Victorian Football


This wonderful photo is another taken by footballer/photographer Albert Wilkes, who played for Aston Villa and England, and later set up a photographic agency. Taken at West Bromwich Albion's Hawthorns ground, it shows the doctor and club trainer inspecting a "damaged leg" belonging to an unnamed West Brom player, thought to be Adam Haywood.

The photo was published in the Book of Football in 1905. The caption reads: "The members of a big football team are periodically examined by the doctor, who exercises a kind of general supervision over them, apart from any urgent call that may be made upon him. This is necessary, as prevention is better than cure."

The photo below, also by Wilkes, shows a West Brom player receiving a rub down from the trainer: "After the day's exercise and the bath, the player is taken hand in hand by the trainer and vigorously rubbed down, any weak muscle or seat of injury receiving special attention. This most important part of football training keeps the men in perfect health."


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