36- 0!

Looks MATTHEW ED­WARDS 0 win back at Ar­broath’s 36- 1885... against Bon Ac­cord in

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - CONTENTS -

When Ar­broath bashed Bon Ac­cord

IN BRI­TISH football’s glit­ter­ing and long­stand­ing history few sto­ries com­pare to the re­mark­able story of Bon Ac­cord’s crush­ing 36-0 de­feat to Ar­broath on Septem­ber 12, 1885 in the first round of the Scot­tish Cup. It is a story fused with false­hoods, mud­dled scores, on-field an­tics, ab­sur­dity, strange co­in­ci­dences and one man’s at­tempt to not be writ­ten out of history.

In 1885, the Scot­tish FA sent out an in­vi­ta­tion invit­ing the newly formed Aberdeen football club Bon Ac­cord FC the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in the first round of the Scot­tish Cup. Con­trary to pop­u­lar belief, Bon Ac­cord was an es­tab­lished foot­balling out­fit, al­beit in their early in­fancy.

Formed in 1884, the team lacked any real pro­fes­sion­al­ism or foot­balling know-how, but were de­lighted when they were drawn with the vastly ex­pe­ri­enced Ar­broath FC, who them­selves were formed in 1878.

For Bon Ac­cord, Ar­broath FC, who had just turned pro­fes­sional through the le­gal­i­sa­tion of the sport in Scot­land in 1885, were deemed highly at­trac­tive op­po­si­tion. Newly reg­is­tered as part of the For­farshire Football As­so­ci­a­tion in 1883, which com­prised of 18 teams, Ar­broath had earned a good rep­u­ta­tion in Scot­tish foot­balling cir­cles and a good pedi­gree as a cup spe­cial­ist team hav­ing beaten Dundee Harp 2-1 at Rollo’s Pier dur­ing the first For­farshire Cup in 1883, watched by over 5,000 speca­tors. The fol­low­ing year they beat Glas­gow Rangers 4-3 in the Scot­tish Cup only to have the match con­tro­ver­sially re-ar­ranged due to a com­plaint by Rangers of­fi­cials that the pitch was too small.

The Scot­tish FA sided with Rangers and or­dered the match to be re­played whereby they trounced a dis­heart­ened Ar­broath 8-1. Up­set by the man­ner of their exit, the Ma­roon Boys sought to make their mark on the com­pe­ti­tion this time round and set about putting Bon Ac­cord to the sword.

As the big day ar­rived, leg­end has it that Bon Ac­cord turned up on the day of the match with­out any form of stan­dard kit or ap­pro­pri­ate footwear. To com­pound mat­ters, their goal­keeper failed to ar­rive for the match which saw cen­tre for­ward An­drew Lornie re­as­signed to goal­keep­ing du­ties. Seen clearly as a por­tent of what was to fol­low, Bon Ac­cord, who pos­sessed lit­tle foot­balling prow­ess, or any player with an ounce of skill that was com­pa­ra­ble to Ar­broath’s pro­fes­sional play­ers, were promptly thrashed 36-0.

Dur­ing the heavy rain and windswept match, Ar­broath chalked up 43 goals only for ref­eree Dave Stor­mont to disal­low seven ‘per­fectly good’ goals for ‘off­side’, even though, by his own ad­mis­sion, he felt they were per­fectly valid:

“My only re­gret was that I chalked off seven goals, for while they may have looked doubt­ful from an off­side point of view, so quickly did the Ma­roons carry the ball from mid­field, and so close and rapid was their pass­ing, that it was very doubt­ful whether they could be off­side.”

The Ar­broath score should have of­fi­cially stood at 43-0, had Stor­mont had not suc­cumbed to a sense of pity to­wards the visi­tors as the em­bar­rass­ing score­line that was notch­ing up at a rapid pace.

One can also sym­pa­thise with Stor­mont, for the un­fold­ing slaugh­ter mustn’t have been plea­sur­able to of­fi­ci­ate and ter­ri­bly de­mor­al­is­ing for the Bon Ac­cord play­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.