player was reported at the meeting for “kicking a spectator). The offence was admitted by his teacher, who pleaded provocation, in that the spectator (a boy) persisted in kicking the ball about.

One further example of the sort of thing that the committee had to deal with must suffice. At the meeting of 17th November 1909 a long communication was read from Mr. Frankland of Horton complaining of the treatment his team had received at Wibsey after the game, Stones and soda were thrown, bad language used and striking indulged in. Mr. Smith bore out the accusations, stating that they were followed for three hundred yards. The Headmaster of Wibsey School wrote expressing his regret at the unsportsmanlike conduct of the Wibsey boys and stated that he had pointed out the seriousness of the offence to the culprits on Monday morning. The committee resolved that the Wibsey v Horton game down for decision on 11th December, be played on a neutral ground.

It is clear that in spite of the committee’s efforts, the problem of bad behaviour had not been solved.


The “Men in Black”


Clearly, the men who were called upon to referee school football matches had no easy task and it is hardly surprising that volunteers to take the job on were hard to come by.

As early as 18th September 1901, the Minutes contain the rather despairing resolution” that the Secretary be authorised to make what arrangements he can with regard to referees” who were to receive their tram fares.

It came as no surprise that in its issue of 5th October the Yorkshire Sports comments that “ the refereeing in some of the school matches is not quite up to the standard it ought to be.

At the meeting of 3rd October 1906, there was a note of desperation when the Secretary reported “ the unsatisfactory state of things with regard to referees. He pointed out his inability to deal with the question single-handed” eventually it was proposed that the Secretary write to the various clubs (schools) asking them to try and recruit referees “ from among the spectators who witnessed the matches” In view of some of the incidents we have recorded, this seems rather like a council of despair.

Even when faced with such a dire shortage of officials, the committee was prepared to dispense with the services of those who failed to give satisfaction. At a meeting on 22nd November1907 “complaints were laid by many clubs as to the ability of Denby”. The Secretary pointed out that he had” a mania for causing trouble”. It was resolved that “Denby be struck off the list.”

On the other hand, the committee went out of its way to encourage its referees by arranging social functions such as the “ Social and Smoker” on 28th October 19010 and the Referees’ Dinner 0n 24th November1911.


The Committee At Work


The main work of the committee was to organise the various domestic competitions and to make arrangements for the programme of inter-city games and the trial games leading up to them.

In addition, as we have seen, it devoted a good deal of time to dealing with various disciplinary matters.

The rest of the work could be described as ‘miscellaneous’, but certain subjects cropped up fairly frequently.

We must remind ourselves that, in this period, we are not strictly speaking talking about an Football Association as such, but about BSSA (The Bradford Schools’ Athletic Association) which, except for a short period when it ran Rugby as well, ran schools’ football (soccer) and the Park Avenue Sports Meeting which sustained it.

The Associations officials comprised a President, a Vice President (who automatically succeeded as the chair), an Hon. Secretary, an Hon Treasurer and a committee of seven members, one of whom was appointed as Registration Secretary.

The first thing that strikes one about the work of the committee in these early days, as compared with its work today, is the minute control it exercised in all matters.

This is illustrated notably in the arrangement of fixtures. Not only did the committee draw up, as would be expected, the basic, but it decided the dates on which postponed matches were to be played e.g. at the meeting on 26th November 1901, it ruled that Drummond Road and Wapping were to plat their postponed game on 18th January 1902 and that the unfulfilled fixture, Lorne Street v Usher Street should be played on 20th December (Friday afternoon).

The committee did not hesitate to arrange for matches to be played in the school holidays, if it was considered necessary.

When there was an inter-city game or a trail game the whole set of fixtures or some of them would be cancelled, although trial games were quite often held in the school holidays e.g. On 21st December 1901, and Shrove Tuesday 1902. At the meeting on 6th September 1907, the committee went into” the question of trials and city games” and decided “ that League games be not played on these days.”

On a later occasion (6th December 1907) there was some argument on the subject. There had been a City game v Leeds (away) on 16th November and League games had been postponed to 14th December, the games for that day being postponed to the 19th. Some committee members felt that matches arranged for the 14th should be played on that day but the majority favoured the 'switch’ to the 19th.A little later (14th march 19080the second round of the Cup was due to take place but there was a possibility that Park Avenue would be available for a City game v Huddersfield. If this was he case, teams with boys in the City team were given the option of postponing their Cup games.

Finally on 13th January 1911, the committee’s time was devoted to interpreting the Association’s own rules, which were by no means clear or as water-tight in those days as might have been desired. There was for instance no allowance for extra time in cup-ties until, at the 1906 AGM a provision was introduced that “in the event of a second draw in rounds other than the semi-finals the match shall be replayed on a neutral ground and played to a finish.”

One of the Associations most controversial rules was the one that set the age limit for boys playing in the Association’s competitions at 14 in Elementary Schools, but at 13 years 8 months, in Higher grade (later Secondary) Schools of which Bradford had four- Belle Vue, Carlton Street, Grange Road and Hanson. As early as 4th may 1906 a proposition that the age limit for ‘secondary’ boys be brought into line with that for the ‘ elementary ‘ boys was ‘keenly discussed’ but finally defeated by 7 votes to 6.

There was a certain mount of ‘nibbling’ at the age regulations; at the meeting of 14th February 1906 the position of boys who had been eligible for the 2nd round of the Cup but had become in-eligible by the time that the semi-finals and final came to be played owing to the delays in the playing of these games was considered, but the committee declined to make any concession on their behalf. However at the meeting on August 31st it was agreed that a boy eligible to play on March 1st should be eligible to play in the semi-final and final.

A further very minor concession was made on 22nd November 1907 when it was ruled that a boy whose birthday was on a Saturday was eligible to play on that day if he had attended school on the previous day. Both these concessions were incorporated into the rules at the 1908 AGM.

Though the association operated under the rules of the Football Association, certain special rules had to be adopted:

a) The minimum size of the pitch was to be 80 yards by 60 yards;

b) goals were to be 8 yards wide by 6 feet high;

c) the ball used was to be a size 4;

d) playing-time was to be 30 minutes each way, except in finals, semi-finals and inter association matches when 35 minutes each way was to be played;

e) in the event of a draw in cup-ties the match was to be replayed on a neutral ground


Half Fare Travel To Matches


At the committee meeting on 25th October 1907 the Secretary was instructed to write to the Tramways committee with the request that “all school teams in charge of a teacher be allowed to travel schoolboy fare on Saturday mornings.” One can only assume that the application was unsuccessful as it was repeated on 28th august1908 and yet again on 6th October 1911.


Accompanying Of Teams By Teachers


It is clear from the Minute Books that it was by no means unusual for teams to be sent to away matches without a teacher in charge; indeed, some of the trouble at matches might have been avoided had not this been so.

At the beginning of the 1909 / 1910 season it was reported that one or two schools had withdrawn “owing to the inability to find teachers willing to manage the team.”

On 8th December 1910 the committee resolved that “the Green Lane Head Teacher be written to with regard to a teacher accompanying the team.”

By 1914 the problem was considered important enough to merit a rule-change to the effect that “ no school be allowed to compete in Schools’ League or cup football unless a responsible representative be in charge.”


Committee Procedure


There is little doubt that, for various reasons the small size of the committee being one, committee procedure at this time was often ‘friendly’ sometimes lax.

Certain members of the committee who gathered together to select teams in a nearby hostelry after trials, were prone to discuss and decide upon matters which should only have been discussed at a properly convened committee meeting .The matter was raised by Mr. G. Brook at the committee meeting on December 6th 1907, when he “protested against the action of upsetting the Minutes of a full committee at a trial game meeting when the Minutes were not read or an agenda furnished before hand.” The committee resolved “that after trial games no business outside City or trial game influence (sic) be discussed at the termination of such games.


Change In Officers And Committee


At the 1908 AGM Mr. French was elected Secretary in place of Mr. H. Brooks, the only occasion in the history of the association when a Secretary or a Treasurer has been so replaced.

Mr. H. Brooks continued to serve on the committee until 1933 and served twice as President in that time.

At the 1915 AGM the size of the committee was increased from seven to nine; as, in addition, (Capt) Brook and (Capt) Hanson were co-opted, the total strength was now 16.




Though medals were almost invariably presented to the Cup and Shield winners and runners-up, this was almost always, in view of the Association’s financial situation, a matter for some discussion.

In 1902 it was decided that medals costing 5s. each (a very substantial sum at the time) would be presented to League winners; various jewellers in the city viz. Fattorini, Mullarkey, Dawson, Davis, Morley and Sweeney were invited to tender and a sub-committee comprising Messrs. Woodhead, French and Saxon plus the Secretary and Treasurer was appointed to make the selection.

The following year (1903) it as decided to award 5s. medals to the winners Of the Cup and the two divisions of the League and 4s.and 6d ones to the runners-up in Division 1; Fattorini and Mullarkey were invited to supply two sets each.

The presentation of trophies and medals took place at Whetley Lane School.

In 1904 4s. medals were presented to the runners-up. The following year, "in view of the Associations finances” the price of medals was limited to 3s.6d. (winners) and 2s. 6d. (runners-up).

While in 1906 no medals were presented to runners-up and the winners received 3s. 3d. medals.

By 1909 it was found possible to present medals to all winners and runners-up; specimens were submitted by Fattorini and Sweeney but the entire order went to the former firm.

In the following year Uttley & Co of Killinghall road secured the entire order.

As we shall see, the expenditure on medals represented a very sizeable proportion of the Association’s expenditure.


The Handbook


It was always necessary for the association to issue to its member –schools at least a set of rules and fixtures. At the meeting on 1st September 1904 it was resolved that rules and fixtures should be printed in book form and sold at a halfpenny.

The 1906 AGM envisaged something a little more ambitious “ a handbook containing rules, fixtures and other interesting matters” to be sold at 1d. But by September 1st, more cautious counsels had prevailed, “ as the book printed last year had resulted in a loss financially,” and it was decided to ‘graph’ copies of the fixtures printed in the Saturday papers.

A Handbook was mooted again in 1907, but finally it was decided to have 250 copies at rules and fixtures printed. In fact the printer recommended the printing of rules and fixtures separately- 100 sets of rules would cost 13s and 6d and 500 fixture cards 12s and 6d. As the Secretary secured an advert for 7s 6d on the back of the fixture card he had struck a favourable bargain.

In 1912, when a handbook was produced, blocks of the three Association Trophies were obtained and photographed.


Presentation Footballs


It was the custom of the Association at this time to present schools with a football. This was not entirely a matter of generosity; not all schools could afford to buy one of their own.

The Yorkshire Sports had something to say about this in its issue of 30th November 1901-“Difficulties have arisen in certain schools in fulfilling their fixtures owing to their having no ball to play with. Teachers cannot go on providing the ‘sinews of war’ for ever.”

At about the same time, the same correspondent dealt again with the problem of ‘kit’- pointing out the “different conditions surrounding schools’ football…. In one case a whole team were equipped as boys should be… another view, but what a change. A boy here and there with an old jersey, the majority none at all, no studded boots, in some cases hardly any boots at all.”

However, helpful as the issue of footballs was to some schools, it was a drain on the Association limited resources and the committee had to tie in the issue of footballs with the payment of the 2s 6d affiliation fee in the 1905 / 1906 season. In 1909 there was a slight variation to the arrangements, the committee purchasing 5s 6d footballs en bloc from four sports-dealers in the city and issuing them to those schools which had paid an extra 1s affiliation fee.

In 1909, after examining samples, the committee decided to purchase one dozen balls at 5s 11d from Sports and Pastimes, and one dozen at 4s 3d from H. J. Knutton.




One has the impression that the Association existed on a knife-edge in its early years. This was not entirely true; buttressed by The Park Avenue Sports it could rub along reasonably comfortably, unless it launched out into something over-ambitious.

Unfortunately, we have no actual Balance Sheet before season1932 / 1933 though there are references to Balance Sheets in the minutes quite frequently.

On 17th October 1902 there was a proposal that the whole of the Balance from the Sports should be allocated to the Football Section, but the committee decided that, as a matter of principle £10 should be devoted to charity.

Following the 1903 sports it was decided that half the balance of £34 be devoted to football. By 1905, however, the profit on the Sports £39-10s–4d was regarded as low enough for the President to warn the committee “that to a large extent football would have to be self-supporting.” No money was given to charity this year,

At the 1906 AGM members “deplored the smallness of the balance and income generally” and the ensuing Sports were not highly profitable, producing a balance of only £12 -3s-8d. During the 1906/1907 season the Secretary presented an interim statement of the financial position, which was as follows.

Income £ s d Expenditure  £ s d
Football Balance 5 1 9 Honoraria 5 5 0
Sports 12 3 General expenses 4 6 9
NRU Grant 6 0 0 Jerseys - Rugby 2 2 0
Whist Drive/

Lantern lecture 2 4 6 Brighouse Match
5 6

25 9 11½
19 3
Balance of Income over Expenditure

13 19

A long discussion followed an it was decided to hold an “entertainment” to which the Lord Mayor and certain other gentlemen would be invited, and to hold a Whist Drive (tickets 1s 3d) for which the assistance of a Ladies’ Committee would be required. Enthusiasm for the latter venture appears to have been limited, a special committee meeting attracting only two attenders, the Secretary and Miss Steele, plus five letters of apology. Needless to say, further arrangements were left to the Secretary.

By the 1906 AGM things were apparently back on an even keel, the President remarking on “a highly satisfactory balance.”

The improvement continued in the 1907 / 1908 season, the Secretary pointing to “the splendid financial result of the year’s working; income£70-10-11, expenses £55-13-11, balance in hand after all bills have been met: £14-17-11.

At the 1909 AGM the Treasurer pointed out “the heavy losses on the City matches, the increased cost of medals and the increased grants to charities.”

1910 was a good year, the Treasurer describing the Balance sheet as “the best for the past ten years”. The Cup Final produced a profit of “7-12-0d.

The Minutes in 1911 give us some actual figures; “ the expenses of City matches (of which there were eleven) were £36 against £29 the previous year, but although we had put £20 to a “Sports Reserve” we were two pounds better off than last year and had a balance of £25.

In 1912 the Treasurer reported the Balance as being 332; he referred to the loss on the City matches, the expenses of which were “19 as against an income of £9. The increased balance of nearly £8 was due to the 2nd Division championship matches.

The balance in 1913 was £47 and in 1914 £25; £7 had been lost on Shield matches and £8 on other City fixtures. Following the war years the Balance in 1918 was reported as about £50.


Accidents and Insurance.


The question of insurance of both teachers and boys in connection with schools’ football is interesting in its self and has assumed great importance in recent years.

In the period we are dealing with, of course, there was no insurance for the boys playing, and, when injuries occurred, the usual practise was for the school to raise some money and look to the Association to ‘top up’ the sum raised.

The first case thus reported to the Committee was on 27th January 1905 when “ Mr. Marshall sent in a claim for some allowance towards a doctor’s bill for an accident to one of his team in September 1904(first notification of same).” It was resolved that the Secretary writes asking for information regarding the circumstances of the boy’s parents (“feeling being against entertaining the request as creating a dangerous precedent.”)

There is no further information about this case, but, at the meeting of 6th November 1908 it was reported, “that Booth of Green Lane had met with an accident while playing at Wyke and asked for some financial assistance.” Mr. Gledhill stated that Wyke were prepared to present the proceeds of their next ‘gate’ to Booth’s mother and it was also stated that a Whist Drive was being organised at Green Lane School in aid of the sufferer. It was resolved that the matter be left in the hands of Mr. Hartley, he to inform the committee of the doctors bill, and how much they were short.

At a subsequent meeting (8th January 1909) Mr. Hartley wrote asking for “a generous grant from the funds of the Association.” The boy’s expenses came to 22s 6d, to which Wyke themselves had contributed 4s.

It was resolved that enquiries should be made as to how much Green Lane themselves had raised.

There is no further record of this case, but, at the meeting on 5th March 1909, another case was reported concerning a boy, Redfearn, from Woodroyd. Mr Pearson, his teacher, saw it as a case “where Sympathy and support of the Association was needed”, but the committee wanted to know what Woodroyd was doing “ to look after its own flock.” Once again there is no follow-up to this incident.

The next incident came before the meeting of July 11th 1913 when re. Ernest Bower (Horton Council School) it was resolved, “that we pay the doctor’s bill and ask the school to raise subscriptions for wages lost by the boy.”

On the following 7th November a letter received from Horton council School asking for a grant towards the ‘ Bower fun’. As the school had raise 13s 6d it was decided to make a grant of 11s 6d to the fund.


The Association’s Meeting Places.


The first recorded meeting was held at the Osborne, but, at the meeting on 17th September 1902, it was resolved “that our meetings in future be held at the Queen Hotel.” However, by 7th March 1905, the Association was meeting at the Rawson, which remained its favoured meeting place until the end of 1913, when meetings reverted to the Osborne. In addition the trial games took the committee to a variety of venues, mostly licensed e.g. the County Hotel, the Belle Vue Hotel, the Girlington Hotel, the Carlisle Hotel, the Empress Hotel etc.




ENGLISH TROPHY (1915/1916)


Nowadays an Association like Bradford, running teams at all levels from Under 11 upwards, would have a pretty good idea whether or not their Trophy side had much in the way of prospects in the forthcoming season.

This was not the case in 1915 / 1916; each season’s team was largely a new one and the committee had to contemplate constantly altering the side as boys left school on attaining their 14th birthdays.

Only Wellock, Silson and Arnold had played in Trophy games in the previous season, though Ockerby and Pearson had played in ‘friendlies’; interestingly, Wellock, who was to make such a name for him self as a centre forward, had not previously occupied that position.

Preparations for the 1915 / 1916 season began on 23rd October 1915, with a trial match at Horton Park, in which 54 boys, divided into four teams, took part “ in wet weather…. Before a good crowd.”

In the first game the ‘blues’ who included Silson, beat the ‘Stripes’ 4 - 1. He, Heywood, Arnold and Watson (Barkerend) scored for the ‘Blues' and Sharp (Wyke) for the ‘Stripes’. Watson and Pearson, the respective left-wingers were “very prominent”, according to the press report, while Arnold is said to have played "a splendid game.”

The second game included some bigger boys, but the play was less exhilarating. The ‘Blues’ on 3 - 1, Wellock scoring all the goals for the winners. Apart from him “ the outstanding figure in the match”, Barker (Horton Council), Roper (Whetley Lane), Hollis (Horton Council), Johnson (Wapping), Hirst (Fairweather Green, Whittaker (Drummond Road), and Armitage (Whetley Lane) were reported as having played well. Following these trials the following teams were selected for a Probables v Possibles match at Horton Park on 9th November:

Probables: Rawnsley and Hume (both Whetley Lane) Hollis, Armitage, Robinson (Drummond Road), Ockerby (Green Lane), Helliwell (Usher Street), Barker, Wellock (Drummond Road, Arnold (Green Lane) Pearson (Whetley Lane).

Possibles: Nuttall (Barkerend, Johnson (Wapping), Burke (Parish Church),

Sykes (Ryan Street), Bradley (Horton Council) Hirst (Fairweather Green), Skitt (Bradford Moor) Bateson (Whetley Lane), Renton, Silson (Fairweather Green) Whitaker and Watson.

After this trial, the team to play Dewsbury (away) in the 1st Round of the Shield competition was selected as follows.

Rawnsley, Hume, Burke, Taylor (Ryan Street), Ockerby, Downs (Wyke), Skitt, Silson, Wellock, Arnold and Pearson, with Nuttall, Armitage and Watson as reserves.The game was due to have been played on 20th November, but Dewsbury ‘scratched’ from the competition and the same side was selected to play Leeds in the second round on 4th December at Greenfield.

A report on this game, which was terminated at the request of the Leeds officials, with Bradford leading 4 - 1 some 15 minutes into the second –half, appears on the next but one page. By the 3rd round game was played Skitt and Arnold had left school, having reached the age of 14; Needham (Lapage Street) replaced Skitt, while Downes moved up from left-half to inside left, Armitage (Whetley Lane) coming in at left half.

Further trial games were held at Girlington Recreation Ground on 23 December and at Horton Park on 10th January 1916.

The opposition in the 3rd round was provided by Grimsby, who played at Valley Parade on 22nd January.

The main feature of Bradford’s 6 - 0 win was a hat trick by Wellock. A game report is appended.

On 19th February North East Derbyshire came to Valley Parade in the 4th round (Divisional final). This time the Bradford team was unchanged and registered a competent 3 - 0 win Wellock adding two more to his tally.

Before the next round the committee at its meeting on 8th March, nominated Wellock and Taylor for places in the England international team to meet Wales at Bolton in April.

At the next meeting on 7th April it was reported that Wellock had been selected for England and a grant of a £1 was made towards the expenses of members of committee who wished to see the match, which England won 2 - 1.

He was of course, Bradford’s first schoolboy international.

The Yorkshire Sports commented, “his wondrous deeds in local schools’ football circles have been the talk of the present football season… He is something of an infant prodigy, although not very infantile in appearance.” To his team mates he was “Big Mo.”

A mild tremor must have affected the committee at this meeting, for Mr. Charlesworth, the Team Manager, drew its attention to a somewhat unpleasant match between Drummond Road and Belle Vue, in which Wellock was sent off.

The matter was discussed at the next meeting on19th April when “it was decided that the result of the match stands and that the sending off of Wellock, combined with the censure of the team, be considered sufficient punishment.2

At the same meeting it was announced that Wellock had been selected to play for England v Scotland at Glasgow on 24th April. Messrs. Bolton and French were deputed to attend the game, which Scotland won 4 - 1.

In the 5th Round of the Trophy Bradford were called upon to travel for the first time that season- to Anfield to meet Liverpool. Hume and Silson had now left school and their places at right back and inside right were taken by Bartle (Wyke) and Hellewell (Usher Street).

The result of the match was a 3 - 2 win for Bradford, the goals being scored by Wellock (2) and Pearson. Rawnsley distinguished himself by saving a penalty. A report of this match is appended. This success meant that Bradford were at home in the semi final to Sunderland, the game being played at Valley Parade on 15th May. There was one change to the team, Dean (Horton), playing at inside right in place of Hellewell.

The final result 4 - 1, appears decisive enough, but in fact the teams were equal until the last six minutes, when a decisive burst swung the game Bradford’s way. Wellock scored three of the goals, Downes securing the fourth. A report on the match is appended.

After the match Mr. Fenby E.S.F.A. presented Wellock with a photo of the England team that played against Wales. Wellock replied suitably, “his oratorical powers being as pronounced as his prowess on the football field.”

So to the Final, which was allocated to the North, the opposition being West Ham, an association with an imposing record of four appearances in the Final, in two of which they had won the Trophy in 1907 and 1912.

The game took place at Valley Parade on 27th may and the team was that which had beaten Sunderland in the semi final.

The result was a surprisingly comfortable win for the home side by 3 goals to nil, the goals being scored by Wellock, Pearson and Downs. A report of this game is appended.

A special treat had been laid on for the visiting team by Mr. Francis Laidler at the Alhambra on the Friday evening. The Trophy was presented by Mr. B. Creswick, Chairman of E.S.F A. to Mr. W. L. French, the Bradford secretary, at the reception after the game at the Osborne hotel, presided over by the Lord Mayor.