Cork Not Saints' First Olympian

By SFC Media Fri 20 Jul Club

As Jack Cork prepares for his first warm up match with Team GB tonight, we take a look at some other Olympians with connections to Saints.

Cork is not the first Southampton footballer to have an involvement with the Olympic Games, nor, if GB soccer team is successful, will he be the first Saint to win a gold medal. That honour belongs to Aleksey Cherednik (below) who, in 1988 was part of the successful Russian team that triumphed in Seoul.

Aleksey, a Chris Nicholl signing, played 27 games for Saints between April 1990 and April 1991 but despite being a stylish full-back struggled fully to adapt to the English game and lost his place to the emerging Jason Dodd. He nowadays scouts for the Ukrainian club, Shakhtar Donestsk.

You have to go back to the strictly non-professional days of the 1960s to encounter another Olympian Saint. Hugh Lindsay had played three games for Great Britain in the 1960 Rome Olympics before turning out on the wing twice for Saints in April 1961, the last amateur ever to pull a red and white jersey over his head for the club.

Saints tried to get Hugh to sign as a professional and held onto his registration up until 1965 but he had his mind set on becoming a lecturer and contented himself with a distinguished amateur career with Kingstonian and further call-ups to the GB Olympic squads of 1964 and 1968. Today Hugh resides in Teddington, Middx and is a more than interested party in the 2012 squad's fortunes.

But perhaps the most fascinating Saint with an Olympian hinterland is Leonard Sydney Dawe, a bespectacled amateur inside-forward who played for the club during 1911 and 1913. He was included in the squad that went to Stockholm in 1912 and won his first England cap later in the year. His glasses could be a handicap as he found out in a FA Cup replay at Bury in 1913 when heavy rain caused his withdrawal from the starting line-up.

"LS Dawe" later became a school-master and also a cryptic crossword compiler for the Daily Telegraph. During the war he was questioned by MI5 when codenames about to be used in the Normandy landings - like Utah, Omaha and Neptune - started cropping up in his crosswords. It was accepted that he had prepared the puzzles some months previously and it was all a strange coincidence. But 40 years later an ex-pupil revealed that Dawe would sometimes invite boys to complete his partially-filled grids and some lads had used words overheard while hanging around American troops billeted near the school in the run-up to D-Day.

With Leonard Dawe's tale, the history of Southampton players competing in Olympic football comes to an end, but there are other quirks to ponder while the clock to the opening ceremony ticks down. 

For instance, Edgar Chadwick was an England international forward who spent two seasons at The Dell at the beginning of the last century. In 1908 he managed Holland as they participated in the London 1908 games and was still in charge four years later in Stockholm.

John Redvers Scott, came to The Dell from Norwich as a player-coach and assistant trainer at the same time as Ted Bates. In his younger days, he had played Rugby League for Featherstone, as well as being a training partner to Harold Angus, a wrestler who represented Great Britain in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics. He was also something of a boxer so it was a surprise that when he eventually retired from his sporting life he became a librarian in the City Library.

Cork, Cherednik, Lindsay, Dawe, Chadwick and Scott and over a 1000 other Saints players are all featured in the forthcoming book "ALLtheSAINTS".

This massive book, which will run to more than 500 pages, is still being compiled by the club's Official Historians, and further information, including how to place advance orders, will be available soon at www.hagiologists.com

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