National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales preserves and celebrates the sound and moving image heritage of Wales, making it accessible to a wide range of users for enjoyment and learning. Its film collection reflects every aspect of the nation’s social, cultural and working life across the 20th century, giving a fascinating insight into Welsh filmmaking, both amateur and professional.
This film is part of Free
International Association Match. England v. Wales. Played at Wrexham, March 11th, 1912
Action shots of the great Billy Meredith, the ‘Prince of Wingers’, the legendary soccer star who played for Manchester City, Manchester United and Wales.
From the collection of:
This footage is remarkable chiefly for the rare close up action shots of the legendary Manchester City and Manchester United soccer star Billy Meredith (known as the Prince of Wingers or 'Old Skin' owing to his emaciated appearance), the most Welsh capped footballer of his day. Wales lost the match 2-0 at The Racecourse, Wrexham, but the camera, stationed on the right wing to accommodate close shots of Meredith, the Welsh no. 7, captures the winger making several crosses.
William [Billy] Henry Meredith (1874-1958) was born in Chirk and started work in a local coal mine at the age of 12, as a pit pony driver. He came from a strongly Methodist family and was teetotal throughout his life. He played football – often chewing a toothpick - until he was a few months short of his 50th birthday, a long and outstanding career that included 390 games for Manchester City, 365 for Manchester United, 48 Welsh caps and the scoring of 11 goals for Wales, a record at the time. He was a founder member of the Players Union – the first such for professional footballers. He played himself in a fiction feature entitled ‘Ball of Fortune’ (1926).