CANADA AND USA 1906
In 1906, for the first time ever, Corinthian FC ventured across the Atlantic to North America. By invitation of the Canadian and Philadelphian football authorities, the footballing missionaries took part in a 34 day tour, competing in 17 fixtures across Northern America.
The side that sailed from Liverpool were thought to be one of the finest Corinthian teams to ever leave the British Isles, touting a star-studded line-up which included Charles Wreford-Brown, Thomas Rowlandson and G.S.Harris.
The arrival of the Corinthian side, after 2 days of travel, was welcomed with huge enthusiasm. Although arriving late to their first fixture, the Corinthian touring side put on a true spectacle for the 3,000 crowd in Montreal, defeating their hosts by a margin of 6 goals to 2, with G.S.Harris scoring a hatrick. On the following day, the team were invited by their Canadian counterparts to a baseball match, to watch a local baseball match. However, the team were not pleased with the spirit of either the players or spectators. 'Every decision of the umpires were disputed, both by the players and spectators.' After the match, the team took the train for a 3 hour journey to Ottawa, once again coming away as victors, this time by a scoreline of 5 goals to 0. Although two other planned games fell through, the Corinthians continued their tour into Hamilton, beating the home side 3-1. It was duly noted that, as the team traveled west, the quality of their opponents were getting tougher as each fixture past.
Once arriving in Toronto, the team were welcomed with open arms by Canadian tycoon Lieutenant Colonel Sir Henry Pellat. Pellat invited the team onto his boat, the "Maid of the Mist", for a trip to Niagara falls, before treating the team to lunch at the nearby Clifton House Hotel. After another convincing victory, in a 6-0 spectacle against Toronto, the team were once again treated to a delightful cruise around Lake Ontario on a private yacht by a 'Mr Polson', the founder of Toronto's Polson Iron Works.
Lake Louise, the lake the Corinthians traveled across with Iron Works tycoon William Polson
As a thank you for such a warm welcome to the country, the Corinthian side hosted a cricket match against the Toronto locals, coming away with a 38 run win. The day also included a round of lawn bowls in the town of Seaforth, against Canada's footballing champions, Huron.
A Game of Bowls: Seaforth
The temperatures in Seaforth got as high as 34 degrees in the shade, which led to a close encounter! After a 1-1 draw, a Corinthian player stated "One could only admire the pluck of our opponents". The last match in Canada ended in a 5-2 victory against All Kents at Chatham, Ontario.
This strong form continued as the side traveled to Chicago, once again coming away victorious against their hosts 5-2. After travelling overnight to Cincinnati, the touring side inflicted their joint largest victory, beating their host 19-0, with S.H.Day scoring an emphatic 7 goals. The Cincinnati result was achieved despite the side losing their entire luggage in transit, and having new outfits obtained on the day of the match!
After brushing aside an All-Cleveland side 8-0, the team traveled to Philadelphia to commence the second half of the tour. Continuing on with their spell-bounding performances, the side traveled east to take on the Cricket Club of Philadelphia at the spectacular Merion Cricket Ground. Corinth were pleased with the sportsmanlike manner that their opponents displayed, as many were young students at the nearby university.
Merion Cricket Club, Philadelphia 0-6 Corinthian FC
The final game in Philadelphia was against a collection of players from local clubs. Corinth, however, showed no mercy in a 12-0 victory. Forwards Vassall and Harris each scored four, with even Corinth goalkeeper Rowlandson scoring a goal! As reported from a local Philadelphia newspaper, there were in fact more goals, however the Corinthians voided the addition goals, due to them being penalties.
Corinthian's final leg in the tour was a trip to New York and Newark. Once again, the Corinthian side stunned the residents of New York, with two routs finishing 11-1 and 18-0, against the Collegians and an All New York side respectively. Although Corinth's record was fantastic across the month long tour, their final two fixtures proved to be the most difficult ties of the tour. In their penultimate game, Fall River beat the tourist 3-0, with the final fixture against Fore River finishing with a close 1-1 result. The Corinthians sailed home the next day on the Campania, reaching Liverpool three days later on September 22nd 1906.
The team finished with a touring record of : W14 D2 L1
[The touring party were: M. Morgan-Owen, S.H. Day, W.U. Timmis, B.H. Willet, C. Wreford-Brown, P.R.May, N.S. Cornelius, G.N.Foster, C.C.Page, T.S. Rowlandson, R.D. Craig, B.O. Corbett, G.S.Harris, G.C. Vassall, E.G.D. Wright]