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Alf Harvey (born c.1854) was an English footballer who made one appearance for England as a full back in 1881.

Contents

Identity

Football historians have always had difficulty identifying the precise name and details of A. Harvey who played for the Wednesbury Strollers and for England against Wales in the third international between the countries in February 1881.

The main contenders are:

a 31 year-old shoemaker born in Stone, Staffordshire;
a 23 year-old coalminer born in Rugeley, Staffordshire;
a 21 year-old potter born in Stoke-on-Trent;
a 20 year-old apprentice saddler from Walsall;
a 19 year-old bricklayer born in Stoke-on-Trent;
a 32 year-old tinplate stamper born in Birmingham;
a 27 year-old tinplate worker born in Birmingham;
a 24 year-old gun barrel borer born in Birmingham.

Research undertaken by the authors of the respected work of reference, englandfootballonline has led them to draw the conclusion that the most likely candidate is Alf Harvey, a tinplate worker born in Birmingham in the first quarter of 1854.[1]

Football career

Little is known about his club career, although he was registered with Wednesbury Strollers at the time of the international, and he later played representative football for Staffordshire.[2] In his 1881 Football Annual, Charles Alcock described him as "a clever, hard-working back; dodges well."[2]

Some sources claim that he also played for Aston Villa, but this appears to be a confusion with a R.A. Harvey who played for Villa in the 1880s, and appears to have come from the Nottingham area.[1]

He was selected to play for England against Wales on 26 February 1881 at Alexandra Meadows, Blackburn.[3] The English selectors had picked an inexperienced team with seven players making their debuts. England were "a little over-confident against the Welsh, who recorded their first victory on English soil with a 1–0 success".[4]

Family life

He was married to Hannah Breedon in 1871, and censuses show that they lived in Aston, Birmingham in 1881, Kings Norton, Birmingham in 1891 and Balsall Heath, Birmingham in 1901.[1] No details of his death can be found, although none was reported before 1924.

References

  1. ^ a b c "Alf Harvey Profile". www.englandfootballonline.com. http://www.englandfootballonline.com/TeamPlyrsBios/PlayersH/BioHarveyA.html. Retrieved 11 September 2008.  
  2. ^ a b Graham Betts (2006). England: Player by player. Green Umbrella Publishing. p. 123. ISBN 1-905009-63-1.  
  3. ^ "England 0 Wales 1, 26 February 1881 (Match summary)". www.englandstats.co.uk. http://www.englandstats.co.uk/matchreport.php?mid=12. Retrieved 11 September 2008.  
  4. ^ Gibbons, Philip (2001). Association Football in Victorian England - A History of the Game from 1863 to 1900. Upfront Publishing. p. 61. ISBN 1-84426-035-6.  

External links

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