Arthur Kinnaird, 11th Lord Kinnaird

Lord Kinnaird

Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird, 11th Lord Kinnaird KT (16 February 1847 – 30 January 1923) was a principal of The Football Association and a leading footballer.[1]


Kinnaird's father, Arthur Kinnaird, 10th Lord Kinnaird, was a banker and MP before taking up his seat in the House of Lords. Kinnaird's mother was Mary Jane Kinnaird and he was born in London. He was educated at Cheam School, Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating BA in 1869.[2] He worked in the family bank, becoming a director of Ransom, Bouverie & Co in 1870. This bank later merged with others in 1896 to become Barclays Bank of which he was a main board director until his death.

Football career

As a player, Kinnaird had a remarkable record. Having played in the second FA Cup final in 1873, he took part in a further eight – an unmatched total of nine finals in all. He was on the winning side three times with Wanderers and twice with the Old Etonians and celebrated his fifth Cup Final victory by standing on his head in front of the pavilion.

In the course of his career as a Cup Final player, Kinnaird played in every position, from goalkeeper to forward. It was while playing in goal for Wanderers in the 1877 final that he suffered the indignity of scoring the first significant own goal in football history, accidentally stepping backwards over his own goal line after fielding an innocuous long shot from an Oxford University forward. The goal was not formally credited to Kinnaird until early football records were re-examined a century later, and it has been speculated[by whom?] that the player used his influence as a member of the FA council to have the embarrassing record expunged. In fact the confusion appears to have been caused by the haphazard match reporting typical of the earliest days of the Association game.

Although he was born in Kensington, London, as son of an old Perthshire family Kinnaird also played for Scotland, winning his solitary cap against England in the second ever international, played in 1873 at The Oval.

He first played football while at Cheam School and was captain of the school team in 1859, aged 12, for a match against Harrow School. He continued to play football at Eton College, winning the House Cup in 1861 with Joynes's House, but was never selected for the school eleven. He first played association football early in 1866.

He was renowned as perhaps the toughest tackler of his day, giving rise to the (probably apocryphal) story that his wife once expressed the fear that he would "come home one day with a broken leg." A friend is said to have responded: "You must not worry, madam. If he does, it will not be his own."

Posterity has awarded Arthur Kinnaird the reputation of being fond of 'hacking', i.e. deliberately kicking his opponents. This is not entirely fair: reports from his playing days do not criticise him, and he owes his notoriety to an oft-repeated anecdote which first appeared in an October 1892 issue of Pastime magazine, a weekly sporting journal that was edited by Nicholas Lane 'Pa' Jackson, founder of the Corinthians Football Club and a committee member of the Football Association.

Jackson wrote: 'The keen rivalry which at one time existed between the Old Etonians and Old Harrovians lent an additional zest to the matches between them, and in one of these Lord Kinnaird's energy was expended as much on the shins of his opponents as on the ball. This at length caused a protest from the captain of the Harrovians, who asked, 'Are we going to play the game, or are we going to have hacking?' 'Oh, let us have hacking!' was the noble reply.'

Jackson later reveals that the opposing captain was Charles Alcock, which pinpoints the likely origin of the anecdote to a game on 16 November 1872, described as 'a friendly, but most vicious game of football' by The Graphic newspaper. Alcock and Morton Peto Betts were sufficiently disabled to be unable to play for England in the first official international, two weeks later.

Arthur Kinnaird, 11th Lord Kinnaird

Sportswriters and fellow internationals queued to pay tribute to Kinnaird's skill as a footballer both during and after his career. He was, according to "Tityrus" (J.A.H. Catton), editor of the Athletic News, of

"yeoman build and shaggy auburn beard, [and] did not quite look the part of a Scottish laird, until one spoke to him, and heard his rich, resonant voice and his short ejaculatory sentences. Of course, he had the voice and manner of an educated man of distinction.
"He was a leader, and above all things, a muscular type of Christian... As a player, in any position, [he] was an examplar of manly robust football. He popularised the game by his activity as a footballer among every class. He was at much at home with the boys of the Polytechnic, London, as he was with the Old Etonians.
"There was a time when the white ducks of Kinnaird, for he always wore trousers in a match, and his blue and white quartered cap were as familiar on the field as the giant figure of W.G. Grace with his yellow and red cricket cap... Lord Kinnaird used to say that he played four or five matches a week and never grew tired, but he added, late in life, that he would never have been allowed to stay on the field five minutes in these latter days. Nevertheless, he was fair, above board, and was prepared to receive all the knocks that came his way without a trace of resentment."

As an administrator, Kinnaird was an FA committeeman at the age of 21, in 1868. He became treasurer 9 years later and president 13 years after that, replacing Major Francis Marindin in 1890. He was to remain president for the next 33 years until his death in 1923, just months before the opening of Wembley Stadium.

He was an all-round sportsman, twice winning a blue at tennis, in 1868 and 1869, while at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was first in an international canoe race at the 1867 Paris Exhibition.[3] He was Cambridge University swimming and fives champion, and won the Eton College 350 yards race in 1864.

Other interests

Outside of sport he was president of the YWCA and the YMCA in England, a director of Barclays Bank and Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1907, 1908 and 1909. He was Honorary Colonel of the Tay Division Submarine Miners a Volunteer unit of the Royal Engineers based in Dundee[4]


Old Etonians

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Kinnaird, the Hon. Arthur Fitzgerald (KNRT864AF)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Burke's.


  • Arthur Kinnaird: First Lord of Football, Andy Mitchell. CreateSpace, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4636-2111-7.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • The Official History Of The Football Association, Bryon Butler, ISBN 0-356-19145-1
  • Association Football and the Men Who Made It, William Pickford and Alfred Gibson. London: Caxton 1906.
  • The Story of Association Football, "Tityrus" (J.A.H. Catton). Cleethorpes: Soccer Books, 2006 reprint of 1926 original. ISBN 1-86223-119-2.
  • Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage, 100th Edn, London, 1953.

External links


Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Arthur Kinnaird
Lord Kinnaird
Succeeded by
Kenneth Fitzgerald Kinnaird
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Arthur Kinnaird
Baron Kinnaird
Succeeded by
Kenneth Fitzgerald Kinnaird

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