Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

1881 in sports

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1881 in sports

1881 in sports describes the year's events in world sports.


American football

College championship

  • College football national championship – Yale Bulldogs
  • Events

  • Michigan Wolverines is the first "western" team to travel east and play against the established teams at Harvard Crimson, Yale Bulldogs and Princeton Tigers.
  • Association football


  • FA Cup final – Old Carthusians 3–0 Old Etonians at The Oval in the last final to be played between two southern amateur sides.
  • Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers both change their venues to enclosed grounds where gate money can be charged, an increasing practice among clubs that are openly (or otherwise) professional.
  • Preston North End is founded and plays from the start at Deepdale, which holds the world record for the length of time a venue has been in continuous use by one major league club.
  • Burnley FC founded as Burnley Rovers RUFC which decides in May 1882 to switch codes. The Rovers suffix is dropped two years later and the club renamed as Burnley AFC.
  • Newcastle United, which has a complicated early history, is founded as Stanley FC by a cricket club in the Byker area of Newcastle.
  • France

  • Foundation of FC Girondins de Bordeaux.
  • Ireland

  • Moyola Park F.C. wins the inaugural Irish Cup final
  • Scotland

  • 12 March — Andrew Watson makes his Scotland debut, becoming the world's first black international football player
  • Scottish Cup final – Queen's Park 3–1 Dumbarton at Hampden Park (replay after Dumbarton protests about the original match which Queen's Park has won 2–1)
  • Baseball

    National championship

  • National League champions – Chicago White Stockings
  • Events

  • Detroit replaces Cincinnati leaving Cleveland and Providence the southerly cities on the National League circuit. Four others lie on the northerly rail line from stalwart Chicago to stalwart Boston: Detroit, Buffalo, Troy, and Worcester.
  • In autumn, for the first time, all eight National League clubs prepare to continue next season.
  • Boxing


  • Paddy Ryan takes part in a number of exhibition bouts but does not defend his Heavyweight Championship of America title.
  • John L. Sullivan continues his rise to the championship with a series of knockout victories, none of them lasting longer than eight rounds.
  • Cricket


  • Lancashire County Cricket Club wins its first outright title. At the end of the season, an English team led by Alfred Shaw goes to Australia for the 1881–82 Test series.
  • England

  • Champion County – Lancashire
  • Most runs – A. N. Hornby 1,534 @ 40.36 (HS 188)
  • Most wickets – Ted Peate 173 @ 12.68 (BB 8–30)
  • Australia

  • Most runs – Tom Horan 318 @ 35.33 (HS 113)
  • Most wickets – Edwin Evans 32 @ 11.25 (BB 5–34)
  • Golf

    Major tournaments

  • British Open – Bob Ferguson
  • Gymnastics


  • 23 July — the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique, the world's oldest international sport federation, is founded.
  • Horse racing


  • Grand National – Woodbrook
  • 1,000 Guineas Stakes – Thebais
  • 2,000 Guineas Stakes – Peregrine
  • Epsom Derby – Iroquois
  • Epsom Oaks – Thebais
  • St. Leger Stakes – Iroquois
  • Australia

  • Melbourne Cup – Zulu
  • Canada

  • Queen's Plate – Vice Chancellor
  • Ireland

  • Irish Grand National – Antoinette
  • Irish Derby Stakes – Master Ned
  • USA

  • Kentucky Derby – Hindoo
  • Preakness Stakes – Saunterer
  • Belmont Stakes – Saunterer
  • Rowing

    The Boat Race

  • 8 April — Oxford wins the 38th Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
  • Rugby football


  • Wales plays its first international match but is well beaten by England
  • Tennis


  • Wimbledon Men's Singles Championship – William Renshaw (GB) defeated John Hartley (GB) 6–0 6–1 6–1
  • USA

  • First U.S. National Singles Championship, precursor of the US Open, won by Richard D. Sears (USA) who defeats William E. Glyn (USA) 6–0 6–3 6–2
  • World

  • The 5th pre-open era 1881 Men's Tennis season gets underway 27 tournaments are staged this year.
  • Yacht racing

    America's Cup

  • The New York Yacht Club retains the America's Cup as Mischief defeats Canadian challenger Atalanta, of the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club
  • References

    1881 in sports Wikipedia

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