England’s last match as an ‘amateur’ team was played on this day.
On this day 115 years ago England played their last international as a purely ‘amateur’ team. The match on 18 March 1895 was a British Championship fixture against Wales, watched by 13,000 fans at Queen’s Club in West Kensington, London.
The amateur players representing the full England side were George Raikes (Oxford University), Vaughan Lodge (Cambridge University), William Oakley (Oxford University), Arthur Henfrey (Corinthians), Charles Wreford-Brown (Old Carthusians), Richard Barker (Casuals), Hugh Stanbrough (Old Carthusians), Gerald Dewhurst (Liverpool Ramblers), GO Smith (Oxford University), Cunliffe Gosling (Old Etonians) and Rupert Sandilands (Old Westminsters).
Rupert Renorden Sandilands, winning his fourth cap on the left wing, scored England’s 74th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw. The ‘brilliant Old Westminster sprinter’ was on the staff of the Bank of England and notched three goals in his five England appearances. William Oakley, making his debut in defence, was England’s long jump champion the year before.
The FA had legalised ‘professionalism’ in football in 1885. In England’s next match, a 3-0 win against Scotland at Goodison Park, top-class professional players like Steve Bloomer, Billy Bassett and John Goodall were in the team.