England’s last match of the 1800s was played on this day in Birmingham.
England’s last match of the 1800s was played on this day at Villa Park. A crowd of 25,590 saw Gilbert Oswald ‘GO’ Smith and Jimmy Settle score first-half goals in a 2-1 win against Scotland.
England had gone into this British Championship fixture in good form, having rattled in 13 goals against the Irish in Belfast and beaten Wales 4-0 in Bristol in their two previous internationals of 1899.
The team that took on the Scots was: Jack Robinson (Southampton), Harry Thickett (Sheffield United), James Crabtree (Aston Villa), Rab Howell (Liverpool), Frank Forman (Nottingham Forest), Ernie ‘Nudger’ Needham (Sheffield United), Charlie Athersmith (Aston Villa), Steve Bloomer (Derby County), GO Smith (Corinthians), Jimmy Settle (Bury) and Fred Forman (Nottingham Forest).
Smith, the scorer of the first goal, was the top centre-forward of his day. A bit slow but with a great football brain, he was the first to be capped 20 times by England, the first to play in ten consecutive matches and the first to captain England ten times in a row. He was a good cricketer too but was said to suffer from asthma.
Settle, the match-winner, was an inside-left for Bury and Everton. He cost the latter £400. He scored a hat-trick on his England debut and finished with six goals in six internationals.