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Sweden 1904

SCANDINAVIA 1904

When the Corinthians travelled to Scandinavia in 1904, football was still in it's infancy.

Charles Wreford-Brown, famous for coining the term "Soccer" was invited to captain a side to Stockholm. he was delighted to find that the game had clearly taken hold in the region. And although the many teams that had formed were not yet as proficient as many of the other clubs the Corinthians had faced on the continent - they still had an excellent idea of how the game should be played.

On August 26th the squad sailed for two days to Gothenburg and while it was noted that several members of the party succumbed to the "terror of the ocean" - they played their usual deck games to entertain themselves.

 

Corinthians in 1904 Sweden
Team from left to right, back row: T.S. Rowlandson, I.J. Moon, O.T. Norris, W.J.H Curwen, C.D. McIver, F.H. Bryan, H.W. Hewitt. Front row: W.U. Timmis, C. Wreford-Brown, B.O. Corbett, H. Vickers.

 

The first match the Corinthians played was against a Gothenburg side which the Corinthians won 6-0. The pitches in Sweden at the time would strike terror into a modern day player - for they were composed entirely of gravel as during the winter they would be flooded and used as skating-rinks...! It was a far cry from the playing fields of Charterhouse and Oxford.

Wearing woollen knee caps, the Corinthians were careful not to fall though Wreford-Brown lated quipped,"We could not save our skin completely. Were we horses, our value would have deteriorated considerably!"

In the days after the game, the side were entertained with games of tennis and golf before exploring the fjords and climbing the hills around Trollhatten on the Gota. They too, travelled then by boat across the Wener and Wetter lakes, through th canals that navigate across Southern Sweden.

 

Lake Wener

The side idling whilst travelling by boat across Lake Wener

 

They arrived eventually at Stockholm where they played a Swedish select XI. While the opponents were fast in attack, the Corinthians found them without cohesion at the back and picked them off with ease, winning 11-0. Moon scored 8 with Wreford-Brown, Timmis and Norris all adding to the victory.

After further sightseeing explorations, sailing across fjords and visits to the opera, where they saw both "Orpheus" and the "Cavalleria Rusticana" the side were even entertained at a Royal residence at Drottningholm before their next game - this time the teams mixed up, where the sides drew 3-3.

 

The Drottningholm palace as it stands today.

 

By now great interest was taken in the Corinthians tour and for the final match in Sweden, Prince Gustavus Adolphus was even in attendance to watch the team win 15-1 against a Stockholm select XI. Moon scored another 5 while Bryant and McIver each added 4 themselves.

 

Prince Gustavus Adolphus even attended the game to see Corinthian beat a Stockholm select XI 15-1.

 

It would be the end of the sides successful time in Sweden - as they then travelled to Copenhagen, via Malmo - where they played a further two games, winning 4-1 and 4-0, the latter against a Danish select XI.

It was in Sweden though that the club enjoyed a most memorable time and so on leaving, they offered a cup to be competed for by the countries amateur sides, called the Corinthian Bowl, and the tour gave fresh impetus for the acceleration of development of the game in the region. 

 

Corinthian Bowl

Willhelm Friberg presents the Corinthian Bowl to Sweden's best football team of 1908 - ŌIS. The prize was established in 1904 in memory of the first match between an English and a Swedish team. Here the team captain, Gustaf Bergstrom receives the trophy after winning the final against Djurgården, 5-0.

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