Today marks the centenary of the death of John Charles Shaw : founder of Hallam FC and much more

John Charles Shaw was born on the 23rd January 1830 and died on the 23rd November 1918 aged eighty eight. His wife Louise had purchased the burial plot at Brandwood End Cemetery, Kings Heath Birmingham. The grave is now designated as number 1326, in section B2CE and both Jane and Alice are buried with him. The grave is unmarked and a fund raising campaign is underway to have it refurbished.

Shaw is buried in the unmarked central plot

John Shaw attended Penistone Grammar School and in the 1861 census he was described as a widower with two sons George and John aged six and two. He lived in Fulwood, Sheffield giving himself an easy walk to the Sandygate ground to play in the Hallam FC matches. His occupation was law stationer (a person who makes handwritten copies of legal documents). John Shaw married Anne Waterfall in July 1861 and by the 1881 census his occupation has changed to Political Agent. His obituary make no mention of his enormous influence on Association football but fully recognises his contribution to the Conservative party:

“Modern Party organisation practically owes its existence to Mr. Shaw. His work was of the real pioneer character, and he was the first to adopt methods which are now in universal use. In 1885, leading Conservatives from all over the West Riding met at Wakefield to entertain Mr. Shaw
to luncheon, and to present him with a purse containing £200, a silver salver, and an illuminated address, in recognition of his valuable work. When he resigned his secretaryship of the Midland Union in 1912, he was presented at Birmingham with an address and a cheque for £1,120. Under
the principal Conservative agent for the country, he had been sub-agent for the ten Midland counties for 20 years, and had also held the honorary secretaryship of the Union for 26 years.”

Shaw was ‘one of the first captains of the Sheffield Football Club’. As he left in 1860 to form Hallam FC this suggests that his captaincy happened in 1858 or 1859. I have not been able to find John Shaw as an earlier player for Sheffield FC in the local press, the only evidence I have found for his involvement with Sheffield FC is his inclusion in the list of members in the 1859 club handbook. By the following year he is the Hon. Sec. of Hallam FC, a position he held until 1863, when he would have been thirty three years of age. By 1868 Shaw was Vice President of the Sheffield Football Association and in 1869 he became President, a position he would hold for 14 years until 1882. From 1870 he was also Hallam FC President a position he held until 1874. In 1875 Shaw was appointed the organising secretary for the Conservative Party for England and Wales.

Captained Hallam FC in the Inaugural Rules Derby

1862 – Whitsuntide
Suffered a broken ankle yet still came 2nd in the Great Hallam Chase over 10 miles

1863 – Whitsuntide
Fully fit, won the Great Hallam Chase at a canter

1863 – September
Re-elected to Sheffield FC Committee as they voted to only play XI-a-side Fixtures in future

1864 – March
Played for SFC against Notts County in County’s first external Fixture
[NCFC 0-1 SFC, the game was XIV-a-side]

1865 – April
Played for Sheffield FC against London in the Battersea Park Fixture, the London FA’s first match
[London 2 goals & 2 touchdowns – SFC 0 goals & 0 touchdowns]

1867 – Feb-March
Won Youdan Cup, the world’s oldest Association football cup, his name was later engraved on the trophy as Captain

He was probably one of the ‘seven of the best Hallam FC’ players in the Cromwell Cup Final, turning out for the Garrick Club but ultimately losing to Wednesday FC

Played in goal for London, when they turned up a man short for the first of the ‘Rules Test Matches’
[Sheffield Football Association 3-1 London Football Association]

Refereed the Inaugural Sheffield Challenge Cup Final, The Wednesday Club 4-3 Heeley

John Shaw was famously the man who lost the Youdan Cup after buying it the club auction in October 1886, at some point thereafter it ended up in an Edinburgh Antique Shop where Hallam FC were able to buy it back.

More information on Shaw and early Sheffield football can be found in newly revised second edition of my book ‘A History of Sheffield Football 1857-1889: Speed, Science and Bottom’ which is available to purchase here:

Thanks to the Hallam FC historian for additional information.