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Old 20th January 2016, 05.23:55   #35-0 (permalink)
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Default Re: The sad case of a founding member and player of Wrexham Football Club

The Provincial ‘Welsh’ Insurance Company (a subsidiary of the National Provincial Bank) was established in 1852 and sold fire and life insurance from its office on The High Street, Wrexham. The company also created its own Fire Brigade to protect its assets in the town, but this proved to be ineffective and was soon disbanded, to be replaced by The Price of Wales Fire Brigade.

George R. Johnson and Joseph Roberts played cricket for The Provincial Insurance Office Cricket Team and both would play football for Wrexham Football Club in the clubs first ever game; moreover, an article in The Wrexham Advertiser 13th March 1869 reported ‘Saturday afternoon, the 6th March, the Wrexham Football Club (consisting chiefly of clerks of the Provincial Insurance Office), played a game of football with Ruabon Grammar School. The game ended in a draw.

Charles Edward Kershaw (an elected member of The Wrexham Board of Guardians), George R. Johnson and James Davies were all volunteers of The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, which stabled its horses at The Wynnstay Arms on the High Street.
Formerly known as The Eagles Inn, The Wynnstay Arms had been owned by the Wynn Family of Ruaban; - major land owners of a large estate in the area, which also included much of the grazing land surrounding the Town.
Sir Watkin Williams Wynn was the MP for Denbighshire and The Lieutenant Corporal of The Denbighshire Militia and Yeomanry, as well as being a trustee of The Provincial Welsh Insurance Company. (Edwin Alfred Cross (1842-1924) was a clerk at the Insurance Company’s High Street Offices, who would later win two Welsh Cup Final winners medals for Wrexham Football Club as well as making 2 International appearances for Wales in 1876 and 1877).
As landed gentry, the male descendants of The Wynn family also held military office for Merioneth and Denbighshire and were traditionally responsible for raising military units for the defence of the realm: these included The Denbighshire and Merioneth Militia and The Denbighshire and Merioneth Yeomanry Cavalry, and it seems likely that a field at Plas Coch, at the edge of the town, was first used in association with cavalry horses, or horses that were used for hunt meetings, at the end of the 18th Century.
By 1807, some of this land had been developed into a racecourse, where public events such as The Town Purse and The Silver Cavalry Cup were staged, until drunkenness and crowd trouble led to the meetings being abandoned, around 50 years later.
However, Military association with the racecourse had persisted throughout this period and The Racecourse Ground continued to serve as a parade ground and drill venue for the various military units of the area, including The Denbighshire Rifle Militia.
The Denbighshire Militia would regularly attend civic events in the town, together with The Prince of Wales fire Brigade.
Sergeant William Tootell, Sergeant Thomas Heath and Thomas Henry Sykes were all members of the Denbighshire Militia who would play in Wrexham Football Club’s first ever game.
The Racecourse had also been used as a cricket ground for The Wrexham Cricket Club, later be known as The Denbighshire County Cricket Club, of which, Edward Manners was the chairman and Charles Edward Kershaw the vice chairman, with members including, but not limited to, Sergeant William Tootell, Joseph Roberts, Evan Morris (Captain, Denbighshire Militia Volunteers, later to be The President of Wrexham Football Club and Vice-President of The Football Association of Wales) Edwin Alfred Cross, Edward Ephraim Knibbs, Thomas Broster, Thomas Henry Sykes, George Warburton (employer of Thomas Henry Sykes) John Whittaker (Denbighshire Yeomanry Cavalry and Landlord of The Turf Hotel) James Davies (1845-1910 Volunteer in The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, who would later score the only goal for Wrexham Football Club in the final of The Welsh Cup Final against Druids in 1878: he was also a Welsh International, winning one cap against Scotland in the same year) Arthur Henry Maurice (Lieutenant Of Denbighshire Militia Volunteers) John Taylor (Played for Wrexham Football Club in their first ever game and was a joint secretary of Wrexham Olympic FC in 1884 and The Secretary to The Football Association of Wales 1885-1897) and William Henry Prichard (Insurance Clerk and Volunteer in The Prince of Wales fire Brigade, who would play for the fire brigade against Wrexham Football Club in October 1864, but later became the Secretary of Wrexham Athletic FC in 1868)
But it was Edward Manners, The Chairman of The Denbighshire County Cricket Club who bought a football and called for volunteers to attend The Racecourse ground, where the 10 founding players of Wrexham Football Club would play their first ever game, against 10 men of The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade on 22nd October 1864.

The heraldic crest of The Prince of Wales, a plume of 3 feathers, which adorns our crest today, was also the crest of The Provincial Welsh Insurance Company, The Prince of Wales Fire Brigade, The Denbighshire Yeoman Cavalry and The Denbighshire Militia Volunteers.

Last edited by eastsussexred; 20th January 2016 at 05.34:26..
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