Alexander Nash

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For the Australian rules footballer, see Alex Nash.

Alexander Andrew Ellis Nash (30 August 1849 – 18 July 1906)[1] was an English amateur footballer who played for England in the first representative match against Scotland in March 1870.

Family and education[edit]

Nash was born in Edmonton in north London, the only son of William Nash (1813–1868) and his wife Caroline née Fairbank (1822–1857).[1] He was baptised at All Saints, Edmonton on 13 October 1849.[2] In the 1851 census, William Nash was described as a "glass merchant".[3]

Nash was educated at Brentwood Grammar School between 1862 and 1867, where he represented the school at both football and cricket.[1] At Brentwood, his colleagues included R. S. F. Walker, who played in three of the early "international" matches, scoring four goals.[4]

Nash's nephew, Lieut Arthur William Swanston, the son of his sister Fanny Elizabeth, was killed near Chrissiesmeer in the eastern Transvaal in the Anglo-Boer War on 16 October 1900, while trying to save the life of a fellow soldier. For 65 years after his death, his Scottish fiancée arranged for flowers to be placed on his grave.[5][6]

Football career[edit]

Nash played for the Wanderers club in the 1869–70 season, making six appearances as a forward, scoring twice. His cousin, Andrew John Nash (A. J. Nash) also played for Wanderers at the same time, making nine appearances.[7] In late 1869, he joined Clapham Rovers, becoming the club captain. In April 1870, he won the shot put at the club sports competition.[1]

In March 1870, Nash was selected to represent England in the first pseudo-international against Scotland organised by C. W. Alcock and Arthur F. Kinnaird. The first "international" was played at Kennington Oval on 5 March 1870, and ended in a 1–1 draw.[8][9] Nash was one of only two players not from a public school background (the other being Alfred Baker) selected to represent England.[10]

Nash played for Clapham Rovers alongside his cousin, A. J. Nash, in the inaugural FA Cup tournament in 1871[1] and remained with the club for several years, representing them on the Football Association committee from 1872 to 1874,[1] and acting as an umpire as late as 1876.[11]

Later life[edit]

Nash later became a merchant in London, joining the Merchant Taylors' Company in 1870.[1]

He married Harriette Jane Routledge (1850–1906) at St Matthias Church, Richmond on 24 September 1896.[12] The couple had no children.[1]

Nash died on 18 July 1906 at Gilfach while on holiday in South Wales. A coroner's inquest concluded that the cause of death was chloral hydrate poisoning, although no charges were brought against anyone.[1] At the time of his death, he was the beneficiary of a trust fund, valued at £20,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mitchell 2012, p. 126.
  2. ^ "London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906". Retrieved 19 December 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ "1851 England Census". Retrieved 19 December 2014. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Mitchell 2012, p. 12.
  5. ^ "Newsletter 107". The South African Military History Society. August 2013. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Lt Arthur Swanston (Boer War), and touching story - Eyemouth". The Scottish War Memorials Project. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Cavallini 2005, pp. 124–125.
  8. ^ "England Unofficial Match No. 1". 5 March 1870. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "England 1 Scotland 1 (Match report)". 5 March 1870. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  10. ^ Mitchell 2011, pp. 47–48.
  11. ^ Mitchell, Andy (23 July 2010). "Nash of Clapham Rovers, 1870s". Soccerdata UK. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Surrey, England, Marriages, 1754-1937". Retrieved 19 December 2014. (subscription required (help)). 


  • Cavallini, Rob (2005). The Wanderers F.C. – "Five times F.A. Cup winners". Dog N Duck Publications. ISBN 0-9550496-0-1. 
  • Mitchell, Andy (2011). Arthur Kinnaird: First Lord of Football. Andy Mitchell. ISBN 1-4636-2111-6. 
  • Mitchell, Andy (2012). First Elevens: The Birth of International Football. Andy Mitchell Media. ISBN 978-1475206845.