Brian Vandervilt heads to Brazil

Brian Vandervilt heads to Brazil - This January sees another football related commemoration, but this time of a tour that never happened…. 

Brian Vandervilt, Head of our Wealth Management department, is heading to Brazil on Sunday 18 January with the Corinthian Casuals Football team.  The Corinthians are setting out on a tour that was organised, but never happened because of the outbreak of the First World War.   

The commemoration of the start of the First World War has given us all reason to stop and think.  So many programmes and events have brought the impact of those terrible years in to sharp focus. 

Over the Christmas period many programmes mentioned the famous football match in No Man’s Land, when for a few brief hours the horrors of war were set to one side.

The name Corinthian Casuals is deeply embedded in football history.  The club was started in 1882 and espoused above all the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play.  Famously, because the players could not believe that anyone would deliberately foul an opponent, members of the Casuals would deliberately miss penalties, or the goalkeeper would stand to one side as the opponents took their penalties. The Club is the only club side ever to represent England in an international.

The Casuals also took it upon themselves to spread the beautiful game and their famous Corinthian Spirit to all parts of the globe, including South America.  In 1910 the Club made its first trip to Brazil, including a game in Sao Paulo which itself inspired spectators to found their own club, which they decided to call Corinthians.  The club Corinthians Paulista is now one of the foremost clubs in Brazil, playing in front of huge crowds and enjoying great success.

          Corinthians in 1910

In 1914 another tour to Brazil was scheduled.  The team left Southampton in July 1914.  On 6 August the message was received that war had been declared.  As soon as the ship docked in Brazil, four members immediately returned home, as they were reserve officers.  After a quick walk around the town, the rest of the touring party decided to return home, in order to join the war effort. 

Of the 11 players who so inspired the people of Brazil in 1910, 5 perished in the war.  Cuthbert Brisley, then deemed the best striker in Europe, died in a flying accident in 1918 and Thomas Rowlandson, the goalie who famously stepped aside for penalties, was killed on the Somme.  In all, the Club lost 70 players in the War.

To commemorate the sacrifice of the golden generation of the Club, who did so much to spread football around the world, a tour to Brazil has been arranged and takes place this month. The Casuals are to play the fixtures that never took place, including a match against Corinthian Paulista in their 47,000 seat stadium.

The tour has attracted great interest in Brazil and many dignitaries and celebrities are schedules to attend games and meet the players.  This will be a truly momentous tour and we wish the Club, its players and officials bon voyage and the very best of luck.