The 1901 Cup Final

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The programme

sheffield_united_1901_cup_final.jpg
 
Foulke (not Foulkes) played for Chelsea in their first Football League season and the club employed two lads to stand behind the goal and tease him.

They also used to retrieve the ball when it went out of play, so the tradition of having ball-boys at football matches was born.

Foulke had a tragic end to his life when beset by poverty, he was reduced to earning a pittance in a "beat the goalie" sideshow attraction in Blackpool where he caught pneumonia, from which he died.
Fascinating stuff as usual MFF, why did Chelsea pay to tease their keeper?
 
Fascinating stuff as usual MFF, why did Chelsea pay to tease their keeper?

It was an effort to attract more supporters for their matches - don't forget that Chelsea had never kicked a ball in anger before they joined the Second Division, so the owners were looking for any way possible to increase their gates and Foulke was a great crowd-puller.
 
Sheffield United played an away match and someone forgot to pack Foulke's shirt. A desperate attempt to find a replacement shirt large enough for him at a local sports shop proved fruitless, so he played the match wrapped in a bed-sheet.

Despite the muddy conditions, Foulke didn't concede and was spotless after the match.

Hence the term "keeping a clean sheet" for goalkeepers was born.
Cheers. Love anecdotes like that.
 
Its a geek off.

"I have never been to a game but I have a fully intact; still in its plastic; programme of the 1932 league cup 3rd round clash with Aldershot Town, or Aldershot FC as they were known back then" *Nasal voice*
 
It was an effort to attract more supporters for their matches - don't forget that Chelsea had never kicked a ball in anger before they joined the Second Division, so the owners were looking for any way possible to increase their gates and Foulke was a great crowd-puller.

I read somewhere that the ball boys used to stand directly behind the goal to Foulke's left and right, in an attempt to make the goal seem even smaller to the opposition, given that he covered most of the area with his bulk, this was supposed to intimidate any attempt at an attack by the opposing team, and as MFF has already said, it was a crowd pleaser, an early example of attracting support. Love the innocence of it all.
 
It was an effort to attract more supporters for their matches - don't forget that Chelsea had never kicked a ball in anger before they joined the Second Division, so the owners were looking for any way possible to increase their gates and Foulke was a great crowd-puller.
Ah right - and I never knew that about Chelsea going straight into the league
 
It was an effort to attract more supporters for their matches - don't forget that Chelsea had never kicked a ball in anger before they joined the Second Division, so the owners were looking for any way possible to increase their gates and Foulke was a great crowd-puller.
He played 35 times for Chelsea, but continued to gain weight. This is what he looked like in his Chelsea days.

SHEFFUfoulke3.jpg
 
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