Golden Age is the name given to the period between 1880 and 1900, which saw an unprecedented expansion of the sport of football in Europe and the world.
In the Golden Age, football became more of a national sport, with leagues and clubs playing in different parts of Europe.
The Golden Age also saw the birth of modern football, which would see the introduction of new rules and tactics, and new players who would take on more senior players in order to challenge the established favourites.
The golden age also saw many stars of the game make their mark, with the likes of Jack Robson, John Barnes, Harry Kane and Robbie Fowler all playing for England in the golden age, and many others coming through the ranks of the English Football League.
Although it’s been an incredible period in English football history, it has also been a time of great upheaval, with many of the stars who played a part in the Golden Era now leaving the game.
The list of players who made their mark in the early 1900s has become longer and longer, with some of the most famous names to emerge from the golden era are still with us today.
Here’s our list of the 20 greatest English players to play in the 1900s, based on our research.
Player Name Age Position Club Position Club Years 1 Jack Robison, London Arsenal, 19 1878-79 2 Robbie Fowler, Leeds United, 19 1886-87 3 Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur, 19 1902-03 4 John Barnes (1902-03), Manchester United, 18 1890-91 5 Harry Kane (1918-19), Liverpool, 18 1920-21 6 Jack Robinson, Liverpool, 19 1890-89 7 Charlie Bowden, West Ham United, 1893-94 8 Jimmy Greaves, Blackburn Rovers, 1896-97 9 James Wilson, Tottenham (1916-17), 18 1881-82 10 John Barnes(1906-07), Manchester City, 18 1901-02 11 Charlie Bowen, Blackburn (1913-14), 18 1888-89 12 Harry Kane(1918), Liverpool (1915-16), 18 1897-98 13 John Barnes and Joe Royle, Leeds (1906), 18 1895-96 14 Harry Kane in 1902-07, Liverpool (1920-21), 18 1898-99 15 Joe Royles, Liverpool 19 1901-03 16 Jack Robinsons, Leeds, 18 1902-05 17 Jimmy Greves, Blackburn, 1899-00 18 Harry Kane & Co. in 1903-04 19 Jack Robinons, Sheffield United, 1899 20 Charlie Bowens, Blackburn(1912-13), 18 1899-01 21 Charlie Bowels, Blackburn and Blackburn (1899-00), 1900-01 22 Jack Roblinsons, Blackburn in 1901-92, 1899 23 Jack Robards, Blackburn 1899-02 24 Jack Robons, Sunderland, 1899 25 Jack Robbinons, Burnley, 1899 26 Jack Robans, Burnleys, 1899 27 Jack Roblinons, Liverpool 1899 28 Joe Royleders, Manchester United 1899 29 Harry Kane at Upton Park, 1899 30 Joe Royls, Leeds 1899 31 Harry Kane.
The Golden Age – the period in which he was born, 1899, in the same stadium as the great Sam Allardyce – is a great sporting memory for me.
And it is certainly a time for football history buffs to pay tribute to a number of greats, including the likes.
Jack Robson (Arsenal) – England’s first-ever star in the game, with an outstanding first goal for the club in 1897 and then playing a vital part in England winning the World Cup in 1901.
The Englishman was one of the first players to have the nickname “Golden Jack” and was an integral part of Arsenal’s great win in the World War I.
His goal came on his 100th game, scoring in the 93rd minute to earn the winner against France in a match that ended in a draw.
Jack Smith (Liverpool) – A prolific striker for Liverpool, he became a regular for England, scoring 17 goals in total between 1910 and 1912.
He became a club legend when he scored in the final of the 1912 FA Cup final to win the competition.
His goal came in the 83rd minute of the World’s Cup final against Uruguay.
Jack Taylor (Arsenal, 1899) – One of the greatest strikers of all time, Taylor was also the first Englishman to play for Liverpool and was a key figure in the Reds great run to the Premier League in the late 1920s.
His hat-trick against Arsenal in the FA Cup Final of the 1890-92 season was the game-winner, while his penalty in the first leg of the 1899 FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham was the winner.
He also scored the winner in the Premier Cup semi final victory over Arsenal in 1900 and in the League Cup final win over Sheffield United in 1901, while he won the FA Championship with Manchester United in 1902