Footballs First Super Star

The Right Honourable Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird

(16 February 1847 – 30 January 1923)


Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird was educated at Eton and Trinity College he graduated in 1869 and went to work in the family bank which after a later merger became Barclay’s Bank and he remained a director of Barclay’s until his death in 1923.

His football career began at Cheam School; he was captain of the school team in 1959 at twelve years of age. He played in the second FA Cup Final where he led The Wanderers to victory in the 1873 final, scoring the second and winning goal. The Sporting life reported that The Wanderers victory over Oxford University was “in great measure due to the extremely brilliant play of their captain”. There was a morning kick off to at Lille Bridge as it was near the river Thames and would allow the players to watch the Boat Race later in theday.  Kinnaird went on to play in eight more finals winning a further four. In the 1877 final against Oxford University he became the very first player to score an own goal.

He also played for Scotland in only the second ever international which took place in 1873 at the Oval; he was born in London but was able to play for Scotland due to his family’s heritage – it was to be his only cap.

This is how the teams were listed:

Alexander Morten (Crystal Palace, captain), black cap and brown stockings
Alexander George Bonsor (Wanderers), light blue and red cap
Charles John Chenery (Crystal Palace), blue and black cap, blue knickerbockers, blue stockings
William Edwin Clegg (Sheffield), blue cap
Alfred George Goodwyn (Royal Engineers), yellow blue and black stockings and cap
Ernest Harwood Greenhalgh (Nottingham), red white and blue cap
Hubert Heron (Uxbridge), blue stockings, blue cap with yellow crest
Leonard Sidgwick Howell (Old Wykehamists), cerise cap
Captain William Slaney Kenyon-Slaney (Household Brigade), red gold and black cap
Robert Walpole Sealy Vidal (Oxford University), white knickerbockers, dark stockings
Pelham George von Donop (Royal Engineers), red and blue stockings and cap.

Robert Gardner (Queen’s Park, captain), light blue cap
John Edward Blackburn (Royal Engineers), scarlet and blue fez
William Gibb (Clydesdale), black cap with magenta stripes
William Ker (Queen’s Park), no cap
Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird (Wanderers), blue and white cap
William Muir Mackinnon (Queen’s Park), blue and scarlet cowl
Henry Waugh Renny-Tailyour (Royal Engineers), blue and black cap, yellow tassel
Robert Smith (South Norwood), black cap
Joseph Taylor (Queen’s Park), white cap blue stars
James John Thomson (Queen’s Park), blue with white stars
David Wotherspoon (Queen’s Park), scarlet cowl.

According to Charles Alcock in the Football Annual of 1873 he was without exception the best player of the day; capable of taking any place on the field; is very fast and never loses sight of the ball; an excellent captain. He had a full auburn beard and was known as a fearless competitor with a huge love of football and life.

He won football Honours with The Wanderers – FA Cup winners: 1873, 1877, 1878; and with the Old Etonians – FA Cup winners: 1879, 1882. He was also on the losing side in the FA Cup final in: 1875, 1876, 1881, 1883

Being an all round sportsman he also excelled in other sports becoming a champion in swimming, tennis and international canoeing.

He was made an FA committeeman in 1868; became treasurer in 1877 and president of the FA from 1890 until his death in 1923.


43 Responses to Footballs First Super Star

  1. mickydidit89 says:

    What a refreshing article. Thanks GN5

    “he was born in London but was able to play for Scotland due to his family’s heritage “. What, like they owned Scotland 🙂

  2. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Thank you

    Impressive. I love the stories of that generation.

  3. mickydidit89 says:

    Captain William Slaney Kenyon-Slaney (Household Brigade)

    Would not have wanted to be his fag at Eton 🙂

  4. GunnerN5 says:


    He later became;

    The 11th Baron Kinnaird of Inchture.

    It was said that at one of the Etonian meetings his wife Lady Alma Kinnaird implored William Kenyon-Slanley, a fellow Wanderer, to persuade her husband to give up playing. “If he goes on”, she said, you know it will end in a broken leg, won’t it? “Yes”, said Kenyon-Slaney, “but the leg won’t be his own”

  5. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha ha GN5 🙂

    He was clearly a cad, a bounder, a thug and a bully 🙂

  6. chas mobile says:

    Cheers, GN5.

    I looked on YouTube for some clips of Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird (known to his teammates as ‘Foo’) but sadly there were none. ☺

    I wonder what these chaps would make of today’s ruffians playing for kings ransom?

  7. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks for your help and additions Chas.

    I can find lots of images, mostly sketches of the early days of football but photographs like the one you found of the 1873 Scottish international team are very rare and I don’t think videos exist.

  8. mickydidit89 says:


    Given they were thuggish toffs, they’d beat the oiks up and nick the loot. Short on morals they were when it came to foreigners and the lower orders

  9. GunnerN5 says:

    Lord Kinnaird was a title in the Peerage of Scotland. It was created in 1682 for George Kinnaird. The ninth Lord was created Baron Rossie, of Rossie in the County of Perth, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom in 1831, with normal remainder to the heirs male of his body. In 1860 he was made Baron Kinnaird, of Rossie in the County of Perth, also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, with special remainder to his younger brother, Arthur. Lord Kinnaird had no surviving male issue and the barony of Rossie became extinct on his death in 1878. He was succeeded in the Scottish lordship and barony of Kinnaird by his younger brother, Arthur, the tenth Lord. The eleventh Lord was a leading footballer and President of The Football Association. The titles became extinct upon the death of the thirteenth Lord in 1997.

  10. GunnerN5 says:

    In 1314, comes the earliest reference to a game called football when Nicholas de Farndone, Lord Mayor of the City of London issued a decree on behalf of King Edward II banning football. It was written in the French used by the English upper classes at the time. A translation reads: “[f]orasmuch as there is great noise in the city caused by hustling over large foot balls [rageries de grosses pelotes de pee] in the fields of the public from which many evils might arise which God forbid: we command and forbid on behalf of the king, on pain of imprisonment, such game to be used in the city in the future.”

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    In 1526 comes the first record of a pair of football boots occurs when Henry VIII of England ordered a pair from the Great Wardrobe in 1526. The boots are no longer in existence

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    All of these pieces are from Wikki.

    This article describes football in early Tottenham

    In 1581 comes the earliest account of football as an organised team sport. Richard Mulcaster, a student at Eton College in the early 16th century and later headmaster at other English schools provides the earliest references to teams (“sides” and “parties”), positions (“standings”), a referee (“judge over the parties”) and a coach “(trayning maister)”. Mulcaster’s “footeball” had evolved from the disordered and violent forms of traditional football:
    [s]ome smaller number with such overlooking, sorted into sides and standings, not meeting with their bodies so boisterously to trie their strength: nor shouldring or shuffing one an other so barbarously … may use footeball for as much good to the body, by the chiefe use of the legges.
    Mulcaster also confirms that in the 16th century England football was very popular and widespread: it had attained “greatnes. .. [and was] much used … in all places”

    Despite this violence continued to be a problem. For example, the parish archives of North Moreton, Oxfordshire for May 1595 state:

    “Gunter’s son and ye Gregorys fell together by ye years at football. Old Gunter drew his dagger and both broke their heads, and they died both within a fortnight after.”

  13. mickydidit89 says:

    It’s all excellent reading GN5

  14. chas mobile says:

  15. chas mobile says:

    So much for the theory about not having a violent London derby on a Sunday then.

  16. chas mobile says:

    ‘A Sunday when the London Marathon is on’ that should have said.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    A little bit silly of the FA

  18. chas says:

    Not yet confirmed yet, mind.

  19. chas mobile says:

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning picture maker

  21. mickydidit89 says:

    You said you were working earlier in the week. Are you allowed to say what exam papers you’re marking, and of course, can you send me advanced copies of this summer’s GCSE’s? 🙂

  22. chas says:

    I’m sure ive said before, it’s mickey mouse marking against a fixed markscheme, English for speakers of other languages.

    There you go asking questions again, the answers for which hold absolutely no interest whatsoever for you. 🙂

  23. chas says:

    Proper football

  24. mickydidit89 says:

    Actually, Mr Grumpy, I found that riveting so there 🙂

  25. chas says:

  26. chas says:

  27. mickydidit89 says:

    6:55 Who’s that, and where does she live? I feel some stalking coming on

  28. chas says:

    Here’s a clue to the lady’s identity…..

  29. chas says:

    Gorra go

  30. mickydidit89 says:


  31. Eddie says:

    Bergkamp pissed me off now. He is wearing the red currant shirt when he allegedly said that, which means he has collected a couple of trophies in 2 previous seasons.

    maybe he didn’t say that at all

    How would Bergkamp feel now if he was in Ozil’s shoes? Playing alongside current players? Would he want out?

    And finally, LB – do you still think Ozil is the best player we have ever had? I thought that too, but he is too schizophrenic for my liking – maestro one game, apprentice in the next. Dennis was solid, rock, always there.

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    6.55. Rita Hayworth. Magnificent. Reminds me of my first wife with a different body and head.

  33. Eddie says:

    Raddy! It is my Divorce Day today 🙂 🙂 I am accepting congrats 🙂

  34. Big Raddy says:

    Your first? Surely not.

    Congratulations. Decree nisi or absolute?

  35. Eddie says:

    no, not first, but a real one, after almost 30 years of hell
    Nisi, but no one is going to object, so I am as good as single 🙂 where is Terry 🙂

  36. Big Raddy says:

    I did 23 years with one of mine. You get less for a double murder.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    19 y.o Dane, Martin Dohlberg scored again for Ajax last night. He is going to be a top striker and of course is working with DB10 and Markie Overmars

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    “where is Terry”

    Probably climbing into his platforms and night fever suit as we speak

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    “Reminds me of my first wife with a different body and head” ha ha ha 🙂

  40. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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