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.
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.
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.
Burnley v Manchester United (1902)
Non-Fiction19022 minsSilent Location: Burnley
First-ever footage of Manchester United in a tense Edwardian football fixture.
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.
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.
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.
Wales v Ireland at Wrexham (1906)
Non-Fiction19063 minsSilent Location: Wrexham/Wrecsam
International football action in front of an enthusiastic home crowd in Wrexham.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Newcastle United v Liverpool (1901)
Non-Fiction19017 minsSilent Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
An Edwardian football match at Newcastle's St James' Park ground.
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.
Hull City Football (c.1905)
Non-Fiction19053 minsSilent Location: Kingston upon Hull
Hull City football club plays a friendly match in their inaugural season.
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.
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.
Blackburn v... (1904)
Non-Fiction1904 minsSilent Location: Ewood Park, Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers play at home at Ewood Park to an unidentified team in an Edwardian football fixture.
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.
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.
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.
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.