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Lord Kinnaird


Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird, 11th Lord Kinnaird KT (16 February 1847 – 30 January 1923) was a principal of The Football Association and a leading football.

As a player, Kinnaird had a remarkable record. Having played in the second FA Cup final in 1873, he took part in a further eight - an unmatched total of nine finals in all. He was on the winning side three times with Wanderers and twice with the Old Etoniansmarker, a record not bettered to this day, and celebrated his fifth Cup Final victory by standing on his head in front of the pavilion.

In the course of his career as a Cup Final player, Kinnaird played in every position, from goalkeeper to forward. It was while playing in goal for Wanderers in the 1877 final that he suffered the indignity of scoring the first significant own goal in football history, accidentally stepping backwards over his own goal line after fielding an innocuous long shot from an Oxford University forward. The goal was not formally credited to Kinnaird until early football records were re-examined a century later, and it has been speculated - without there being any evidence - that the player used his influence as a member of the FA council to have the embarrassing record expunged. In fact the confusion appears to have been caused by the haphazard match reporting typical of the earliest days of the Association game.

Although he was born in Kensingtonmarker, Londonmarker, as son of an old Perthshiremarker family Kinnaird also played for Scotland, winning his solitary cap against England in the second ever international, played in 1873 at The Ovalmarker.

Kinnaird was a proponent of "hacking", the then controversial skill of aiming kicks at an opponent's shins; he regarded the practice as essential to the "manliness" of the Association game. He was renowned as perhaps the toughest tackler of his day, involving himself in so much rough play that his wife once expressed the fear that he would "come home one day with a broken leg." Hearing her comment, a friend, who knew his Kinnaird, is said to have responded: "You must not worry, madam. If he does, it will not be his own."

Sportswriters and fellow international queued to pay tribute to Kinnaird's skill as a footballer both during and after his career. He was, according to "Tityrus" (J.A.H. Catton), editor of the Athletic News, of

"yeoman build and shaggy auburn beard, [and] did not quite look the part of a Scottish laird, until one spoke to him, and heard his rich, resonant voice and his short ejaculatory sentences. Of course, he had the voice and manner of an educated man of distinction.


"He was a leader, and above all things, a muscular type of Christian... As a player, in any position, [he] was an examplar of manly robust football. He popularised the game by his activity as a footballer among every class. He was at much at home with the boys of the Polytechnic, London, as he was with the Old Etoniansmarker.


"There was a time when the white ducks of Kinnaird, for he always wore trousers in a match, and his blue and white quartered cap were as familiar on the field as the giant figure of W.G. Grace with his yellow and red cricket cap... Lord Kinnaird used to say that he played four or five matches a week and never grew tired, but he added, late in life, that he would never have been allowed to stay on the field five minutes in these latter days. Nevertheless, he was fair, above board, and was prepared to receive all the knocks that came his way without a trace of resentment."


As an administrator, Kinnaird was an FA committeeman at the age of 22, in 1869. He became treasurer 8 years later and president 13 years after that, replacing Major Francis Marindin in 1890. He was to remain president for the next 33 years until his death in 1923, just months before the opening of Wembley Stadiummarker.

Outside of football he was president of the YMCA in England, a director of Barclays Bank and Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1907, 1908 and 1909.

Honours

Wanderers


Old Etoniansmarker


Sources

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • The Official History Of The Football Association, Bryon Butler, ISBN 0-356-19145-1
  • Association Football and the Men Who Made It, William Pickford and Alfred Gibson. London: Caxton 1906.
  • The Story of Association Football, "Tityrus" (J.A.H. Catton). Cleethorpes: Soccer Books, 2006 reprint of 1926 original. ISBN 1-86223-119-2.


References




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