Blackburn Civic Society is about to honour Daniel Burley Woolfall, ex World Cup President who was born in Blackburn and died there aged 66 in 1918. A plaque is to be placed at Holmbush, his residence in Crosshill Road at the time of his death.
Daniel had Yorkshire connections; his maternal grandmother, Nancy King, was from Elland. By the age of 8 Daniel and his family were living at 57 Church Street with Nancy, aged 85, who was still working as a corn dealer.
Edward VII opens the 1908 London Olympic Games
Daniel was a pupil at Blackburn Grammar School and later joined the Income Tax Office, situated in Richmond Terrace. By 1881 he was living at 54 Oswald Street with his mother Eliza and was Assistant Clerk to the Commissioner of Taxes.
England v Italy, Nov 14th 1934 at Highbury.. Italian goalkeeper assists injured English player.
By the time of the 1891 census Daniel had risen to the rank of Clerk to the Commissioners and was living at 48 Adelaide Terrace with his wife Eleanor, who was from London, and children Daniel and Dorothy. There was a maid too, Lucy Wood from West Handley in Derbyshire.
Daniel was elected President of FIFA in 1906. He had acquired experience on the Board of the Football Association and did much to bring English and continental football together. An international competition was held at the London Olympic Games in 1908. England won that and the next competition at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912.
Argentina and Chile joined FIFA in 1912 and the USA a year later. The First World War put an end to international competitions and Daniel Woolfall died in 1918, however the groundwork had been done. Daniel had standardised the rules of the game and laid the basis for the future success of the World Cup.
DANIEL BURLEY WOOLFALL – Blackburn Times October 26th 1918
Mr D.B. Woolfall, Hon. Treasurer of the Football Association and president of the Lancashire Football Association, died at his residence,on Azalea Road on Thursday morning. He was 66 years of age. Mr. Woolfall was clerk to the Commissioners of Income Tax for the extensive district of East Lancashire, and was a prominent member of St. John’s Church. He had a long and close connection with football. Originally he was associated with the Blackburn Rovers and served on the committee for some time but was not a playing member of the famous club. He was a representative of the Rovers on the Lancashire Football Association, to the Council of which important organisation he was elected a member no fewer than 37 years ago. He subsequently became a vice-president and in May, 1901, was selected as president of the L.F.A., a position he held at the time of his death. In all matters concerning the great winter pastime Mr. Woolfall evinced the keenest interest. The last time he was out on June 5th, which was the date of the annual meeting of the L.F.A. but the state of his health did not permit him to attend the gathering. His wide experience and ripe judgement were of inestimable value. He was thorough in all he did, while urbanity of manner, courtesy, and tact enabled him to deal successfully with difficult problems.
Mr. Woolfall rendered important service to the Football Association, of which he was appointed Hon. Treasurer in 1900. When he accepted the position the system relating to the F.A. accounts was anything but ideal, but he set to work to reorganise them and after much patient labour accomplished his great task. He inaugurated the system which is now in operation, and which works quite smoothly. Up to the beginning of the war he seldom missed a meeting either of the F.A. or the L.F.A. He was an international jurist in connection with the Olympic Games inStockholm in 1912, and was president of the Federation Internationale de Football Association instituted at Paris in May, 1904
Mr. Woolfall sat on many of the most important commissions during the last two decades, and was one of the selectors of England’s international teams. He is the fifth members of the L.F.A. who has been taken away by death during the last two years. In his young days he was secretary of the East Lancashire Cricket Club. The deceased gentleman, who was a widower, leaves a son, Mr. B. Woolfall, assistant electrical engineer to the Northampton Corporation; and a daughter, Mrs. Smalley, who resides at Fairfield.