Chapter 96 – Sheffield v London

This is the first day of March. The newspaper stand has The Times’ headline: “Attack on the Queen!’. The article explains how Arthur O’Connor scaled Buckingham Palance’s fence and brandished a gun in her face with a petition to release Irish Prisoners. The seventeen-year-old was heroically apprehended by the Queens’ Personal Assistant, John Brown and her Equerries.

I board the Sheffield train, where the third inter-association match of 1872, between London and Sheffield, is being held. The journey ends in the ‘Steel City’, known as the ‘Iron, Steel and Cutlery’ capital of the world.

The following day, I travel to Bramall Lane Cricket Ground. This is a fascinating sight with a large crowd. Unfortunately the temporary barriers fail and the front row land face-first into the pitch.

The first half, played under Sheffield Rules, is enthralling with London scoring first and Sheffield replying within ten minutes. Just before half-time, John Charles Clegg scores Sheffield’s second goal, much to the enjoyment of the five thousand spectators. 

At half-time, the bars are lowered from nine feet to eight feet, switching to London rules. The second half is equally entertaining, however with no further goals, Sheffield is victorious. 

Alcock’s men have been humbled. In two days, Alcock’s Wanderers meet Queens Park. Time to get back to London.

———————————- © Graeme Brown 2019 ————————————-

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