DID WALSALL TOWN EVER MEET RUSHALL ROVERS?

12/10/2015 12:12

During my research for the Birth Of The Saddlers book (nearly sold Out) I never came across an instance when Walsall Town played Rushall Rovers, despite the fact that Rushall was formed as an offshoot following Walsall's first ever game against an assembled team labelled as Rushall. It was clear that some animosity was there, which kept their relationship prickly, and as neither middle class team would enter any cups for fear of meeting a working class team on the pitch (!) I always believed that they never met. Until yesterday when I was reading a 1901 edition of the Sheffield Telegraph wherein old Walsall Town player John Adams stated that it did once actually happen, but it took a clever trick to bring them together. He said that the Bloxwich FC captain was also a Walsall player (so that would have to be Arthur Lindop then); he arranged a fixture Bloxwich v Walsall Town for Good Friday (probably 1879), but after Walsall wnet on the pitch ready to start the game, it was not Bloxwich but Rushall Rovers who trotted out to meet them.! Walsall must have been miffed at this trick and beat them 5-0. So it did actually happen then.