“He shoots, he scores”: Lord Mountbatten and his associations with football organisations

Today begins the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and to mark this occasion, we take a look at Lord Mountbatten’s associations with Southampton Football and Athletic Company Limited, and the Football Association.

Lord Louis Mountbatten leaning against the rail of his ship, HMS P31, August 1919 [MB2/N4/18]

Lord Louis Mountbatten leaning against the rail of his ship, HMS P31, August 1919 [MB2/N4/18]

During his lifetime, Lord Louis Mountbatten was associated with many charities and organisations, as a member, patron or president. He attended numerous dinners and openings, and gave large numbers of speeches in connection with these societies; while, inevitably, he had only an honorary role in many, others took up more of his time and energy.

The archives comprise mainly correspondence with the organisations, often about invitations to dinners and openings, or to give speeches, and the papers were originally maintained in a separate sequence of files in the office of Lord Mountbatten’s private secretary. The files also contain many information booklets and annual reports sent by the societies. The papers are now arranged in files in alphabetical order by name of organisation.

Southampton Football and Athletic Company Limited

From around 1946, Lord Mountbatten was President of the Southampton Football and Athletic Company Limited. Founded in 1885, the Club started as a church football team that was part of St. Mary’s Church of England Young Men’s Association, where the Club’s nickname “The Saints” came from. The Saints joined the Southern League in 1894 and the Football League Third Division in 1920. At the time Lord Mountbatten became President; the Club had narrowly missed promotion to the Second Division and finished in third place. The correspondence from the Club that forms part of the Mountbatten papers includes Christmas wishes and invitations to home matches. Lord Mountbatten later became Patron of what is now Southampton Football Club in 1955.

Letter from Southampton Football and Athletic Company Limited, wishing Lord Mountbatten a happy Christmas, 18 December 1946 [MB1/L499]

Letter from Southampton Football and Athletic Company Limited, wishing Lord Mountbatten a happy Christmas, 18 December 1946 [MB1/L499]

Football Association

Dating between 1956 and 1959, correspondence with the Football Association in the Mountbatten papers includes requests for Lord Mountbatten to be Chief Guest at Cup Finals; invitations to dinners; and a request to be Honorary Vice-President of the Football Association Council.

Lord Mountbatten was also offered Royal Box seats at Wembley Stadium for himself and his family by the Football Association secretary, of which he accepted for the 1958 FA Cup Final between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United:

“It was a wonderful crowd and a great day, and one only wishes that Manchester United could have scored a goal or two while they were pressing so strongly, so as to keep the game more in suspense to the end.” [Letter from Lord Mountbatten to Sir Stanley Rous, Secretary of the Football Association, 6 May 1958, MB1/L145]

For more information about the Mountbatten papers go to:

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/archives/cataloguedatabases/mb/index.page

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One response to ““He shoots, he scores”: Lord Mountbatten and his associations with football organisations

  1. Pingback: 2018 – Year in Review | University of Southampton Special Collections

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