Born on 9th October 1866 in Clifton, Bristol, Charles Wreford-Brown came from an affluent family and attended Charterhouse School where he excelled at sports. He completed his studies at Oxford University’s Oriel College and was a ‘blue’ in football and cricket, as well as a noted chess player.
Wreford-Brown played football for the Corninthians Football Club, who were dedicated to the amateur status of sport. His first class cricket career continued in parallel with his exploits on the football pitch, playing county cricket for Gloucestershire.
But he is best remembered for his football and he played in a wide variety of positions starting out as a goalkeeper and later as a centre-half, which was where he won his four full England caps, twice as captain against Wales in 1894 & 1895.
He played in specially tailored shorts which featured a deep pocket which he stuffed with gold soverigns and pressed one into the hand of the professional players who scored a goal.
His career as a football administrator started in 1892 when he was first appointed to the council of The Football Association to represent the Old Carthusians. He later represented Oxford University and became Chairman of the England player selection committee, which in today’s terms would have given him the title of England’s manager.
Wreford-Brown is credited with coining the term “soccer” to differentiate Association Football with Rugby Football.
Under Sir Stanley Rous, he served as a vice-president of the Football Association from 1941 until his death in 1951.