Vassall Gilbert Image 1 Corinthians 1906

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Vassall Gilbert Image 1 Corinthians 1906

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Hardington Mandeville, Somerset born outside right Gilbert Vassall was educated at Charterhouse School and at Oriel College, Oxford University, where he gained fame at Oxford was as a long jumper, and he was the champion for three consecutive years from 1897 to 1899 in the Varsity athletic match against Cambridge University, his jump of 23 feet and three inches in 1899 being only two inches short of the then record, held by C.B. Fry. He also played football and cricket for the University, going on to be joint headmaster of The Dragon School in Oxford in later life.

As a footballer, he represented The Corinthians from the mid 1890’s, going on their first ever foreign tour of South Africa in 1897 and representing them for well a dozen or so years both in domestic football and on foreign tours.  At Oxford University he had been both the President of the Athletic Club and Captain of the Association Football Club. In 1904 he played for the Corinthian XI which defeated the F.A Cup holders, Bury, 3-1, and played in an international trial for The Amateurs against The Professionals at Craven Cottage in January 1906.

As a cricketer, Vassall played first class cricket for Somerset in six matches between 1902 and 1905. In the school holidays in 1902, 1903 and 1905, he played a few cricket matches for Somerset as a lower order batsman and right-arm fast bowler. In his first game, against Surrey, he joined Peter Randall Johnsonwith Somerset needing 65 for victory with three wickets to fall and hit an unbeaten 27 to take his side to success. This was his highest score in 10 innings for the County. In his five other matches for Somerset over the next three years he only made 19 more runs and his only wicket as a bowler came in 1905 when, as the seventh bowler used, he finally broke a stand of 261 by the Kent second wicket pair Ted Dillon and James Seymour.

NB This photograph was taken on 8th January 1906 before an Amateurs v Professionals England trial match played at Craven Cottage, Fulham, which the Professionals XI won 1-0.

Amateurs (white shirts): Back Row – PH Farnfield, JG Witherington, CD McIver, HA Nulton

Middle Row – SH Day, Vivian Woodward, Herbert Smith, SS Harris (captain)

Front Row – EGD Wright, TS Rowlandson, GC Vassall

Professionals (striped shirts): Back Row – Jimmy Ashcroft, Joe Walton, Archie Cross, Peter Chambers

Middle Row – Walter Bull, Fred Blackburn, Riley, Fred Threlfall

Front Row – Arthur “Pat” Collins, Tim Coleman, Fred Harrison

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