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THE FOLLOWING THREE LOTS WERE PRESENTED TO J.J. BENTLEY
Post Lot Text
The importance of J.J.Bentley in the formation of the Football League in 1888 and the subsequent progression and development of football in general cannot be overstated. As part of the original Management Committee formed in 1888 he worked closely with his committee colleagues, William McGregor, Harry Lockett and W.Allt along with its founder William Sudell in overseeing the potential pitfalls of League as opposed to Cup football in its first few years. The section devoted to Bentley contained within volume 3 of Association Football & The Men Who Made It by Alfred Gibson & William Pickford records that "He began to play football when he was 18 years of age and he is one of the pioneers of the game in Lancashire. He is never tired of talking of the old days at 'Turton', near Bolton, where he was born, and obtained local pre-eminance as a half-back. He followed up the game with the Bolton Amateurs and gained a county badge for Lancashire v. Sheffield. In 1884 he became Secretary to the Bolton Wanderers, and his genius for organisation was fostered by his new insight into the management of a leading club. He was writing football reports and notes, being one of the first and smartest contributors to the Football Field, a Bolton journal. From this he advanced to the staff of the Athletic News and for years after the death of Mr. T.R.Sutton occupied the editorial chair. He may be said to have been one of the first football journalists to revolutionise the style in which matches were reported, introducing a chatty tone to relieve the bald narrative so usual in the 80s and so dull and uninteresting....." As part of the Football League, he was a Committee Member from 1888-1893, Vice-President 1893-1894, President 1894-1910, Committee Member 1910-1912 and Life Member 1912-1919. He was also Vice President of the Football Association from 1905-1910.
This testimonial was originally presented to Bentley along with the silver casket which was sold by Christie's on 20 June 1998 for £7,200.