Stanley Briggs. A Principled Amateur Footballer

Sketch of Stanley Briggs in London FA colours which appeared in Lloyds Weekly Newspaper 25th October 1896
Sketch of Stanley Briggs in London FA colours which appeared in Lloyds Weekly Newspaper 25th October 1896

Born in Hackney, Stanley Briggs started his career in Kent with Folkestone before he moved to Hermitage FC in 1890. He then moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 1892. By the age of 20 he was already considered one of the leading Amateur players in England. His ability was widely appreciated and his skills were constantly in demand by other clubs. Being an Amateur, Briggs could take advantage of this and, in 1893, he signed for Woolwich Arsenal but only stayed for 2 games before returning to Tottenham.

During his playing days Briggs was well known in and around London and also played for Corinthians, Friars, London Caledonians, Shepherds Bush, Millwall Athletic, Richmond, Upton Park and of course, Clapton.

A change in the direction football was taking at the time ended Briggs’ association with Tottenham. When, in December 1895, Tottenham held a meeting to discuss moving to the paid, professional ranks of the game, Briggs refused to even attend the meeting. Preferring to remain Amateur, at the end of that season he left the club and signed with Clapton.

briggspostcard
Postcard of Stanley Briggs (Clapton). approx 1900

Briggs had been chosen to play for the South against the North in an International trial match, and had gone with the FA XI on a foreign of Bohemia and Germany in 1899. Many considered this an unofficial England tour.

In 1906, as a member of the Shepherds Bush club, he sought election as Division 9 representative on the Football Association Council.

He never got the chance to win a cap at the very highest level because he refused to accept the professional game.

By preferring to remain an Amateur, Stanley Briggs really was a man of true principal.

Following his retirement from football he was the Hotel manager of the General Havelock Hotel on High Street Ilford.  The building still stands today and is known as “The General”.  He later managed the Brook Green Hotel in Hammersmith before migrating to Canada.

Stanley Briggs died and is buried at Shell Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada.  His grandson, Dr. Stanley Briggs III lives in Saskatchewan and is in regular correspondence with the real Clapton FC

Clapton FC Team Photo 1896. Stanley Briggs, seated front row, far right
Clapton FC Team Photo 1897-98.  Stanley Briggs, seated front row, far right
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Clapton FC

This blog contains an anthology of articles featured in Clapton FC programmes and other websites that related to the Clapton Football Club, founded in 1877 as Downs FC.

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