Category Archives: Sport

Mitcham Argyle Football Club

From a postcard dated 1907

News Articles

MITCHAM ARGYLE v. CLAPHAM R.

The Mitcham Argyle club opened their Balham and District League programme on Saturday, with a match against the Clapham United at Gorringe Park, and after a a very exciting time, the game ended in a draw of 5-5.

The Argyle, who were again. unfortunately, unable to have the services of their goalkeeper, won the toss, and play kicked off for the Rovers at 3.30, who immediately made tracks for goal, but were sent back by Prentice. Clapham kept up a persistent attack, and it was not very long before their efforts were rewarded by a mistake by the Argyles’ left back letting in Clay, who with a clear goal made no mistake with his shot. Shortly after the same player nearly added another goal with a fast shot at short range. which Mullins, who was playing goal in place of Hillier. just managed to put over the bar. After this the Argyle had a turn, and the United’s goal had some very narrow escapes, but eventually Ayling managed to obtain near goal and made the score even with a nice shot. From the kickoff the ball was sent well up towards the Argyles’ goal, and a race for the hall between Mullins and Clay ended in the latter securing and scoring in easy fashion. The Argyle were not long in drawing level, a line pass by Carey being neatly converted by Craib, and almost immediately after the whistle went for halftime.

On resuming the United attacked strongly and scored twice, both goals being by Waddam, the first was a good effort, but the second was an absolute present. Mullins letting the ball through his hands in a most unaccountable manner. Clapham’s large lead seemed to increase the efforts of the Argyle players. A nice run by Carey was finished with a lovely shot, which had the goalkeeper beaten all the way. Following this Ayling got clear away and sent to Craib who slammed the ball into the net and made the score level again. The game was now getting somewhat exciting, and the referee had to caution Clay, the United’s centre for ward for unfair tactics. The next goal fell to the Argyle, and was the best effort of the match. Craib obtained from the kickoff and travelled right through the United’s defence and ended with a shot which gave the goalkeeper no earthly chance. The Argyle made great efforts to keep their lead, but towards the end Noble obtained and shot from 20 yards and beat Mullins, who was handicapped by the centre-half getting in his line of sight. The score was again level, and both teams made determined efforts to obtain the lead, but nothing further was scored, and the game ended as above.

The Argyle showed improved form, and on Saturday, when they play their first home match on Figgs marsh, hope to have their best side out, and register their first win of this season.

Source: Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 09 October 1909 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

MITCHAM ARGYLE v. WATERFALL

The Mitcham Argyle Football Club opened their fifth season on Saturday last, with a match against the Waterfall F.C. on the latter’s ground, and after a very good and even game, the Argyle were beaten by one goal to nil. This result can be reckoned satisfactory by the supporters of the Argyle, considering that several new men were included in the team, which naturally did not allow of smooth working and complete understanding at the first time of asking, but on the whole, the form displayed was distinctly encouraging. and after a week or two the Mitcham Argyle F.C. should develop into a very decent combination.

The match on Saturday was fought out in a very friendly spirit and the first half should have seen the Waterfall leading, several good attempts by their inside forward, being cleverly frustrated by the Argyle goalie, W. Hillier, and towards the finish of the first half, J. Relf, the Argyle capt., in attempting to clear from the Waterfall centre, headed through his own goal, but the referee’s whistle had just previously gone owing to an injury to Hillier. Half time arrived with neither side claiming any advantage.

The second half was fairly even, although both sides missed easy chances, and twenty minutes from the finish a penalty was given against the Argyle for an obviously unintentional infringement by the right back. The penalty was taken by the Waterfall centre, who shot hard and true, but Hillier was there and cleared well. Two minutes from the time the Argyle was subjected to a strong attack, and after a scrimmage in front of goal, Roots obtained and sent in a fine shot which cannoned off the goal post into the net. One minute later the final whistle went, and the Argyle retired beaten by a goal to nil, after a very fine game.

For the losers, Hillier gave a display in goal, and Prentice at left back was great. Relf also played well, and the same must be said of Kemp and Roots for the winners. On Saturday next the Argyle will be entertained by the Caithness Rangers.

Source: Croydon Guardian and Surrey County Gazette – Saturday 25 September 1909 from the British Newspaper Archive (subscription required)

Advertisements

William Richardson, cobbler

He mended shoes at Church Road, opposite the parish church, for over 50 years. He made the boots for the local people and Mitcham cricketers; his brother Tom, was a famous Dr. W. G. Grace-era cricketer.

He died in 1949, aged 83.

Source: Mitcham News & Mercury, 26th May, 1961

1933 : Second boxing exhibition

Mitcham News & Mercury, 10th February, 1933, page 2.

MORE BOXING AT MITCHAM

Large Attendance at the Baths

EVENING OF GOOD SPORT

…. (preamble omitted) …

The opening contest of the evening was between Boy BINKS, of Streatham, and Sammy SMITH, of Mitcham, over six rounds. It was a hard-hitting match, with both men swinging wildly at each other. The first three mrounds went in favour of Binks, who was more aggressive than Smith. However, the tide turned in favour of Smith during the remaining rounds; he had his man down for a count of eight from a stinging right when the bell stopped the fifth round. The sixth round found Smith attacking most. The referee’s decision was a draw.

Scheduled for eight rounds, the next bout lasted for two. Danny GARDINER, of westbourne Park, outboxed his opponent, Jack DAY, of Kingston. Day went to the boards for a count in the first round, but he fought back strongly, to send his man down for a count, the bell saving him.

In the second round Day was knocked off his feet on two occasions, and the referee intervened in favour of Gardiner, Day sustaining a cut eye.

The next bout was a comic event, Albert LLOYD, of Mitcham, drew with Bill HUNTLEY, of Tooting, over six rounds. Both men evoked much laughter from the spectators by their funny tactics, and when they started a fight of their own between the rounds cheers greeted their efforts. Each man in turn went down for a count, and it seemed quite possible that the fight would end with both men on the boards, but it actually finished with both men still wanting to fight on.

A GOOD MATCH

The big event of the evening was between Kid SOCKS, of Bethnal Green, and Sandy McEWAN, of Glasgow. The fight lasted for the full fifteen rounds, and Socks gave an almost perfect exhibition of how to use the left hand. McEwan, on the other hand, was a hard-punching, two-handed fighter.

For the majority of the bout the fighters were well-matched, McEwan striving hard to batter the elusive Socks. In the end it was a case of those pitiless left leads leaving their mark, and the fourteenth round found McEwan weakening, the last two rounds going definitely in Socks’ favour.

The referee awarded the match to Socks on points, but it was a very close fight.

Harry TAYLOR, of Tooting, was unlucky to be knocked out by Bill LEE, of St. James’s, in the second round of their six-round bout, for with his hard swinging rights and lefts he had his man groggy in the first round. His carelessness in the second led to his undoing, for, leavung himself unguarded while he sought to put his man out, he himself caught a right on the jaw, which finished the bout.

The last fight of the evening, over six rounds, between Jack ROBERTS, of wimbledon, and Tom RADFORD, of Tooting, was a battle royal of hectic youth, Both boys flung discretion to the winds and fought in an alarmingly wild manner. Radford was down for a count of eight in the second round, and the bell saved him from the full count at the end of the third round, when a rather low swing from Roberts caused him considerable distress. In the fifth round Radford took the full count and Roberts was awarded the fight.

The evening was ably conducted by Mr. Harry Brevett, late M.C. at the N.S.C., Albert Hall and Olympia, while Johnny Curley as the referee acquitted himself in a praiseworthy manner. The timekeeper was Mr. Hunter, and seconds Arthur Goodwin and Archie Watson.

1933 : First boxing show at the Baths Hall

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 3rd February, 1933, page 1

COUNCILLORS VISIT BOXING SHOW

Exhibition Contests at the New Baths
“NO COMPLAINTS”

A large number of Mitcham Councillors witnessed the first boxing exhibition to be held at the new Mitcham Baths, which took place on Monday evening. Before the boxing began the public who were present were told that they had the matter in their own hands as to whether regular boxing shows should be given at the baths or not, and the general verdict of the councillors was that the crowd had behaved splendidly.

“No complaints” was the general verdict of the Mitcham councillors after they had witnessed the first public boxing exhibition in the new Baths Hall on Monday evening.

The hall had been let to Mr. Meltonville for a boxing entertainment on the understanding that if a satisfactory report after the first occasion was received, the baths superintendent should be authorised to accept bookings from Mr. Meltonville every Monday during February.

The promoter, anxious to convince the Council of his integrity and the orderliness of his entertainment, invited the whole of the members of the Council to witness the exhibition for themselves. Most of the councillors availed themselves of the privilege, and there were present during the evening Couns. S. L. Gaston, J.P. (chairman of the Baths Committee), E. J. D. Field, H. F. Cusden, W. Dalton, J. S. Abraham, A. E. D. Clark, W. Curtis Wakeford, H. H. Dance, S. W. Duckett, T. A. East, S. J. Humphries, L. F. Rolls, S. R. Self, W. J. Blandford, G. W. Cole, J. Brewer, R. A. Brodie and Mr. Riley Schofield (surveyor and engineer).

Ring-side tickets were presented to the councillors, but the majority preferred not to be too prominent, and they sat on the platform at the far end of the hall.

BEHAVED SPLENDIDLY

Over a thousand spectators were present, and they behaved splendidly, very little partisanship being evinced during any of the contests. There was a fair sprinkling of the fair sex.

At the outset, the announcer appealed to the assembly to give fair play to the boxers and to behave like respectable citizens. “If you do that,” he added, “the promoter will give you full value for your money, and a square deal in the way of tip-top boxers, and probably a few champions, and you will be able to have these exhibitions regularly. If you do not behave properly then it will mean shutting down.” The crowd cheered in agreement.

Six bouts were successfully carried through without the slightest hitch so far as the spectators were concerned. One or two substitutes had to be found for advertised boxers who failed to turn up. Otherwise the programme was observed to the letter, with capable officials on duty and a perfect ring.

Before the last contest started, Mr. J. Windsor stepped into the ring, and speaking on behalf of Mr. Meltonville and himself, said he must thank the assembly for the way in which they had behaved throughout the show. He hoped that in future shows they would conduct themselves in the same orderly fashion. “It remains in your hands,” Mr. Windsor added, “whether these shows are held. If you behave properly they will continue, and you will see some of the best boxing talent in the country. I want to pay tribute to the Mitcham Council. I have never come across a more beautiful hall than this baths hall. It is a credit to the Council and the ratepayers, and I trust you will do your best in keeping it nice and respectable.” (Loud cheers).

“GOOD AS GOLD”

Coun. S. L. Gaston, J.P., chairman of the Baths Committee, said: “I have no complaints whatever. The conduct of the spectators has been quite good. Personally, I have seen nothing whatever to take exception to, and as far as I can see, the shows will be permitted to go on. If the crowd always behaves in the same orderly manner nothing can be said against them. They were as good as gold to-night, and I hope they will always be the same. For a first attempt the exhibition was satisfactory in every way.”

Coun. Harry Cusden said: “You could have not got a better audience in the Central Hall, Tooting Broadway, at a Brotherhood meeting. I have seen many scraps at the Ring and the National Sporting Club, but never have I sat with a more orderly lot of chaps. I got among the mob because I wanted to see the scrapping, and I must say I neither saw nor heard anything to object to. Of course, there were some of “the lads of the village” present and their language would not appeal to everybody, but is is their ordinary vocabulary, and you have to put up with it. I heard several comment favourably on the hall; in fact, they appeared astounded, and I think they appreciated the nice surroundings, and were inclined to make their conduct fit in with them. In all my experience of boxing crowds, I am certain this was the best. They were a credit to themselves and everybody concerned. If they keep it up nobody can object to the assemblies and the shows.”

Coun. W. Dalton was rather reticent. He said: “I have seen nothing I can object to in the behaviour of the crowd.”

Coun. S. W. Duckett said: “I had an open mind when I came. I am leaving with the conviction that a boxing crowd can behave.”

Coun. Cole had previously asserted that if there was a demand for boxing displays in Mitcham the people had a right to say whether they wanted boxing or dancing in the hall. He sat with Coun. Cusden in the gallery watching the show, and expressed himself as perfectly satisfied.

Couns. Field and Brewer openly confessed that boxing displays did not appeal to them.

Mr. C. P. Walker, the baths superintendent, told one of our reporters next morning: “I don’t remember a more orderly boxing crowd. At Hull it was much different, but, of course, it is expected and the crowd don’t disappoint you. From my contact with the crowd here, I feel they were impressed by the appeal made to them from the ring at the start, and they realised that no nonsense would be tolerated. I think also that they do not want to jeopardise future shows. I heard scores of spectators say they had never seen a nicer hall, and it was a pity if anything was done to spoil it. I can say that no damage whatever was committed, and the refuse left behind was nothing to complain about. There were just two empty pint beer bottles and the usual refuse to be seen the morning afer any cinema show. Not a single chair was any the worse, though a few were used for standing on at the back. However, when the attendants spoke to the offenders they were quite reasonable and readily did as they were asked. I regard the crowd as quite normal, and personally, I have no complaint to make of any description.”

The boxing contests were quite exciting, though scarcely attaining the standard anticipated. Four bouts over twelve rounds figured on the programme, but only one of these travelled the full distance.

Eddie MANNING (Tooting) scored a popular victory over Harry JENKINS (Camden Town), who retired at the end of the eighth round with a badly damaged eye.

Patsy FLYNN (Blackfriars) did not experience much trouble in disposing of Alf. WATTS (Edmonton), who was knocked out in the second round.

Johnny HARRIS (King’s Cross) beat Herbie FRASER (Westbourne Park), the referee intervening at the end of the seventh round.

Jack ELLIS (Bermondsey) had to fight hard before outpointing Sonnie DOKE (Battersea). This was easily the best encounter of the evening, and as “the old un” stood up and exchanged blow for blow with his younger adversary, the crowd cheered vociferously, Doke visibly tired with his punishment, but he managed to keep going, and made a gallant toe-to-toe fight of it. At the finish the applause was equal and the liberal shower of coppers in the ring showed the bout had been well appreciated.

In a six-round bout, Sonny SMITH (Mitcham) beat “Young” BRUMMY (Blackfriars) on points, and Harry TAYLOR (Tooting) knocked out Jack ROBERTS (Wimbledon) in the fourth round of the concluding bout.

1935 : Boxing at Mitcham Baths

From the Mitcham Herald, 20th December, 1935

BOXING AT MITCHAM BATHS.
Bad Luck for Local Men.

Local boxers met with bad luck in their contests at Mitcham Baths on
Monday night, at a tournament in aid of the Wimbledon and Mitcham Poor Children’s Outing Fund.

Butcher Clements, a Morden welter-weight, appeared to be well ahead on points when his contest with Johnny Rust, of South Africa,was stopped by the referee, because Clements had sustained a cut eye, at the end of the third round. Clements had done nearly all the attacking and had forced Rust to fight almost entirely on the defensive. Rust was shaken by a hard right to the stomach, and again by a left swing to the head. In the third round, however, Rust landed an uppercut during a clinch and Clements’ eye was cut.

Jack Bowdery, of Carshalton, missed with a left lead, and was knocked out in the first round by Charlie GORY, of Mitcham. Bowdery made a game effort to rise, but just failed to beat the count.

Jacky Roberts, of Tooting, created a surprise by knocking out Al Roy, of Newcastle, with a body blow in the fifth round.

Over six rounds, Johnny Collier, of Battersea, and Micky Quinn, of Ireland, fought a draw, and Harry Taylor (Tooting) knocked out Fred Dyer (Shepherds Bush) in the second round.

1936 : Boxing at Mitcham Baths

From the Mitcham Herald, 13th November, 1936

BOXING AT MITCHAM BATHS.

In aid of the Wimbledon and Mitcham Poor Children’s Outing Fund, a boxing tournament was held at Mitcham Baths on Monday.

Fred King (Carshalton) was to have fought Bert Francis (Woolwich) over ten rounds, but Francis was found to be well over a stone the heavier, and King declined to meet him. Instead, he fought Harry Taylor (Tooting), whom he knocked out in the second round. King had plaster over both eyebrows.
In a ten-rounds middle weight contest Pat Mulcahey (Croydon) was awarded
the decision on points over Fred Taylor (Canning Town).

Over six rounds, Young Waterman (Canning Town) outpointed Darkie Benito (Croydon); Tony Smith (Canning Town) outpointed Jack WILLIS (Mitcham); and Freddie LYONS (Mitcham) fought a draw with Jimmy Kelly (Walworth).

1950 : Mitcham Boxing Club’s best bill of the season

From the Mitcham News and Mercury, 27th January, 1950, page 5

Men In Khaki Up From Aldershot

Men in khaki from the Aldershot area came to Mitcham Baths on Wednesday of last week to provide Mitcham Boxing Club’s best bill of the season. Programme ended at 11 p.m. after 16 bouts, and there were still more lined up.

Ironically, pride of place for the evening must go to a loser. Thirty-five-years-old Pte. DOWDLEISH (A.C.C.) made his first appearance in the ring for five years, and found himself opposite the heavy-shouldered, hard-punching Ron KENCHINGTON (Earlsfield). Using a foxy cleverness born of experience, and snatching a breather whenever possible, he stayed out of trouble, but could not completely hold a determined Kenchington. Dowdleish, in defence, gave glimpses of an attractive boxing past.

Harry DUFFIN (Earlsfield) smashed his way to a points victory over Pte. GIBSON (R.A.S.C.). as the last bell sounded he pulled the limp soldier off the ropes and led him to his corner.

L-Cpl. W. BOWDERY (Mitcham and 14-20th Hussars) dominated the last two rounds of his bout with Cpl. SLOANE (R.A.O.C.), and it was stopped in the last round, with the Ordnance man reeling around the ring.

Mitcham’s Alf BLACKIE launched a series of right-hand punches to the head in an attempt to swing the decision in his bout with A. HUNT (Caius), but failed narrowly.

Bouncing Stan WARD (Earlsfield), with his piston-like left hand, out-pointed a tearway Cpl. WOOD (R.A.O.C.). Despite going down in the first round, Ward weathered a stormy two-fisted attack to win convincingly.

The crossed-arm defence of L-Cpl. Peter HARRIS (Earlsfield and K.R.R.C.) was not sufficient to prevent him losing on points to L-Cpl. CLARKE (R.E.). Clarke was guilty of a little accidental low punching, but both men finished on the best of terms.

Results on points: Sgt. WOOD (1st Para. Bn.) bt J. HICKS (Mitcham); A.C. R. PATCHING (Mitcham and R.A.F.) bt. Sapper HERBERT (R.E.); D. TAFFURELLI (canterbury and Lilleshall) bt Rfn. MORGAN (K.R.R.C.); Pte. BARTON (R.A.O.C.) bt W.T. BOWDERY (Mitcham); Pte. HUNTER (A.C.C.) bt W. SEALE (Mitcham); Pte. EVANS (S.L.I.) bt R. MOORE (Coulsdon and Purley); G. COUSINS (Earlsfield) bt Pte. TERENCE (R.A.O.C.); H. LEWIS (Earlsfield) bt Pte. DAGLEISH (A.C.C.); Pte. MURRAY (R.A.O.C.) bt E. RANDALL (Mitcham).

L-Col. CLARKE (R.E.) bt P. McCARTHY (Coulsdon), with McCarthy disqualified in the last round for lying on his man.