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1897: Football victory soured by 'untrue allegations'

Updated: Apr 26, 2022

Mid Sussex Times - Tuesday 02 February 1897

To the Editor of the Mid Sussex Times

DEAR SIR, - I was very much amused on reading the few lines from the correspondent, attached to the brief report of this recent football match, in your last issue and I have to thank my unknown friend for affording me a real hearty laugh. Just fancy the ‘Cuckfield’ team comprising “two soldiers from the Royal Hussars, three or four from Wyllies School, and, the rest, if any, from Cuckfield!”

Now, Sir, as the Secretary of Handcross Football Club did not reckon on meeting Cuckfield and the rest of England (italics please, Mr. Editor), he put the strongest (I beg pardon the weakest) team he could obtain in Handcross into the field, and yet with all the advantage they held in the first half of the game they were unable to break the con-glom-er-ation (oh! that word) pitted against them.

I should like just to inform your worthy correspondent that the young soldiers are “real Cuckfield boys,” and that the three or four from the Wyllies, well, they want a bit of finding.

In conclusion, let me ask your would-be funny contributor to cheer up and take defeat like a man, not to make mountains out of mole-hills, but to write for some comic paper where his talent would be appreciated, if not encouraged.

Hoping that Handcross will be able to find their “missing forwards” in Great Britain, and wishing them every success when they next encounter “Cuckfield and the rest of England”, and thanking you for this short space,

I am, yours truly,


Stoke Newington, 11. January 1897.

Football match c1897 (with thanks to Lumiere Brothers on IMdb)

To the Editor of The Mid Sussex Times

Dear Sir, - Would you kindly permit a small space in your next issue to answer your Handcross correspondent respecting the football match on Wednesday week? He states that we did not player own team. We beg to deny this, as the team that played were all members of our Club. As to the Royal Hussars who played, they are natives of Cuckfield, being born here.

With regard to the two from Wyllies who played they are also members of our club. Our captain doesn’t go all over England to pick out players to meet our opponents, as suggested - and if he did it would take an unlimited amount of time - and we are not in cahoots with other clubs, as further suggested. Again the tone of your correspondent’s letter would imply that we are not disposed in a friendly manner towards the Handcross team. This we emphatically deny.

We hope to have the pleasure of meeting them again a future occasion, and if they were to play a better combination, and if the team were to take as much interest in football as Cuckfield does, they would win some more matches than they do.

The Handcross correspondent should think before he wrote about football and the Cuckfield Football Club again, and I should say he’d better get a little technical education, as it is cheap enough. Pardon this space taken up in answering the letter of last Tuesday, but as it is calculated to cause unpleasantness it has been thought best to write this letter of explanation.


Yours sincerely,


January 31st, 1897.



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