The History of Sport: 1879 and 1880

Some of the major events in sport in 1879 and 1880


James F. M. Prinsep of Clapham Rovers becomes England’s youngest international player at the age of 17 years and 252 days when he makes his one and only appearance for England (v Scotland). This record stands for 123 years.

Scottish Cup final – Vale of Leven win their third successive Cup. It is a walkover after Rangers refuse to appear in the replay due to a protest about a disallowed goal in the original match.

Fred Spofforth of Australia claims the first hat-trick in Test cricket playing against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The Irish Hurling Union formalises the sport for the first time.

The Hungarian horse Kincsem wins the 54th race of her career.  She never lost and this remains the longest unbeaten run in racing history.

The National Skating Association of Great Britain was formed.

Thomas Ray breaks the world Pole Vault record aged 17 years and 198 days at Ulverston. His vault of 11 feet 2 1/2 inches made him the youngest world record holder in athletics history.

New York AC frames the rules for tug-of-war.

The first 6 day bicycle race is held at Agricultural Hall, London and won by George Waller.

The first women’s lawn tennis championships are held at the Fitzwilliam Club, Dublin and won by Miss M.Langrishe

Jamie Anderson (Scotland) wins his third successive Open Golf Championship.



Important rule changes in American Football.  A proposal to reduce the teams from fifteen players to eleven is passed as is the establishment of the line of scrimmage.

In cricket the first ever Test match played in England sees England defeat Australia at The Oval by 5 wickets after W. G. Grace scores England’s first Test century.  Alfred Shaw of Nottinghamshire records a bowling average of just 8.54 for the County championship season.  The first cricket bat with a rubber-handle grip is made by Page Bros. of Kennington.

Percy Stenning of Thames Hare and Hounds wins his fourth successive English Cross-country title.

The first military tournament, the Grand Military Tournament, is held at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, London.

The first ice-hockey club, McGill University Hockey Club, is formed.

The AAA, the first national body for athletics, is formed in Oxford.

The Amateur Boxing Association is formed.

In baseball Tim Keefe records a record low ERA for pitching of 0.86.




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