Of the hundreds of players that have represented Moseley over the years, 11 have had the honour of captaining their respective countries in an international match. Only three, possibly four, of these players were actually playing for the club when they were so honoured.
The first international captain produced by Moseley was the redoubtable J.F. ‘Fred’ Byrne who led England in three matches in 1898. He did not have a happy start to his captaincy as he led England to a third successive defeat against Ireland, at Richmond Athletic Ground. Despite defeat Byrne ‘was as strong and safe as ever’ and kicked a penalty goal for the home side.
His next engagement as England captain was at Powderhall, Edinburgh where his side drew with Scotland and he was once more praised for his defensive work. In his next match in charge, which proved to be his last match as England captain, Byrne led his side to victory against Wales at Rectory Field, Blackheath. On this occasion ‘Byrne was, on the whole, perhaps not so good as usual’ he did however kick ‘a wonderful goal.’
Two years after Byrne’s last appearance as captain the side played Wales in the only England international staged at Kingsholm. Gloucester. The team was lead by R.H.B. Cattell, who had previously won six caps, three while playing for Moseley. Having almost completely given up rugby in favour of soccer in 1898 Cattell must have been more than a little surprised to have been recalled by England and appointed captain! The reason for his selection was probably the fact that the England side contained 13 new caps and needed an experienced captain; not surprisingly the team was easily defeated by Wales.
All of the record books list Cattell as a Moseley player in 1900; however, having been playing soccer for Welwyn A.F.C. and Tring F.C. he was probably not a playing member of any rugby club and should perhaps have been listed as ‘unattached.’
The next two Moseley international captains led their countries while playing for other clubs. In 1901 W.L. Bunting twice led England while a Richmond member and in 1925-29 Dan Drysdale led Scotland on 11 occasions while playing for Heriot’s Former Pupils, London Scottish and Oxford University.
The next Moseley player to be honoured with the captaincy of his country while playing for the club was Peter Cranmer who led England twice in 1937/38. The first of these games, against Wales in Cardiff, was won by the home side but in the following match, at Lansdowne Road, captain Cranmer led his team to victory. Despite this win he was deprived of the captaincy for the home game with Scotland, which proved to be the last of his 16 England caps.
There was then a 30-year gap during which no Moseley player was selected to lead an international team. This drought was ended in 1968 when Colin McFadyean led England in his final two internationals, scoring a try in the first of these matches. Strangely, both of these matches were drawn giving McFadyean the unique record of never leading England to defeat but on the other hand never leading them to victory either!
McFadyean was the last international captain to lead his country while actually playing for Moseley, however, a further five international captains have appeared for the club, however, briefly.
Terry Cobner, of Wales, made one guest appearance for Moseley in 1968 while a member of Walsall and went on to lead his country in the last of his 19 internationals ten years later.
Scrum half Richard Harding spent one season with Moseley in 1977/78 before rejoining Bristol and winning 12 England caps. Harding, like Cobner, led his country in his final international appearance.
Moseley’s next international leader was Al Charron who led Canada on 25 occasions in 1996-2003. He captained his country both before and after his time at The Reddings but not during his period with the club.
South African-born American international scrum half Kevin Dalzell joined Moseley in 1998/99 and although he never actually made a 1st XV appearance he was an unused replacement for a couple of matches. He captained the U.S.A. on one occasion in 1999.
The final international captain who Moseley can lay claim to is Colin Charvis who made one appearance for the club as a guest player in 1994 long before his international career. He went on to lead Wales in 22 matches.
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