Posted: 2/21/2011
Title: THE FIRST LORD OF FOOTBALL

Blog:                                                                                                                         

        All you football-know-it-alls out there, can you tell me the ONLY player to play in NINE  F.A.Cup Finals, for two clubs and collect FIVE winners medals?

        The answer is Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird, the 11th Lord Kinnaird, born on February 16th, 1847.who died age 76 in 1923, just prior to Wembley Stadium opening. He was such a massive figure in the development of the game that he was presented with the very first F.A. Cup trophy to keep.After his last F.A. Cup triumph for Old Etonians in 1882 he stood on his head in front of the V.I.P pavilion.

       Lord Kinnaird played in every position including in goal, and had the dubious distinction of scoring the first ever OWN GOAL while playing for Old Etonians against Oxford University in the 1877 final. He always played in long white pants, called 'ducks' and sported a big shaggy auburn beard and wore a blue and white quartered hat on the field.

        He also played one international, for Scotland vs England in the second such match at The Oval in London. England won 4-2 in front of 3,000 specatators charged 1 shilling each with women free. A grand total 0f 106. His family was from Perthshire. He would have played in the very first match, in Glasgow, the previous year, but he was in India at the time and no Air India or magic carpet. He would have travelled by steamer in the POSH class. The word posh comes from Port(left) Out, Starboard (right)Home. Steaming across the Indian Ocean north of the Equator, the upper class would have a cabin in the shade, each way, before air conditioning.

      Peterborough United, who were non-league 50 years ago, are nicknamed POSH, because they had a magnificent stand like that of Arsenal, and paid top wages to their players.

      He was also a banker with the bank that eventually became Barclays Bank where he was on the board. Also a philanthropist with the YMCA and YWCA. He became President of The Football Association and helped shaped the 'beautiful game' from muddy wasteland to 100,000 plus crowds in stadiums.  He won an international canoeing race, played fives(similar to handball) and swimming for Cambridge University and was also a track athlete.

      Arthur was a tough player and tackled hard. His wife once told a friend that her husband might come home one day with a broken leg. "Don't worry madam, if he does, it will be someone else's leg" !  At just 22 years old he was an F.A. Councillor, then Treasurer and finally President until his death.  

 Football historian Andy Mitchell has almost completed a book about the great man. Go to www.lordkinnaird.com and learn more. I can't wait to buy it.

   

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