Non League Daily

1888 Army Re-Enactment Football Game

It has been a successful season for the Army FA with a busy schedule in which it has commemorated its 125th Anniversary.


The schedule was concluded with a re-enactment of the inaugural 1889 Army FA Cup Final which featured the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who defeated the 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment 2-0 at the Kennington Oval.

The game was played at The Aldershot Military Stadium on Wed 30th April.

Both Regiments have since been amalgamated, so the players were selected from the SCOTS DIVISION and THE MERCIANS to make it an England v Scotland feel.

The Scots Division continued in the same vein as the first game by running out winners 3-2.

The first half of the match was played primarily with 1888/89 rules with two Umpires and a Referee. The second half reverted to the current day rules.


To capture the spirit of the occasion the following procedures, rules and regulations were applicable in the first half:

The players wore the traditional kits from the 1888/89 season supplied by the Army FA

The Goalkeeper wore the same shirt as the outfield players. He will be distinguishable by wearing a Cap.

The match will be 45 minutes each way.

The goals will include cross bars but no nets.

There will be no penalty kicks. (This was not introduced until 1901).

The offside rule is applicable but the player is offside if he is nearer to his opponents' goal line than both the ball and the third last opponent.

There will be two handed throw ins and corner kicks. The player has to run up for the throw but they are delivered at right angles. The ball has to hit the ground first before being played.

A player can also be offside from a throw in.

A goal cannot be scored direct from a corner.

Heading is permitted but this was not perfected in 1889 and matches usually panned out at ground level.

The goalkeeper is permitted to pick the ball up from a back pass but cannot run with the ball in his hands and cannot walk more than two steps with it in his hand. He is, however, able to use his hands outside his area and can bounce his way up the pitch with it.

Foul Play - There is no tripping or hacking allowed but charging the goalkeeper was permitted even if he does not have the ball.

The players change ends after each goal.

The match ball supplied will be leather.

Team formations are strictly 2-3-5 with two backs, three halves and five forwards.

The Referee is accompanied by two Umpires. The Referee will be based on the touchline.

The Umpires will be placed in their respective halves, either standing on the goal line or by the corner flag.

They will be armed with a flag and are able to encroach on the pitch when a dispute is in evidence.

The Referee is the arbitrator to any disputes that cannot be resolved between the Umpires.

The Referee is also able to award a goal if somebody handles the ball on the goal line. He is also responsible for time keeping.


The Officials attire in the first half was:

Referee - Blazer with Army FA badge and Tie or open neck shirt and ¾ length trousers.

Umpires - Blazer with Army FA badge and Tie.


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