Two weeks before the start of their 16th season, St. Albans Town held their Annual General Meeting in the Justices’ Room at the Town Hall on 9th September 1896. W.S. Green announced that the balance in hand was a healthy £11 15s 11d. Club receipts for the previous season had been just over £165, of which £144 18s 6d came through the gate on matchdays. Shouts of shame were aimed at the council when it was revealed that the club’s rent for the season amounted to £40 13s 9d – a far cry from the £8 for the Gombards ground six years earlier.
On the pitch, the team had undergone a few changes since the end of the previous season. Jack Dickerson began the campaign in goal but it was clear that the knee injury suffered in October 1895 was still restricting his mobility. After damaging the knee again during the second match of the season, when miss-kicking the ball, ‘Dicky’ announced his retirement, he did, however, play in a further four games later in the season. Six players were tried in goal during the course of the 29 games played.
Walter Giddings was no longer available and George Groom was brought in as the new centre forward. Roland Brown scored twice in the opening game, against Clarence, but a rib injury, sustained at work, led to his place being filled by another Luton Town old boy, Jimmy Dimmock. Albert Sharp held down the left-back slot. Half-back Jack Hoy, 28, was another to move on.
Opening day defeat then seven straight wins
It was against familiar opposition that the new season began with Clarence returning to the city. It was a far from glorious start for the Saints, as Sir John Blundell Maple's employees, by virtue of a 4-2 success, notched up their first win over St. Albans for 13 years and their first victory at Clarence Park. After the game the two teams had tea at the Queens Hotel (formerly the Turf Hotel) in Chequer Street.
Lining up in the opposition XI for the second game of the season, against London side Pemberton, was W.L. Miecznikowski, who made one appearance for the Pinks later in the season. In spite of heavy rain during the two days leading up to the game, there was a decent attendance to see goals from Ernest Northern Sharpe and Fred Allen secure a 2-1 win. The Clock Tower newspaper noted a large female presence in the crowd, “It is pleasing to note that the number of ladies who visit the football matches is on the increase. This is probably owing to the fact that there is a comfortable pavilion where a quiet select seat can always be obtained.”
Following on from Pemberton, St. Albans next visitors on 3rd October was another London club, Bow. The opposition played with just ten men and, other than for their defenders, put in a disappointing performance as the Saints eased to a 4-0 win that included Dimmock’s first goals of the season. The Saints had a new goalkeeper making his debut, W. Barker, a county player with Essex. Two days later the club held a committee meeting at Queen’s Hotel during which Dickerson’s resignation was, regretfully, accepted. His suggestion that Bert Sanders be elected captain was adopted unanimously. Dicky was thanked for his previous service; he accepted an invitation to join the committee of the club.
St. Albans had been due to play Bowes Park on the 10th but the visitors were otherwise detained with a Middlesex Cup tie. Their place was filled by Deptford Town. On the morning of the game the club secretary received notice that George Groom was unavailable after being called up by a club in east London. H.N. Vinsen was also away assisting another club. The absence of these players allowed a recent addition to the team, R.S. Nicholson, to come in for his debut and he obliged with a goal. Harry Laughton scored his second and last hat-trick as the Reds of Deptford went down 5-1. Making his debut at half-back was S. Thomas, but a knee injury led to not only his departure before half time but also the end of his short time with the Pinks.
St. Albans become the first professional club in Hertfordshire
At a committee meeting on Monday 12th October, St. Albans finalised some of the items discussed at the previous week’s meeting. The main topic was whether to turn the club into a professional outfit. The Saints had struggled to put out a settled side and it was felt that attendances would continue to fall below a satisfactory level if the club could not guarantee which players would be available week by week. All of those present had grown up with the amateur game but realised that the club would, at best, stagnate in its current form. The move to turn professional was accepted and by the following morning the newspapers carried the news that St. Albans had turned professional. Luton Town had been professional since the start of the 1891-92 season and Watford followed suit in 1897.
By going public with their statement of intent to turn professional, St. Albans had the distinction of being the first club in Hertfordshire to acquire such status. There was, however, no lack of evidence that other clubs within the county were already handing out cash incentives to some players. St. Albans’ move was a significant one as regards to the future of local football but in truth it was a far from complete abandonment of amateurism. It is believed that in the region of just three players actually represented the club as professionals. The English F.A. accepted the change in status and on 13th October it was officially announced that the club was affiliated to the Football Association. Ironically, the meeting that confirmed St. Albans’ new professional status also announced that Wagstaffe Simmons would referee home matches for the season, as this would save the club from extra expenditure.
With impeccably bad timing, on the very day that St. Albans voted to turn professional the draw was made for the 1st Round of the F.A. Amateur Cup and the club, placed in group nine, was handed a home tie against Cheshunt set for 31st October. St. Albans, however, were unable to fulfil that fixture having forsaken their position amongst the ranks of the amateurs.
The Pinks first game as a professional outfit took place on 17th October when Polytechnic, in their third visit, suffered their first defeat at St. Albans. Vinsen and Groom were back in the side and joined Allen and Laughton on the scoresheet in a 4-2 win. The search for a goalkeeper went on with H. Hills standing between the posts for this game only.
The largest attendance of the season so far was at the Park on the 24th when the opposition, most appropriately on a day when the rain lashed down, was provided by the 2nd Life Guards. Despite their name, the 2nd Life Guards, who fought in several wars including Waterloo, the Boer War and World War 1, was actually a Cavalry Regiment and they turned up at Clarence Park in their long red military cloaks. Fred Allen scored a brace to take his tally to six from six games as the Saints strolled to a 4-0 win and had as their goalkeeper this week a gentleman by the name of Haddow.
Brentford handed first defeat of the season
On the date of what would have seen the Saints playing in the Amateur Cup, a friendly was arranged at Clarence Park against Brentford. It was the Bees first away game of the season and it was marked with their first defeat. The west London club arrived a player short and were lent a player by the Pinks. Groom scored for the third successive match, a brace, and Arthur Taylor popped up with a single. This was the Saints seventh game of the season and Fred Gentle became the fifth goalkeeper used by the club during that time. The attendance of 700 was highest seen at the Park so far this season. The 31st October also saw Childwick Football Club take their bow with their first game. Childwick consisted of workers on the estate at Childwickbury owned by Sir John Blundell Maple. The club kicked off with a 3-2 win over Harpenden Montrose.
Left: Arthur Taylor in his Luton Town kit.
Next up at the Park were a London Hospital XI. The visitors had strengthened their side with several outsiders of some repute but a lack of understanding of so many new faces helped contribute towards the Saints 2-0 win. The weather conditions were poor. Mist during the first half thickened to fog after the break and the addition of rain made for a miserable afternoon for spectators.
St. Albans’ seven match winning run was brought to an end on 14th November by London Welsh who won 1-0 at the Park. The weather was again unkind to spectators and, due to heavy rain, the sides changed ends immediately at half time without stopping for a break.
The 2nd Coldstream Guards had been due to visit the Park the following weekend but a cup-tie appointment elsewhere led to the Royal Scots Greys - another cavalry regiment - stepping in to fulfil the fixture. An entertaining match ensued but, for the first time since April 1892, a game involving the Saints ended goalless.
Fans rebel against price increase
A second lengthy winning run began on 28th November when the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards went down 3-2 at Clarence Park. The attendance was lower than had been the case in recent weeks and a couple of good reasons were put forward as to why. Firstly, the weather again intervened with a bitterly cold easterly wind convincing many that an afternoon standing outside was not a great idea. Secondly, the club raised the cost of admission from its usual price of 3d to a ‘tanner’ (6d). The club sought to contain its rising expenses and noted that both West Herts and Watford St. Mary’s, already, charged 6d. the increase did not go down well with the club’s supporters.
For the visit of Crouch End on the first Saturday in December the cost of admission was reduced to 4d. The visitors had been enjoying a good season to date but were seen off 2-0. A good number of St. Albans players had previously played for Crouch End and it was, maybe, that that led to a full-blooded encounter that was, nonetheless, played in the best of spirits.
The Clock Tower opened its report with these words, “The game on Saturday was of the true hot-blooded passion sort that makes everyone either a howling partisan or a bilious, whining white-livered apologist.” The match was refereed by Jack Dickerson who caused some consternation when disallowing a goal by Groom for offside when many thought that the ball had been played up to the St. Albans centre-forward, inadvertently, by a Crouch Ender. The Saints were not to be denied though and took the lead when the Ender’s goalkeeper, G. F. Royce, under pressure from Allen, punched a Harry Laughton cross into his net. Groom did, finally, get his name on the score sheet later in the game.
If the match report for the Saints meeting with Kennington on 12th December is to be believed, then the game was as big a farce as the 9-0 scoreline suggests. The Clock Tower claimed that the St. Albans goalkeeper, Fred Gentle, disappeared to the dressing room – that was in the cricket pavilion rather than the football ground – to warm his hands and get his mackintosh, while the game was going on. Time was lost while the players and some spectators searched for the ball in shrubbery and, as the rain lashed down, there was a spell of play during which the Saints forced eight successive corners. After scoring once in four games, Fred Allen (right) bagged a personal best of five goals, Herbert Vinsen scored a couple and there were singles for Arthur Taylor and John William Sharpe. St. Albans had struggled to get a side together for the game and it was only by hopping into a cab and getting a train from St. Pancras that Taylor made up the numbers.
The newspaper was confident that the final game before Christmas, at home to the 1st Scots Guards on the 19th, would be more keenly contested. “The match on Saturday will be of a somewhat different stamp. The First Scots are a very strong team, and one of the toughest fights of the season will be witnessed. If only the weather would give us a chance, there ought to be a big gate.” St. Albans won 8-0 with George Groom scoring three times.
It was not until when the game was in motion that the truth emerged that the Scots had sent their Second XI, as the First team were tied up with a game against Barking Woodville. To complete an unhappy day for the Army boys they also lost that game, 2-1.
A friendly against West Herts had been mooted for Boxing Day, but when that game didn’t come off Mid Kent from Maidstone stood in. Unfortunately, two of the Mid Kent side had travelled into London from Reading but missed their train at St. Pancras, leaving the visitors short of two players. Jack Stevens stepped in to take one spot while another occasional St. Albans player, Captain Bigge, also stepped forward. Captain Bigge had only intended to watch the game as he was unwell and still under doctor’s orders. He received the perfect medicine when scoring the visitors only goal in a 6-1 defeat. The Mid Kent side was still far from weak as it did contain three members of the Casuals team. In spite of more rain the game, played on Boxing Day, attracted a crowd of around 800.
Plum pudding pitch
Two days later and the rain had increased in its persistence as the Town side did battle with Kettering United. For this match Stevens was able to don the colours of the home team. Vinsen was late arriving but the visitors allowed F. Payne to stand in until he made his way to the ground. The match reporter was clearly in festive mood and opened his report with, “The ball was as heavy as plum pudding after being boiled; the ground in front of the goal was as soft as a plum pudding before it is boiled.” The game proved to be the highest scoring affair of the season at Clarence Park with the Saints winning 9-3. Allen scored another hat-trick but he was upstaged by Groom who netted four times.
The loyalty of the spectators was sorely tested at the start of the New Year. On 2nd January Plumstead United were pencilled in to visit St. Albans but after waiting patiently inside the ground for 75 minutes beyond the scheduled kick-off time the crowd, which numbered around 600, was informed that Plumstead, leaders of the Woolwich League, had not made the journey and the game was off. The postponement was as annoying for the players as it was the spectators as they had changed into their kit in anticipation of a game. Quite remarkably, not one spectator is said to have requested a refund but they were offered tickets for the following week’s game against Clapham.
Unfortunately, late in the week, Clapham announced that they would be able to fulfil the fixture. At short notice, the Saints filled the vacancy by inviting Bow to visit the Park. This time the crowd waited outside for over an hour before setting foot inside the Park, and as the scheduled 2.30pm kick off time was passed it looked like another blank day for the Pinks. Many spectators had drifted away by the time that Bow did arrive, albeit with just seven men. H. Hales, Sibley and Charlie Richardson of St. Albans Abbey stepped in to boost the Bow numbers to ten players. At. 3.30pm the game finally got underway and the London club held out until two minutes before the interval, at which point the rampant Saints hammered in the first of nine goals without reply. Jimmy Dimmock scored the first of his two hat-tricks in 112 games for the club but again Groom took top billing when scoring four times for the second successive game.
Harry Laughton suffered the misfortune to pick up an injury during a 3-2 win over Royal Artillery on the 16th but, as the game went on, was tended to by a kind hearted spectator. The win was the Saints eighth in succession but heavy snow the following week put the winning run on hold.
A return to action was made on 6th February when the 1st Grenadiers put in an appearance at the Park and ended the winning streak by handing the Saints a 3-2 reverse. Of the previous 17 games St. Albans had won 15 and drawn one. Groom’s run of scoring in five consecutive games came to an end but Allen extended his run to an eighth game. The affairs of the football club and anything else in Clarence Park was probably of little concern to its benefactor, Sir John Blundell, as his furniture empire suffered a setback with his store in Little Camden Street being destroyed by fire on the Sunday night.
The following weekend saw Barking Woodville make a first visit to the Park under that name (Woodville had twice previously played at St. Albans). It was another wet day with the highlight being a goal by Groom as he started out on a run of scoring in nine consecutive games. The match finished at 1-1.
The Welshmen of London Welsh followed up their victory from earlier in the season to hand the Saints their heaviest, and last, defeat of the season when winning 4-1 at Clarence Park on 20th February. The visitors XI showed seven changes from the first game while the Town side had just two alterations. Gentle’s run of 15 games in goal came to an end the following week as Dickerson played his first game since announcing his retirement at the start of the season. Dicky’s return coincided with a return to winning ways with St. Mary’s Hospital being despatched 5-2.
Goals flow during end of season run-in
The Pinks were now back into their stride and in winning all of the final eight games of the season racked up another 38 goals. Seven of those goals came against the Royal Artillery on 6th March. The Royalists had a completely different XI from the side that played at the Park in January and fared a good deal worse. Allen scored a hat-trick and Groom bagged a pair with the duo repeating the feat a week later when Clarence were beaten 7-2 at Clarence Park. Gentle reappeared for his 16th and final game in goal.
An injury during the first half of the Saints 5-3 win over the 2nd Coldstream Guards on 20th March brought to an end Groom’s goal-fest but he still chipped in with another brace before being sidelined. Tommy Lloyd, playing at inside-right, also scored a couple during a personal run of scoring in five consecutive games. Also on the scoresheet was Jimmy Dimmock who, in claiming the second goal of the game, had the honour scoring the Saints 100th goal of the season, a tally last achieved in 1888-89.
Tyrell Paul Margetson (left) became the sixth goalkeeper to represent the Saints since the start of the season and celebrated his first outing between the posts since the final game of the previous season by keeping a clean sheet during the visit of Anerley at the end of February. The play of the Anerley side was said to have been on the rough side and were frequently pulled up by referee Wagstaffe Simmons. Groom scored twice to complete his run of doing so for four successive games.
After scoring three fives and two sevens during the previous five games, St. Albans settled on just two goals to see off Bowes Park on 3rd April. The north London club were paying their seventh visit to the City but goals by Lloyd and Groom saw them suffer a fourth defeat in that time. The attendance was far lower than had been anticipated but a cold wind, later supplemented by rain, convinced the locals that this was not a day to venture outside. The Saints were without a game on the 10th but Clarence Park did not lay idle as Stanville and St. Albans Abbey did battle there with the former coming out on top 1-0, Wagstaffe Simmons took charge of the whistle.
Top Hats v The Bonnets
St. Albans had just two friendlies to fulfil to complete the season but on the Easter Saturday, 17th April, indulged themselves in a game of pure slapstick as all of the players dressed up in costumes of characters of the era. The weather had once again been quite dreadful in the morning, heavy rain, but relented just prior to the kick off to enable a reasonable number of spectators to make their way to the Park.
The first inkling that the spectators had of something unusual taking place was to be greeted by the gentleman at the turnstile wearing a bonnet and old-fashioned shawl. The youngsters handing out the match cards wore blue and white costumes, representative of Jack Tar (merchant and Royal Navy seafarers).
The teams were addressed as the Top Hats playing the Bonnets. The Bonnets consisted of players dressed up in women's attire (Ye Gentler Sex) while other members of the club (Ye Sterner Sex) wore costumes depicting well-known men of the day and distant past. George Wagstaffe Simmons refereed the game dressed as ye Ancient Beadle while his linesmen were Percy Sharpe (Old Mother Shipton) and William Payne (ye Sloppe). The two teams were:
Ye Gentler Sex: JW Sharpe (Swiss girl), Bert Arnold (Jane Cakebread), Albie Sharp (Charlie's Aunt), Frank Sharpe (Flower Girl), Herbert Vinsen (The Lady Slavey), Ernest Sharpe (Early Victorian), Jack Dickerson (Kate O'Connor), Alfred Miskin (Red Riding Hood), Tyrell Margetson (Her sister up-to-date), Tommy Lloyd (Cissy Loftus), CT Moon (Aurora Borealis).
Ye Sterner Sex: Alfred Debenham (Sir Toune Clerke Q.C.), J.McLarty (the Dandy-Coloured Coon), Freddy Allen (the Jester), Fred Payne (Watercress Trilby), Harry Payne (the Minstrel Boy), George Groom (Farmer Giles), Harry Laughton (the Coster King), Jacob Reynolds (Master of the Hounds), Bert Sanders (Joey Grimaldi), Mike Sharpe (the missing link), Jack Dimmock (Rory O'More).
Played to the accompaniment of the Abbey Band, the Ladies won 5-4.
That distraction out of the way, the Town rounded off their campaign with further wins at Clarence Park over the Lincolnshire Regiment and the Civil Service. The first of those two games saw the Saints play against military opposition for the 11th occasion during the season, just two games had been against teams representing Hospitals. The move towards playing against the military had been due to the suspicion that these would make for a better quality of game.
The attendance for the game with the Lincolnshire Regiment was said to be of a decent size thanks, in the main, to a number of the visitors to the city over the holiday weekend taking advantage of the good weather to watch some football. Lloyd, Allen and Groom all scored for the last time this season and Ernest Northern Sharpe also chipped in as the Saints ran out 4-0 winners. Groom had scored in nine successive games and in 14 of the final 15 games.
Earlier in the day, kick off 10.45, St. Albans Abbey and Harpenden contested the final of the Bingham Cox Cup at Clarence Park. S.A. Golds put the Harps ahead before the Abbey lifted the cup with goals from Trevor Shrewsbury and Harry Payne. Nine of the Abbey side were one-time St. Albans players while three of the Harpenden team also wore the Saints’ colours.
(Left) Albert Sharp’s Bingham Cox Cup winners’ medal. (Right: Albert Sharp).
Payne was joined by his Abbey team mate Albert Sharp for the Saints final match of the season on 24th April when the Civil Service appeared at the Park for the fourth time. As with the previous encounters, the Civil Service returned home defeated as goals from Ernest Sharp, following an Albert Sharp free kick, W.L. Miecznikowski and Dimmock, completed a 3-1 win.
Of the 29 games played, St. Albans won 23, drew two and lost four. Forwards George Groom and Fred Allen played 26 and 27 games respectively and scored 32 and 31 goals. Fellow forward Jimmy Dimmock, playing at outside-left, was the only ever-present player and Ernest Northern Sharpe was one behind on 28 games.
St. Albans are voted into the Southern League
Since the formation of the club in 1881, St. Albans had never competed in a league but during the course of the 1896-97 season there had been talk of the Pinks applying to join the ranks of the professionals in the Southern League.
On Saturday, 8th May 1897, at a meeting of the Southern League at the Mitre in Chancery Lane, London, rumour became reality as the club was duly elected into the league. St. Albans faced opposition from eight other clubs in seeking to claim the one vacant place in Division II. However, by an overwhelming majority the Saints gained election at the expense of Woolwich Arsenal Reserves, Royal Artillery (Portsmouth), Thames Ironworks, Swanscombe, Chesham Generals, Eastleigh and two clubs from Bristol; Bedminster and St. George's. The move into the Southern League became a logical step for the club once it had adopted professional status.
Will Sharpe stands down as hon. secretary
The successful elevation into the Southern League was discussed at the club’s Annual General Meeting at the Town Hall on 29th May and it was at this meeting that John William Sharpe (left) announced his resignation as honorary secretary. Wagstaffe Simmons proposed the resignation be accepted with profound regret. Sharpe regretted that at the time of his departure the club was running at a loss, the first time in his ten years that this was so. During his address, the outgoing secretary spoke of the move into professionalism. Although it was felt to be right for the club the move, at this early stage, had not been a financial success and where as the club opened the season in credit it closed the campaign with arrears totalling £4 14s 11d.
Prior to bowing out, the long-serving Sharpe gave a brief account of his years as secretary stating that when he started in office the club was playing in a field in Gombards. William Payne also stood down as assistant secretary, his place was taken by Jack Dickerson with Wagstaffe Simmons taking on the joint tasks of secretary and treasurer.
Former St. Albans captain Dickerson had close ties with Wagstaffe Simmons as the latter was married to Dicky’s sister. Outside of football Dickerson was a successful dance master and a highly regarded teacher at the Hatfield Road School. On 13th December 1896, at a meeting of the Football Association at Chancery Lane, Dickerson was promoted to membership of the Referee's Association.
that organised extensive celebrations throughout the district in recognition of Queen Victoria’s sixty years as monarch.
Although local football could be said to be moving in a forward direction by St. Albans' decision to be run as a professional club the same could not be said at county level. Early in the 1896-97 season, on 9th October at the Bedford Head Hotel, the Hertfordshire Football Association sought to determine the value of inter-county matches. It was stated that the most recent county match played at St. Albans had resulted in a loss to the association of around £3. Wagstaffe Simmons put forward the motion that those players selected for the county should pay their own expenses, although this did not gain the full support of all committee members, agreement was reached to try the experiment for one match which, coincidentally, was to be played at Clarence Park before Christmas. The proposal, however, was never tested as it is believed that no county matches were played that season.
The annual sports meeting at Clarence Park took place on Whit Monday, 7th June.
Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Celebrations
Away from sport, Clarence Park, on 24th June, played its part to the full during the celebrations to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. J.W. Sharpe played a leading role as a member of the Diamond Jubilee Committee. During the late afternoon a promenade and dance was staged on the football pitch followed by a display of old English sports and pastimes. The attendance for this event was said to be a staggering twelve to fifteen thousand. Earlier in the day a dinner was organised in the pavilion outside the football ground for the benefit of the old folk whose number included one lady born in 1799. One day later Sir John Blundell Maple was at his benevolent best, as he sponsored a party for 4,441 school children who each received 6d and a souvenir Jubilee mug.
1896-97 Season Line-ups
|Sep||19||Fr||CLARENCE||(H)||L||2||-||4||Dickerson J||Reynolds AJ||Vinsen HN||Margetson TP||Taylor AH||Sharpe EN||Paten RB||Laughton HR||Dimmock J||Allen F (1)||Brown R (1)|
|Sep||26||Fr||PEMBERTON||(H)||W||2||-||1||Dickerson J||Sanders B||Sharp A||Vinsen HN||Taylor AH||Sharpe EN (1)||Reynolds AJ||Laughton HR||Groom G||Allen F (1)||Dimmock J|
|Oct||3||Fr||BOW||(H)||W||4||-||0||Barker W||Sanders B||Sharp A||Williams SJ||Taylor AH||Sharpe EN||Reynolds AJ||Laughton HR||Vinsen HN||Allen F (1)||Dimmock J (2)|
|Oct||10||Fr||DEPTFORD TOWN||(H)||W||5||-||1||Barker W||Sanders B||Sharp A||Thomas S||Taylor AH||Sharpe EN||Sharpe JW||Laughton HR (3)||Nicholson RS (1)||Allen F||Dimmock J (1)|
|Oct||17||Fr||POLYTECHNIC||(H)||W||4||-||2||Hills H||Sanders B||Sharp A||Sharpe JW||Vinsen HN (1)||Sharpe EN||Nicholson RS||Laughton HR (1)||Groom G (1)||Allen F (1)||Dimmock J|
|Oct||24||Fr||2nd LIFE GUARDS||(H)||W||4||-||0||Hadow||Sanders B||Sharp A||Sharpe JW||Vinsen HN||Sharpe EN||Laughton HR||Nicholson RS||Groom G (1)||Allen F (2)||Dimmock J|
|Oct||31||Fr||BRENTFORD||(H)||W||3||-||0||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Taylor AH (1)||Vinsen HN||Sharpe EN||Laughton HR||Nicholson RS||Groom G (2)||Allen F||Dimmock J|
|Nov||7||Fr||LONDON HOSPITAL||(H)||W||2||-||0||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Taylor AH||Vinsen HN||Sharpe EN||Sharpe JW||Laughton HR (1)||Groom G||Allen F (1)||Dimmock J|
|Nov||14||Fr||LONDON WELSH||(H)||L||0||-||1||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharpe JW||Vinsen HN||Taylor AH||Sharpe EN||Nicholson RS||Laughton HR||Groom G||Allen F||Dimmock J|
|Nov||21||Fr||ROYAL SCOTS GREYS||(H)||D||0||-||0||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Vinsen HN||Taylor AH||Sharpe EN||Sharpe JW||Nicholson RS||Groom G||Allen F||Dimmock J|
|Nov||28||Fr||2nd GRENADIER GUARDS||(H)||W||3||-||2||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Vinsen HN||Taylor AH (1)||Sharpe EN (1)||Laughton HR||Nicholson RS (1)||Groom G||Allen F||Dimmock J|
|Dec||5||Fr||CROUCH END||(H)||W||2||-||0||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Vinsen HN||Taylor AH||Sharpe EN||Laughton HR||Nicholson RS||Groom G (1)||Allen F (1)||Dimmock J|
|Dec||12||Fr||KENNINGTON||(H)||W||9||-||0||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Vinsen HN (2)||Taylor AH (1)||Sharpe EN||Sharpe JW (1)||Scott E||Groom G||Allen F (5)||Dimmock J|
|Dec||19||Fr||1st SCOTS GUARDS||(H)||W||8||-||0||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Vinsen HN||Taylor AH||Sharpe EN||Scott E (1)||Laughton HR (1)||Groom G (3)||Allen F (2)||Dimmock J (1)|
|Dec||26||Fr||MID KENT||(H)||W||6||-||1||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Sharpe EN||Taylor AH||Houghton C||Scott E||Allen F (1)||Groom G (1)||Reeves (2)||Dimmock J (2)|
|Dec||28||Fr||KETTERING UNITED||(H)||W||9||-||3||Gentle FA||Street A||Sharp A||Vinsen H||Sharpe JW||Sharpe EN (1)||Scott E (1)||Stevens J||Groom G (4)||Allen F (3)||Dimmock J||Payne F|
|Jan||9||Fr||BOW||(H)||W||9||-||0||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Vinsen H||Taylor AH||Payne F||Sharpe JW||Laughton HR||Groom G (4)||Allen F (1)||Dimmock J (3)|
|Jan||16||Fr||ROYAL ARTILLERY||(H)||W||3||-||2||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Vinsen H||Taylor AH||Sharpe EN||Laughton HR||Draper H||Groom G (2)||Allen F (1)||Dimmock J|
|Feb||6||Fr||1st GRENADIERS||(H)||L||2||-||3||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Street A||Vinsen H||Sharp A||Sharpe EN||Laughton HR (1)||Deacon||Groom G||Allen F (1)||Dimmock J|
|Feb||13||Fr||BARKING WOODVILLE||(H)||D||1||-||1||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharpe JW||Payne F||Vinsen H||Sharpe EN||Laughton HR||Lloyd T||Groom G (1)||Allen F||Dimmock J||Spicer G|
|Feb||20||Fr||LONDON WELSH||(H)||L||1||-||4||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Sharpe EN||Vinsen H||Sharpe JW||Dimmock J||Allen F||Groom G (1)||Draper S||Laughton HR|
|Feb||27||Fr||ST. MARY'S HOSPITAL||(H)||W||5||-||2||Dickerson J||Sanders B||Sharpe JW||Seymour E||Vinsen H||Sharpe EN||Laughton HR||Lloyd T||Groom G (1)||Allen F (2)||Dimmock J (2)|
|Mar||6||Fr||ROYAL ARTILLERY||(H)||W||7||-||0||Dickerson J||Sanders B||Sharp A||Sharpe JW||Vinsen H||Sharpe EN (2)||Payne H||Lloyd T||Groom G (2)||Allen F (3)||Dimmock J|
|Mar||13||Fr||CLARENCE||(H)||W||7||-||2||Gentle FA||Sanders B||Sharp A||Street A||Vinsen H||Sharpe EN||Laughton HR (1)||Lloyd T (1)||Groom G (2)||Allen F (3)||Dimmock J|
|Mar||20||Fr||2nd COLDSTREAM GUARDS||(H)||W||5||-||3||Dickerson J||Sharpe JW||Sharp A||Payne H||Vinsen H||Sharpe EN||Laughton HR||Lloyd T (2)||Groom G (2)||Allen F||Dimmock J (1)|
|Mar||27||Fr||ANERLEY||(H)||W||5||-||0||Margetson TP||Sanders B||Sharp A||Sharpe JW||Vinsen H||Sharpe EN||Lloyd T (2)||Laughton HR||Groom G (2)||Payne H (1)||Dimmock J|
|Apr||3||Fr||BOWES PARK||(H)||W||2||-||0||Margetson TP||Sanders B||Sharp A||Reynolds FE||Vinsen H||Sharpe EN||Lloyd T (1)||Laughton HR||Groom G (1)||Payne H||Dimmock J|
|Apr||19||Fr||LINCOLNSHIRE REGIMENT||(H)||W||4||-||0||Margetson TP||Sharp A||Sanders B||Sharpe EN (1)||Vinsen H||Payne H||Dimmock J||Allen F (1)||Groom G (1)||Lloyd T (1)||Laughton HR|
|Apr||24||Fr||CIVIL SERVICE||(H)||W||3||-||1||Dickerson J||Holdstock||Sharp A||Sharpe EN (1)||Vinsen H||Payne H||Laughton HR||Miecznikowski WL (1)||Groom G||Allen F||Dimmock J (1)|
1896-97 Appearances & Goals
|Fred A Gentle||16||0|
|Harry R Laughton||24||8|
|Tyrell Paul Margetson||4||0|
|Robert Banting Paten||1||0|
|Ernest Northern Sharpe||28||7|
|John William Sharpe||15||1|
|Arthur Holey Taylor||15||3|