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William HAIGH

Japan Football Hall of Fame

5th group of inductees, 2008
Born in the United Kingdom on 14 March 1891.
Arrives in Japan in 1913 as Student Interpreter for the British Embassy. Promoted to the role of Second Assistant, before being appointed as Local Vice-Consul in Yokohama in 1920.
Plays as a member of the British Embassy football team, and sets up the British Embassy Cup Challenge League (featuring strong sides like the British Embassy team, Tokyo Football Club, and Tokyo Normal Higher School) in September 1918. Contributes to the spread of football in Japan by providing both coaching and operational support.
Maintains strong desire to develop Japanese football, and proposes to Sir William Conyngham Greene that the FA (Football Association, England) present Japan with a trophy to be awarded to the winner of a national football competition. Works hard to realise this proposal, which leads to the foundation of the Greater Japan Football Association in September 1921, and the inauguration of the All-Japan Association Football Championship Tournament (now the Emperor's Cup All-Japan Soccer Championship Tournament). The contribution to Anglo-Japanese relations made by the FA in presenting the trophy is praised highly in the United Kingdom.
Also helps with the foundation of the JFA, with advice regarding the FA's organisational structure and the operation of the FA Cup. Named as one of the founding patrons of the JFA. Tragically loses his life in the Great Kanto Earthquake on 1 September 1923, while working at the British Consulate. To recognise his achievements, a football tournament is held in his memory that December, with another competition, the "Haigh Memorial Cup", being held the following year.
Laid to rest at the tender age of 32 at Yokohama Foreign General Cemetary.
Elected into the Japan Football Hall of Fame as part of the fifth group of inductees in 2008.

*Information supplied by Japan Football Museum

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