English Wanderers 1913 & The Clapton Connection

This article is not so much about a Clapton Tour but a trip to Paris, taken by a sets of English players, where they played friendly matches against local opposition on 1st November 1913 (the French holiday ‘Toussaint’).

The ‘English Wanderers’ were described as a ‘team of English Amateurs’ and played their match against an USFSA (Union des Sociéties Françaises Athletiques) XI at Auteuil, near Paris.

USFSA were responsible for all sports, including amateur football in France. They famously had a run in with FIFA when the English Amateur Football Association was denied membership and, as a consequence resigned. Even more famously, they wore white shirts white red and blue interlocking rings on the front. It is thought that this design was the influence behind the Olympic five ringed emblem as their president, Pierre de Coubertin was one of the founders of the modern Olympic Games.

The shirts worn by the English Wanderers had the three lions badge on the left breast of the shirt and they wore blue shorts.

The Clapton players who represented the English Wanderers were :-

Harold Meredith Lemoine, despite his French sounding surname, was born in Cambridge in 1877 and came to prominence originally when playing for Hunslet FC in Yorkshire. He then came south to play for Shepherds Bush FC and in 1909 made the trip across London to sign for the Tons. A year later, he had signed amateur forms with Southend United. At the time of this tour (1913) he had returned to Loftus Road to play for Shepherds Bush FC.

J.E. Olley was a half back in two Clapton teams that won the FA  Amateur Cup in 1907 and then again in 1909. He won Amateur International caps for England against Sweden and Ireland.

H.M. Lemoine is the goalkeeper whereas J. E. Olley is on the back row, far right.
H.M. Lemoine is the goalkeeper whereas J. E. Olley is on the back row, far right.


126 Years At the Old Spotted Dog !

osd9On Saturday 24th September 1887, Clapton Football Club played it’s first ever match as tenants of the Old Spotted Dog ground.  Their opponents were Old Carthusians, an experienced team made up from the old boys of Charterhouse School in Godalming, Surrey.

Advertisements were carried in the Stratford Express to publicise the match.  In the event, 700 people paid 3d to watch the teams fight out a 1-1 draw.  The crowd was disappointing and the following week’s Express report told of the attendance being adversely affected due to a Sports Day held at Leyton that same afternoon.

However, it also told of how the first Clapton goal was struck home. – “A volley by P.A. Read was punted forward and, before Wilkinson could get it, Sellar rushed up and headed it through to scenes of great enthusiasm.”  – Clapton has arrived at the Old Spotted Dog.

The teams for that historic match were :-


H.E. Peattie
C.E. Morris
A.E. Cassleton
P.A. Read
J. Barclay
S. Smith
J. Sellar
J. Cowan (capt)
R.H. Clark
J.S.L. Prior
T. Radford

– goal –
– back –
– back –
– half back –
– half back –
– half back –
– right –
– right –
– centre –
– left –
– left –

L.R. Wilkinson
P.M. Waters
A.M. Waters
C.W. Ware
T.W. Blenkiron
S.R. Arthur
C.A. Smith
A.C. Nixon
H.C. Price
F.J. Cooper
E.P. Rathbone

The Old Carthusians team of this day were one of the strongest in the country.  They included C.A. Smith who was later to find fame, firstly as an England cricketer but later as Sir C. Aubrey Smith, the actor, who went on to star with Clark Gable, Sir Laurence Olivier and Greta Garbo during his thespian career.  At back were the Waters brothers who were both England internationals and were nicknamed ‘morning’ and ‘afternoon’ due to their initials.

The Old Carthusians had previously won the FA Challenge Cup in 1881 and, in the previous season to this match, reached the quarter final where they were beaten by the eventual winners, West Bromich Albion.  Later, in 1891, the Carthusians were to win the FA Amateur Cup, a trophy that was later to find it’s way to the Old Spotted Dog Ground on no less than five occasions.

Old Carthusians were the first of many visitors to the Old Spotted Dog.  They were followed later that season by Ilford, Nottingham Forest and London Caledonians to name just a few.

The above information was extracted from ‘Fired Up For the 90s’ a Clapton FC publication from 1989


Unfortunately, those currently in charge of the lease at the ground and passing off as Clapton FC have shown that they cannot be trusted with either.  Director of the lease holding company and Clapton Members Club ”Chief Executive’ Mr McBean has previously undertaken, to the High Court, to sell the lease from under the club. His ‘club’ has no membership and the lease holders are currently subject to a statutory inquiry under s46 Charities Act 2011 by the Charity Commission.

For those who are interested in safeguarding the ground and keeping Clapton FC playing there.
Join Clapton FC