John Sebastian Cruse

John Sebastian Cruse played for Redcar and Middlesbrough

Named after Johann Sebastian Bach but known as Sep to his friends, John was born in Chelsea and moved to Redcar with his family in the 1870s where he found employment as a foundry clerk. A prominent member of Redcar and Coatham’s cricket team, he was one of the founder members of the football club when the cricketers opted to take up a winter sport.

By the early 1880s he found himself being spoken about as one of the best half-backs in the region. He was regularly earning praise in the local press and earning call ups to represent the Cleveland county representative side, notably featuring for Redcar in the Cleveland Challenge Cup final and facing a strong Edinburgh side for Cleveland.

Cruse moved to Middlesbrough Swifts in the mid-1880s, occasionally coming up against his former club and more than holding his own. His performances caught the attention of Middlesbrough’s more established side, who utilised him in the latter half of the 1880s, facing his old team in the Cleveland Challenge Cup final and lifting the trophy.

He stepped away from the game not long after that. He played cricket for a little longer, and saw out the remainder of his long life in Middlesbrough, passing away at the grand old age of 95.

See also

Redcar and Coatham