Hale vs. Yarvard at Ravenhill Stadium, Belfast

On 14th November 1942, 'Hale' took on 'Yarvard' in Belfast's Ravenhill Stadium. It was the first game of American Football in the European Theater of Operations

At 1300hrs on 14th November 1942, 'Hale' faced 'Yarvard' in the first American Football game in Northern Ireland. The game at Ravenhill Stadium, Belfast took place in front of around 8,000-10,000 spectators. Colonel Maurice J. Meyer of the United States Army introduced the game and gave a running commentary throughout.

The Duke of Abercorn (Governor of Northern Ireland) was one of many dignitaries in attendance. United States military bands provided entertainment from 1400hrs. One band’s bass drum bore the likenesses of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Hideki Tojo along with the slogan “Beating the Axis”. In the crowd, an American cheerleader created some big game atmosphere among the locals and U.S. service personnel.

Filming of parts of the game took place for newsreel footage and B.B.C. Forces Radio broadcast commentary at 1545hrs on 14th November 1942. ‘Hale’ won the game 9-7 with a goal-kick sealing the points.

United States Army personnel and local sports fans bought their tickets from:

  • Leahy, Kelly, and Leahy at 2 Castle Place, Belfast.
  • Athletic Stores, 21 Wellington Place, Belfast.
  • Thornton’s, 43 Arthur Street, Belfast.
  • Warnock’s, 8 Royal Avenue, Belfast.
  • Mr. WAB Douglas, 9 Donegall Street, Belfast.

The game lived up to the pre-match hype. Newspaper advertisements in advance of the day read:

Come in your thousands and see two crack American sides in the first big game of American Football ever played in this country.

Proceeds from tickets sold went to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, and the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Airmen’s Families’ Association. Organisers presented £730, 11s, 4d to the organisations.

Ticket Prices

Ticket Type Cost
Covered Stand (Centre Block) 7/6
Covered Stand 5/-
Promenade 2/6
Unreserved 1/-

'Hale' Lineup

Coached by Captain Harry G. Chowins, 2nd Lieutenant E.K. Sauer, and Staff Sergeant Louis J. DiSalle.

Last Name First Name(s) Weight (lbs) Position Hometown
Carpenter Arnold 175 Fullback Eau Claire, WI
Chandler Raymond 145 Left Halfback Houston, TX
Beck Frank 175 Left Halfback New Orleans, LA
St. Peter Byron 160 Fullback Milwaukee, WI
Zywicki David 180 Quarterback Milwaukee, WI
Kacena Charles 165 Quarterback Des Moines, IA
Urban John 178 Right Halfback Brooklyn, NY
Dix Edward 165 Right Halfback Elizabeth, NJ
Cooke Homer 190 Center Eau Claire, WI
Cummings Robert 180 Center Brooklyn, NY
Dunham Lee 180 Right Guard Detroit, MI
Richardson Thomas 165 Left Guard Rutherford, NJ
Stobaeus Frederick 175 Right Guard South Orange, NJ
Fabrizio Anthony 165 Left Guard Springfield, NJ
Grosch Erving 230 Left Tackle Milwaukee, WI
Rosenberg Norman 230 Right Tackle Brooklyn, NY
Forczek Edmund 175 Left Tackle Cudahy, WI
Laurie Woodrow 185 Right Tackle Redgranite, WI
Lochman Stephen 200 Left End Albany, NY
Gallagher John 180 Right End Brooklyn, NY
Bolton Eugene 160 Right End Rapid City, SD
Rich Madison 175 Left End West New York, NJ
Solow Saul 190 Right End Brooklyn, NY
Kuderna Edward 150 Left End Cleveland, OH
Rix Theodore 190 Right End Crisco, IA

Yarvard Lineup

Coached by Captain Hall F. Achenbach, Captain Francis E. Wehrle, and Lieutenant Ernest H. Kennyon.

Last Name First Name(s) Weight (lbs) Position Hometown
Hopfer Robert D. 200 Fullback Buffalo, NY
Lopez Armando 180 Left Halfback Anthony, NM
Verbick Anthon S. 165 Left Halfback Gilbert, MN
Wright Jay A. 185 Quarterback Shippensberg, PA
Temenski James E. 198 Right Halfback New Castle, PA
Moore Rush M. 190 Left Halfback Curwensville, PA
Dennis Paul W. 155 Quarterback Harrisburg, PA
Washburn Walter A. 230 Fullback Rock Island, IL
Whalen Richard E. 165 Center Cambridge Springs, PA
Hummel Atlee V. 180 End Clearfield, PA
Basham James B. Jr. 190 End Louisville, KY
Eck William F. 175 End Allentown, PA
Wall John L. 185 Guard New Orleans, LA
Schultz Leslie C. 175 Guard Bellfonte, PA
McGonigal Paul A. 196 Tackle Clearfield, PA
Hower Marlin 180 Guard West Milton, PA
Fauls Frederick D. 180 Tackle DuBois, PA
Femton Frank A. 185 Tackle Sunbury, PA
Jerles Leroy M. 190 Guard Lock Haven, PA
Moore Ralph W. 190 Tackle Skaneatles Falls, NY
Trunick John L. Jr. 184 Center Louisville, KY
Baxter Joseph D. 196 Guard Manchester, IO
Petrick Edward 190 Left Halfback Detroit, MI
Heath Eugene E. 180 Tackle Lima, OH
Dupack George A. 195 Fullback Walton, PA
Zentner Henry E. 175 Center Emmaus, PA
Szymkowicz Walter C. 175 Quarterback New Castle, PA
Kiser Harvey J. 215 Tackle Lock Haven, PA
Renninger Charles R. 150 Quarterback Lewistown, PA
Jaso Frank M. 160 End Lansford, PA
Saxton Thomas F. 158 Guard Northumberland, PA
Nyman Leroy C. 185 Center Lock Haven, PA
Wetzel Joseph B. 170 Tackle Mechanicsburg, PA
Kosolowski Joseph L. 180 Guard Wyandotte, MI
Boshnett Albert Dane 185 Center Tioga, WV

Game Report

The 'Expert View' from a sports journalist with Ireland's Saturday Night was less than complimentary about the game. Perhaps the exhibition was not quite of the standard that Americans expect football to be played.

The game started off very slowly, and there was some rather sloppy ball playing until near the end of the first quarter when Cpl. Robert Hopfer, captain of the Yarvard team, missed a punt, and Frank Beck, half-back of the Hale side, recovered the punt. He then attempted a field goal which missed.

Towards the end of the 1st quarter Carpenter, full-back of the Hale team made four consecutive first-downs and advanced the ball to the two-yard line. Sergeant Chandler carried the ball over for a touchdown and Sergeant Carpenter attempted to kick down but missed.

The quarter ended with the Hale team leading 6-0/

In the opening minutes of the second quarter Cpl. Hopfer carried the ball from his own- 40-yard line down to the opponent’s goal line to score a natty touchdown.

In the third quarter, the Hale team scored again on a field goal. A poor kick from the 18-yard line by Carpenter was held by Chandler and the score was 9-7 for Hale.

The fourth quarter was more or less a see-saw business, but neither team could score. Generally, it was pretty sloppy football, Carpenter, Chandler, and Hopfer being the only good ball players in the match.

© 2024 WartimeNI | Design & Development: Scott Edgar | Hosted by: Big Wet Fish