Overseas Tours
Great Britain Tour, 1888 

Overseas Tours by Canadian Teams: Great Britain Tour, 1888 

                                                                                                                                       Photo: Courtesy Les Jones, Covershots

In the fall of 1888, a team made up of players from the Western Football Association of Ontario toured the British Isles with notable success.  Many of the players who made this trip became very distinguished persons in later life.  The year 1888 marked the beginning of England’s famous Football League, and the Canadian team played Notts County, Newton Heath (now Manchester United), Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion, who were members of that league.  They also played such famous clubs as Glasgow Rangers, Queens Park, Ayr (not Ayr United in those days) and Hearts, plus a team made up of some of the best Scottish players, but not the actual Scottish national team.  The Canadians made quite an impression on the British soccer scene at that time, and the English papers, in particular, are full of praise for the players.  Seventeen of the 18 players who made the trip were born in Canada.  The only one who was not was David Forsyth, who was brought to Canada from Scotland at the age of two.

Date Opponent Result Scorers
Sept. 1 County Antrim W 6-2 Kranz 2, Thomson 2, A.Gibson
Sept. 3 Distillery W 3-2  
Sept. 4 Clarence W 3-2  
Sept. 5 YMCA T 1-1  
Sept. 8 Glasgow Rangers T 1-1 Thomson
Sept. 11 Queens Park L 1-3 A. Gibson
Sept. 13 Ayr L 0-4  
Sept. 15 Hearts W 3-0 Tom Gibson, A. Gibson, Thomson
Sept. 18 Scotland XI L 0-4  
Sept. 22 Sunderland W 3-0 Tom Gibson, Thomson 2
Sept. 26 Middlesbrough W 3-2 Tom Gibson, Thomson 2
Sept. 29 Lincoln City W 3-1 o.g. Bowman, Thomson
Oct. 1 Sheffield T 1-1 Forsyth
Oct. 4 Notts County L 0-2  
Oct. 6 Newton Heath W 2-0 Bowman, Webster
Oct. 8 Blackburn Rovers L 1-4 Tom Gibson
Oct. 13 Swifts T 2-2 Webster, Bowman
Oct. 15 Northampton County W 3-2 Webster, Forsyth, Bingham
Oct. 17 Oxford University T 1-1 Kranz
Oct. 20 Old Carthusians L 0--1  
Oct. 22 Aston Villa L 2-4 Pirie, Thomson
Oct. 27 West Bromwich Albion L 0-1  
Oct. 31 Swifts L 0-1  

Players who made the trip: 

Harry Bewell, Harry P. Bingham, Walter W. Bowman, Solomon Brubacher, Dr. William Burnet, Alexander Noble Garrett, Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson, Dr. Edward Payson Gordon, Fred Killer, Charles (Carl) Kranz, Tom W. Murray, Dr Wilfred Pirt Mustard, Dr. Henry Hempton “Harry” Pirie, Dr. Walter Proudfoot Thomson, E.W. Webster, David Forsyth.

September 1, 1888, in Belfast, Northern Ireland
County Antrim  2  (Peden, Gibb)
Canadians  6  (Krantz 2, Thomson 2, A. Gibson)
County Antrim: Clugston – Browne, Wilson – Williamson, Christian, Baird –
Stanfield, Tarrans, Barry, Gibb, Peden.
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Tom Gibson, Bewell –
Bowman, Alex Gibson, Thomson, Kranz, Webster.

September 3, 1888, in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Distillery  2
Canadians  3
Canadians:  Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Murray, Tom Gibson, Mustard –
Bowman, Alex Gibson, Thomson, Forsyth, Kranz.

September 4, 1888, in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Clarence Athletic Association  2
Canadians  3
Canadians: Garrett – Pirie, Mustard – Murray, Gordon, Bewell – Forsyth,
  Burnet, Kranz, Bingham, Webster.

September 5, 1888, in Belfast, Northern Ireland
Y.M.C.A.  1
Canadians  1
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Tom Gibson, Murray –
Forsyth, Bowman, Thomson, Bingham, Webster.

September 8, 1888, at Ibrox Park in Glasgow, Scotland
Glasgow Rangers  1  (Hotson)
Canadians  1  (Thomson)
Rangers: McAllister – A. McFarlane, D. Gow – R. Hotson, J. McIntyre, J.
Muir – Thomas Wyllie, James Sloan, A.H. McKenzie, J. Gow, Eagleshaw.
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Tom Gibson, Gordon –
Bowman, Alex Gibson, Thomson, Webster, Krantz.

September 11, 1888, at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland
Queens Park  3  (?, Andrew, Berry)
Canadians  1  (Alex Gibson)
Queens Park: Gillespie – O’Neil, R. Smellie – McAra, Harvey, A. Srewart –
Hamilton, Berry, Andrew, Fraser, Eccles (Dykebar).
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Tom Gibson, Gordon –
Bowman, Alex Gibson, Thomson, Webster, Krantz.

September 13, 1888, in Ayr, Scotland
Ayr  4  (Ross, Alex Campbell, Cunningham, ?)
Canadians  0
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Murray – Pirie, Tom Gibson, Mustard –
Bowman, Alex Gibson, Thomson, Forsyth, Bingham.

September 15, 1888, at Tynecastle Park in Edinburgh, Scotland
Hearts  0 
Canadians  3  (Thomson, Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson)
Hearts: Gibson – Adams, Roberts – Hill, Begbie, McPherson – Jenkinson,
  Brackenridge, Sneddon, Wood, Reid.
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Krantz, Gordon – Alex
  Gibson, Bowman, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.

September 18, 1888
Scotland XI  4 (McCall 2, ?)
Canadians  0
Scots: Gillespie (Queens Park) – D. Gow (Rangers), Forbes (Vale of Leven)
  – Stewart (Queens Park), Auld (Third Lanark), Muir (Rangers) – Hamilton
(Queens Park), Berry (Queens Park), J. Campbell (Renton), McCall
(Renton), McPherson (Cowlairs).
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Mustard, Gordon – Alex
Gibson, Bowman, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.

September 22, 1888
Sunderland  0
Canadians  3  (Tom Gibson, Thomson 2)
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Kranz, Gordon – Bowman,
Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.
Sunderland: William Kirtley – R. McDermid, Peter Ford – Renney, Gourlay,
William Gibson – Arnold Davison, Phemister, Dickson, A. Brady, A. Peacock.

September 26, 1888
Middlesbrough  2
Canadians  3  (T. Gibson, Thomson 2)
Middlesbrough: Dawkings – Alvey, Piercy – Wynn, Walsh, Cochrane –
Barber, Cranshaw, Borrie, Wilson, Dennis.
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Kranz, Gordon – Bowman,
Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.

September 29, 1888
Lincoln City  1
Canadians  3 (Bowman, Thomson 2)
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Mustard, Gordon – Bowman,
Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.

October 1, 1888
Sheffield  1
Canadians  1 (Forsyth)
Canadians: Garrett – Pirie, Jackson, Bowman, Alex Gibson, Forsyth,
Webster. (7)

October 4, 1888, at the Trent Bridge Ground in Nottingham, England
Notts County  2
Canadians  0
Notts County: Holland – Gutteridge, McLean – Brown, C. Shelton, A.
  Shelton – Holder, Moore, Jackson, Daft, Locker.
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Cone– Gordon Kranz, Tom Gibson –
Bowman, Alex Gibson, Thomson, Webster, Forsyth.

October 6, 1888
Newton Heath  0
Canadians  2  (Bowman, Webster)
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Kranz, Gordon – Bowman,
Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.
Newton Heath: T. Hay – J. Powell, Hargreaves – T. Burke, J. Davies, J.
Owen – Bridgewater, J. Doughty, E. Doughty, J. Gale, I. Gotheridge.

October 8, 1888
Blackburn Rovers  4
Canadians  1 (Tom Gibson)
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Kranz, Gordon – Bowman,
  Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.
Blackburn: Herbie Arthur – Fergie Suter, James Southworth – Jimmy
Douglas, W. Almond, J.H. Burton – R. Haresnape, Nat Walton, John
Southworth, William  Townley, H.L. Fecitt.

October 13, 1888
Swifts  2
Canadians  2  (Bowman, Webster)
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Kranz, Gordon – Bowman,
Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson, Thomson. (10)

October 15, 1888, at Wellingboro, England
Northampton County  2
Canadians  3  (Webster, Forsyth, Bingham)
Northampton: Trulove – Owen, Platt – Knight, Cox, Bailey – Challen, Fryer,
Summerhayes, Garne, Sarjeantson.
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Kranz, Tom Gibson, Mustard –
Bowman, Thomson, Forsyth, Bingham, Webster.

October 17, 1888
Oxford University  1
Canadians  1 (Kranz)
Oxford: Sampson – Jackson, Philipson – Wreford-Brown, Hammond, Cook
  – Wilson, Gilliatt, Currey, Gresson, Farra
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Kranz, Pirie – Bowman, Alex
Gibson, Thomson, Tom Gibson, Webster. 

October 20, 1888
Old Carthusians  1 (Surgess-Jones)
Canadians  0
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Kranz, Gordon – Bowman,
Forsyth, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.
Carthusians: Wilkinson – Walters P.M., Walters A.M. – Blenkiren,
Wreford-Brown, Arthur – Smith, Surgess-Jones, Currar, Cooper, Gilliat.

October 22, 1888
Aston Villa  4
Canadians  2 (Pirie, Thomson)
Aston Villa: J. Warner – Gershom Cox, F. Coulton – Barton, John Devey,
H.R. Yates – Albert Allen, Dennis Hodgetts, Archie Hunter, T.W. Green, Brown.
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Teale, Kranz, Jackson – Pirie,
Bowman, Thomson, Tom Gibson, Webster.

October 27, 1888
West Bromwich Albion  1
Canadians  0
WBA:  Roberts – Green, Horton – E. Horton, Perry, Timmins – Wilson,
Pearson, Hendry, Bassett, Baylis.
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Gordon, Kranz, Pirie – Bowman,
Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.

October 31, 1888, at Kennington Oval in London, England
Swifts  1
Canadians  0
Swifts: Cooper – Platt, Anderson – Saunders, Fernie, Bambridge – Brann,
Smith, Lindley, Ingram, Challen.
Canadians: Garrett – Brubacher, Killer – Pirie, Jackson, Kranz – Bowman,
Alex Gibson, Tom Gibson, Thomson, Webster.

Harry Bewell – Norwood High School.  Half Back.  Pupil at Galt Collegiate Institute in 1882–83–84.  Later, a teacher at GCI in 1891–92.  Original home between Uxbridge and Port Perry.  Living in Renfrew in 1927 and Regina in 1929.

Harry P. Bingham – Berlin Rangers.  Forward.  Living in Prescott, Ontario, in 1929.  Married to the sister of teammate Carl Kranz.

Walter Wells Bowman – Born: Waterloo, Ontario, August 11, 1870.   Died: Butte, Montana.  Forward, Berlin Rangers.  A-Internationals 2.  Clubs: Accrington 1892, Ardwick 1892–94, Manchester City 1894 to 1900.  Also a member of the Canadian-American team that toured Britain in 1891 and early 1892.  Bowman remained in England after the rest of the team returned to North America and signed with Accrington, one of the original members of the Football League.  He played five games and scored three goals for the club late in the 1892 season.  On August 25, 1892, he was signed by the Manchester club, Ardwick, recently admitted to the new Division Two of the Football League.  When Ardwick went bankrupt in 1894 and Manchester City was formed and took its place in Division Two, Bowman remained with the club, making a total of 47 appearances and scoring three goals for the two clubs between 1892 and 1900.   While with Accrington (the name Stanley was added later), Bowman probably became the first Canadian-born player to play in the Football League.  Last heard of living in Butte, Montana, in 1929.

Solomon Brubacher – Born: Berlin, Ontario, c.1864.  Died: Berlin, Ontario, August 29, 1915.  A-Internationals 2.  Berlin Rangers.  Full Back.  Graduated from Berlin Collegiate and Vocational School in 1880.  A partner and secretary of the Dominion Button Manufacturers in Berlin for 34 years, he died tragically of a mishap in his home.  A member of the Canadian team that played in the United States in 1885. 

Dr. William Burnet – Born: Branchton, Ontario, 1868.  Died: Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, November 15, 1942.  Club: Galt F.C.  Half Back.  A dentist by profession, he participated in some sort of sport ever since he was a boy.  During his life, he was a good curler, bowler, golfer, baseball pitcher, hunter and fisherman in addition to his abilities as a soccer player.  At the time of his death, he was away from his home in Ingersoll on a hunting trip in the Sturgeon Falls area, and when taken ill, had to be moved three-and-a-half miles through the bush, and then taken 25 miles by boat from the camp.  He lived much of his life in Galt, where he attended high school, and served four years on city council from 1923 on.  He was an elder of First United Church for many years, a member of Waterloo Lodge I.O.O.F. and a past master of Galt Lodge A.F. and A.M.

David Forsyth – Born: Perthshire, Scotland, December 15, 1852.  Died: Beamsville, Ontario, September 13/14, 1936.  A founding member of the Dominion Football Association in 1878, the Western Football Association in 1880 and the Ontario Football Association League in 1901.  Secretary and President of the Western Football Association and Secretary of the Ontario Football Association League and a life member of the Dominion Football Association.  David Forsyth played for the Canadian team that defeated the United States in Newark, New Jersey, in 1885, and was on the losing team in the same fixture played one year later.  He organized the Canadian tour to Britain in 1888, and was the secretary during the trip as well as playing in the occasional game.  He was originally involved in the organization of the 1891 tour to Britain, but resigned in the weeks leading up to the team’s departure.  Regarded as the "Father of Canadian Soccer,” Forsyth came to Canada with his parents when he was only a year old, and received his primary education in Lynden, Ontario.  In 1865, he entered Dundas High School, and after his parents moved to Galt in 1867, the famous "Tassies School,” the Galt Collegiate Institute.  There he matriculated in 1869 with scholarship standing in mathematics.  In 1875, he graduated from the University of Toronto, taking a silver medal in mathematics.  In 1876, he became master of mathematics and science at the old Berlin High School, and it was here that his involvement in soccer really began.  During the following years, Berlin High School became a power in Canadian soccer, producing many fine players, who formed the nucleus of the Canadian teams of 1885, 1886 and 1888.  Later, this team became known as the Berlin Rangers.  In addition to his involvement in soccer, his work away from the playing field brought him many honours in the fields of mathematics and science.  Many years later, he retired to live in Beamsville.  A member of the Grand River Lodge, No 151, A.F. & A.M. of the Masons.  Inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in 2000.

Alexander Noble Garrett – Born: Biddulph Township (near St. Mary’s), Ontario, 1865.  Died: Toronto, Ontario, January 17, 1941.  Goalkeeper.  Attended the University of Toronto in 1884 and 1885, taking an Arts course, but did not graduate.  Also toured Britain with the Canadian-American team in 1891.  Sports editor of the Toronto Daily World for 25 years.  Considered one of this country's best-known sports writers.  In addition to being an outstanding soccer player, he also excelled at baseball, and played cricket and football as well as being a curler and a lawn bowler.  A member of the Toronto Granite Club and a Mason.

Alex Gibson – Born: Berlin, Ontario, 1865.  Berlin Rangers.  Forward.  Clerk in a hardware store in 1885.  Left Berlin in 1893 for Birmingham, Alabama, where he practised as a veterinary surgeon.  Still living in Birmingham in 1929.

Thomas "Tom" Gibson – Born: Glen Allen, Ontario, 1863.  Died: Red Deer, Alberta, November 1948.  Club: Berlin Rangers.  Forward.  A member of the publishing firm of Eaton, Gibson and Co. of Toronto and Buffalo, New York, in 1885.  Living and playing in Chicago in 1893, and played for the Chicago team that played Galt, Berlin Rangers and Toronto Varsity.  Living in Rumsey, Alberta, in 1929, and in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, for two years before his death.  Older brother of Alex and John.

Dr. Edward Payson Gordon – Born: St. Helen's, Ontario, in 1866.  Died: San Francisco, California, in 1902.  Club: Toronto Varsity.  Half Back.  Received his education at Jarvis Street Collegiate Institute and at Toronto Medical School.  Graduated Medical Doctor: Master of Surgery, University Victoria College, Cobourg, Ontario, 1890.  Soon after his graduation, he became connected with the Canadian Pacific Steamships Company as a surgeon, travelling between Vancouver and Hong Kong and served, for example, on the Empress of Japan in 1892.  After filling this position for about two years, he settled in the practice of his profession in Toronto, where he remained until 1899, when he moved to British Columbia as a practising physician and surgeon to the mining districts.  Also an outstanding lacrosse player, who toured Britain in 1888 with the Toronto Lacrosse team in addition to the soccer team.  In 1894, he married Margaret Donald, who after his death in 1902, graduated at the Royal College of Dental Surgery of Ontario in 1906.

Frederick Killer – Born: Berlin, Ontario, 1863.  Died: Toronto, Ontario, January 3, 1941.  Berlin Rangers.  Full Back. A bookkeeper by profession.  Secretary-Treasurer of the Gerhard Heintzmann Company in 1926.  Gerhard Heintzmann made pianos, and in 1927, were bought out by the better-known Heintzmann and Sons. 

Charles (Carl) Kranz – Died: Kitchener, Ontario, May 3, 1938.  Berlin Rangers.  Full Back.  Mayor of Kitchener in 1904 and 1905.  Early in life, he worked in his father's store, where he became interested in the fire insurance business, the office of the Economical Mutual Fire Insurance Company being located in the establishment.  Eventually established his own insurance business under the name of Carl Kranz Limited.  He started his municipal career in 1902, and in addition to being mayor, was elected to the Public Utilities Commission in 1913, serving on that body until 1932.  He was a member of the Kitchener Waterloo Rotary Club, St. Mary's Hospital Board, Grand Union Lodge of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, the Canadian Order of Foresters, the Knights of Pythias and the Grand River Lodge, A.F. & A.M.  In addition to soccer, his other sports activities included curling, golf and lawn bowling.  Married to Annie Bingham, the sister of teammate H.P. Bingham.

Dr. Wilfred Pirt Mustard – Born: Uxbridge, Ontario.  Died: Toronto, Ontario, July 30, 1932.  Club: Toronto Varsity.  He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1886 with a gold medal in classics.  He was a fellow of the university from 1886 to 1889, an examiner from 1889–91, and gained the degree of Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1893.  He was appointed collegiate professor of Latin at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1907.  At the time of his death, he had completed his 20th year as professor of Latin at Johns Hopkins.  He was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Toronto in 1921.  From 1894, he was professor of Latin at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, where he coached and played for the soccer team. At the time, it was noted that "Mustard drew most of the attention.  He brought what was described as an air of dignity to the team."

Dr. Henry Hempton "Harry" Pirie – Born: Dundas, Ontario, 1864.  Died: Dundas, Ontario, December 13, 1943.  Clubs: Queen’s University, Dundas F.C.  Half Back.  Graduate of Arts and Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, and during his college days, he played for Canada against the United States in 1886. After graduating from Queen's, he served as a medical practitioner in Costa Rica for many years, before returning to Dundas, where he engaged in such sports as lawn bowling, golf and curling.  During the period of the Depression in the 1930s, Dr. Pirie served his community well in connection with the administration of relief.

Dr. Walter Proudfoot Thomson – Born: Toronto, Ontario, 1868.  Died: Toronto, January 8, 1932.  An outstanding player during the years before the turn of the century.  Thomson played for Canada against the United States in 1885 and Scotland in 1888.  He was captain of the Canadian teams that toured Britain in 1888 and 1891, and attracted a great deal of attention from a number of English teams who were interested in signing him.  However, he turned his back on professional soccer in order to pursue his ambition of becoming a doctor, and was a general practitioner in Toronto for 35 years.  On retiring from the playing side of the game, he turned to administration, and attended the forming meeting of the Ontario Football Association in 1901, being named to the Match Committee. He was elected president of the Ontario Football Association in 1902, 1903 and 1904.  He attended Upper Canada College, Galt Collegiate Institute and the University of Toronto, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1890.  In his book The Blue and White, a history of 50 years of sport at the University of Toronto, T.A. Reed wrote,  "Among all there is none so worthy of mention as Watty Thomson.  For several years the genial 'Watty' was the life and soul of Varsity Football.  As a player, he was nothing less than a miracle of speed, accuracy and artfulness; as a centre forward he was a model of unselfishness and a phenomenal shot on goal; as a captain he was an inspiration and an ideal to his men.  We never shall look upon his like again!" He lived at 84 Dinnick Crescent in Toronto with his wife and son, Bruce.  He was a Presbyterian and a member of the Masons and Oddfellows.

E.W. Webster – Clubs: Preston, Galt F.C.  Forward.  A member of the Canadian team that toured Britain in 1888.