AGM 1886



The annual general meeting of the members of the above club was held on Friday at the Legs of Man Hotel, when upwards of 100 members were present. Mr. Henry Mills, chairman of the committee, was called upon to take the chair, and after his opening remarks called upon the secretary to read his report of the past season, which was as follows: -

"To the chairman and members of the Wigan Football Club in general meeting assembled, May 14th 1886: - Gentlemen,- in presenting the report for the season 1885-6 I may say, as most of you are aware, the club commenced the past season in a sound financial position and with good list of fixtures, which were a decided improvement on the previous season's card, and we had every hope of a good record of victories, but we regret that owing to the defection of several prominent players when the season had only just commenced the team was disorganised for a short time, and we had the mortification of losing several matches which ought to have been won. But as the season advanced, and our team got in something like a settled state, we defeated several of the best clubs in the county, principally Barrow, Liverpool Old Boys, Liverpool and District (which included about eight county players), Oldham, and Rochdale Hornets. The latter portion of the season was a rather disappointing in our team allowing Aspull to achieve a rather easy victory. This has caused a considerable amount of comment from our supporters as to the genuineness of the game, but my committee are satisfied that all the team tried their utmost to win, but from something or other they were very much out of form. The interest in the game after our defeat by Aspull fell considerably.

"It is, however, hoped that ext season the interest in the team and club will again be renewed, and that the supporters will not be biassed in any way by the reports which have been set out. With respect to the ground for next season my committee have successfully come to terms with the Wigan Cricket Club for the use of their ground, which is now undergoing extensive alterations and improvements, and which will be ready by September 18th, when we open our season by playing Wakefield Trinity at Wigan. We have the promise of the cricket ground as long as the cricket club retain possession of the new portion, and we shall have the use of the pavilion, refreshment tent, grand stand, &c. Therefore the canvassing, which has always been a great drawback to the club, will be done away with, and will be a considerable saving to the club.

"The list of fixtures already arranged for next season include the principle clubs in Lancashire - Wakefield Trinity, one of the best clubs in Yorkshire; also Cardiff and Llanelly, the two best clubs in Wales - so with fine weather and a good team the season 1886-7 promises to be the most successful one since the formation of the club in 1879."

The secretary then read the list of last season's matches and results, the names of players who had scored the tries in first team matches, also the matches arranged for next season, all of which will be found below - Mr. Thomas Gerrard, honorary treasurer, presented the balance sheet for the past season, which showed the club to be in a flourishing condition, the receipts being greatly in excess of former years, a also was the expenditure. The total expended on the ground, including grand stand, footboards, canvass, erection of canvass, rent, and sundries was over £260. The balance sheet having been audited and gone through minutely, was, on being put to the meeting, passed unanimously. - Messrs, J.W. Clegg and W. Grime, the two gentlemen who had audited the accounts, spoke in very high terms of the excellent manner in which Mr. T. Gerrard had kept the books during the season.

Mr. T. KAY proposed, and Mr. T. TAYLOR seconded, that a vote of thanks be accorded to all the retiring officers and players, and this was heartily adopted.

Mr. H. MILLS respinded as chairman of the committee.

The following officers were elected for season 1886-7: - President, Mr. C.A. Cronshaw; secretary, Mr. G. Naylor; treasurer, Mr. T. Gerrard; auditor, Mr. W. Grime; captain 1st team, Mr. W.H. Smith; vice-captain, Mr. J. Slevin; captain 2nd team, Mr. T. Aspinall; vice-captain, Mr. C. Simm; committee, Messrs. H. Mills, J.W. Clegg, W. Millington, T. Leyland, J. Wardle, W.S. France, C.J. Taylor, J.R. Knowles, C. Holt, and J. Jackson.

Mr. J. MEADE proposed, and Mr. W.S. FRANCE seconded that the meeting be adjourned to consider the revising of rules, &c.

A vote of thanks to Mr. H. Mills for presiding brought a very successful meeting to a close.

The tries have been obtained as follows:- J. Anderton 18, J. Slevin 15, C. Holt 11, E.F. Wardle 9, J.H. Jones 8, L. Whittle 6, T. Brayshay 4, W.H. Smith 3, J. Astley 3, W. Atkinson 3, J.C. Samuels 3, J. Hunter 2, D. Banks 2, T. Aspinall 2, G. Peck 2, W. Harris 1, J. Mitchinson 1, and R. Crompton 1. During the season R. Crompton has dropped 5 goals, Brayshay 2, Samuels 1.

The second team has played 24 matches, winning 9, drawn 3, lost 12.

*As reported in The Wigan Observer and District Advertiser, Wednesday, May 19, 1886.

*Header photo with thanks via @NRDCollectables on twitter