Football at the 1908 Summer Olympics

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Football at the 1908 Summer Olympics
Tournament details
Host countryGreat Britain
Dates19–24 October
Venue(s)1 (in 1 host city)
Final positions
ChampionsFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain (2nd title)
Runners-upFlag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Third placeFlag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Fourth placeFlag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Tournament statistics
Matches played6
Goals scored48 (8 per match)
Top scorer(s) Flag of Denmark.svg Sophus Nielsen (11 goals)

At the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, Great Britain, an official football tournament between national representative selections was contested for the first time: football at the two previous games had been played between club teams. [1] Eight teams entered (including two from France), although Hungary and Bohemia withdrew before the start. Denmark's Sophus "Krølben" Nielsen set a record by scoring 10 goals in a 17-1 win against France. Great Britain won the gold. Among those representing the Danish team was the famous mathematician Harald Bohr.

1908 Summer Olympics Games of the IV Olympiad, celebrated in London (United Kingdom) in 1908

The 1908 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the IV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was held in 1908 in London, United Kingdom from 27 April to 31 October 1908.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom, as well as the largest city within the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Great Britain island in the North Atlantic off the north-west coast of continental Europe

Great Britain is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean off the northwest coast of continental Europe. With an area of 209,331 km2 (80,823 sq mi), it is the largest of the British Isles, the largest European island, and the ninth-largest island in the world. In 2011, Great Britain had a population of about 61 million people, making it the world's third-most populous island after Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan. The island of Ireland is situated to the west of Great Britain, and together these islands, along with over 1,000 smaller surrounding islands, form the British Isles archipelago.



The matches were held at White City Stadium in London.

White City Stadium former stadium at White City, London, UK

White City Stadium in White City, London, England, was built for the 1908 Summer Olympics, and hosted the finish of the first modern marathon. It also hosted swimming, speedway, boxing, show jumping, athletics, stock car racing, concerts and a match at the 1966 World Cup. From 1927 to 1984, it was a venue for greyhound racing, hosting the English Greyhound Derby.

White City Stadium White City Stadium 1908.jpg
White City Stadium

Medal table

Great Britain won the Gold Medal after beating Denmark at the final. London 1908 English Amateur Football National Team.jpg
Great Britain won the Gold Medal after beating Denmark at the final.
Denmark won the Silver Medal. DK football1908.jpg
Denmark won the Silver Medal.
1Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR)100
2Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark  (DEN)010
3Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands  (NED)001
Flag of France.svg  France  (FRA)000
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden  (SWE)000

Medal summary

Men's tournamentFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain  (GBR)
Horace Bailey
Arthur Berry
Frederick Chapman
Walter Corbett
Harold Hardman
Robert Hawkes
Kenneth Hunt
Herbert Smith
Harold Stapley
Clyde Purnell
Vivian Woodward
George Barlow [2]
Albert Bell
Ronald Brebner
W. Crabtree
Walter Daffern
Thomas Porter
Albert Scothern
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark  (DEN) [3]
Peter Marius Andersen
Harald Bohr
Charles Buchwald
Ludvig Drescher
Johannes Gandil
Harald Hansen
August Lindgren
Kristian Middelboe
Nils Middelboe
Sophus Nielsen
Oskar Nørland
Bjørn Rasmussen
Vilhelm Wolfhagen
Magnus Beck [2]
Ødbert E. Bjarnholt
Knud Hansen
Einar Middelboe
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands  (NED)
Reinier Beeuwkes
Frans de Bruyn Kops
Karel Heijting
Jan Kok
Bok de Korver
Emil Mundt
Louis Otten
Jops Reeman
Edu Snethlage
Ed Sol
Jan Thomée
Caius Welcker
Jan van den Berg [2]
Lo la Chapelle
Vic Gonsalves
John Heijting
Tonie van Renterghem


Final tournament



Netherlands  Flag of the Netherlands.svgw/oFlag of Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Hungary
Hungary withdrew due to the Bosnian crisis.
Denmark  Flag of Denmark.svg9–0 Flag of France.svg France B
N. Middelboe Soccerball shade.svg 10', 49'
Wolfhagen Soccerball shade.svg 15', 17', 67', 72'
Bohr Soccerball shade.svg 25', 47'
S. Nielsen Soccerball shade.svg 78'
Attendance: 2,000
France  Flag of France.svgw/oFlag of Bohemia.svg  Bohemia
Bohemia withdrew after losing their FIFA membership.
Great Britain  Flag of the United Kingdom.svg12–1Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Stapley Soccerball shade.svg 15', ??'
Woodward Soccerball shade.svg ??', ??'
Berry Soccerball shade.svg ??'
Chapman Soccerball shade.svg ??'
Purnell Soccerball shade.svg ??', ??', ??', ??'
Hawkes Soccerball shade.svg ??', ??'
Report Bergström Soccerball shade.svg 65'
Attendance: 2,000


Great Britain  Flag of the United Kingdom.svg4–0Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands
Stapley Soccerball shade.svg 37', 60', 64', 75' Report
White City, London
Attendance: 6,000
Referee: Howcroft (Great Britain)
Denmark  Flag of Denmark.svg17–1Flag of France.svg  France
S. Nielsen Soccerball shade.svg 3', 4', 6', 39', 46', 48', 52', 64', 66', 76'
Lindgren Soccerball shade.svg 18', 37'
Wolfhagen Soccerball shade.svg 60', 72', 82', 89'
N. Middelboe Soccerball shade.svg 68'
Report Sartorius Soccerball shade.svg 16'
White City, London
Attendance: 1,000
Referee: Campbell (Great Britain)

Bronze medal match

The French were so shocked by their 17-1 defeat against Denmark that they declined to play for the bronze medal; therefore, the Netherlands played Sweden for third place. [4]

Netherlands  Flag of the Netherlands.svg2–0 [5] Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden
Reeman Soccerball shade.svg 6'
Snethlage Soccerball shade.svg 58'
White City, London
Attendance: 1,000
Referee: Pearson (Great Britain). [6]

Gold medal match

Great Britain  Flag of the United Kingdom.svg2–0Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark
Chapman Soccerball shade.svg 20'
Woodward Soccerball shade.svg 46'
White City, London
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Lewis (Great Britain)



11 goals
8 goals
6 goals
4 goals
3 goals
Nils Middelboe Danish footballer and referee

Nils Middelboe was a Danish amateur athlete and football player as well as a football referee and leader. He represented the Denmark national football team at the 1908, 1912 and 1920 Summer Olympics, winning silver medals in 1908 and 1912. He was the first ever goalscorer for the Danish national football team, when he scored in Denmark's debut game at the 1908 Summer Olympics. In 1913, he moved abroad to play for English club Chelsea F.C., and became the first foreign player to ever represent the club.

Vivian Woodward English footballer

Vivian John Woodward was an English amateur football player who enjoyed the peak of his career from the turn of the 20th century to the outbreak of the First World War. He played for Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea.

2 goals
Harald Bohr Danish footballer

Harald August Bohr was a Danish mathematician and soccer player. After receiving his doctorate in 1910, Bohr became an eminent mathematician, founding the field of almost periodic functions on which he published a comprehensive survey in the period from 1954 to 1974 with the help of his son-in-law, mathematician Erling Følner. His brother was the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Niels Bohr. He was a member of the Danish national football team for the 1908 Summer Olympics, where he won a silver medal.

August Ludvig Lindgren was a Danish amateur football (soccer) player in the midfielder position, who won a silver medal with the Danish national team in the 1908 Summer Olympics football tournament. He scored two goals in three games at the tournament. In all, Lindgren played four games and scored three goals for the Danish national team. He played his club football with Boldklubben af 1893.

Frederick William Chapman was an English amateur footballer who competed in the 1908 Summer Olympics.

1 goal


PlaceNameNationGoals allowedGamesGAA
1 Horace Bailey Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 130.33
2 Ludvig Drescher Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 331.00
3 Reinier Beeuwkes Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 422.00
4 Oskar Bengtsson Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 1427.00
5 Fernand Desrousseaux Flag of France.svg  France 919.00
6 Maurice Tillette Flag of France.svg  France 17117.00


  1. "Football at the 1908 London Summer Games". Sports Reference. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 Those players were also in squad, but did not play any matches.
  3. (in Danish) Slutrundetrupper 1908-2004 at Danish Football Association
  4. IFFHS
  5. The official report states that the score was 2-1. "Holland and Sweden also played for the consolation stakes, and Holland scored two goals to one from Sweden, who were rather unlucky in not getting a second."
  6. "Netherlands 2 Sweden 0 (Match summary)". 23 October 1908. Retrieved 5 May 2009.

Coordinates: 51°30′49″N0°13′39″E / 51.5136°N 0.2274°E / 51.5136; 0.2274

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