Malvern, Worcestershire born Reginald Erskine (R.E.) “Tip” Foster played as a forward for The Corinthians in the early 1900’s, playing for them between 1899 and 1902. He also played for Old Malvernians, a team made up of ex pupils from Malvern College, having been an Oxford University blue in both 1898 and 1899. He won the FA Amateur Cup with The Corinthians in 1902.
He played five matches for England between 1900 and 1902, making his international debut against Wales at The Cardiff Arms Park on 26th March 1900. In his second game, against Ireland at the Dell, Southampton, he scored his first international goal in a 3-0 victory. C. B. Fry (another of the 12 cricket and football double iuternationals) played at full back in the same game, and Foster played twice more in the same season against Wales and Scotland, scoring in a 6-0 win over Wales at St James’ Park.
Foster was awarded the captaincy against Wales in his final appearance on 3rd March 1902, which ended in a 0-0 draw. During his short England career he scored two goals, but more lastingly he became one of only 12 double football and cricket internationals, and the only one to captain his country at both sports. He also played in the very first England match against Germany, scoring six goals in a 12-0 amateur team victory at White Hart Lane in 1901.
His cricket career was outstanding. He and 6 brothers all played cricket for Worcestershire, with Foster playing for them between 1899 and 1912. He played 8 Tests for England between 1903 and 1907 averaging an excellent 46.30 with the bat. During his first match for England in 1903, he scored 287 against Australia in Sydney. That is still a record for an Englishman in Australia and for an Englishman on his Test debut.
Foster was one of several brothers and relatives who all played first class cricket. Brothers Harry, Wilfrid, Basil, Geoffrey, Maurice and Neville all played for Worcestershire and some also played for Oxford University, brother-in-law William Greenstock played for Cambridge University and Worcestershire, and three nephews, Christopher Foster, John Greenstock and Peter Foster, all subsequently played first class cricket. On only two occasions did four of the brothers play in a first class match together. In both cases the brothers involved were Geoffrey, Harry, Tip and Wilfrid. The matches, both in August 1905, were against the Australians at Worcester and against Somerset at Taunton. You can see many more photographs of Tip Foster and his brothers at www.vintagecricketers.com.