Meeting of the Football Association (March 1, 1897)

March 1, 1897
Mr. John Charles Clegg presided over a meeting of the Football Association`s council, held at the offices, 61, Chancery Lane, London, yesterday evening. There was a large attendance. The Cup draw was the first business on a rather lengthy agenda paper, and resulted as follows: –

Preston North End or Aston Villa v. Liverpool or Nottingham Forest. To be played at Burnden Park, Bolton, if the two Lancashire clubs are left in, if not at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Referee, Mr. Aaron Scragg (Crewe); linesmen, Messrs. Carpenter (Leicester) and P.A. Timbs (Middlesex).

Everton v. Derby County at Stoke. Referee, Mr. J. Lewis (Blackburn); linesmen, Messrs. Jack Howcroft (Redcar) and W. Heath (Stoke).

To be played on Saturday, March 20, kick-off at 3.30 p.m.

In the replayed ties in the third round, Mr. A. Davis (Marlow) will officiate as linesman in the Aston Villa v. Preston North End match, in place of Mr. Timbs, while in Nottingham Forest v. Liverpool Mr. Arthur Kingscott (Derby) will referee, Mr. J. Brodie being unable to act, and Mr. M.J. Roberts (Derby) will be linesman instead of Mr. Howcroft.

Proposed alteration in the laws.
A report was received from the rules revision committee suggesting various alterations in the laws of the game, which will have to be submitted to the International Board. Many of the alterations are merely verbal in character, to prevent misunderstanding.

The  dimensions of the field of play are altered as follow: – Maximum 130 yards by 100 yards, minimum 100 by 60; for international matches, maximum 120 by 80, minimum 110 by 70. The duration of the game is fixed at 90 minutes unless by mutual consent. The interval is mentioned for the first time, and must not exceed five minutes, except by permission of the referee, while it is stipulated that the game should be played by eleven players on each side. Notice of change of goalkeeper must be given to the referee. “Kicking” is substituted for “hacking” in law 10, and the definition of the latter; while the goalkeeper may not be charged unless holding the ball or obstructing an opponent.

The restrictions as to metal projections, &c., in law 11 are extended to any portion of the boot, instead of soles and heels only.

The linesmen are subject to the instruction and decision of the referee, “to assist him in carrying out the game in accordance with the laws.”

With regard to law 8, it is suggested to the International Board that the same should read: – “A player shall neither carry, knock on, nor willfully handle the ball, “ &c.

Next season’s fixtures.
The following dates were fixed for 1897-8: –
International matches (provisionally), England v. Ireland, on March 5, 1898; England v. Wales, on March 21, 1898; England v. Scotland, on April 16, 1898.

Cup-ties: Preliminary rounds – First round, September 25; second round, October 16; third round, October 30, fourth round, November 20; fifth round, December 11, 1897.
Competition proper: First round, January 29; second round, February 12; third round, February 26; semi-finals, March 12; final, April 2, 1898.

It was decided to hold the International Conference at the Crystal Palace on April 3, at eleven a.m., Lord Kinnaird to preside, and Mr. D.B. Woolfall to represent the Football Association in arranging the international matches.

The international trial match.
Mr. C.J. Hughes (Cheshire) proposed, and Mr. R.P. Gregson (Lancashire) seconded – “That the proceeds of the international trial match, to be played on March 15, be given to the Mansion House Indian Famine Relief Fund.” This was carried unanimously. The venues are to be left to the selection committee.

Afterwards the Selection Committee chose the following to take part in the above match between amateurs and professionals, to be played in London, at the Queen’s Club, on Monday, March 15.

Amateurs: W. Campbell (Cambridge University), Lewis Lodge (Corinthians), William John Oakley (Corinthians), Bernard Middleditch (Corinthians), Charles Wreford Brown (Old Carthusians), and F.M. Ingram (Corinthians), R. Topham (Corinthians), Robert Cunliffe Gosling (Old Etonians), Gilbert Oswald Smith (Old Carthusians), H.J. Collier (Corinthians), Cuthbert James Burnup (Cambridge University).

Cuthbert James Burnup, Cambridge University (Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper: October 18, 1896).

Professionals: William Foulke (Sheffield United), Howard Spencer (Aston Villa), Ben Williams (West Bromwich), Frank Forman (Nottingham Forest), Johnny Holt (Everton), Jimmy Crabtree (Aston Villa), Charles Athersmith (Aston Villa), Steve Bloomer (Derby County), Jack Devey (Aston Villa), Harry Fletcher (Grimsby Town), Alf Milward (Everton).

Jimmy Crabtree, Aston Villa (Lloyd’s Weekly News: February 3, 1895):

Kick-off at four p.m.

The other business transacted related principally to complaints and suspensions.
(Liverpool Mercury: March 2, 1897)

Lord Arthur Kinnaird, the FA (Lloyd’s Weekly News: November 4, 1891):

Gilbert Oswald Smith (Lloyd’s Weekly News: October 20, 1895):


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