History of Sport: 1887 and 1888

Here are some of the main events that occurred in sport in 1887 and 1888:-


Preston North End beat Hyde 26-0 in an FA Cup tie at Deepdale.  This remains the highest score in a major English club competition.

A major step towards unity in football is achieved when the Sheffield FA joins The Football Association after the FA Laws are amended to effect an agreed compromise. One significant change to the Laws is the introduction of the throw–in to replace the kick-in.

East Molesey women’s hockey club, the earliest women’s club, is formed.

In the first All-Ireland hurling final Tipperary (1 goal and 1 point) defeat Galway (nil).  The first All-Ireland Gaelic Football final is won by Limerick.

George Lindsay scores five tries for Scotland v Wales, a record for a home international rugby match.

The Victorian Football Association (now called the Victorian Football League) is formed for Australian Rules football.

Australia v England at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is the first-ever Test Match at cricket. Australia win by 45 runs with Charles Bannerman scoring 165*: the first Test century. 

The first women’s cricket club, the White Heather Club, is founded at Normanhurst, West Sussex.

First set of ice hockey rules are published in the Montreal Gazette. The rules are virtually indistinguishable from then-current field hockey rules.

The result of the 34th Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race is a dead heat, to this day the only one in the history of the race.

Inaugural Lawn Tennis Championship held at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon.  “Lottie” Dod wins the women’s singles title aged 15 years and 285 days.

Dick Sears wins his 7th successive US Open tennis title.  The inaugural women’s title is won by Ellen Hansell.

The St.Moritz tobogganing club is founded.  The skeleton toboggan ridden face down is introduced by American L.P. Child at Clavadel, Switzerland.

The first motor race is organised by M.Fossier over a course from Saint-James in Paris to Neuilly but results in a walkover for Georges Bouton.

John Fleming becomes the first known British boxing manager when he becomes manager of Jem Smith.



On the occasion of the Exposition Universelle in Paris the Norwegian pavilion presents a display of skis inspiring Henry Duhamel to experiment with a pair at Chamrousse in the Alps.

The grand chistera (basket) for Pelota Vasca invented by Melchior Curuchague of Buenos Aires

The Amateur singles championships for Rackets and for Real Tennis are introduced.

The first photo-finish for horse racing is introduced by Ernest Marks at Plainfield, New Jersey.

The first official calendar of races for steeplechasing is drawn up.

The first bob-sled is introduced by the American Stephen Whitney at Davos, Switzerland.

The first motorcycle in Britain is completed by F.B.Shuttleworth Ltd from a design by Edward Butler.

The Amateur Gymnastics Association is founded.

The start of the first English football league season.

FA Cup final – The Wanderers 1–0 Royal Engineers at The Oval. The Wanderers become the first team to complete a hat trick of FA Cup wins and it is their fifth (and final) win in total.
Manchester United founded as Newton Heath Cricket & Football Club by employees of the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.

The first British Lions rugby tour is made to Australia and New Zealand.

Australia makes the inaugural first-class cricket tour of England by an overseas team. The tour is a great success but includes no Test matches.  Surrey beat Sussex by a record margin of an innings and 485 runs at the Oval.

The first use of a crouch start in a sprint race by Charles Sherrill of the USA.

Georges Bouton wins the first proper motor race from Neuilly to Versailles (20 kilometres) by defeating one rival.

The first motor-boat in Britain is imported from New York by Rowland Wood.

The first use of pneumatic cycle tyres when John Dunlop of Belfast fits them to his son’s tricycle.

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