CROYDON COMMON FOOTBALL CLUB

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SWEDISH TOUR

 

The club toured Sweden in May and June 1912 and played six matches in just eight days.  The results were:

DATE VENUE OPPONENTS H/T F/T SCORERS
Monday 27 May Walhalla, Gothenberg Gothenberg Combination 2-1 2-2 Hartness (2)
Wednesday 29 May Ostermalm, Stockholm Stockholm Combination 1-0 2-0 Allman, Hartness
Thursday 30 May Ostermalm, Stockholm Stockholm Combination ? 1-0 Hartness
Saturday 1 June Walhalla, Gothenberg Gothenberg Combination 0-0 0-0
Sunday 2 June Walhalla, Gothenberg Walhalla, Gothenberg 0-0 0-0  
Monday 3 June Walhalla, Gothenberg Orgryte IS 0-0 2-1 Hartness (2)

The first five matches were played against teams made up of players selected from a number of local clubs.  The final match was against Orgryte IS, the oldest club in Sweden (founded 1887), and the four matches held in Gothenberg were all played at the club's ground.  The club currently plays in Division 1 South (the regional third tier of the Swedish football structure), having been relegated from the Superettan (the non-regional second tier) in 2013.

The two matches in Stockholm are recorded as having been played in Ostermalm, which is the district in which the Stockholm Olympic Stadium is located.  However, it seems unlikely that the matches were played there on 29 May and 30 May, because the inauguration ceremony for the stadium was held on 1 June and presumably there were preparations to be undertaken in the days leading up to it.  It also appears that the matches were not played at the other main Stockholm stadium, the Rasunda, as explained below.  Investigations are continuing!

Croydon Common players and their Swedish opponents mingle together at one of the matches.
   
... and another photograph taken at the same match.
   
The Croydon Common side that played on 29 May 1912.  The photograph appeared in the Swedish sports newspaper, Idrottsbladet (Sports Leaflet), on 31 May.  The line up is, from left to right:

Hartness, G. Yenson, Little, Hutchins, Watson, Pace, Bushell, W. Yenson, Burke, Romain and Allman

   
A postcard of the Rasunda Stadium in Stockholm sent to his wife from the tour by David Gardner.  This stadium was the venue for several of the matches in the Olympic football tournament of 1912, including the bronze medal play off game.  However, as it is in Solna, and not Ostermalm, it is almost certainly not the venue of either of the matches played by the Common in Stockholm; indeed, on the reverse of the card (see below) David Gardner refers to its proposed use in the Olympics, but does not state that the club had played there.
   
The reverse of the David Gardner postcard, which was dated 30 May 1912 and postmarked the next day, reads:

Dear Jessie, We did not play yesterday owing to the rain having flooded the field but will play today + tomorrow here then go back to Goteberg to play Saturday + Sunday.  Bowman arrived this morning he had a pretty rough voyage.  I can't suggest whether we may play more games or not.  This is a view of the ground where the Olympic football will be played.  I am keeping well.  Best love for you and kisses for Davie + you from your own David.

Given that the card was dated 30 May, this would appear to suggest that a match was not played on 29 May due to the weather, but it is known that one was.  Given the comment that there would be two games in successive days before the return to Gothenberg, it would appear that the card was actually written on 29 May and the postponed game was therefore due to have taken place on 28 May; however, this schedule would not have allowed a day's break to travel from Gothenberg to Stockholm following the opening match.   A mystery!