Edwardian Football

The beautiful game, Edwardian style, in some of the earliest ever film of League, international and amateur football

The rapid advances in football at the start of the 20th century make it a familiar but still strange land. But it's one that comes alive for us thanks to the cameras of Blackburn-based filmmakers Mitchell and Kenyon. Their primary goal was to film the growing crowds so as to draw them to paid screenings. But there's plenty of interest for today's football fan in these mini-match reports, not least the earliest known footage of Manchester United, the first Merseyside derby on film, and a literal sporting giant in the shape of behemoth goalkeeper William 'Fatty' Foulkes. The collection also features an English Football League XI against their Irish counterparts and a contest between Wales and Ireland - probably the earliest 'international' games recorded on film. Football was then, as it is now, a game of two halves. But with only a few hundred feet of film in the camera and a screening due the same evening, Mitchell & Kenyon usually only captured the first. And with much less mobile cameras than today's they were lucky if they recorded a goal. Yet amid the frantic hat-waving and brass bands these films captured far more than a shadow of the modern game.

Read more Close
Watch for free

Everton v Liverpool (1902)Everton v Liverpool (1902)

Non-Fiction19025 minsSilent Location: Liverpool

The earliest surviving Merseyside derby on film catches two of Everton's goals in a 3-1 home win.

Watch for free

England v Ireland at Manchester (1905)England v Ireland at Manchester (1905)

Non-Fiction19052 minsSilent Location: Manchester

An Edwardian contest between teams representing the English and Irish Football Leagues, with plenty of goal-line action.

Watch for free

Burnley v Manchester United (1902)Burnley v Manchester United (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: Burnley

First-ever footage of Manchester United in a tense Edwardian football fixture.

Watch for free

Sheffield United v Bury (1902)Sheffield United v Bury (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: Sheffield

Sparkling images of fans and players at an Edwardian fixture at Sheffield's Bramall Lane.

Watch for free

Everton v Newcastle United (1902)Everton v Newcastle United (1902)

Non-Fiction19028 minsSilent Location: Liverpool

The camera is a welcome distraction to the spectators of a home defeat at Goodison Park.

Watch for free

Preston North End v Aston Villa (1905)Preston North End v Aston Villa (1905)

Non-Fiction19052 minsSilent Location: Preston

Early football giants Preston and Villa face up in an epic Edwardian contest.

Watch for free

Wales v Ireland at Wrexham (1906)Wales v Ireland at Wrexham (1906)

Non-Fiction19063 minsSilent Location: Wrexham/Wrecsam

International football action in front of an enthusiastic home crowd in Wrexham.

Watch for free

Everton v Newcastle United (1903)Everton v Newcastle United (1903)

Non-Fiction19033 minsSilent Location: Liverpool

None of the goals but plenty of action in a 4-1 home win to Everton.

Watch for free

Sunderland v Leicester Fosse (1907)Sunderland v Leicester Fosse (1907)

Non-Fiction19077 minsSilent Location: Sunderland

A resounding win for Sunderland in the FA Cup, urged on by an enthusiastic band.

Watch for free

Rotherham Town v Thornhill (1902)Rotherham Town v Thornhill (1902)

Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: Rotherham

A ropey pitch and worse goalkeeping in a typical non-league football derby in Edwardian Yorkshire.

Watch for free

Preston North End v Notts County (1904)Preston North End v Notts County (1904)

Non-Fiction19052 minsSilent Location: Preston

Preston triumph at Deepdale in an Edwardian contest between two of England's oldest football teams.

Watch for free

Moss Street v St Philips Football (1907)Moss Street v St Philips Football (1907)

Non-Fiction19072 minsSilent Location: Blackburn

Schoolboy footballers fight it out at Ewood Park.

Watch for free

Bolton Football 2 (c.1900)Bolton Football 2 (c.1900)

Non-Fiction19001 minsSilent Location: Burnden Park, Bolton

Spectral images of a football match at Bolton's Burnden Park.

Watch for free

Burnley Football (1903)Burnley Football (1903)

Non-Fiction19032 minsSilent Location: Turf Moor

A large and lively crowd watches an Edwardian Second Division football match at Burnley's Turf Moor ground.

Watch for free

Newcastle United v Liverpool (1901)Newcastle United v Liverpool (1901)

Non-Fiction19017 minsSilent Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

An Edwardian football match at Newcastle's St James' Park ground.

Watch for free

Football Match Between St Stephen's Football Club and Moss Street School (1904)Football Match Between St Stephen's Football Club and Moss Street School (1904)

Non-Fiction19041 minsSilent Location: Blackburn

The proud winners of a Blackburn school football match pose for posterity.

Watch for free

Hull City Football (c.1905)Hull City Football (c.1905)

Non-Fiction19053 minsSilent Location: Kingston upon Hull

Hull City football club plays a friendly match in their inaugural season.

Watch for free

Preston North End v Wolverhampton Wanderers (1904)Preston North End v Wolverhampton Wanderers (1904)

Non-Fiction19045 minsSilent Location: Preston

The Lillywhites take on the Wolves at Deepdale, watched by a large crowd and the club mascot.

Watch for free

Liverpool v Small Heath (1901)Liverpool v Small Heath (1901)

Non-Fiction19011 minsSilent Location: Liverpool

Early league football, with the team who will become Birmingham City losing at Anfield in a relegation year.

Watch for free

Sunderland v Middlesbrough (1904)Sunderland v Middlesbrough (1904)

Non-Fiction19041 minsSilent Location: Sunderland

A hard-fought North East derby in the Edwardian First Division.

Watch for free

Blackburn v... (1904)Blackburn v... (1904)

Non-Fiction19040 minsSilent Location: Ewood Park, Blackburn

Blackburn Rovers play at home at Ewood Park to an unidentified team in an Edwardian football fixture.

Watch for free

Bradford City v Gainsborough Trinity (1903)Bradford City v Gainsborough Trinity (1903)

Non-Fiction19039 minsSilent Location: Valley Parade, Bradford

Bradford City's first ever home league game after switching from rugby to football in 1903.

Watch for free

Notts County v Middlesbrough (1902)Notts County v Middlesbrough (1902)

Non-Fiction19027 minsSilent Location: Nottingham

The game is held up for the camera to do a full tour of the cheering crowds at Trent Bridge, Notts County's home until 1910.

Watch for free

Blackburn Rovers v Aston Villa (1904)Blackburn Rovers v Aston Villa (1904)

Non-Fiction19042 minsSilent Location: Ewood Park, Blackburn

The entry of the teams and action from both halves of an Edwardian football game at Ewood Park.

Watch for free

Bolton v Burton United (c.1904)Bolton v Burton United (c.1904)

Non-Fiction19042 minsSilent Location: Burnden Park, Bolton

Bolton Wanderers overpower the shortlived Burton United at Burnden Park under rainy skies.