Law Adam

Lawrence "Law" Adam (11 June 1908 15 May 1941) was a Dutch-Swiss football player who played as a forward. He was born in Probolinggo, Dutch East Indies and died in Surabaya, Dutch East Indies.[1] Law Adam is reportedly the first European footballer to use the Scissors move, also known as the step over, earning the nickname "Adam the Scissorsman" in the 1920s and 1930s.[2]

Law Adam
Personal information
Full name Lawrence Adam
Date of birth (1908-06-11)11 June 1908
Place of birth Probolinggo, Dutch East Indies
Date of death 15 May 1941(1941-05-15) (aged 32)
Place of death Surabaya, Dutch East Indies
Playing position Forward[1]
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
00001927 HVV
19271933 Grasshoppers
1933 HVV
National team
1929 Switzerland 1 (0)
19301931 Netherlands 11 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club career

Adam started his football career for HVV Den Haag in the Netherlands. At the age of 19, he started his study in Zürich, where he played for Grasshopper Club Zürich. He made his debut for Switzerland in a match against Austria in 1929.[3] The Dutch national team visited Switzerland a year later, and Adam was invited to play for his native Netherlands. Switzerland won the match 6–3.[3][4] Law Adam would play eleven matches for the Netherlands, scoring six goals.[3] He scored both goals in the 2–0 victory of the Netherlands over Germany in Düsseldorf in 1932.[3][5]

In the spring of 1933, Adam returned to HVV Den Haag, but heart problems forced him to end his career a few months later, at the age of 24.


Adam died in 1941, at the age of 32, during a friendly match between football clubs Thor and Anasher in Surabaya in the Dutch East Indies. Adam had scored two goals and given three assists during the match, and left the pitch in the eighth minute of the second half, with his hand on his heart. Referee W.A. Lambeck wrote about the death of Adam in magazine De Scheidsrechter. He recalled asking Adam if it was serious, to which Adam had replied: "No, but my heart is playing up again and they've got a nice lead, so I can get dressed now."[6] Lambeck continued: "When I entered the dressing room after the final whistle, Adam was on the massage table, all blue. The doctor and the heart specialist, who were immediately summoned, tried to revive the spirits by giving him injections in the heart area. Half an hour later, they could only establish death."[6]


  1. "Law Adam". National Football Teams. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  2. Simpson, Paul; Hesse, Uli (2013). Who Invented the Stepover?: and other crucial football conundrums. London: Profile Books. p. 38. ISBN 9781847658425. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  3. "Law Adam, Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 2 July 2005. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
  4. "Zwitserland - Nederland 6 - 3". Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 28 November 2007.
  5. "Duitsland - Nederland 0 - 2". Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2007.
  6. Jurryt van de Vooren (8 October 2007). "Vergeten Sporthelden: Law Adam" (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 November 2007.
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