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News > Latest News > Three Lions, Two Shirts, One School.

Three Lions, Two Shirts, One School.

For over 200 years, Twyford School has produced many excellent sportsmen and, more recently, sportswomen. 

Twyfordian contemporaries, Edward Christian and John Rawlinson, were both among the first hundred members of England’s national football team. 

England's first ‘international’ matches, which all took place at the Kennington Oval, London, were played against Scotland between 1870 and 1872. However, these are not considered full internationals by FIFA because the Scotland teams were composed entirely of London-based Scottish players! England's first FIFA-recognised international football match was a 0–0 draw against Scotland at Hamilton Crescent in Partick, Glasgow, on 30 November 1872 in front of 4,000 supporters.  

Edward Christian was born in Malvern, Worcestershire, in 1858. After Twyford, he was a pupil at Eton College (1872-1876), before studying at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he played football for Cambridge University AFC. During this time, he also turned out for the Old Etonians and played for then for several seasons. On 29 March 1879, Edward played at The Oval in the eighth FA Cup final as full-back for the Old Etonians against Clapham Rovers, a match they won 1-0. 

Exactly a week later, on 5 March, Edward was selected to play for England, the sixty-third person to be given this honour. The match against Scotland, again at The Oval, was won 5-4, the first win against Scotland for six years. 

This was, however, his only appearance for England. Edward played for the Old Etonians in the 1879-1880 season, only to find himself losing to Clapham Rovers in the quarter finals of the FA Cup. After graduating from Cambridge in 1881, he left these shores to work in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). 

He was to spend the next twenty-three years in Ceylon working, latterly, as a director of the Bengal and North Western Railway Company and the Pundaloya Tea Company. On his return to the UK, he settled in Otterbourne where he was ‘Lord of the Manor’ and a frequent prize-winner at local agricultural shows. He died in 1934. 

The Right Honourable John Peel Rawlinson was born in Walberton, Sussex, in 1860. Like Edward Christian, he was educated at Twyford, Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he won a university football ‘blue’ in 1882 and 1883. He continued to play for the Old Etonians whist at university, helping them – as their goalkeeper – reach three successive FA Cup finals in 1881, 1882 and 1883. 

The 1881 and 1883 finals were lost, but the Old Etonians beat Blackburn Rovers 1-0 in the 1882 final to lift the trophy. According to a match report, after the Old Etonians went 1-0 up before half-time, “Rovers had a couple of chances to level the score, which were easily dealt with by Rawlinson in the Etonian goal.” 

John’s solitary appearance for England came on 18 February 1882 against Ireland. As goalkeeper he had little to do as the England forwards ran riot, scoring thirteen goals without reply. He was the 90th person to be selected to play for England. 

Later in 1882, John became a member of the committee for the Corinthians, a new amateur club which is credited with popularising football around the world, and later served on the Football Association committee from 1885-1886. 

John Rawlinson graduated with a law degree from Cambridge in 1883. He became a barrister in 1884, a Queen’s Counsellor (QC) in 1887, and Recorder for Cambridge in 1896. Ten years later, John was elected as MP for Cambridge University, a seat he held until his death. John was appointed a Privy Counsellor to King George V in 1923. He died in 1926 at the age of 65.  

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