Gamage's Green Book

Links With The Past: Gamage’s Green Book – 1913/14

This season, Club Historian John Hutchinson reveals some more unseen treasures from the Club’s historic collections and archives.
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Established in 1878, Gamages was a London department store which supplied, among many other products, ‘anything and everything for the footballer’. This 718-page edition of ‘Gamages Association Football Annual for 1913/1914’ is a treasured item in the Club’s archives.

Popularly known as ‘The Green Book’ (although this edition has faded to a khaki colour) and costing sixpence (2 ½p), it provides an incredibly detailed insight into football 109 years ago.

The contents include a review of the 1913/14 season, FA finance balance sheets, a history of the FA, and a section on the laws of the game.

It details international matches and Football League history dating back to 1888. There are also detailed sections on amateur football, the Southern League, other local leagues and on Scottish, Welsh and Irish football.

Sections on Leicester Fosse include the name of the Club Secretary Jack Bartlett and the address of the Club offices (3, Stanley Chambers, Gallowtree Gate). It also lists the Club’s telegraphic address (‘Fossil, Leicester’), phone number (4120 Central) and the two railway stations closest to the ground (Midland and Great Central). Club colours are described as dark blue shirts and white knickers.

Fosse’s complete record since joining the Football League in 1894 is detailed, as well as their record for the recently completed 1912/13 season. This includes the number of Fosse players used in Second Division matches for that season (28). It also records how many games each Fosse player appeared in and how many goals each player scored in 1912/13.  

There is a list of the 23 Fosse players signed up for the following season (1913/14). These include four amateurs, one of whom was the newly signed goalkeeper Ron Brebner. He was a dentist, an England amateur international and a Great Britain football gold medallist in the 1912 Olympics. Tragically he was injured playing against Lincoln in December 1913 and died of complications 10 months later. The Green Book also published Fosse’s fixture list for 1913/14.

Finally, there are some full-page adverts for such items as goalposts and nets, football boots and balls, football shirts, knickers and stockings and for sporting magazines like Sporting Life and Lotinga’s Weekly – one of which we also have in the Club’s archive.

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