James Prinsep set an England record on this day 131 years ago.
James Prinsep held an England football record that stood for well over a hundred years. The Clapham Rovers half-back was chosen to play against Scotland at Kennington on this day in 1879 and he was only 17 years 252 days old.
A player described as ‘one of the prettiest half-backs that ever did duty for the Rose’ helped England to beat the Scots 5-4, which was only their second victory in eight attempts, and he remained England’s youngest-ever player until Wayne Rooney came on for Kieron Dyer against Australia at Upton Park in February 2003.
Prinsep had played for Clapham in The FA Cup Final a week earlier, establishing another record that was to stand for more than a century. He was born in India, was a regular soldier who was awarded the Albert Medal for saving a man of his regiment from drowning in the Shaban Cataract and was only 34 when he died. He caught pneumonia after playing golf at Nairn in Scotland.
He only made one appearance for the England football team. He was picked to play against Scotland again in 1882 but had to pull out through injury.