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We have been informed that the owner of the original photograph of The Old Carthusians in 1881, the year they won the prestigious soccer tournament called The FA Cup, has noticed a pigeon appear on the bench to the right of the photograph over the left shoulder of Sir Joseph Vintcent Junior. This avian intruder does not appear on any reproductions of the original, yet, as can be observed from the copy of that picture we are using here.

The descendants of one of the players, the name of whom is being withheld for reasons that should be apparent, have been advised to keep this startling fact to themselves and not reveal the picture to anyone else presently as the potential for causing widespread alarm in the community is huge and could be detrimental to The History Maintenance Commission attempts to rectify any damage to the past caused by this wanton breach of time-travelling protocol.

The Observation Corps from initial soundings have reached the conclusion that this is a potential threat to the order of history of cataclysmic proportions. A strange foreboding of doom hangs about us, stifling the air with its heavy presence. The two excuses offered for the pigeon’s sudden appearance don’t cut the mustard. The first being that it’s a protest about the abundance of Soccer Clubs in the UK nicknamed after birds: The Seagulls, The Robins, The Owls, The Bantams, The Peacocks, The Bluebirds, The Magpies, The Eagles etc. But none are named after pigeons. The second explanation being that someone from the future has gone back in time to persuade Sir Joseph Vintcent Junior to become a pirate, but have only partially succeeded so instead of placing a parrot so it seems to be perched on his left shoulder Sir Joseph has positioned a pigeon as he wishes to be a homing pirate.

It is thus necessary to feed this intelligence we have become party to into The Omphalos so it can identify all possible risks and appropriate action then initiated to circumvent any threats to the status quo.

Our keen observers have also noted another anomaly. The Old Carthusians have won the FA Cup, however, the trophy doesn’t appear in the picture. But having consulted the owner of the original photograph it doesn’t present itself in any of its glory in there either. There were initial concerns that the person who famously stole that very FA Cup trophy from a Birmingham shop window after Aston Villa’s win in 1895 had been persuaded to pilfer the pot 14 years too early which would be bad for history but better for the perpetrator of the crime as the price of silver on the markets in 1881 was 17% higher.

However, the descendant of the player in whose possession the original photograph resides has provided us with a palpable reason for the first FA Cup’s omission from the depiction. It transpires that The Old Carthusians were the first sporting club that shunned any form of exhibitionism and it was considered that showing off the FA Cup would be an act of such gaudy braggadacio totally at odds with their humble ethics. Indeed, at The Old Carthusians AGM on December 14, 1881, it was decided that it would be easier still to convey their proud humility if they never won the blasted trophy again and goes some way to explain their two nil loss to The Royal Engineers a few days later that knocked them out of the 1881-82 FA Cup.

The Old Carthusians were trailblazers in the art of competitive subordination and many a club has since assumed their mantle in entering competitions with the intention of never winning them.

Presently, The Observation Corps of The History Maintenance Commission is concerned not with the absence of the first FA Cup trophy from the 1881 picture but the sudden appearance of a pigeon in the original when previously it wasn’t there. We commend this information to The Omphalos for further investigation.

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