Alcock was born in Sunderland in 1842 and educated at Harrow. He was one of the founders of the famous Wanderers club, and went on to become secretary of the English FA secretary. He also played for England in a couple of games against a ‘London Scottish’ side in 1870 and 1871. Appetite was growing for a proper England vs Scotland international match and, in 1872, he successfully arranged for that to take place in Glasgow.
As an England footballer, Alcock missed the match through injury (although he did act as umpire), but later played and scored in a UFWC match against Scotland in March 1875. Alcock also created the first organised football competition, the FA Cup, with the first round of ties being played on 11 November 1871. The first FA Cup final was won by Wanderers – captained, naturally, by one CW Alcock. He was also involved in cricket, and arranged the first Test Match, between England and Australia in 1880.
The plaque suggests that the 1870 England vs London Scottish football game was an international match, which isn’t strictly true, but there’s no doubt that CW Alcock was the chief originator of international football, and it’s great to see this UFWC hall of famer getting some recognition in his hometown.
Photo by top football Tweeter George Caulkin – follow him at @CaulkinTheTimes.