How an old Norwich City FC postcard reminds us of brave Tommy.
PUBLISHED: 07:58 09 November 2012
The story of Tommy Allsopp, former Norwich landlord, who held a unique record in sporting history. A top man on the football pitch and the cricket field.
They look the part - Norwich City footballers of 1907 but one of them holds a unique record in sporting history.
The picture postcard was sent in by former Norwich City policeman Peter Tadman who thought it would interest our readers.
He was right.
They were all handy players and hard men but there was one with special talents - his name was Tom Allsopp who went on to become a Norwich publican.
All rounder Tommy was the only man to have played cricket for both Leicestershire and Norfolk as well as football for Leicester and Norwich.
Born in Leicester in 1880 he played 36 cricket matches for his home county between 1903/5 scoring 347 runs and taking 88 wickets.
Tommy played football for Leicester and other clubs before making his debut for Norwich City against Portsmouth in 1907 - scoring a goal.
A speedy winger on the football field he played for Norwich from 1907 until his retirement in 1911. His most famous goal helped Norwich beat cup-holders Sheffield Wednesday in January 1908.
Tommy first played cricket for Norfolk in 1907 taking seven wickets against the Free Foresters and then hitting a half century in his third innings against Harrow Wanderers.
He was a regular member of the team up until 1912. His best season was in 1910 when he helped Norfolk win the Minor Counties Championship. His highest score was 69 not out in a match against Bedfordshire.
He went on to became landlord of the City Arms, a busy pub on Redwell Street in Norwich but the country was at war and in 1916 he joined what was then the Royal Garrison Artillery serving with the 126th Labour Battalion. He earned his stripes in France.
While he survived the war, he caught influenza on the boat coming home and within a few days of coming home to Norwich he died at his pub.
He was buried with military honours at Norwich Cemetery on March 12 1919.
A brave and courageous soldier and a talented footballer and cricketer - let’s remember Tommy Allsopp.
Meet the team. Norwich City: 1907/8.
Top row, left to right: A Turner (manager’s assistant), T Bury (director), F A Kent (clerk), A E Barham (director), Mr Nattrass (director, W T Blyth (director).
Second row, left to right: H McQueen (trainer), G Newlands, R Whitman, J Youngs, H Hutchinson, A T Jones, F Thompson, P Roney, J W Howes (director and hon. sec.).
Third row, left to right: Tom Allsopp, G Lamberton, J R Bauchop, R Webster (vice chairman), G M Chamberlin JP (director) J Pyke (chairman), J McEwen (captain), W Bushell, A Livingstone.
Fourth row: R Muir and W Smith.
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