It was from the Football League Secretary Fred Howarth. It was in relation to a fixture between sides representing the Scottish League and the English League due to be played on 22 September, 1937 at Glasgow Rangers’ Ibrox Stadium.
The England Football League XI regularly played against other national league sides between 1891 and 1976 and, for a long period, the annual fixture between the English and Scottish leagues was only second in importance to the matches between the full international teams.
Leicester City’s right-half, captain and England international Sep Smith, who had played in this fixture in 1935, was selected as travelling reserve for the English League squad for this 1937 fixture. The letter provides an interesting insight into the life of top professional footballers 85 years ago.
Sep Smith letter, 1937
A photograph of the letter which outlined Sep Smith's responsibilities.
In marked contrast to the present day arrangements for players selected for England’s representative sides, the letter instructed Sep to book a third class period return rail ticket to Glasgow for the fixture and go to the Central Hotel in Glasgow at 5:30pm.
There, he was to assemble with the other selected English players, who included Stanley Matthews, prior to departing by motor coach to Largs a quarter of an hour later. The Scottish League side won the match 1-0 in front of a crowd of 40,000.
In those days before substitutes, Sep was selected that season as travelling reserve not only for this game but also for another inter-league fixture against the Irish League, for an international trial and for two full international matches.
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