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The Dubonnet Cup

Dubonnet Cup Medal 1910
Dubonnet Cup Medal 1910
Dubonnet Cup 1910

SWINDON TOWN 2 Barnsley 1
(Fleming 2) (Lilycrop)
SWINDON TOWN: Skiller, Kay, Walker, Tout, Bannister, Silto,
Jefferson, Fleming, Burkinshaw, Bown, Lamb.
Barnsley: Willcox, Downs, Ness, Glendenning, Boyle, Utley,
Bartrop, Gadsby, Lilycrop, Tufnell, Foreman.

After the defeat in the 1910 semi-final against Newcastle, Swindon were invited to compete for the Dubonnet Cup with the team that lost to Newcastle in the final, Barnsley. Both clubs sent full-strength squads for the match, the only noticeable absentee was the regular Town forward Freddy Wheatcroft, who played in the semi-final. The match was played in Paris on 5th May 1910.
During the match, the cup was guarded by soldiers on either side, both with rifles and fixed bayonet. Two goals from the legendary Harold Fleming sealed a win for the Town, and team captain Charlie Bannister collected the trophy.
After the game, the Swindon players celebrated at a theatre performance, before the Town director, Mr. H.W. Thomas sang the old tune "Sally in our Alley".

Monday, 9th May, 1910
After a very pleasant but tiring journey, the Swindon team arrived home on Saturday evening, bringing with them the massive cup which they won in the French capital the previous Thursday by their victory over Barnsley. A large crowd congregated outside the G.W.R. Station just before seven o'clock to welcome the team, and cheers were raised as Trainer Wiltshire emerged from the platform with the huge forty-guinea bronze trophy on his shoulder, but in consequence of the King's death there was no demonstration.
The Cup was taken straight to the headquarters of the club, the Eagle Hotel, where it is now being exhibited. It is of massive design, weighing nearly a cwt., and its style is distinctly French. It is not, perhaps, so attractive and polished a trophy as one might have expected, and when the players themselves first saw it displayed on the Paris ground, and guarded by a Gendarme with drawn sword! they did not (in the words of the popular Secretary) think much of it. But a close inspection is sufficient to show that it is a beautiful work of art. It is a facsimile of an historic cup which is now in the British Museum.
The medals which were presented to each of the players are of square shaped dull gold. On the front side are the figures of two footballers, and on the reverse side the "Goddess of Liberty."
Mr S. Allen, the Secretary of the Club, accompanied the team to Paris, together with the following Directors:- Messrs T. Phipps, H. W. Thomas, C. Few, H. Prosser, H. Chegwidden, W. Anderson, and G. R. Plaister. Messrs C. R. Thomas, C. Williams, senr., R. Marshall, and the Club's trainer (Wiltshire) also made the journey, the party, in all, numbering twenty-five.
The Frenchmen seem to have been highly delighted with the match, which was not in any sense a "holiday game." Barnsley played vigorous football, but completely lost their heads towards the finish, when the Town led by 2-1, especially after Boyle had missed a penalty. The kick was given against Tout for handling, but Boyle shot straight into Skiller's hands. There can be no doubt that the best team won. Fleming played a grand game, scoring both goals. Both passes came from Barkinshaw, who, with Lamb, created a very high impression among the directors as well as confidence in the team by their nice displays. They are likely to prove a great acquisition to the team. Barkinshaw had very hard lines in not scoring. He brought off a fine individual effort, and missed only by inches.
There were 7,000 spectators present, and the gate realised £275.
Thursday, 12th May, 1910
We have received a copy of the Paris athletic journal, "The Auto," which contains a lengthy report descriptive of the Swindon v. Barnsley game last week, and some decidedly crude caricatures of the various players. Fleming is very conspicuous as "Captain of the Barnsley team," whilst Lamb, Jefferson, Silto and Bannister also figure very prominently among the "portraits." Below we give a few extracts from the paper dealing with the game:-
The five thousand spectators who, in spite of the rain, witnessed the Swindon-Barnsley match were able to say that they had seen a really good game of Association football. For an hour and a half it was a typical representation of the English national game. It was not an exhibition of football; it was a well-fought game. If it was possible to describe such an encounter, we should do it, because it was an admirable education for our players, who have seen how far one is able to go in the art of playing football. It gave great satisfaction to the French amateurs; I do not wish to deceive them, but next year they will see a similar match.
Special thanks are due to Monsieur Dubonnet, the generous French sportsman who, in endowing our annual match with a beautiful specimen of art, aroused the teams concerned to play a hard game instead of simply giving an exhibition.
Mr Allen, the Swindon secretary, did not hide from me, after the match, the pleasure it gave him to take this magnificent Cup back to Swindon. Boyle, the efficient Barnsley captain, could not conceal his disappointment of not winning the Cup. "Allow us to play the return match next year," said he to me. Fear not brave Tommy, the applause of the public will console you.
We saw yesterday one of the best, if not the best, forwards in England, Fleming, "the red Devil," who was astounding. His play excited the enthusiasm of the crowd. His first goal was a marvellous one.
After Fleming, the best man was Kay, the right back. His play was remarkable.
Walker the left-back was brilliant at times.
Bannister, the captain of the Reds, had to mark Tufnell, a record goal-scorer. He did so in a masterly way.
Silto and Tout displayed almost impossible skill.
Skiller in goal was remarkable. He saved a penalty, which is evidently a testimonial of his skill.
In the attack, Lamb and Jefferson, the extreme wingers, centred with great precision, and Fleming is their debtor for part of his great success.
Bown and Barkinshaw did good work.

The picture above was taken in 1966, and shows the three surviving players from the squad that went to Paris - Jock Walker, Bob Jefferson and Tommy Bolland - posing with the trophy.