E Sands fSt Albans Amateurs MedalDuring the two previous seasons the football club had left the ranks of the professionals, returned to amateur status, suffered a season of poor reasons, and, to cap it all, face accusations from the Hertfordshire Football Associations of financial wrongdoings. The latter issue ran deep into the 1900-01 campaign while affairs on the pitch brought about an unprecedented season of success.

 St. Albans Amateurs rode a crest of a wave during the first season of the new century with virtually all opposition being swept aside, as the club was victorious in three competitions and reached the final in two other knock-out tournaments.

It was a stunning turnaround in fortunes for the Saints who brought home the Herts County League championship, the County Cup and the Bingham Cox Cup while the final was reached in the Herts Charity Cup and the Reserves made it through to the final of the Herts Junior Cup. Such was the success of the Albanians that club treasurer Francis James (Frank) Sharpe, at a meeting of the Herts F.A. at the Bedford Head Hotel on 6th September 1901, requested the club receive fourteen medals for the players rather than the normal eleven. His wish was granted.

However, while the Saints were undefeated in all competitive games just 14 such matches were played. Two league games were not fulfilled, St. Albans were awarded the points, and, similarly, two cup finals did not take place. Also, the investigation by the county football association into the affairs of the club from two years earlier, finally reached a conclusion and it was not to the liking of the club.

Chocolate and Blue Saints

On 20th August, just over a fortnight before the start of the season, the club AGM was held at Dear's Temperance Hotel in London Road. Club secretary Frank Sharpe announced an overall balance in hand of £3 0s 2d following the first season of the club bearing the name of St. Albans Amateurs, as opposed to the near £150 loss in the final days of the Town club. With an anticipated improvement in the standard of the opposition for the forthcoming season it was hoped that attendances, which had been small during the previous campaign and contributed just £28 19s 10d to the coffers, would increase appreciably.

As with twelve months earlier, Season Tickets were priced at 3s for a single and 5s for a member plus friend. One financial saving the club would make was with regards to goals and nets, new ones had been purchased for the start of the 1899-00 season. In an effort to further control expenditure, it was agreed that members should donate 9d each towards travelling costs. The optimism surrounding increased attendances was well founded as the Amateurs had taken an influx of players from local sides Fleetville and Campfield, both of which had folded during the summer. Welcoming their better players into the fold could improve fortunes on the pitch, whilst embracing extra local talent would hopefully encourage more local citizens to patronise Clarence Park . Possibly to emphasise how much life was changing at the Park the club had a new kit; the shirts were now a mix of chocolate and blue stripes, the shorts were blue.

The season commenced with the familiar trial match on 1st September between the Colours and the Whites, which the former won 4-0. The Albanians dusted off the cobwebs with three friendly fixtures, during which they were undefeated, before opening the Herts County League season on 29th September. The opening friendly was away to Hitchin, on 8th September, where a headed goal by Trevanian Shrewsbury, after a shot by F. Vernon had rebounded off the woodwork, salvaged a 1-1 draw. St. Albans’ second XI, the ‘A’ team, also had a friendly this day and defeated St. Peter’s Athletic 2-1 at Clarence Park .

The First team had their first home game of the season the following weekend and with the help of a brace from A. Pardoe, beat east London side Vulcans 3-2. The final friendly before the start of the competitive games took the Saints into the season in good form as Shrewsbury and a successful late penalty by Edward Gray overturned a deficit at home to Muswell Hill.

County League champions brushed aside

St. Albans faced an early test of just good the new-look side was with the opening Herts County League fixture being away to reigning champions Apsley at Salmon Meadow. Apsley, the forerunner to the latter-day Hemel Hempstead Town club, had been unbeaten in all of the 16 league games during 1899-00. Although the team was, on the whole, greatly changed from the previous season there were still a sprinkling of familiar faces. Arthur Sibley was at full-back and Shrewsbury was in attack, while amongst the three half-back was Ernest Northern Sharpe. Ernest, born in Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire, in 1874, was still far from being considered a veteran but was nearing the end of completing his 186 games for the Saints and this game was his last competitive outing in St. Albans’ colours. His unusual middle name was passed down from his mother’s side of the family. He signed off in style as two goals each from Shrewsbury and Herbert Warwick condemned Apsley to an opening day 4-0 defeat.

Hitchin Blue Cross, not related to the simply named ‘Hitchin’ club, handed St. Albans their first defeat of the season on 6th October; Charlie Richardson, formerly of Campfield, scored for the visitors in north Hertfordshire. It was the first of three friendly matches between the two clubs this season. Back at Clarence Park , the ‘A’ sides of the two clubs came face-to-face with the Saints running out winners by 3-0 in a match refereed by Frank Sharpe. Although holding a lofty position within the club, Frank was just 23-years-old at this time.

For the second season in succession, the Herts Advertiser, published in St. Albans, gave precedence to Watford rather than the newspaper’s home club. Frequently, line-ups were not given for St. Albans’ games while Watford’s matches received in-depth coverage with line-ups. On the day of the games with Hitchin Blue Cross, the newspaper led with details of Watford’s win over Southern League champions Tottenham Hotspur at Cassio Road.

St. Albans side Stanville provided the opposition for the Saints second league game on 13th October and they went the same way as Apsley as four different scorers contributed to a 4-0 win at Clarence Park . Two of the team that defeated Stanville, Edward Seymour Gray and Shrewsbury, were on county duty four days later as Hertfordshire faced the professionals of Watford at Cassio Road. The home side won a low-key game 4-2 in front of a small crowd but the Watford Observer gave particular praise to Gray and the former St. Albans goalkeeper, M. Johnson, who was now back playing for his hometown club Hatfield. Johnson later went on to play for the Civil Service.

Gray and Shrewsbury were back helping the Saints maintain their excellent start to the season on the 20th on a day when Ernest Sands scored his first goal of the season during a 2-1 win over Berkhamsted at their Sunnyside ground. This Berkhamsted club is not related to the 20th century Berkhamsted Town (founded 1919) or their phoenix club Berkhamsted (2009).

Hat-tricks for Charlie Richardson and Ernest Sands

The month was seen out with a friendly at home to Ware, the east Herts team were paying their second visit to Clarence Park but playing St. Albans for the first time on the hallowed turf. Founded in 1892, Ware were initially named Ware Town but quickly shortened their name and in 1899 won the Herts Senior Cup with victory over Hitchin at St. Albans. This time, though, things did not go their way and a Saints side that included club secretary Sharpe cruised to a 5-1 victory with Charlie Richardson scoring four times.

Another hat-trick followed in the next game as Ernest Sands scored the club’s first triple in the County League during a 3-1 win over Stanville at Darrow Field on 3rd November. Richardson was again on the scoresheet but this time at the wrong end with his own goal having given Stanville an early lead.

The next competitive match was six weeks away, the free time in between was taken up with the playing of five consecutive friendlies. Ernest Sharpe may have pulled on a St. Albans shirt for the last time this season but he was he was in action at Clarence Park on 10th November as referee for the friendly against the 2nd Life Guards. The Saints had little trouble in seeing off the Guards 3-0 and repeated the score in a one-sided game at Hertford the following week. The final score would have been more conclusive had Shrewsbury not had a goal disallowed for offside, the referee later admitted that he 'forgot what he was doing.'

The Herts Advertiser reporter was at Clarence Park on the day of the Hertford game to see the ‘A’ side draw 1-1 with ten-man Frogmore in the Herts Junior Cup. The editorial in the newspaper bemoaned about the club abandoning its professional status at the end of the 1898-99 season. It stated that the club should have made stronger efforts to wipe out the debt to remain professional and, therefore, attract a better class of opposition with larger crowds at the Park. He added that Luton Town were many thousands of pounds in debt but were in no danger of going under.

The run of six straight wins came to an end on 24th November when Watford Reserves held the Saints to a 2-2 draw at Cassio Road. An entertaining game saw all the scoring completed by half time with Sands and Shrewsbury putting the visitors two up before the hosts battled back. The St. Albans press reported that the game attracted a large crowd while the Watford angle suggested that there was ‘a small attendance of spectators.’ Early in the second half a loud cheer went around the ground when news was received of the Watford First XI leading 2-0 at Gravesend in a Southern League encounter. The reaction given when Gravesend fought back to win 4-2 was not stated. In the Watford side at Gravesend was the former St. Albans full-back Albert Sharp.

A return trip to Hitchin was made on 1st December and full revenge was exacted for the earlier defeat to Hitchin Blue Cross with Sands scoring a hat-trick in a comprehensive 4-0 win. The run of five friendlies ended with a 1-0 defeat to Lower Clapton Imperial at Childs Hill in north London. Lower Clapton Imperial had been members of the London League since 1898. After two good seasons the club collected just three points during the 20-game 1900-01 season yet, remarkably, still did not finish bottom of the table. That accolade went to Wandsworth who gained just two points and had a goals for and against record of 4-115. It is thought that Lower Clapton Imperial folded at the end of the season but a club by the name of Childs Hill Imperial did go on to spend two seasons in the London League between 1902-04.

Apsley despatched from Herts Senior Cup

After a six-year gap, the club challenged for the Herts Senior Cup on 15th December with County League rivals Apsley providing the opposition at Clarence Park . The 2nd Round (quarter-final) tie attracted what the match report claimed was a record attendance. This seems unlikely, although, when Charlie Richardson scored an equaliser for the Saints it was ‘amidst the deafening roar of the home supporters.’ A. Smith, who made 112 appearances for the club, put the Saints ahead with his only goal in competitive matches and further strikes from Edward Gray, a penalty and Shrewsbury completed a 4-1 win.

Elsewhere in the county cup that day, Stanville travelled to Berkhamsted to face the hometown club at Sunnyside. Due to both sides usually playing in white it was down to the home side to find an alternative kit. This Berkhamsted did but barely two players were found to be wearing identical tops. Nonetheless, the home side went through to the last four with a 1-0 win.

Following the win over Apsley, St. Albans embarked on three more friendly games, none of which were won. The club actually believed that they should have had four games but a misunderstanding led to the cancellation of a friendly at Luton on Christmas Day. On Boxing Day morning the ‘A’ team defeated Hyde & Kingsbury 4-1 at the Park and in the afternoon the First team lost 1-0 to Poplar on the same ground.

In the final match of the year, Saturday 29th December, a third successive friendly defeat was endured when going down 2-1 at West Norwood in the only meeting between the two clubs. Charlie Richardson netted for the Saints at the Surrey club’s High View home.

The first Saturday of the New Year, 5th January, saw the run of friendly defeats come to an end with a 1-1 draw at the Park with Chesham Generals. The Herts Advertiser felt that the game was worthy of a larger attendance than it got while the Buckinghamshire Examiner was less impressed and reported that, ‘the game proved rather uninteresting.’

While the First XI were kicking off the year with a draw the Reserves, the ‘A’ team, went down 3-0 to Hemel Hempstead at Gadebridge Hill in the Apsley and District Charity Cup. St. Albans were back at Gadebridge the following Saturday but this time it was the First team. Hemel fielded nine of the eleven that had defeated the Reserves the previous week but met their match this time as A. Richardson and Shrewsbury earned the Saints a 2-1 County League victory. It was one of four games in which all three Richardson brothers featured together.

Death of Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria MemoriamThe First team were without a game on the 19th January but the Reserves moved through to the semi-final of the Herts Junior Cup that day with Clarke scoring the only goal of the game against Harpenden at Clarence Park . Three days later and the country was in mourning following the death of  Queen Victoria at Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, at the age of 82. The next edition of the local newspapers had thick black lines running between every column on all of their pages. The Football Association announced that no matches were to take place on Saturday 26th January or the following weekend, 2nd February, the latter being the date of the funeral.

St. Albans were back in action on 9th February with a return friendly at Clarence Park against struggling London side Lower Clapton Imperial. Shrewsbury took the opportunity to score the first of his four hat-tricks for the club as the Saints cantered to a 6-1 win. The Reserve team were also in free-scoring mood and won 5-1 at Redbourn in the 2nd Round of the Herts Charity Cup.

The First XI were in cup action the following Saturday, 16th, against Ware at Hatfield in the semi-final of the Herts Senior Cup. St. Albans wore their blue kit while Ware took to the pitch in shirts of a black body with blue sleeves. It was a combination that caused some confusion throughout the game. When the two sides had met earlier in the season, four goals by Charlie Richardson eased the Saints to a comfortable victory but this time it was a solitary goal by his brother Jack that was sufficient to take St. Albans through to the final. Somewhat surprisingly, the report suggests that the attendance struggled to muster 200.

One-man pitch invasion

Despite starting the following Saturday’s Mid Herts League Division One game at Harpenden with just seven men the Reserves had a comfortable 4-1 win over the ten-man Harps. The home side would have had just eight players had it not been two former players of the club standing in the crowd who were happy to help out one more time. Goals from Jack Clarke (2), Edward Gray (pen) and Charlie Richardson gave a measure of the Saints supremacy but the game was most noteworthy for an unusual interruption during the first half. A man, looking somewhat the worse for wear, probably through alcohol, walked on to the pitch and whilst staggering around tried to join in with the game. The referee stopped the game while the intruder was removed to a nearby ‘dell-hole’ (ditch) ‘where he lay lamenting.’

Watford Reserves visited Clarence Park on 2nd March for a return friendly and, as with the meeting earlier in the season, it ended all square, this time 0-0.  As usual, the local press took a greatly different view on the game. The Herts Advertiser opened with, ‘Excitement ran high from start to finish, there was practically not a dull moment during the whole time.’ The Watford Observer was somewhat less enthused by what its reporter had witnessed, ‘The return match at St. Albans did not produce a very good game.’

A game of far greater significance took place the following Saturday with a visit to Hitchin to face Stevenage in the semi-final of the Herts Charity Cup. Stevenage led 2-1 at the interval but during a second half of one-way traffic Charlie Richardson struck three times as the Saints ran out 6-2 winners. The Reserves were also in cup semi-final action on the 9th March with a replayed Herts Junior Cup tie at home to Rickmansworth. The two sides had previously met on 16th February with Rickmansworth winning 2-0 but, following an appeal, the Herts F.A. ordered a replay on account of Rickmansworth having fielded two ineligible players. It was established that the Gallen brothers, two years previously, played for Rickmansworth in the semi-final of the Herts Senior Cup, thus rendering them ineligible for the Junior Cup. Rickmansworth were open about the incident saying they were not aware of this having happened but were happy to accept the findings of the Association. This time round a goal late in the game by Jack Clarke settled matters in St. Albans favour.

There was more cup semi-final football the following Saturday, 16th, when the Saints visited Harpenden in the Bingham Cox Cup. The Harps were shorn of five regulars while St. Albans were lacking the suspended forward Trevanian Shrewsbury and full-back Arthur Sibley. The visitors were expected to have a smooth passage through to the final but only got through with a fortuitous goal by William Stratton that, following a cross by A. Pardoe, saw the ball go into the net off his shoulder as he attempted to head it.

Herts Senior Cup final fiasco

A run of nine games unbeaten put the Saints in good spirits for their first appearance in the final of the Herts Senior Cup since 1893. Stanville provided the opposition at Hitchin on 23rd March and with both sides having to travel from St. Albans the attendance was poor, below 200, with just over 100 supporting the Saints. Delays at the ticket office at the Great Northern Railway Station in St. Albans led to the train departing ten minutes late, but any complaints were offset by the Railway Company giving a reduced fare to those going to the game.

With Shrewsbury suspended, that captaincy fell to Edward Gray at Hitchin. Losing the toss proved to be nothing more than an irritant compared to what occurred ten minutes into the game when Pardoe and W. Griffin clashed heads. Pardie received a cut just above an ear while Griffin had two or three knocked out and several others loosened. The report states that both players stayed on the pitch and carried on playing despite their wounds bleeding ‘a good deal.’ Griffin joined St. Albans the following season and made 37 appearances for the club. Stanville, the Whites, led at half time through a goal by Hall but heavy Saints pressure paid off when Sands forced a replay. And that, at least as far as action on the pitch was concerned, is where the competition ended for the season. 

A lack of communication, or at best crossed wires, led to confusion between St. Albans and Stanville, as to whether the replay should be at Apsley or in St. Albans at the St. Stephens home of the Abbey club. The Amateurs were not alone in thinking the replay was going to be at St. Stephens as, on Easter Saturday, upwards of 600 people made their way to the ground only to be disappointed by Stanville’s non-appearance. The match officials had, unlike St. Albans, also been forewarned that the game would not take place that day, and did not turn up. Not only did the Amateurs turn up but they were fully kitted out and waited an hour before accepting the inevitable.

As the toing and froing became ever more fraught it was left to the Herts F.A. to settle the matter and after a lengthy and lively discussion the Association came down in favour of the Saints. It was hardly the most satisfactory way to decide the fate of the senior cup competition in the county but after a gap of eight years the Herts County Cup was again in the possession of the Saints and, for the first time, residing in Clarence Park .

Returning to league matters, St. Albans moved closer to wrapping up the Herts County title with another comprehensive win over a below full-strength Apsley at Clarence Park on 30th March. The kick off was delayed as the players waited for a cloudburst to pass by. The outcome was settled pretty much by half time with Stratton and Charlie Richardson putting the home side into a commanding position. Play was again disrupted during the second half with referee H.J. Wise – who also took charge of the previous week’s game at Hitchin – taking the players off due to another downpour. By the time that players ventured back onto the pitch it had been turned into a ‘mud-pie’ but, undeterred, the Saints added a third goal through Sands.

While the First team closed in on the County League title the Reserves were looking to bring home the Herts Junior Cup as they squared up to the Hertford-based club Port Vale Rovers in the final at Hitchin. In a one-sided contest the Reserves went down 6-0. The following season saw Port Vale Rovers change their name to Hertford to be more representative of the town in which they played. The club later merged with Hertford United to become Hertford Town.

Seven of the Amateurs’ First team faced a busy time on Easter Monday, 8th April, with the club having a game in both the morning and afternoon. The morning encounter again saw the Saints facing Stanville in a cup final, on this occasion the Bingham Cox. This time the game was at Clarence Park and around £25 was taken in gate receipts from an attendance of 1,200. The Saints scored in the opening minute of each half through Charlie Richardson and Sands but Stanville bagged a pair in between, through Jack Stevens and Lloyd. The home side were presented with a chance to forge ahead when Stevens handled inside his own penalty area but Gray was wayward with his spot kick. With no extra time scheduled the two sides had to make another date in the diary.

In the afternoon seven of those that had played in the morning were back at the Park to face Hitchin Blue Cross in the fifth and final match between the two clubs. The Amateurs called up full-back G. Spicer to make up their numbers, he had played against the Saints for Stanville in the morning. The Saints ran out 4-2 winners and for seven of the team the next afternoon saw them play their third game in two days as Poplar provided the opposition at Clarence Park . Another Stanville player, Fearn, was called in to help out at outside-right. Only a small crowd attended the game but when St. Albans were awarded a penalty, they called for Gray to take it. Bearing in mind his recent miss, he declined and, instead, Herbert Warwick did the needful to conclude a 4-3 victory for the home side.

Amateurs lift Bingham Cox Cup

Spicer and Fearn were back in the Stanville side on Saturday 13th April for the replay of the Bingham Cox Cup at Clarence Park . The crowd was far smaller than for the drawn game the previous Monday with the takings at the gate said to have been just over £10. Referee Mr Roberts of London got the game under way at 3.30pm with the Saints electing to kick up the slope towards the Ninefields (York Road) end of the ground. After an even 45 minutes the sides changed ends without a goal having been scored but William Stratton and Ernest Sands, the latter with a header, soon had the Saints two goals to the good. Charlie Richardson added a third goal and paved the way for Edward Gray to collect the trophy at full time. After the game the Saints celebrated their success at the White Swan where they were accompanied by the Stanville team.

St. Albans were now in possession of both the Herts Senior Cup, by default, and the Bingham Cox Cup. The final of the Herts Charity was still to be decided but, in its inaugural season, turned out to be as big a damp squib as the Senior Cup. In the final of the Herts Charity Cup the Amateurs were due to face Cheshunt in the first meeting between the two clubs. Unfortunately, a squabble broke out between the clubs over the proposed date of the final. The Saints claimed they were unable to play on the scheduled date as they had another fixture, but, after a protracted wrangle – which did not come to a decision until mid-July - the Herts F.A. decided against the Saints and awarded the cup to Cheshunt.

Reserves secure Mid Herts League title

E Sands Bingham Cup MedalThe First XI wound up their season on 27th April with a friendly against local side Commercial Athletic but a successful campaign ended on a low point with a 4-1 defeat at Clarence Park . The Reserves added the Mid Herts League Division One title to the Herts County League championship secured by the First team with two wins in the final week of April. On 24th goals by W. Wells and Clark completed the double over Hatfield in what, unexpectedly, proved to the be final league game of the season. There was supposed to be one more game to play with Stanville due to visit Clarence Park on the 30th. Unfortunately, Stanville were short of eligible players so conceded the points to the Saints ‘A’ team who were in no great need of them, as they had already won the league. So as not to disappoint their hosts, or the spectators, a friendly was played that St. Albans won 2-1 with goals from Charlie Richardson and Turner.

The First team played 32 games during the season, Charlie Richardson and goalkeeper A. Turner made the most appearances with 31 each while Richardson was the top goalscorer with 19. Two other players got into double figures with Ernest Sands scoring 16 times and Trevanian Shrewsbury 15.

The total receipts for the season, including gate money, was £49 11s 4d.

Left; to mark the achievement of winning three competitions, including the Herts County League and County Cup double, the players were presented with specially inscribed commemorative medals. The one shown here was presented to Ernest Sands. Born in Manchester on 9th August 1877, Sands worker as a tailor’s cutter in St. Albans. He passed away on 23rd January 1942 at the age of 64.

Prolonged Hertfordshire Football Association investigation

For much of the second half of the season the club was under investigation from the Herts F.A. for alleged financial misconduct. The club, though, complained throughout the affair that they had not been informed of what their perceived crime might be. According to club secretary Frank Sharpe the Amateurs received notification from the Herts F.A. on 27th December that it had issued a 'peremptory demand for books and vouchers.' The club claimed no reason had been given by the Association for its actions but it was believed that such a move could only come following a claim that the club had paid some or all of its players. The implied accusation was strenuously denied and the club demanded to know exactly what was going on.

The issue became clearer on 31st December at a meeting of the Emergency Committee of the Herts F.A. at the Peahen in St. Albans. Frank Sharpe was called to the meeting as were two players, 23-year-old Trevanian Shrewsbury and Arthur Sibley. Some 75 minutes after the trio had been ordered to appear at the building, Sharpe was called in to face the music. The secretary was asked questions concerning St. Albans Town, which had folded the previous summer.

Several members of the club, most notably W.G. Long, F. Payne, W. Sygrove, W. Joyner, H. Warwick and Frank Sharpe, were summonsed to a meeting of the County Association on the 6th February at which the Saints got the first indication as to what the complaint against them related to. It would appear that there was a query appertaining to payments to players from two years earlier when the Town club was in existence. The finger of suspicion was directed mainly at matches against Maidenhead on 21st January 1899, during which Joyner made his only appearance for the club, and Wolverton. Questions were asked about the expenses the players received with one of the accused going to the press to state that they were asked about the meals they bought and did they believe them to be worth what they had paid. One player, when questioned about his expenses, responded by saying that he had to pay 5s for the hire of a bicycle from Harpenden as he had missed his train. Despite the questioning the club claimed it was still waiting to be officially informed as to what was going on and it was to be a further six weeks before the matter was resolved.

Herts F.A. issue suspension

The ongoing saga came to a head on Monday, 4th March during a meeting at the Bedford Head Hotel. The county secretary read the following statement on behalf of the Emergency Committee: ‘T. Shrewsbury, now St. Albans Amateurs F.C., declared a professional and suspended for four weeks from March 4th, 1901. W. Sygrove and A. Sibley, now of St. Albans Amateurs F.C., W.G. Long, now of Stanville F.C., and F.J. Payne declared professionals and suspended for eight weeks from March 4th, 1901.

‘J. Dickerson, and E.W. Hitchcock (members of the Amateurs committee), W.R. Baum (former hon. secretary), and W.C. Payne (assistant hon. secretary), suspended from football and football management from March 4th, 1901, to April 30th, 1903.’

Immediately, Frank Sharpe said he intended to appeal on behalf of the players and he asked for the evidence on which they had been convicted. The meeting became heated as the Association refused to pass on the information while Mr Sharpe stressed that he did not know on what points they could launch the appeal, as the players themselves were not aware of what they had been charged with. He stated the players only felt that so far they had been called upon to discuss certain issues rather than answer any direct charges. The County Association clearly believed that the players were aware of what their individual charges were.

The appeal, regarding the suspensions, was heard on 22nd March. St. Albans complained that those sitting in on the appeal included the Emergency Committee and as they had already made their decision known should not be hearing the appeal. The chairman, Mr B.C. Apps (hon. secretary of Watford) disagreed and a heated discussion took place. Wagstaffe Simmons contributed a lengthy defence in favour of the players before it was moved that the members of the Emergency Committee should retire from the meeting – it was easily defeated.

There then followed an exhaustive debate in which dates and payments to the three accused players were detailed, as amateurs they were due no payments. The book used by W.R. Baum to list the payments was brought forward but having earlier, seemingly, admitted receiving the payments, at least two of the players then denied taking the payments. After three hours a judgement was reached and as if to defuse any possibility of a further complaint, the members of the Emergency Committee did not vote. Each case was considered separately and by, approximately, a majority of three-to-one the original verdicts were upheld and the players and officials faced the sentences as previously described. Had they wanted, the club could have launched an appeal to the Football Association but after some consideration it was decided that the £10 fee was too prohibitive. Fortunately, as far the Amateurs were concerned, the matter did not extinguish the passion for football possessed by Messrs Shrewsbury, Sibley and Sygrove who all applied to re-join the club as amateurs and would be available, once their bans had been served, to play the following season.

More damage was done to the Saints reputation when, at a Herts F.A. meeting on 18th March, linesman W.J. Richardson complained he had been knocked over by a spectator who was running onto the pitch during the cup win over Ware. He further alleged of being abused by St. Albans players during the game and assaulted after it. The County F.A. cautioned both the players of the club and its supporters.

1900 01 L.Cheshire Mid Herts League winners 1

Each member of the Reserves received a medal for being winners of the Mid Herts League Division One. The medal pictured here was presented to H. Cheshire.


St Albans Amateurs 1900 01 with Mid Herts League championship shield St. Albans Amateurs 1900-01 Winners of Mid Herts League

The player behind the Mid Herts League trophy is Charles Henry Richardson who, with 19 goals, was the Amateurs leading goalscorer during 1900-01.

1900-01 Season Line-Ups

Sep 8 Fr Hitchin (A) D 1 - 1 Turner A Gray ES Sibley A Richardson J Vernon F Smith A Sharpe EN Richardson C Shrewsbury T (1) Sands E Pardoe A
Sep 15 Fr VULCANS (H) W 3 - 2 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Richardson J Vernon F Smith A Sharpe EN (1) Richardson C (1) Shrewsbury T Sands E Pardoe A (1)
Sep 22 Fr MUSWELL HILL (H) W 2 - 1 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES (1p) Sharpe EN Vernon F Smith A Warwick H Richardson C Shrewsbury T (1) Sands E Pardoe A
Sep 29 HCL Apsley (A) W 4 - 0 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Smith A Vernon F Bilby C Pardoe A Warwick H (2) Shrewsbury T (2) Richardson C Sharpe EN
Oct 6 Fr Hitchin Blue Cross (A) L 1 - 2 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Richardson J Vernon F Smith A Warwick H Richardson C (1) Clarke J Shrewsbury T Pardoe A
Oct 13 HCL STANVILLE (H) W 4 - 0 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Richardson J Vernon F Smith A Warwick H (1) Richardson C (1) Shrewsbury T (1) Sands E (1) Pardoe A
Oct 20 HCL Berkhamsted (A) W 2 - 1 1 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Richardson J Williams Smith A Warwick H Richardson C Shrewsbury T Pardoe A Sands E (1)
Oct 27 Fr WARE (H) W 5 - 1 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Richardson J Sharpe FJ Smith A Sharpe EN Hawes Richardson C (4) Sands E (1) Pardoe A
Nov 3 HCL Stanville (A) W 3 - 1 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Smith A Bilby C Richardson J Warwick H Richardson C Shrewsbury T Pardoe A Sands E (3)
Nov 10 Fr 2nd LIFE GUARDS (H) W 3 - 0 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Smith A (1) Maynard Richardson J Warwick H Richardson C Shrewsbury T (1) Sands E Pardoe A (1)
Nov 17 Fr Hertford (A) W 3 - 0 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Smith A Field C Richardson J Warwick H (1) Richardson C (1) Shrewsbury T Sands E (1) Pardoe A
Nov 24 Fr Watford Reserves (A) D 2 - 2 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Smith A Field C Richardson J Richardson C Warwick H Shrewsbury T (1) Sands E (1) Pardoe A
Dec 1 Fr Hitchin Blue Cross (A) W 4 - 0 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Wilkinson Field C Richardson J Richardson C Warwick H Shrewsbury T (1) Sands E (3) Pardoe A
Dec 8 Fr Lower Clapton Imperial (A) L 0 - 1 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Richardson C Field C Smith A Richardson J Warwick H Shrewsbury T Sands E Pardoe A
Dec 15 HSC APSLEY (H) W 4 - 1 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES (1) Smith A (1) Field C Richardson J Pardoe A Sands E Shrewsbury T (1) Richardson C (1) Warwick H
Dec 26 Fr POPLAR (H) L 1 - 2 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Bilby C Field C Richardson J Richardson C Clarke J Shrewsbury T (1) Warwick H Stratton A
Dec 29 Fr West Norwood (A) L 1 - 2 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Richardson A Stratton A Warwick H Richardson C (1) Sands E Shrewsbury T Richardson J Pardoe A
Jan 5 Fr CHESHAM GENERALS (H) D 1 - 1 Turner A Spicer G Gray ES Richardson J Smith A Richardson A Richardson C Warwick H Shrewsbury T (1) Stratton A Pardoe A
Jan 12 HCL Hemel Hempstead (A) W 2 - 1 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Smith A Richardson A (1) Richardson J Warwick H Richardson C Shrewsbury T (1) Pardoe A Sands E
Feb 9 Fr LOWER CLAPTON IMPERIAL (H) W 6 - 1 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Smith A Richardson J Warwick H Pardoe A (1) Sands E Shrewsbury T (3) Stratton W (1) Richardson C (1)
Feb 9 HCC1 REDBOURN (H) W 5 - 1 1 Kerrison H Cheshire L Field C Bilby C Inkson P Goodyear J Dimmock E Sygrove H (3) Cheshire H Clarke J Wells W (1p)
Feb 16 HSCsf Ware (A) W 1 - 0 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Smith A Warwick H Richardson J (1) Richardson C Stratton A Shrewsbury T Sands E Pardoe A
Mar 2 Fr WATFORD RESERVES (H) D 0 - 0 Turner A Sibley A Gray ES Richardson J Warwick H Smith A Richardson C Stratton W Shrewsbury T Sands E Pardoe A
Mar 9 HCCsf Stevenage (A) W 6 - 2 Turner A Swinnerton H Gray ES Richardson J Warwick H Smith A Richardson C (3) Stratton W (1) Sygrove A (2) Sands E Pardoe A
Mar 16 BCCsf Harpenden (A) W 1 - 0 Turner A Cheshire L Gray ES Richardson J Warwick H Smith A Richardson C Stratton W (1) Sygrove A Sands E Pardoe A
Mar 23 HSCf Stanville (A) D 1 - 1 Turner A Field C Gray ES Richardson J Warwick H Smith A Richardson C Stratton W Sygrove A Sands E (1) Pardoe A
Mar 30 HCL APSLEY (H) W 3 - 0 Turner A Field C Gray ES Richardson J Warwick H Smith A Richardson C (1) Stratton W (1) Sygrove A Sands E (1) Pardoe A
Apr 8 BCCf STANVILLE (H) D 2 - 2 Turner A Field C Gray ES Richardson J Warwick H Smith A Richardson C (1) Stratton W Sygrove A Sands E (1) Pardoe A
Apr 8 Fr HITCHIN BLUE CROSS (H) W 4 - 2 Turner A Spicer G Gray ES Richardson J Hopkins Smith A Richardson C (1) Clarke J (1) Sygrove A (2) Stratton W Olney HB
Apr 9 Fr POPLAR (H) W 4 - 3 Turner A Stratton W Gray ES Richardson J Warwick H (1) Smith A Richardson C Clarke J (2) Fearn Sands E (1) Pardoe A
Apr 13 BCCfr STANVILLE (H) W 3 - 0 Turner A Cheshire L Gray ES Richardson J Warwick H Smith A Richardson C (1) Stratton W (1) Sygrove A Sands E (1) Pardoe A
Apr 27 Fr COMMERCIAL ATHLETIC (H) H 1 - 4 Turner A Cheshire L Gray ES Richardson J Warwick H Smith A Richardson C (1) Stratton W Sygrove A Sands E Pardoe A

1900-01 Appearances & Goals

C Bilby 4 0
H Cheshire 1 0
L Cheshire 4 0
Jack Clarke 5 3
E Dimmock 1 0
Fearn 1 0
C Field 10 0
J Goodyear 1 0
Edward Seymour Gray 31 2
Hawes 1 0
Hopkins 1 0
P Inkson 1 0
Horatio Kerrison 1 0
Maynard 1 0
Henry B Olney 1 0
A Pardoe 29 3
A Richardson 3 1
Charlie Richardson 31 19
Jack Richardson 29 1
Ernest Sands 26 16
Ernest Northern Sharpe 5 1
Francis James Sharpe 1 0
Trevanian Newman Shrewsbury 21 15
Arthur Sibley 21 0
A Smith 28 2
G Spicer 2 0
A Stratton 4 0
William Henry Stratton 11 5
H Swinnerton 1 0
A Sygrove 8 4
H Sygrove 1 3
A Turner 31 0
F Vernon 6 0
Herbert Warwick 27 5
W Wells 1 1
Wilkinson 1 0
Williams 1 0
Own Goals 1
Unknown Scorer 1