John Edmund Bentley

Name:John Edmund Bentley
Clubs played for:Gypsies
Football Code played:Rugby
Position played:Half Back
University/College:Merchant Taylors
Bentley, having played at school, did not play for the school's well known old boys side, Old Merchant Taylors, because his playing years pre-dated its formation. Old boys from the school had been instrumental in the founding of Wasps, but that was an open club based in north London and Bentley was based south of the river Thames. His club of choice was the once famous Gipsies Football Club, based in Peckham, that would afterwards become a founding member of the Rugby Football Union in 1871. His performances for the Gipsies produced an invitation to represent England in the first ever international in 1871 at Raeburn Place in Scotland. England were to lose this encounter, but Bentley was also involved in the return match the following year at The Oval where England were the victors. Arthur Guillemard of the Chislehurst-based West Kent Football Club, who also played in those first two international games, said of Bentley that he was very fast and much helped by his weight and strength, "which on one occasion at Chislehurst enabled him to run-in carrying two of his opponents on his back as if they were rag dolls",Bentley continued to watch international rugby right up to his last years. His obituary in his old school's magazine, The Taylorian of 1914, recalled that "he appeared at the South Africa v. England Match last year wearing in his buttonhole the old English rose that had figured on his jersey in his International Matches.

International Honours: 2 England Caps (1871,1872)

Information from Football Annuals: BENTLEY. J. E. R1- Gipsies: A good half-back, having both pace and weight. Played for England in 1871 and 1872.