Jack Wilshire’s move to Bournemouth and the scrapping of the emergency loan window have put temporary deals back in the spotlight. But how did football’s loan transfer system get started and who were some of the first and strangest loanees? Part of a bigger feature on loan spells, my piece on the history of loans written for FourFourTwo.

Who on Earth is “AH Chequer”? That was the question spectators asked when they saw the unfamiliar name on the Wanderers team sheet ahead of the very first FA Cup Final, played between Wanderers and Royal Engineers in March 1872. In fact, “AH Chequer” was a pseudonym for Morton Betts, who usually played for Harrow Chequers (hence “A Harrow Chequer”). The Chequers had withdrawn from the tournament after the first round, but that didn’t stop Betts playing in the final. And, inevitably, he scored the game’s only goal.

Read the full story in the November 2016 issue of FourFourTwo.

Published by Paul Brown

Writes about football, history, true adventure. The Guardian, Four Four Two, When Saturday Comes, The Blizzard, Longreads, Deadspin, etc. Latest book: The Ruhleben Football Association. Twitter: @paulbrownUK