Evelyn Henry Lintott (1883–1916)

Evelyn Lintott – soldier and professional football player – was killed in action on 1 July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.

Evelyn Lintott was born in Godalming, Surrey, in 1883 and spent his childhood in Farncombe, Surrey. In 1905 he moved to Devon to attend St Luke's Training College, Exeter, and upon graduating became a schoolteacher.

While working as a schoolteacher, Lintott played part-time football for Woking, captaining that team in 190506 and also representing Surrey. He joined Plymouth Argyle Football Club in the summer of 1906, for which he made only two appearances before signing as an amateur for the Southern League's Queen's Park Rangers (QPR) Football Club in the summer of 1907. He made his debut at QPR in the match against New Brompton on 7 September 1907.

International football career

On the football pitch, Lintott had occasional forays up front but was most effective playing in the 'right-half' position. He was QPR's first England international player, winning five amateur and three full caps during his time with the club. The team won the Southern League in 1908.

While at QPR, he continued to work as a teacher at a school at Oldfield Road School in Willesden, London. He was also heavily involved with the newly-founded Professional Footballers Association and was head of the organisation from 1910 to 1911. His brother Frederick Stacey Lintott was a reporter for the Bradford Daily Telegraph and edited the Professional Footballers Association's 'Football Player Magazine'.

He had made 35 appearances for QPR and scored one league goal when he caught the eye of Bradford City Football Club manager Peter O'Rourke. On 21 November 1908, O'Rourke travelled to London and met Lintott at Paddington Station where he immediately signed him for £1,000. The transfer fee went a long way to helping QPR out of serious financial problems.

As a Bradford City player Lintott won four England caps, one North versus South trial game and scored once for the Football League (against the Irish League). One of his England appearances was against Ireland at Bradford Park Avenue in 1909. On arriving at Valley Parade (the home of Bradford City Football Club), the club found him employment at Sports and Pastimes the makers of the club's shirts. However, he expressed a wish to return to teaching and soon found a post at a school in Dudley Hill.

During his time at Bradford City, he lived in a humble terraced house at 13 Cornwall Place (behind Valley Parade) in the heart of the community that had given birth to and continued to support the club. He made seven appearances as a left-half in the England international football team during 1908 and 1909.

After appearing in 57 matches for Bradford City, and scoring two goals, Lintott moved to Leeds City Football Club on 7 June 1912. For this club he made 45 appearances and scored one goal.

"He was a left-half of good physique, possessing great skill." The Times, 8 July 1916

The FIrst World War

Lintott enlisted in the Army shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. On 14 September 1914, frustrated at recruiting delays in Bradford, he enlisted at Leeds with the 15th Battalion (1st Leeds), The Prince of Wales's Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)  known as 'The Leeds Pals'. On his enlistment form he gave his occupation as schoolteacher rather than professional footballer.

The battalion left Leeds station on 25 September headed for training in Masham in the Yorkshire Dales. Over 20,000 people attended the station to give them a rousing send-off. Lintott was promoted to sergeant and then, in December 1914, to lieutenant becoming the first professional footballer to gain a commission.

In late June 1915, the battalion moved to Ripon where they met up with the 1st and 2nd 'Bradford Pals' and the 18th Durham Light Infantry. On 7 December 1915, the Leeds and Bradford 'Pals' boarded the liner 'Empress of Britain' at Liverpool. The ship was bound for Egypt and their mission was to guard the Suez Canal. A minor collision with the French mail ship Ddjurjura forced an unscheduled stop at Malta for repairs. Despite an encounter with a submarine, they landed safely at Port Said on 21 December 1915.

The Empress of Britain in 1905 | Postcard depicting Port Said, Egypt (1915)

After three months in Egypt, on 1 March 1916, they boarded the troop ship Asconia bound for France. They landed at Marseilles and were transported to the front line in time for the attack on the Somme.

Lintott was killed in action in the Battle of Albert on 1 July 1916. This was the first phase of the British and French offensive that became known as the Battle of the Somme.

Evelyn's brother Frederick dealt with his will, and his personal effects were sent to his mother in Surrey. These included three books, two bank pass books, one cheque book, one advance book, two notebooks, a photograph case, photographs and postcards. Evelyn, who had never married, left £78 to be distributed among his family.

"Lieutenant Lintott's end was particularly gallant. Tragically, he was killed leading his platoon of the 15th West Yorkshire Regiment, The Leeds Pals, over the top." A letter to The Yorkshire Post

His brother Lance Corporal Keith Lintott of the New Zealand Engineers also died  on 23 September 1916, aged 21.

Evelyn Lintott is buried in Thistle Dump Cemetery, High Wood, Longueval, France.

You can leave a commemorative message for Evelyn Lintott or another casualty of the Battle of the Somme on our Every Man Remembered website, commemorating all those who died in the First World War.

2016 marks the 100 years since the Battle of the Somme. Find out more about commemorative events for the centenary and how to get involved..

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