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Football and the First World War

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Old Invincibles


The nickname of the classic Preston North End team that dominated English Football League in the years immediately after its foundation in1888.  Their success underlined the superiority of professional teams over the old amateur clubs.


The secured the title the following season and for the next three seasons finished runners-up.  The team was managed by the brilliant Major William Sudell.  Over the 80 matches the Old Invincibles played in the first five years of League history they drew 24 and lost only 28 games, scoring 307 goals and conceding 138.  Perhaps thir most famous victims were Hyde, who crashed 26-0 to Preston in the FA Cup campaign of 1887.

 ton,  and England (although a Scot, he qualified for England by dint of residence). 

Inside-right Jimmy Ross (picture left) was a prolific goalscorer, and the team was well supported by the Scottish half-back trio of Sandy Robertson, David Russell and John Graham.  The keeper, Jimmy Trainer, known as the ‘Prince of Goalkeepers’ was Welsh, joining Preston from Bolton only a few months after Preston had knocked 12 goals past him in one match.