February 2, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Billy Higgins, Everton’s reserve centre-forward, who was injured in training a fortnight ago, has now had his ankle placed in plaster for a week, as it has not responded to treatment. Lindsay is still unfit, but all the players who appeared last week have recovered from their minor injuries, except that heavy rib bruises are causing Jones a certain amount of palm.
THE GREAT DAY
February 4, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Anything Can happen But Reds Look Most Likely Winners
All roads will lead to Anfield again tomorrow, where another large crowd will assemble for the 82nd peace-time “derby” game between Liverpool and Everton. A few readers have written regarding their experience at last week’s cup-tie. In some corners, there seems to have been uncomfortable crushing apparently due to spectators not packing properly. In Kemlyn Road tickets holders had a tought fight to get near the turnstiles mainly because Nottingham visitors persisted in congregating around the entrances in the hope of getting in after the ground turnstiles had been closed. Spectators can contribute to their own as well as other people’s comfort and safely by forming orderly queues outside, and by moving as far inwards as possible when they get inside. Poor packing means that the gates will have to be closed earlier than might otherwise be the case. I hope that tomorrow, also, we shall see no instances of small children having to be escorted out of the ground for their own safety. These matters are of vital concern to all. Better to be safe than sorry. Liverpool hope shortly to install-automatic registers –which will record every spectators entering the ground so that the office will know the position in each part at any given moment.
Defences on Top
This game promises to develop into a dour struggle between the respective attacks and defences, and goals are not likely to be plentiful, Liverpool’s attack will need to be in better form than it was in the later stages of last week’s cup-tie to get the better of Everton’s rearguard, which has never had more than a single goal against in any League game since November 6, while Everton’s front line hardly appears capable of making a very deep impression on the Reds’ defenders. That is how it appears on paper,. In actual practice “Liverton” games are almost as unpredictable as cup-ties. The tense excitement, which to some extent is bound to affect the players, plus the fact that this is just as much a “home” game to Everton as to Liverpool, means that anything can happen. While a draw looks a very likely result, the more so by the law of average, as there has only been one drawn game in peace-time matches between the pair at Anfield since 1922, I fancy we shall have a clear-cut result, with the verdict going to Liverpool by a narrow margin. Now I suppose I shall be accused again of being a Liverpoolian! Actually I don’t care two straws which side wins, and if the home attack does not knit, together properly, and Everton’s comes nearer to what it was a fortnight or so ago, I may prove a bad prophet once more. So long as we have the usual clean and sporting encounter, any result suits me. Following fitness tests for Jones and Hedley this morning, Mr. Cliff Britton included both in the Everton team, the only change being Powell for Mcllhatton at outside right. Liverpool; Sidlow; Shepherd, Lambert; Taylor, Jones, Paisley; Payne, Balmer, Stubbins, Done, Liddell. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Powell, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
82ND ‘DERBY’ WITH VITAL POINTS AT STAKE
February 4, 1949. The Evening Express
Nine Full Internationals Parade
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
The 82nd Merseyside Football League “Derby” between Liverpool and Everton will be staged at Anfield tomorrow, with both teams “points hungry,” and Everton seeking their second away goal of the season. Everton are in a much more comfortable position than they were a couple of months ago, but clubs are so level that one lapse can bring about a big drop in the table. Liverpool, with a point a match in 26 games, are riding easily, but as they have important F.A. Cup business on hand, they need points to maintain their position so that there can be full concentration on the cup-tie. The Blues have the poorest away record of any club in the First Division, having scored only one goal, had one win –at the Villa-and only one draw, at Manchester City. The Reds, strangely enough, have a home record inferior to that away, for they have won only three games at Anfield –against Sunderland, Middlesbrough, and Portsmouth –and drawn six. Liverpool have now gone four matches without conceding a goal while helping themselves to eight, so form indicates a convincing Liverpool success. However, Everton generally do well at Anfield, and I warm Jack Balmer and company that if Everton score they are not likely to lose. Not once this season have Everton failed to get a point if they have scored. Strange, but true.
Definitely, Liverpool are the more potent scoring side, but apart from the Nottingham Forest and Bolton games have not been taking their chances any more than Everton have been able to find that vital “snap” in front of goal. Defensively these are as good as any teams in the First Division and it will take ultra-craft and accurate shooting to break down the resistance. Personally, I think that this game will produce the 20th draw in the whole series and so make the 1948-49 “Derbies” fifty-fifty, for Liverpool drew at Goodison 1-1. Everton make one change as compared with the team which lost to Chelsea. Aubrey Powell, the Welsh internationalist, comes in at outside-right in place of Mcllhatton. This is designed to permit of inter-change of positions with Wainwright should necessity demand. Powell can operate inside, and so a switch now and again may prove of advantage. Lello continues at left-half and Tommy Jones and Hedley came through fitness tests this morning all right. There will be nine full internationals in the match representing all four countries –Sagar and Taylor (England), Liddell (Scotland), Sidlow, Lambert, Tommy Jones and Powell (Wales), and Farrell and Eglington (Ireland). In addition Balmer, Stubbins, and Fielding have represented England in unofficial internationals. Liverpool; Sidlow; Shepherd, Lambert; Taylor, Jones, Paisley; Payne, Balmer, Stubbins, Done, Liddell. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Powell, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
• Everton Reserves v Liverpool Reserves at Goodison
• Everton “A” v. Burscough Bellefield
EVERTON RESERVES V LIVERPOOL RESERVES
February 5, 1949. The Evening Express
At Goodison Park. Everton; Burnett, goal; Moore and Dugdale, backs; Bentham, Falder and Grant, half-backs; Corr, Cameron, Lewis, Stevenson, and McCormick, forwards. Liverpool; Minshull, goal; Caldon and Parr, backs; Williams, Hughes and Spicer, half-backs; Watinson, Baron, Shannon, Fagan, and Kippax, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.T. Jenkins. In this attractive junior local derby game at Goodison Park, today, Liverpool introduced their latest signing in Peter Kippax, the England amateur international, late of Burnley, at outside left. The Blues also provided a strong side with Lewis leading the home attack. The game had a sensational opening for within four minutes Liverpool had taken the lead through Baron who cleverly beat three opponents to drive home a shot from fully 20 yards range. Kippax performed good work in finding his men. Everton next rallied and following good work on the right Corr centred to Lewis, but Minshull had little difficulty in saving the shot. The game was exceptionally fast with both defences being kept quite busy. Everton at this stage were playing better football, but when they came within firing distance lacked penetrative power. Liverpool still hung on to their slender lead, but nevertheless still worked hard to increased it. The Liverpool keeper put in very sound work in dealing with good shots from Stevenson and Lewis. The Everton had a narrow escape when Watinson drove in a rasping shot which hit the upright, and from the rebound Baron shot well wide of the mark. Near the interval Stevenson from a free kick, nearly equalised, Minshull bringing off a grand save at the expense of a fruitless corner. Everton nil, Liverpool 1. On resumption Liverpool took up the attack. In the 56th minute following a melee in front of the Everton goal, Fagan headed in to increase Liverpool’s lead. Final; Everton Reserves 1, Liverpool Reserves 3.
• Everton “A” 2, Bursclough 3
ANFIELD RESULT WAS JUST AND JUST RIGHT
February 7, 1949. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ernest Edwards (“Bee”)
Liverpool 0, Liverpool 0.
Attendance 50,132. A friend walked his garden lawn, slipped upon icy turf “nearly broke his leg” (as he described it, to an unsympathetic wife) and eventually made his way to Anfield to see a goalless through never barren game. Players slipped fell and balanced perilously like trapeze artists and lo’ the man who nearly “broke his leg” was shouting his head off condemning footballers for inability to do this or that! There is a moral in that true story. I place on record the twenty-two players here gave a really excellent display in circumstances that might have caused the game’s abandonment. Until the half hour had passed no one could guarantee a footing and the allegedly footing passes and shots were due, entirely, to insecure foothold. The more the player tried to put pace into a shot, the more certain his remaining football from him, thus making football a lottery. Yet with a competent referee who was a trifle martinetish (as is very necessary on some occasions) and alive linesmen, the game went on its free-flowing way, with some studied arts and sciences joyful to the eye of those who like to see their football construction in neat, orderly fashion.
It must be proclaimed that Everton’s forwards were most attractive and their pass-back to their half-backs revealed Farrell, and Lello in a very bright light. Everton’s attack is, however, an enigma –it looks and acts well until the shot is due and then peters out. I am probably being too dogmatic when I declare that anyone playing centre-forward for Everton these days can have the job. It is a thankless task. Catterick makes a pass, goes to the place whence the next pass is due, finds himself still calling for the pass, that never comes. Wainwright was the brilliant forward of the day and once he gets a goal or two he will startle the world. At the moment he continues to make near misses of find a headed goal frustrated by a linesman who signalled for off-side. Those who argue why the goal was disallowed forget the linesman’s perfect position to make a decision, as compared with thousands who had an end-on view. Fielding does so much to set the machine moving that goals should result. They do not because the team is still not functioning on either wing. Lello gave me great joy and caused me to recall his counterpart, Walter Abbott, who came as a forward and finished as a half-back. Lello has his size, bulk and his daintiness of touch. The forwards could not “keep up with the Joneses” –Tom Jones produced cheeky, nonchalant deliveries that brighten our sports –he was the day blast on Red tires. Once Sagar and Tom had two minus with but a single thought and Liverpool might have made them pay for this slight confusion. William Jones rather more than usually inclined towards taking the ball up field, also had this terrorising moment, when his feet tangled and Catterick went forward alone. My mind’s eye “photograph” on Sidlow at this moment is eyes forward four steps advance. Catterick shot (some would say drove straight at the goal keeper) I count it a save of character because by the time Sidlow had advanced he had closed his goal and Catterick had to drive ahead without chance to place his shot. Sidlow is touching his highest grades of goalkeeping and I am sure he passed a vote of thanks (and maybe condolences) to Fielding when that man wondered to the right wing, was tackled and tipped as is his natural style, beyond an outstretched leg. Fielding’s sudden swerve to the inside berth led him to short-centre and the ball trekked across every yard of goal without defender or co-forward able to make contact. There was so much shooting first half that the score could have been 6-6 and we who look on have no right to blame the shooters. Even after Balmer has struck the crossbar and Done had done the seemingly impossible, one had to realise Done’s injury a split second before he made his shot which phrase brings us to Albert Stubbins, who is far removed from former brilliance because the spilt-second makes his shots delayed action. It would not be right to conclude without a word to Sagar and Lambert a saver and a shooter, and to Shepherd (limping for a capital issue out of his “Derby” day troubles. Taylor and Paisley have awards with the Everton wing half-backs and Taylor has special award of silent subduing football which star is the ball rolling to his men and also nips in to stop the other side – the nearest man I know. Everybody happy? We should be. This result was just –and just right.
KIPPAX WAS SUBDUED
February 7, 1949. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 1, Liverpool Res 3.
The junior local Derby game at Goodison Park produced a hectic struggle between two well-matched sides, Liverpool emerging victor’s by 3-1. Liverpool introduced Peter Kippax, the England amateur international, who had little chance of showing his prowess due to the excellent work of Bentham and E. Moore, Everton had their chances in spite of good work by Minshull whereas Liverpool proved better opportunists. Liverpool’s scorers were Fagan (2), and Baron, Corr scoring for Everton.
GREAT FOOTBALL LEGISLATOR
February 7, 1949. The Liverpool Daily Post
Mr. W.C. Cuff Dies
Mr. William Charles Cuff, president of the Football league, and one of the original members of Everton F.C, died yesterday, aged 80. A Liverpool solicitor, he was one of football’s greatest legislators and was the man who introduced the system of numbering players. The rejection of a plan, a few years ago, for pool betting subsides to football was one of his successes. He consistently opposed this. Mr. Cuff had been president of the Football league from 1939, succeeding Mr. Charles E. Sutcliffe. He was also vice-president of the Football Association and a member of the International Board. His association with the Goodison club was almost lifelong. He joined as a director in 1894 and served Everton as director, chairman, and secretary over fifty years. Last may he resigned from the Board after differences of opinion with his fellow directors. Mr. Cuff was in London last weekend on football business, including the Cup draw and was in the office of his firm. Cuff, Roberts and Company in Castle Street, Liverpool, on Thursday. He became ill, and on Friday and Saturday his condition was worse. He died at lunch-time yesterday, in his room at his hotel at Parkgate, Neston. Many tributes were paid to him last night from leading figures in football. Mr. A. Brook Hirst, chairman of the F.A. commented “A sad loss. He devoted a life-time to the sport and without question, made his mark on it.” Mr. Jimmie Guthrie, chairman of the Players Union, said; “A doughty opponent in negotiations, and a great man for the League. We admired him for his fighting qualities. He stood up for what he believed right,” Mr. Cuff’s wife died last February aged 80. Mr. S. R. Williams, chairman of Liverpool F.C said “This club and all sportsmen on Merseyside will miss him and deeply regret his passing. He was a grand example to all who played the game, I am glad that he died in harness –as he wished.”
DEATH OF MR. W.C.CUFF
February 7, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Football League Loses Its Most Notable and Dominant Figure
Football has lost a great and gifted legislator in the death of Mr. W.C. Cuff, President of the Football League, which took place suddenly yesterday in his 81st year. I was speaking to him only ten days ago at the Liverpool-Notts County Cup-tie, when, although he was in good health, I jokingly chaffed him on the need to take care. I did that frequently, but it was advice he rarely took. Despite his advanced age, he covered thousands of miles annually on football business, and was to be seen at matches on raw winter, afternoon, when many a younger man would have preferred the comfort of the fireside. Will Cuff never allowed anything to interfere with his duty to football. He devoted a lifetime’s loyal and invaluable service to the game, and lived for nothing but the betterment of it. He was a man of immense energy and great foresight, who brought a trained legal mind to the manifold problems of the game which he had loved since his earliest days. He will be sadly missed, and the League will not find it easy to name a successor capable of governing the game with such wisdom, knowledge and acumen. Football is the poorest by his passing, and professional players have lost a true friend, who consistent with justice and equity, always had a learning to the men whose skill and talents had made football such a tremendous attraction.
He Saw Both Sides
I see that Jimmy Guthrie, the Players Union chairman, describes him as a “doughty opponent and a great man for the League.” So he was, but it would be wrong to assume that he had little consideration for the players. His duty to the League done, he was always anxious to do whatever was possible for those who made their living from the game. In his later years he was deeply disappointed at the trend of events on the Everton directorate, which first led to his being removed from the chairmanship, and last year to his resigning his seat on the board as the only alternative to fighting an election. At one time he would have tackled that job with real zest but in his 80th year, and after the sad blow of the death of his wife only a few months earlier, it was beyond his strength. The spirit was more than willing, but the flesh was weak. After a life-time’s work and sacrifice for Everton it was natural that he should be deeply grieved that his connection with the club should have ended as it did.
An Old Dispute
Following his election at the top of the poll three years earlier, the majority group on the board accused him of breach of faith in the wrongful use of proxies. This Mr. Cuff always strenuously denied. Last year he issued a circular to all shareholders explaining his side of the dispute, and claiming that his long experience entitled him to express his views irrespective of whether they pleased his fellow-directors or not. He was one of the staunchest opponents of the pre-war change in Everton’s constitution which led to the introduction of one vote for each share held. Mr. Cuff was associated with Everton almost from the day of its foundation in 1879. After being a committee man of the old St. Domingo Church team, he became director in 1894, secretary in 1901 and although pressure of his legal business led to a break of a few years after 1918, he returned as chairman of directors in 1921, retaining this position until just before the last war. In 1911 he was the prime mover in the foundation of the Central League. One of the countless innovations for which Mr. Cuff was responsible was the numbering of players. When it came up under “other business.” At his first annual meeting it looked as though nobody would have the courage to propose it. The president took the bull by the horns and put the matter to the vote as a private motion of his own and it was duly carried.
At Work On Thursday
Mr. Cuff was at work at his Liverpool office on Thursday last, but was unable to travel to town on Friday and with bronchitis, had to take to his bed on Saturday. He had been looking forward to a month’s holiday at Worthing with his old friend Mr. A. H. Oakley the senior vice-president of the League. They had arranged to see the Wolverhampton v. Liverpool Cup-tie on Saturday and proceed to Worthing next Sunday.
It is curious how widely divergent are the views of different people on the same match. Saturday’s Liveton “derby” produced many conflicting opinions. Some said it was a poor game, others thought it was good, many considered Everton the better side, a lesser proportion maintained Liverpool could and should have won. You pay your money and form your own opinion. Personally I thought a draw a fair result. Considering the slippery conditions both sides gave a creditable exhibition, and with hardly a foul worth mentioning all day, the match was on a par so far as sportsmanship and cleaniness were concerned, with the standard of recent years. Had it not been for the bone in the ground this might have been one of the best in the series for some time. As it was if Manager Cliff Britton had been there instead of away scouting he would have seen the Everton attack showing more promising approach ideas than it has done in the last few matches. Liverpool opened in such desultory fashion that they were never in the hunt in the first twenty minutes. Later they retrieved their bad start by some speedy raids, in which they made good use of a capricious ball which bobbed about disconcertingly. But ever and always there was Tommy Jones to stand between them and Sagar. Jones has rarely played a better game. The harder Stubbins tried to master him, the more majestic and confident did Jones become, doing everything with the touch of the artists and the apparent ease which makes him such a great craftsman. Not that Jones was alone in the honours department. He was worthily supported in keeping another clean sheet by both backs and wing halves. Lello on this showing looks like developing into a splendid half back, for his tackling was good and he was always seeking to make wise use of every ball.
More Scoring Chances
Fundamentals of the Everton attacks were Fielding’s great scheming, Wainwright’s lightning dashes, and Catterick’s persistence down the middle. At times some of the Blues’ close passing was the best we have seen from them this season, for they were finding their men with accuracy and not passing so often to the opposition. Good without being brilliant, but Eglington again had no luck and rarely delivered a shot on the mark. Certainly Everton had far more scoring chances than Liverpool, but when they were accurate in their shooting they found Sidlow in grand form. His late on save from Wainwright’s close-in pile driver was a brilliant bit of work, but he should have been given no chance at all with other shots from the same player and from Catterick. Sagar also took top marks for some smart saves, notably one from five yards or so by Balmer, but he had nothing like so much to do as Sidlow, thanks to Jones and company. Liverpool’s defence took equal honours with that of the visitors. Bill Jones if not quite so dominating as his Everton nameshake, was nevertheless a great defender, with Shepherd playing another splendid game in spite of a nasty knock early on which had him limping most of the time. Lambert was reliable, and Taylor and Paisley could hardly have done better. Liverpool’s attack was tireless enough, but just failed to blend its individual forcefulness into a sufficiently balanced unit to make the Blues defence out of its sang-froid.
That Disallowed Goal
The referee confirmed after the match that Everton’s “goal” had been disallowed for off-side. It must have been a matter almost of inches, but I am not going to argue from my angled viewpoint with an official who was so ideally positioned as the linesman.
LIFETIME IN GAME’S SERVICE
February 7, 1949. The Evening Express
Mr. ‘Bill’ Cuff Was a Great Leader
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Clubs of the Football League will next Saturday pay solemn tribute to the man who has ruled their destinies since the early days of the war – Mr. William Charles Cuff, President of the League and Vice-President of the F.A., who died at his Park gate home yesterday. By the passing of the President, football loses one of the greatest legislators; a man who devoted a lifetime to the game, and who, as recently as last Thursday was busy discussing the Players’ Union demands and ways and means of stopping the ever-rising transfer fees. Last Saturday week Mr. Cuff saw his last cup-tie –Liverpool’s victory over Notts County –but his presence will be felt at all league and cup matches on Saturday when arrangements will be made for a short silence, and players will wear black armlets as marks of respect. Mr. Cuff was the second League chief from Merseyside for the late Mr. John McKenna occupied the chair for many years before being succeeded by the late Mr. Charles Sutcliffe, on whose death Mr. Cuff took the chair in 1939. Mr. Cuff has had the hardest period of office of any president for he had the difficult war years and later the long-drawn-out controversy with the Players’ Union making ever-increasing demands. It was Mr. Cuff, who kept football within the bounds of sanity, and his chairmanship at the annual meetings of the League was a model example to all. It was here on Merseyside that we really knew Will Cuff although his lame was international. Mr. Cuff was a young man when he helped in the foundation of the great Everton club, for some years he was secretary. After that he left the club, but returned as a director to be chairman for 17 years, during which period Everton suffered relegation, and then in successive seasons won the Second and First Division championships and the F.A. Cup. Mr. Cuff retired by rotation from the Everton board last summer and did not go through with his recombination. I spoke to many leading football people yesterday, when the news came through, and they all said, “Football and the League in particular has lost a great man.” That is so true I knew Mr. Cuff for nearly 25 years and always found him a forthright fighter and worker in the interests of the great game.
TOFFEES SHOWED GREAT SKILL
February 7, 1949. The Evening Express
Sidlow Still Unbeaten in 1949
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Cyril Sidlow, the Liverpool goalkeeper, who has played in four matches since his illness at the start of the year, has not been beaten. Wainwright’s header did land in the net on Saturday, but it was not allowed to count. The disallowed goal brought the result we all wanted, but it seemed to me that Catterick was in front of Wainwright when he centred, and Wainwright actually had to move back to get his head to the ball. Referee Thurman made it a goal, but a linesman who flagged, for some time, considered otherwise and the junior official’s ruling was accepted Liverpool chairman, Mr. S. Ronald Williams, epitomised it all afterwards when he remarked to Everton chairman Dr. Cecil S. Baxter that had Liverpool “scored” that goal they would have wanted it. That is the sporting attitude in keeping with a sporting afternoon, and a good game of football in which Everton scintillated in their delicate progressive style, and Liverpool came with mighty bursts of menacing football on occasion just to let everyone know that their minds were not all the time on the Wolverhampton cup-tie to come, I do honestly believe that Liverpool operated with a little something in hand, and that this accounted in a minor degree to the fact that Everton enjoyed 80 per cent of the attack. Still, it was the outstanding skill of the Toffees which made Liverpool play second fiddle for so long. That match was just as I anticipated –a battle of the defences, and in this honours were even.
It was Tommy Jones who stood out in Everton’s defence as the complete master of Stubbins and tactics and for Liverpool it was Sidlow who stood down defiant against Everton with Bill Jones and far behind. Make up your minds that Sidlow will soon be back in the Welsh side and his late save off Wainwright was a “dream.” All four backs were grand with Shepherd playing under a slight handicap and Saunders maybe the pick of the four for he again proved a bogy to Billy Liddell who showed enterprise in slipping away to the right to avoid George Farrell had a grand game, and Cyril Lello did so well that he looks like making the left-half berth his own. Lello is a half-back discovery to me. Taylor was a joy and Paisley dour in trying to hold the electric Wainwright. Everton were much the better attacking force with some of the old traditional close-passing, intricacies springing mainly from the best forward of all –“Nobby” Fielding. This was the best I have seen from Fielding this season, while Catterick was good in all but finishing. Powell came into the game in the second half after Eglington had seen more of the ball early on Jack Balmer was the master-mind behind the Liverpool attack which lacked the cohesive skill of the Blues line, and he was the most willing marksman eager to prevent Sagar continuing as a spectator. Payne was I thought neglected too much, but Done was the worrier trying to create an open space for a still-slow Stubbins who must have wished Tommy Jones anywhere but Anfield. Definitely Sidlow saved the point for Liverpool, but as Dr. Baxter emphasised, Sidlow is part of the team. A placid but, thoroughly enjoyable “Derby” which Everton should have won with Liverpool not quite “in tune.”
YOUTH TAKES THE FIELD
February 8, 1949. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Seven of Everton’s star junior players will play for Liverpool County F.A, in the Fourth round of the F.A. Youth’s Challenge Cup against East Riding F.A, at Anfield on Saturday. The Toffees supply the entire defence, three forwards and a wing-half-back. Our local clubs have done much to help the County F.A, in their bid to win the trophy for the first time, and none more so than Everton, who, this time, will have goalkeeper A. Dunlop, right back K. Fletcher, and left-back A. Downes there to face the might of the Yorkshire attack, and with L. Melville, the English international, at left half. D. Gibson links up on the right wing with G. J. Bromilow of Liverpool, while T.J. Cronin leads the attack, and at outside left Everton supply the youngest player of all in 15 year-old David Trelfall.
Threlfall was the star winger of last season’s Liverpool Schools team, which became joint holders of the English Shield with Stockport and he is now doing exceptionally well in Everton “C” team, for which Mr. A. McArdle does so much grand work. Liverpool –A, Dunlop (Everton and 6th Allerton Scouts); K. Fletcher (Everton and St. Margaret’s), A. Downes (Everton and St. Sylvester’s Evening Institute); R.D. Donaghy (West Texteth), G. Hennin (Stoves), L. Melville (Everton); D. Gibson (Everton and St. Sylvester’s Evening Institute), G.J. Bromilow (Liverpool and Southport Leyland-road), T.J. Cronin (Everton and St. Matthews), W. Pye (U.G.B, St Helens), D. Threllfall (Everton and Rose-lane).
EVERTON AT WREXHAM
February 8, 1949. The Evening Express
Everton have agreed to a request from Wrexham F.C., to send a team to the Racecourse before the end of the season to play in a benefit match for Eddie Tunney, a former Everton player, and Gilbert Bellis, the Wrexham left-half. No definite date has yet been decided on, but the match will be played in the evening in midweek.
EVERTON’S LEAGUE GAME
February 11, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Everton away to Birmingham City in a rearranged League match, comes up against a side which started the season in great fashion but has latterly faded away very badly, due mainly to lack of punch in attack. This is a fault know too well which has also kept Everton in a lowly position. Both defences are excellent, so that one goal may be sufficient to ensure both points. Birmingham have only scored 12 goals in 13 home games, and though one hates to keep harping on the subject, Everton in a similar number of away matches, have only once got the ball into the net. They had plenty of chances to get goals at Anfield last week, but failed to take them. While their position today caused nothing like the anxiety it did before Christmas, it is still vital that scoring chances should be snapped up if the Blues are to put the spectre of relegation finally and completely behind them, beyond any possibility of recall. While this is a good opportunity for them to get their second away victory of the season even a single point would not come amiss. Birmingham last night signed Jimmy Dailey the Sheffield Wednesday centre forward, at a fee in the region of £10,000 and he will lead their attack. Twenty-one years of age, Dailey joined Wednesday in 1946 and scored five goals against Barnsley last season. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Powell, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington. Birmingham; Merrick; Trigg, Green; Boyd, Duckworth, Harris; Stewart, Dougall, Dailey, Bodie, Roberts.
• Everton Reserves v Leeds United Reserves
• Everton “B” v. Earle Res
EVERTON’S GALLANT FIGHT WITH TEN MEN
February 12, 1949. The Liverpool Football Echo
Hedley Breaks A Leg in the First Half
Sagar -399 League Games
Birmingham 0, Everton 0
A point well won in spite of tremendous handicap of Hedley’s loss for an hour. Lack of punch was the reason for no goals. Birmingham – Merrick, goal; Trigg and Green, backs; Boyd, Duckhouse and Harris, half-backs; Stewart, Dougall, Dailey, Bodie, and Roberts, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Hedley, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones, and Lello, half-backs; Powell, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. W. Richards (Cheadle). Everton had high hopes that they would register their second away win of the season, at St. Andrews today. Not since November, when they beat the Villa, have they enjoyed such a success. Interest was centred in the fact that Ted Sagar, Everton’s long-service goalkeeper, was appearing in his 399th League game. This is a club record set up by Dixie Dean. Sagar joined Everton in march 1929. Birmingham brought in their new centre-forward, Dailey, signed from Sheffield Wednesday two days ago. Everton were unchanged, whereas their opponents had four changes – two positional. It was cold and blustery, with a bright sun shining across field. There was a crowd of 30,000 and a two minutes silence was observed in remembrance of the late Mr. W.C. Cuff, the League president. Birmingham were soon into their stride, and the Everton goal had to drive out two determined attacks in the first two minutes. Later Dougall had a shot cannoned away. Both sides were inclined to keep the ball too close.
Catterick, out on the right wing put across a nice centre which Trigg cleared. The City left-wing was lively and once looked like breaking down the Everton defence until Sagar came out and took the ball from under Robert’s very nose. When Everton launched an attack, they did it by high-class football. In one movement five Everton forwards moved the ball on the carpet without a Birmingham men being able to do anything about it. Unfortunately the move stopped a long way from the Birmingham goal. The game was 15 minutes old when Merrick was still waiting to make his first save. He might have not relished his task had Powell got his head to an Eglington centre. Birmingham were much more dangerous near goal, and Sagar had to pat down a fierce shot from Stewart, and then throw himself on the ball to complete the save. Dougall put the Everton goal in danger, and Saunders almost put the ball behind Sagar in his effort to clear. Catterick centred into Merrick’s hands and then Bodie, in attempting a “big hit,” slashed the ball high over.
Hedley Carried Off
At 25 minutes Everton suffered a blow when Hedley and Stewart went into a tackle and the stretcher was called for to carry Hedley off the field. Hedley was taken to hospital with a compound fracture of the fibia and a simple fracture of the fibula. When the game was restarted, Merrick had to make his first real save –a shot by Eglington. Lello was a sort of full back-cum half-back, but despite their handicap Everton did well, but naturally it was mainly in defence. Birmingham forwards were very remiss near goal for they had some openings.
Wainwright receiving from Powell had to make a quick shot owing to the presence of Harris and Green with the result that the ball skidded of his toe. Bodie went close, and Green, the full back, entered the shooting list. Fielding was doing well as an emergency half-back.
Half-time; Birmingham 0, Everton 0
Birmingham restarted with a great spurt and Sagar was soon in action. Boyd, following a centre from Roberts, came up at a hot pace with a terrific shot which was blocked out. Then we had the uncommon sight of Sagar running outside his penalty area and kicking into touch. With their depleted force, Everton were chiefly on the defensive, but when they broke away, Eglington beat two men and centred. There was no colleagues within call to do anything with it. Everton were still the better footballing side, but there was no punch in the attack- in fact, Birmingham were equally at fault in this respect.
There was a shout “goal” when Roberts made an angled shot, but the ball passed outside. A Jones free-kick was speedily cleared, and the City won a corner. Dougall pushed the ball through neatly for Stewart, who, however, lost his foothold. Birmingham were pressing strongly without suggesting scoring. It is said in football “lose a man, lose the game” Everton knocked the bottom out of that by a galliant defence in which all put their shoulders to the wheel. Bodie looked as though he would score but he ran up against Jones, and although he got a second try, Sagar had no difficulty in picking up his weak shot. Near the end Eglington put across a centre, but Powell, although there to receive the ball, could not get the right direction with his header. Everton almost won the game, for when Powell came up to head a long shot for another Eglington centre the ball passed just outside the far upright. Final; Birmingham 0, Everton 0.
EVERTON RES V LEEDS RES
February 12, 1949. The Liverpool Football Echo
Pinchbeck returned to the Everton side following his stay in hospital. Before the kick-off the teams held a brief silence for the memory of the late Mr. W.C. Cuff. The United were the more dangerous in the early stages, but found Jones, in the home goal, quite capable of dealing with the situation. As the game progressed Everton took command of the play, and Pinchbeck was very unlucky when he headed against the crossbar from Corr’s centre. Everton now monopolised the play, the Leeds goal bearing a charmed life. Half-time; Everton Res 0, Leeds Res 0.
Prescot B.I v. Everton “A”
Half-time _Prescot B.I. 1, (scorer Walton), Everton “A” (scorer Parker). Full Time; Prescot B.I 1, Everton “A” 2
LIVELY BIRMINGHAM TEST EVERTON
February 12, 1949. The Evening Express
Hedley Taken To Hospital With Fractured Leg
Everton had to fight a desperate battle with only 10 men for 60 minutes of their game against Birmingham at St. Andrews today. They lost left-back Jack Hedley after half an hour with a serious leg injury. Hedley was taken to hospital with compound and single fractures of the bones of the right leg, below the knee. Tommy Jones and company presented a galliant resistance to the quick-moving Birmingham forwards, who created any number of chances for themselves but were woefully inept in front of goal. Not surprisingly it was almost all Birmingham after the interval. But still the City persisted in trying to walk the ball into the net. Birmingham – Merrick, goal; Trigg and Green, backs; Boyd, Duckhouse and Harris, half-backs; Stewart, Dougall, Dailey, Bodie, and Roberts, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Hedley, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones, and Lello, half-backs; Powell, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. W. Richards (Cheadle). Manager Cliff Britton did not travel with the Everton partly. He was away on “other business.” This was a big day for goalkeeper Ted Sagar. It was his 399th League game for Everton and equalled a club record previously set up by Billy Dean. In changeable weather and on a ground which seemed certain to churn up badly, Hedley almost let in Stewart with a badly-judged pass back intended for Sagar, but Stewart was slow to take advantage of the unexpected chance.
Then Jones flung himself outwards to head clear a dangerous Robert’s cross. Birmingham were showing superior speed and a Dougall drive was rather fortunately charged down. Everton’s first excursion of note saw Powell take over from a Farrell throw-in, push the ball through for Catterick to make progress on the right. Trig came across to dispose of Catterick’s centre. A quiet period was enlivened by a delightful piece of copy-book passing in which Fielding, Farrell and Wainwright indulged. Birmingham relied through their lively left wing, and Sagar was called into action to deal first with a Stewart header and then a Bodie drive in quick succession. An injury to Boyd caused a brief halt ad then we saw even the reliable Tommy Jones, slicing his clearance almost at right angle. The ball was playing peculiar tricks and mistakes were frequent. The Everton forwards, were showing nice ideas in midfield but, as yet, Merrick had not had a single shot to save. When Catterick forced a throw in high up on the left, Eglington took over, but although Powell went up surprisingly he was just unable to connect with Eglington’s centre.
There was any amount of life in the Birmingham attack, and on one occasion Stewart raced through on his own to deliver a powerful cross-drive which Sagar only managed to parry at the second attempt. Jones earned applause for a splendid winning tackle on Roberts after Saunders had failed to complete his clearance. The game had been in progress 20 minutes before Merrick had to handle for the first time. He dealt confidently with Powell’s half-shot. Everton’s closest call to date came when Dougall lobbed the ball towards the far post and Saunders came dangerous close to diverting the ball beyond Sagar in a desperate attempt to force the ball away from the in running Roberts. Fortunately Jones was right there to do the needful. Fielding was grafting purposefully in his effort to send his colleagues on the goal trek but all too often Catterick was forced to plough a lone furrow. A great stroke of misfortune befell Everton just before the half hour when Hedley and Stewart went into a tackle, Stewart stayed on the ground with Hedley lying prostrate. Hedley was eventually carried off on a stretcher. He appeared to have badly injured a leg. Lello dropped back to left back. Three times Everton were dangerous as a result of right-wing raids. On the third occasion Wainwright slipped the ball out to Powell and Eglington was perfectly placed to head in Powell’s centre. It looked all over a goal but Merrick just managed to fail on the ball as it was crossing the line. Green completed the clearance. At this stage I heard that Hedley’s injury might be a dislocation of the hip-bone. He was in great pain and was hurried to hospital.
A Close Call
Birmingham were not having all their own way, but Dougall came near with a first-time right-footer, which flashed across the face of the goal with Sagar scrambling. Came yet another stoppage, this time for repairs to Dailey following a collision with Jones. Dailey recovered quickly and then Catterick fell awkwardly and also had to call for treatment. Wainwright was partially “sandwiched” between Green and Harris just as he was about to shoot. His drive finished yards off the mark. A corner to Birmingham on the left produced a magnificent deflected header from Bodie which beat Sagar all the way but went afoot outside the far post. Eglington forced Merrick to save near the foot of the post.
Half-time; Birmingham 0, Everton 0.
Birmingham resumed with a flourish and after Roberts had sliced his quickly-taken shot almost to the far corner flag, Stewart gained possession and crossed dangerously for Dailey to elude Jones for once and head with accuracy. Sagar, however, was perfectly positioned to save without undue bother. Considering their depleted numbers Everton were showing up surprisingly well, but neither attack was in any way convincing in front of goal.
Referee Richards spoke to Birmingham centre-half Duckhouse following a tackle on Wainwright. A corner, conceded by Saunders might have proved fatal for following a sustained attack, the ball rolled out to Boyd who let go with immense velocity only to see Farrell’s body barring the way. Birmingham kept it up and there was yet another narrow squeak when Hedley left it to Sagar and Stewart forced Sagar to lose his hold on the ball. Sagar eventually raced out to the touchline to boot the ball into the crowd. Relief came when Wainwright took over and slipped a nice ball upfield for Eglington to race ahead, beat two men and then drive in from an oblique angle a shot with his right foot. City continued to pile on the pressure and Roberts was only narrowly off the mark with a cross shot taken on the turn. I must pay tribute to the mighty resistance presented by the Everton defence. Stewart and Dailey, in turn, missed shooting chances. Roberts should have done much better than land his centre on the top of the net after outpacing Saunders. The one-way traffic continued, but so far every Birmingham shot had been charged down. It was scrappy stuff now, with two tired teams punting the ball backwards and forwards, and passes constantly going astray. Powell missed an easy chance of heading a goal for Everton in the closing minutes, failing to connect properly with his head from Eglington’s centre. Final; Birmingham 0, Everton 0.
EVERTON RES V LEEDS RES
February 12, 1949. The Evening Express
Everton fielded a strong side against a Leeds at Goodison Park today, which included Pinchbeck who has been in hospital for some time. Prior to the start of the game both teams held a brief silence in memory of the late Mr. W.C. Cuff. Everton were the first to make headway, Mcllhatton placing across a nice centre which was intercepted by Williams. Leeds were now the more dangerous, Jones coming to the rescue in saving well from Marsh and Browning. The Leeds goal next had another shave when Pinchbeck headed against the crossbar from Corr’s centre. Half-time; Everton res 0, Leeds Res 0.
EVERTON’S PRIDE IN FINE DRAW
February 14, 1949. The Liverpool Daily Post
Birmingham 0, Everton 0.
I am not surprised Everton were proud over the performance. The team covered itself with glory in forcing a draw. They might have won in the last few minutes when Eglington put across a centre, which had a goal label. But Powell missed the chance of a lifetime. Everton are still in search of that second away goal and Birmingham have not scored on four games. When Hedley was carried off at twenty-five minutes with a broken leg –a compound fracture of the tibia and a simple fracture of the fibula – I did not view Everton’s chances with any degree of confidence, but the reorganised team –Lello at full back and Fielding at left half, put up the game of their lives to thwart a hard hitting Birmingham and check them at every point. It was a galliant show. A big trustful side, Birmingham naturally tried all they knew to take advantage of Everton’s handicap, but could not find a way beyond Sagar, who was making his 399th league appearance in the Everton goal. It was a grand display by Everton and even the referee Mr. Richards, of Cheadle, could not go away without paying tribute to it. At the conclusion he went to the Everton dressing room and said to Tom Jones, “I don’t often do this but would like to shake your hand on a wonderful display. “
Dailey Not Seen
Birmingham have spent £35,000 on three new players, but so far it has not brought the desired result. Dailey transferred from Sheffield Wednesday two days previously, was not seen, in fact, Boyd and Harris must have been heartbroken to see their passes frittered away as they were. Birmingham certainly enjoyed more of the attack, which was only natural against ten men. They had showing their power before Hedley’s going for it was twenty minutes before Merrick in their goal was called upon. Everton’s football was of superior pattern some of it was in the highest Everton tradition, but there is still the need for more determined finishing. It in the great fault in Everton’s make-up today. Everton have no need to look far for a left half after what we saw of Fielding. He was grand and so was Lello at full back. The Everton defence as a whole made the draw possible, with Jones the hub on which the wheel revolved smoothly.
Jack Hedley, Everton’s left back who suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and a simple fracture of the fibula at Birmingham on Saturday, has been operated on and the leg placed in plaster. Whether he will be allowed to travel home to Liverpool before the plaster is removed is uncertain. The two bones affected were broken just above the ankle. Hedley is as comfortable as can be expected.
AN UNLUCKY WEEK-END
February 14, 1949. The Evening express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Merseyside’s unlucky week-end brought an end to the Liverpool Cup hopes and an unfortunate accident to the luckless Jack Hedley, the Everton back, for whom things in 1949 have been most unhappy. Everton grand 0-0 draw at Birmingham City lost something of its lustre at the loss of Hedley who sustained a compound fracture of a leg in collision and who is now in a Birmingham hospital where he is likely to remain for the seven day’s suspension period which began today following Jack’s being offered off in the cup-tie with Manchester City. Everton are fortunate in having such capable reserve strength for this vital position to help in this continued revival. Manager Cliff Britton did not see the St. Andrew’s game being away on other business of which there are no developments to report. Everton are having a great run and have not lost a League game since going down 1-0 at Newcastle on December 18. Since them the Toffees have played six games (three away); gained eight points and conceded only one goal. Such form makes for complete safety.
Colleague Radar was at St. Andrews’s and writes; “It is amazing what ten men can do when they are up against it, and Everton proved that their fighting-spirit is unsurpassed by the manner in which they girded their loins and presented a rock-like barrier to Birmingham after Hedley’s injury. Everton fully deserved their point, and with a little luck they might have snatched victory in the closing minutes, for Powell was unfortunate when he raced in to an Eglington centre to find the ball striking him in the face. “Perhaps the most pleasing feature was the adaptable manner in which Lello settled at left back and Fielding at left half in the emergency. Strange as it may seen, the City were infinitely more dangerous while Everton were at full strength, but while good in midfield they were completely inept in front of goal, and their persistence in attempts to walk the ball through were doomed to failure against the quick-tackling Blues’ defence. Jones was as usual masterly and blotted out Dailey, and Farrell played a real captain’s part. Despite the wealth of City pressure, Sagar was rarely troubled seriously. Everton’s four forwards exploited open tactics so well that the City defenders were near a panic state in the closing stages. Eglington was Everton’s most dangerous raider in a galliant battle by Everton’s fighting ten.”
FOOTBALL –OFFICIALS! BY W.C.CUFF
February 14, 1949. Liverpool Echo
Big Chances Since The Cap-And-Collar-Days
Players With “Handle-Bars” And Wearing Long Trousers
The Team of Too Many Star
This is the first of a series of articles written just before his death by Mr. W.C. Cuff, ten years president of the Football League and former chairman of Everton F.C., in collaboration with Mr. Ernest Edwards (“Bee”), former Sports Editor of the Echo.
Mr. Cuff was familiar with every phase of football and in the position to throw fresh on many vexed topics –such as transfer fees, the case for two referee, Sunday football – and to tell entertaining stories of a ancient and modern stars and of lightning transfers in which he played a part.
The series will provide a valuable link between the earliest and present day organised football.
For fifty years, I was actively engaged in the world of football, and without boasting I think I can claim to have witnessed every angle of its world appeal, and its movement on and off the field. Therefore I am happy to put on record many of the big things of this national entertainment, this means by which the world can aid sanity, sportsmanship and complete its sport without anyone turning toward “The Lost Week-End.” And my part has always been official, so that I am qualified to speak on a maze of football statements, many far removed from fact, many created by the cynical mind, and many products of the unthinking football interests which have yet spared the time to read the rules of the game not sturdy the fundamental factors that have made football the greatest game in the world. Conservative control has refused to be rushed into a collection of stunts by outsiders, insiders, or perhaps the writer who desired to make a display upon the pages. Rules have been few and far between for this great game of football. We moved very slowly –in the concern of football rules, we believe the present set of football is well nigh perfect. We should readily move toward a change if practice and precept proved that change of rule could gain us a fraction of a point, but the football authorities, Football Association and the Football League, are not ready to rush in before the evidence makes it clear that there is no possibility of a failure.
Caps and Collars
We have travelled far since the days when footballers were known by their caps and collars, as contrasted with to-day’s modern version of Buttons and Bows.” In the gone-by days, football was scorned because it players adopted a sporty attire, which so often consisted of a peaked cap and a neck muffier. To have attended the training room on those occasions with a Homburg hat, or a golfy-sporty coat would have caused intense merriment. Once John MaConnachie ran a school at Everton to improve the players education. He arrived at the ground in smart attire, kid-gloved and a blocker hat – outstanding outfit for those days – yet this was around the First World-War period. Today the footballer is one of the best-groomed men in the city, he is the cleanest looking man in the city, he has to appear fit and fresh and “ready to go.” He has pride in his appearance, and by his autographs you know him for it is only when he is on the downgrade that his autograph is not required. His barometer of success is provided by the boys who chase him for his penmanship.
Trousers and Moustaches
But what would the present generation say if a goalkeeper such, as Sagar, Sidlow or Swift, came out to play attired in long trousers. Yet these adornments were part and parcel of Reader’s make-up when he kept goal for years for West Bromwich Albion, Jack Cox of Liverpool, wore a sprucely-waxed moustache when lining the wing for Liverpool; Stanley Matthew’s father, when boxing at our local Stadium, was also one of the Sam Costa handlebar sportsmen. Indeed our younger generation should be reminded that in the days of old, when football was young, and strong, and virile, and a matter of skilled combination, the player who had not a moustache was hardly fitted for footballs stern task. Sideboards were a relic of the very earliest days, but in the hey-dey of 1900 to 1910 it was the fashion for a footballer to sport a moustache and the featured wearing of pads outside the stockings had only just “gone out of date.” Yes, football had odd moments and odd customers, but they laid a solid foundation-stone to create the game in its present state which I count as stupendously successful. The critical mind of the outer ring, which looks on ready to pounce upon any football topic as a red herring will find great joy in pointing to the case of Newcastle United and their decision to place 11 players on the transfer list. Now this is a very simple matter, indeed.
In Close Company
Newcastle, like many a team before it, had found it is over-staffed, and I do not know which is worse – over-staffing or under-staffing. If you do not engage a sufficient number of players then assuredly the annual general meeting will provide share-holders to tell the officials of the club they were lacking in nous and sense. But let us look s little closer into this matter. Can you picture a collection of 40 men, all engaged on one purpose, all earning their living by the game of football, all, training together in mid-week, all desirous in the first team, and having belief in themselves to be competent to do that and all gathered together in one common cause all week long, with little variety to make them forget the face of the other man. I am told by ship authorities that a world tour leads to its pleasure- seekers finding it awfully monotonous to sit at the same table for six months, to see the same faces day by- day for six months, and have no escape. In like manner football suffers because you can only play 11 first-team men, and 11 second team men. The rest must “also serve who stand and wait.” And inability to play 20-a-side makes many sit this game out. They get restive. Only recently a young man anxious to show his paces asked his manager for a game. “I have not had a game for seven weeks, sir,” he said, “and I really must play, I love playing.” So they put him in the team –and he had been so long out of actual playing atmosphere, he played badly, quite naturally. It is a wise and clever manager who can control 40 players –nearly 20 forced to rest each week –without unprising of one or another. The announcement of the teams can lead to a riot of muttering and complaining, that “he’s in again, I could play him off the books –if they would pick me.” Then the talk turns to “favourities” or “He signed him, so in he must go,” and “What does one have to do to get the eye of the selectors or manager?” The manager had to be politic, polite, has to “have a heart” and a smoothing iron as well as the patience of Job, and the pertinacity that does not smear his chances of continuing in the job as manager. Football can be a tricky business. Newcastle have found that because they have chased a way to the stars, the collection burns brightly on the name-plates, but somehow they dazzle each other and overcrowd the portals of the club. So Newcastle very wisely decided to cut their football coat.
Tomorrow My Quickest signing – Billy Lacey
February 14, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Have you realised that apart from their Cup defeat by Chelsea, Everton have not lost a match since they visited Newcastle on December 18? Gone are the days when goals used to be rattled into their net. If only the forwards had come up to scratch as the defence has done, many of the matches drawn would have become victories. There is no better defence in the country at the present moment than Everton’s, and it has never done a better job of work than at St. Andrew’s Birmingham, on Saturday. There is an old axiom in football which says. “Lose a man, lose the match,” but Everton have twice proved it false – against Manchester City when Hedley was sent off, and against Birmingham, when Hedley was the victim of a serious accident, which resulted in a broken leg. There was still 65 minutes actual playing time, and our hopes dropped to zero. Ten men could not cope with this virile Birmingham, was the general opinion, but they did, and neatly won the match into the bargain. They should have done when Eglington, planted a perfect centre in the goalmouth for Powell to head a simple goal; but the Welshman steered the ball outside (writes Stork). Hedley’s injury must have had a disheartening effect upon his team-mates, but they never showed it. They had a task to fulfil –prevent Birmingham winning –and they worked double forte to accomplish their object. It was an heroic display, and I heard nothing but praise for their amazing fighting quality. Even the referee through fit to visit the Everton dressing room for offer his congratulation –unusual, but very gratifying. Naturally, defence was Everton’s main point. They had to save a game which the “handicap book,” averred they must lose, and right well did they fulfil that task. Lello went full-back and gave a hearty display, and Fielding seemed to relish his task at wing-half, where he worked like a Trojan, I mention those two because they were operating in a strange role, but to the defence as a whole, I say “You played your part nobly and well.” What a pity Powell did not pop that ball into the net – it would have been a tribute to his colleagues further behind.
Jack Hedley will spend, a week in Birmingham General Hospital, where he lies with a compound fracture of the tibia and a simple fracture of the fibula, but will be brought back by ambulance to a Liverpool nursing home early next week. His injury coincides with a week’s suspension, starting from today for the incident in the game against Manchester City, which led to him being sent off the field. The club was advised of the this last Thursday, but desired to keep the news from the player until after Saturday’s game.
HOW I SIGNED BILLY LACEY IN SIXTY SECONDS
February 15, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Praise For Cliff Britton; “Dixie” and Dix Sidelights
Football –Officials by W.C. Cuff
This is the second of the series of articles written shortly before his death by Mr. W.Cuff, who was President of the Football League, in collaboration with Ernest Edwards (“Bee”)
Transfer deals appeal to anyone having a heart in or for football. Some deals were simplicity itself, others had to be dragged from their ifs and buts. The simple cases were often of married players, and recall the call to the clergyman to a new church –he is busy praying for guidance in making his decision while his wife is busy upstairs packing the goods ad chattels.
My Quickest Deal
Quite the jauntiest and simplest transfer deal I can remember concerned two great Irish friends. We wanted a broth of a boy named William Lacey. Now we had on our books, Val Harris, who had the honour of getting one goal in his life and being presented with a medal by the Echo for his performance. He was a half-back, and had no concern for taking goals –he preferred to make them for others. This day he slipped himself and scored. Hence the appearance of Directors Kirkwood, Allman, and company on the field at Goodison Park next home game, all with the ladder-collars of their period of life (1909) to present Harris with a memento. Rumours had it in later years that Val had been given a piano and the freedom of the city –all of which shows how football rumours spread in this football- loving city. I went to Dublin, arriving at 7.30 a.m., and said to Val Harris; “Is Lacey here?” “Yes, sorr,” said Val, “Bring him in,” The pair appeared in the hotel. “Would you like to play for Everton?” I asked Lacey,” I would that, sorr,” said the big boy, “Sign here then,” said I, and within sixty seconds the deal was done, no argument, no questioning of promises –and that was the quickest transfer I can remember, although there was one other in which we were on the other side of the counter that I remember well. Arsenal had been to Everton, had lost their goalkeeper, Frank Moss (he scored from the wing position in his temporary posting as a forward instead of goalkeeper), and had no reserve for the remaining matches of the season. It was March 15 – the last day for signing and new player, and Arsenal were in a fix. Mr. George Allison, asked whether we could help, and we offered them the able young goalkeeper Bradshaw (now at Bury).
It was “now or never” with Arsenal. They just had to get a goalkeeper. So for a nominal fee and Bradshaw having been brought on to the grand stand to be advised what had been happening. Arsenal signed the local boy. The new Arsenal manager, Mr. Allison, had never signed a player before, and this was his first contract, so I took charge of the business and filled in the blank spaces and Bradshaw went off to London and served Arsenal very well. Most transfers have a surrounding line such as in Bradshaw’s case, I remember the difficulty which arose when I went over to sign Ronald Dix and Cliff Britton, from Bristol. Bristol wanted a player from us in exchange, and we could accommodate them with a swop. Summertime passed, and our option on both players was put into action, only to find Blackburn Rovers had signed Dix. There was a long inquiry, and Everton quite rightly refused to rest their case, with the result that eventually the offending clubs were fined and we received a sum of £300 from Bristol, which we promptly gave to charity. Out of that deal came one of the best signing of my whole life in the game. I desire to put on record that Cliff Britton (recently appointed manager of Everton) is one of the graces that make football worthwhile. His football career has been stamped with decency, good sportsmanship, clever football, and fascinating fashions of play –a credit to the game and a great joy to me because I signed him for Everton. When we are apt to be despondent at the columns written about two dissenting, want-to-be-away players, we are forgetful of the legion of players who have been happy in their work, happy with their club, and never for one moment caused trouble in training on the field, or off the field.
Such a one is Clifford Britton. Only once in his career with us did he feel aggrieved. It appeared that down South, in an hotel, someone in authority jokingly suggested they should transfer Britton, and asked him. “Would you care to go to Spurs?” Jokes in football domains are in bad taste, and this one so upset Britton he felt his club were “thinking of transferring him.” I was happy to satisfy him that we had never broached or thought of transferring him, and so long as there was an Everton club we should be happy to have him on our list. In similar manner, William Dean should, in my estimation have concluded his career at Everton, instead of which he went off to Notts County and later to Ireland. He it was who forced out hands, although he knew quite well my idea of his life at Everton was that it should end at the club which made him famous and which he made famous. Naturally there are divergent opinions about transfer of star players. I remember one case in which I was interested where a star player was on the verge of transfer if some directors had their way. One said; “I would like to see the fee of £10,000 in our bank.” I reminded this gentleman that he had overlooked the fact that “This star player brings an extra £500 to all our home games, and to transfer him would be to lose money and the temper of our followers would be roused.”
Signings have a sunny side and a comic side, I remember one of our fine old players being sent on a scouting expedition right down to Gillingham. This meant an overnight journey. Let him tell his own story without the Kirkwood brogue. “ I like to get to the ground early, to walk around and see how it, compares with Goodison Park, you know, and so I walked around and around, I saw the placard on the walls announcing the game and time was drawing pretty near, ad still no one appeared to be arriving at the gates. I imagined that as it was a mid-week fixture, the public of Gillingham were not very interested. “I would have gone to the secretary’s office but on my mission I had to keep myself ‘one of the crowd,” and travel incognito, so I waited on and on, till 10 minutes from the start, when I asked a passer-by if he was going to the match to-day? “To-day,” said he, “there’s no match today. We played yesterday,” I had travelled to the far-off Gillingham and no one had advised me of the correct day of play!”
Tomorrow –Everton’s cup Finals –tales of Sandy Young and “Warney” Cresswell.
“SANDY SCORED A GOAL” AND EVERTON WON THE CUP
February 16, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Wembley ‘Jitters’: Cresswell’s ‘Cooler’”
Dunn Doubts; Great Scenes
Football –Officials by W.C. Cuff
Ooh, aye, Sandy Scored a goal,
Sandy scored a goal,
Sandy scored a goal,
Och, aye, Sandy scored a goal,
And so we won the English Cup!
The boys of today cannot conceive the return of Everton F.C., conquerors of the Cup in 1906. Liverpool went mad. The city had been buoyed up twice, before by “Finalitis,” once at Manchester in a debating class with Wolves –and once more when Aston Villa won 3-2 at Crystal Palace, and quaintly enough all the goals were scored in the first half of play, a final tie the like of which has never been equalled for drama and intensity. Five goals in the opening half of what was described by expect men such as Lord Kinnard (president of the F.A), and a writer of the capability of James A.H. Catton, as the best football final ever witnessed. Many have claimed that Everton’s very solid win of 3-0 against Manchester City was the next best final fling, and others vow that Portsmouth waltzing their way through the favourities, Cullis and Wolverhampton, was another great display of talented football. Final ties are so desperately hard on the nerves that it is possible we onlookers are not fit to judge which was the greatest final tie of all time. Certainly I shall pin my faith on the Villa match as my idea of the best final, because it had more than good football. It had the remarkable marginal al quality of 3-2, and by crowding the goals into the first half it can be seen that both sides were in the right mood for the task. It isn’t difficult for you, reader, to estimate the feelings of Everton and heir followers when, in 1906, we were faced by Newcastle’s star-studded team. Newcastle in those days were not bothered with transfer calls; every man was a friend of the other player, and the methodical style adopted by Newcastle made the eleven the most difficult side in the land to beat. Everton beat them 1-0, scorer Sandy Young, centre forward. I can see the chara traversing the roadway towards Goodison Park. An indescribable scene young lads carrying a coffin bearing the legend “Newcastle United united,” the city packed to suffocation death stalking the road, and no one seriously hurt John D. Taylor” (living and laughing till, at West Kirby) holding the Cup aloft, his eyes beaming and the crowd looking on with awe. At last Everton had done the seemingly impossible. Years before the band had been ordered out and practised “The Conquering Hero.” They had gone back twice without so much as a puff of the trombone. The only “blow” had been Everton’s! And Sandy had scored the goal that counted the cost to Newcastle. Sandy Young was a most remarkable young man –he had a Napoleonic strip of hair stretched across his forehead; light, lithesome, sombre, he was, at his prime, the best centre in the world. But he had his moody moments, and although he could recite every line of the Bible, he had other pleasures and sometimes these crossed his athletic path, so much so that at one period, he arrived back from Scotland and his summer holidays in a state that caused us to send him away for a month (suspension) to make himself fit. The footballer’s contract includes a clause that while he is being paid for summer-time he must keep himself fit. Sandy had not kept himself fit, and our loss was great. So an example had to be made.
Too Much In The Eye
Today, the modern generation of footballers are too much in the picture and in the world and his wife’s eyes to allow them to do anything likely to interfere with their short but splendid football life. Sandy Young was the centre of what might readily have been a heart attack for “Bee.”
Sandy had gone to Australia and “Bee” discovered a four-line unheaded paragraph in an Australian paper saying “Robert Alexander Young has been charged with the murder of a relative. He is said to be a sportsman of the old country.” Now that was not evidence of Sandy Young being implicated, but in the spur of youth “Bee” decided it must be the old hero, and keeping his newspaper cutting in his hive for three days he let go he startling news, “Sandy Young charged with murder” across the whole page of the Football Echo. And having done so, “Bee” confesses he did not sleep a wink for five days until confirmation came that it was truly Sandy Young who was charged. Meantime, he dreamed of criminal libel actions, death sentences and all that should make up the horror of taking such a risk in a murder charge.
It is certain the average football enthusiast has no inside knowledge of the feelings of Cup Final teams. I would say that our plan was best. The players in 1933 went into private quarters down South –in charge of them was placed out director, former captain and player for Everton, the late Mr. Jack Sharp, who had uninterrupted control until the teams went on the field of play. Mr. Sharp was one of them; he had played the game, he knew what it was like to attempt to gain sleep the night before a final tie. Teams should not be harassed by interlopers of any kind, and I can think of nothing worse than officialdom entering into the team’s affairs for days before the final tie. Everton enjoyed their quarters, their fun – and where there is a Dean or an Alex Stevenson, you may be sure there will be innocent fun with Ted Sagar adding his own special effort. Suffice it to say, Stein 1, Dean 2, Dunn 3, caused the downfall of Manchester City, and once more the city of Liverpool went into hysterical fervour at the return of the wanderers.
It was a miracle no one was seriously hurt n route from the Town Hall to Goodison Park because the crushing and swaying made it well nigh impossible to get to the grandstand. One chara in which my old friend, Mr. Herbert Barker, was seated, suffered a terrible time, with the doors smashed, the windows smashed and the threat of the burning chara wheels setting the 100 people who clung on to the rafters in grave fear of being burned to death. There is something providential about the way football crowds escape death blows on such occasions. Many may wonder whether it is true that players have been unable to button their laces an hour before a Final tie. It is perfectly true that some play the game in a maze. One of the Burnley players was telling his fellow countrymen how it felt to be at Wembley. “It’s that big, man, you seem to take a quarter of an hour to reach the playing field, and when you are there there’s Royalty at your elbow, and a hundred thousand people singing ad shouting; by the time the game begins you begin to wonder whether this is heavenly, are you dreaming, or is this really a cup final? It is impossible to lose the original sense of fear that comes on you as you see Wembley on the day.”
How Cresswell Cooled
In that connection I will go further and state from my own knowledge that Cresswell icy-cool in a thousand games in his life-time, found the inside rooms of Wembley a trouble to his stomach muscles. He asked a policeman if here was a private room near by the dressing room where he could have a smoke – “to settle my nerves, d’ye know man?” the constable obliged, and Cresswell, breaking all known rules about smoking before a match, let alone a cup final, took out his pipe of intensely strong tobacco, lit up, and after a smoke went off to rejoin, the Wembley heroes –and played like the rest of the side, just ideally. Jimmy Dunn was the only other danger mark in that final issue. He was jittery overnight, and the director in charge had serious misgivings about not making an eleventh-hour change in the team. However, the little man was brought out, and scored a headed goal to clinch the day’s joyful work. Happy days!
Tomorrow. – When Everton directors “lost” a Cup Final.
WHEN EVERTON DIRECTORS “LOST” A FINAL
February 17, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Football –Official by W.C. Cuff
I have often been asked to explain the bombshell which arose in one of our three cup Final ties. Hence there follows the story of the George Wilson case. Geordie was a funny bundle of physical strength –short, tubby, yet speedy over ten yards, having a cracker shot, having a grand manner. He was one of the greatest inside forwards the game has known. He and his brother David were signed by Everton, and Geordie from Hearts soon fascinated the crowd. He and his partner were as lively as the Stevenson-Coulter pairing or the Settle-Hardman wing –there was something about Georgie that compelled admiration.
He had to make up for his lack of inches by his football brain, and he was certainly might, powerful of body when it came to rounding off any individual effort. His driving force was something that commended itself to the Everton crowd, who could compare shooting power with a Chadwick, a Geary, a Sandy Young and others. We had won the final tie against Newcastle United a year before and arrived at Crystal Palace for the second Final issue –two appearances in successive years was something wonderful even in those days. We were keyed-up for this second appearance on the Crystal set. In the inner chambers, however, a little bird whispered that all was not well. Geordie would not sign. We talked with him, reasoned with him begged him to take his chance of a Cup medal –no; he would not sign. Now, the club had ruled that no player could take the place in the Final tie who had not signed for the following season. Geordie Wilson struck it to the bitter end, and on the morning of the match we had to bring in Hughie Bolton to fill the gap in the attack. We had no option. We had to be fair to all the Final tie side. This caused shareholders to introduce their now infamous phrase of “Sack the lot.” It has been used at varying intervals ever since. “Sack the Directors!” Players were alleged to have said; “We were not beaten by Sheffield Wednesday. The big D beat us” –meaning directors. The players said they were so upset at their favourities not being allowed to play they could not do themselves justice. Their hearts were broken. Certainly the Wilson versus directors case became a feud, and by the time the annual general meeting arrived 90 per cent, of the shareholders had their daggers drawn. It was a casus belli. The annual meeting promised shot and shell sacking and looting, in my official capacity as secretary of the club I was called upon to speak, and I frankly and freely told the shareholders I was their secretary, and would be happy to oblige them all with answers to any inquires concerning the case of “Why Wilson was left out of the Final.” I warned them that anything they might say in that room would be their own concern, and they must take responsibility for any legal action that might follow. Would they be prepared to accept that responsibility? Long pause. They dare not accept the challenge, and that was how the Great Wilson Mystery died a natural death.
We had other famous brothers-in-arms at Everton besides the coupling of George and David Wilson and the brother Balmers. There were the vastly entertaining brothers Tommy and Andy Browell. They came in single file, not in battalions. Hull City was the first senior club of Tommy Browell, and we signed this lank-legged boy about 1908 – he was to be the follower in Sandy Young’s footsteps. A mere boy –he was always known, even to his latest days with Manchester City, as “Boy” Browell –he conquered the Goodison Park public in a night. Pale of face, his vast strides and his powerful shot, were suiting the public. They loved him for his dash, for his persistence, but more than all because they saw a goal-getter in prospect and a player who was not a mere dasher, but one who could link up in the best Everton tradition. After a time the boy appeared to the club management to be in need of fatherly or brotherly love, so we sped off to Hull to bring his elder brother to look after him. The resign was not long at Everton and the reason’s were not far to seek, because there is a strata in the public football seats that will ruin any young footballer –or his keeper-brother. Sickly adulation of players is one of the most nauseating things in this game of football, and it is a criminal reaction that when the players falls on lean times, these self-styled friends will be the first to decry him and those who had been “so foolish as to sign on such a man.”
Managers bear the burden of the game, and it is almost natural that these men, with so much at stake, and fear over-riding them, should reach nervous prostration and seek the outside world during the course of play. I am told that one manager has not seen his team for two months, and when they played at home he stayed indoors nursing his “anxiety neurosis.” My old colleague Tom Watson, who did so much to place the Liverpool club on its football feet, could not bear to witness a game to its conclusion. He used to walk away and tip a gatekeeper to tell him how the game progressed. Tom Watson was working on a club which was not blessed with riches, and those who appear at Anfield, in the Kop or the grandstand, should spare a word for the man who so curbed every item of expenditure that the old club might rise to power. He even kept every envelope delivered to him and used it as letter paper –this nearly 50 years before the Government S.O.S to save salvage ad save our envelopes. Old Tom Watson save the pence. The pounds roll in to-day as a direct consequence. Lest we forget, therefore, the man who laid the foundation stones of the great club may we ask if anyone can assist by stating where Tom’s body is buried at Anfield. Or is there a stone indicative of his presence? I wonder.
Tomorrow Transfer Fees
“WILLING SLAVES” MAKE THE HEADLINES
February 18, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Transfer Sidelights; Famous Players Made Signings Easy
Football –Official by W.C. Cuff
The greatest game in the world –Association Football –is bound to have detractors, and generally the main tractor moves along the road of false statement and a complete lacks of knowledge of the facts of football life. Let me step right into the matter of the moment –in the eyes of the public and some cynical critics –and speak with you on the question of “transfers.” The general public know quite well that any serial story which has at its base famous names such as Mannion of Middlesbrough and Stubbins of Liverpool, will have newspaper support. It is right and proper and quite natural they should feed their public with the starry names of the football world. It is the personality of such first-class players that commands the big head-line. What are two among so many? And what is the grievance against transfer? The cynic will shed tears telling how transfers of footballers is akin to trading in souls –slave driving.
I would beg to advise those critics –and I think I am entitled to speak on this point, because I have been connected with the game as official (secretary, director, chairman, and legislator) for over 50 years –that footballers are the most willing “salves,” and many of them “court” slavery. Contrast the malcontent with the contended footballer, and remember the balance-sheet shows loyalty supreme. So long as we must have registration of players so long must there be transfers from club to club. The system is not at fault. It is the abuse of the system that causes uproar.
Loyalty The Aim
The government of the game has aimed at loyalty to a player and in so doing has given him awards of benefit money after years of service, and although the rule says a sum of money “may” be given and the call is for “may” to become “must” I have yet to recall a single instance where a player due for a benefit has been refused that benefit. Without transference of affection on the part of some young footballers, they could never hope to attain the heights of the game. A goalkeeper like Sam Hardy could never have reached international heights if he had remained at Chesterfield. It was his appearances in the harassed Liverpool side that placed him in the line of excess of effort and led the selectors to assess his value. A goalkeeper of the William Scott or Elisha Scott type could never have reached the world fame that was theirs if they had stayed in their Irish homes and with the Irish clubs. It was right they should not bury their talent in a napkin. Many a seeding succeeds through transplanting in other gardens of influence.
Never Leaves The Game
It must not be forgotten that be the transfer fee £3,000 or £30,000 that fee never leaves the game, and is never lost to the game. It rolls its way into the coffers of troubled directors who have been guarantors at the banks for a lowly club, and only by such transfer deals can they balance their conscience with their homes and their bank managers. And if the sellers are not in the Carey Street area, then at least they can use the transfer payment as a method of improving the accommodation for their crowds. When Everton removed its home from Anfield to Goodison Park (then a tip for” any old iron”) it needed men of vision to fashion the Everton future. First of all Liverpool F.C., attempted to take on the name of Everton F.C. That was a case of “he who steals my good name...” and the Football Association at once gave Everton their nameplate, and Anfield became the home of the new Liverpool F.C, -a happy way out of the impasse. It was in those far off days that the father of the present chairman, Dr. Baxter, offered a big sum of money so that the new Everton ground should become a home fit for football followers. Today the Everton ground is unequalled for covered accommodation, for its government in its gate control, and its “homeliness,” it has so many features I cannot do more than skirt the main ones, such as he notification of “Spectators take their own risk of weather.” This became necessary through the abandonment of a meeting of Everton and Small Heath when spectators demanded their money back. Since then every ground has borne this forewarning notification.
One of the Richest
Everton became one of the richest clubs in the country, through its measured step towards high-grade football, and building up the stands and under arches for the benefit of their public, together with the signing of good-class players who would play the game for their credit’s sake. We had our standards of play and our standards of players, and when it was my duty to try to sign a player I generally took along with me one of our players, so that the “wanted man,” could see our type and out standard. Crelly, Makepeace, and men of that character, were helpful in easing my task of getting a young player to leave his club. Out word was our bond, our promissory note never bounced back marked “R.D.”
By this means, Everton became a famous club. Their particular style and quality of play caused the public to become regular supporters. In older times one knew a club by its methods, and its formation – Newcastle United by its McWilliam, Veith by its Rutherford, Aitken and Howie; Aston Villa by its Spencer, Crabtree and Devey and Hodgetts; West Bromwich by its long-trousered, Reader, in goal, by its bulk in defence, by its speed of wing in William Isaiah Bassett by Sheffield’s Andra Wilson and Gillespie and Lipsham’s. By their football foibles ye knew them. In those days team changes were uncommon, except in the case of injury –a team of September 1 was the team for the season, and local people will recall how the names of Makepeace, Taylor, Abbott, would roll off the tongue; just as the forward formation of Sharp, Bolton, Young, Settle, H.P. Hardman, became famous by their constant appearance in the team-sheet. In those days teams picked themselves, to a great degree, and today it would puzzle any fervid partisan of a club, other than those at the top posts of the league, to rattle off the names of the team that “plays for Stoke” –and with change may have come decay in all around I see. Yet I am not pessimistic about football standards. The war killed the growth of young folk for football and in due course that factor will pass from sight if not memory, and the young folk will yearn to become expert soccer professionals. The high standard of play in say, 1933 will return to us. There was no special football training in the years 1939 to 1946 with the result that the new generation of players did not rise, and the older players had an innings showing the younger folk how much they had to learn before they became proficient.
Tomorrow –When the police begged us not to stop Sunday play.
WILL EVERTON SCORE?
February 18, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Everton make two changes, one enforced by Hedley’s injury, for their visit to Preston. Dugdale who has proved his reliability on previous occasions, takes Hedley’s place, and Corr supplants Powell at outside right. By the law of averages, to say nothing if the comparative weakness of Preston’s defence, Everton ought to get that second elusive away goal at Deepdale-and perhaps (joyful prospect!) more than one. Like a Liverpool home victory, this is sadly overdue. Preston, who recently appointed a team manager for the first time for a decade are in grave danger of relegation, so that Everton an expect a tough game. As so many have done before Preston are finding that large expenditure on new players is no guarantee of success. The Deepdale club has spent more heavily, during the past twelve months or so, than practically any other side in the country, but a collection of stars does not always make a team in the real sense of the word. This will be Ted Sagar’s 400th peace-time League game for the Blues. Goodison followers at Preston will, I hope, give him a rousing reception, but it will be only a whisper compared to what he will get at the home match the following week. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Corr, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington. Preston; Gooch; Brown, Walton; Shankly, Waters, Robertson; Finney, Beattle, Morrison, Knght, Langton.
Everton Reserves (v Stoke, at Goodison); Jones (J.A); Clinton, Moore; Lindley, Falder, Grant; Mcllhatton, Pinchbeck, Lewis, Powell, Higgins.
• Everton “C” v. Litherland
HUMPHREYS ASKS FOR TRANSFER
February 18, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
“No Future” For Him at Goodison
Jack Humphreys, Everton’s Welsh International centre half today asked the club to place him on the transfer list. Humphreys has no quarrel with Everton, but has made the request solely because he considers that there is no future for him, at Goodison Park. His feeling is understandable, particularly as he is good enough to get a first team place in the majority of senior sides. It is his misfortune that he should be with the same club as Tommy Jones, his Welsh international colleague, who these days is playing so brilliantly that Humphreys’s chance of senior appearances is very slender so long as Jones is fit.
A Sound Player
Everton’s position is also an awkward one, for Manager Cliff Britton naturally desires to have a strong reserve stirring at his disposal. Humphreys, when called upon for first team duty, has always given a sound display, and is a centre half of skill and ability whom many clubs would be glad to have on their books. Humphreys’s joined Everton as an amateur in the early war years signing professional in 1943. He was born at Llandudno, and was capped by Wales against Ireland in 1947. This season he has made four first-team appearances and nine in the Central League side. He previously asked to go on the transfer list, about 18 months ago, but later withdrew his request.
TOFFEES’ FOUR-POINT BID
February 18, 1949. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton seek several things against joint bottom of the Leaguers, North End –their away win; their second away goal; their first “double” of the season, and their 800th League victory. North End have international, Finney and Langton back on duty. Dugdale (for Hedley) and Corr for Powell; are in the Everton side. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Corr, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington. Preston; Gooch; Brown, Walton; Shankly, Waters, Robertson; Finney, Beattle, Morrison, Knight, Langton.
Everton Res (v Stoke Res); Jones (J.A); Clinton, Moore; Lindley, Falder, Grant; Mcllhatton, Pinchbeck, Lewis, Powell, Higgins.
Everton “A” (v. Newton Y.M.C.A) at Earlestown 3.0 p.m) Leyland (H); Jones (T.E.), Rankin; Cookson, Tansey, Doyle; Forrester, Dobson, Cronin, Hampson, Parker.
Everton “B” (v. Runcorn Ath at Runcorn 3.0 p.m); Dunlop; Hunter, Fletcher; Woods, Forshaw, Cross; Gibson, Wingfield, Holden, Burnett (W.), or Kane, Rushton.
Everton “B” (v. Litherland R and T.A at Bellefield, 3.0 p.m.) Hickman; Gore, Downes; McDonough, Greave, Malville; Platt, Rawsthorpe, Edge, Payne, Brown.
DON’T STOP SUNDAY PLAY BEGGED POLICE
February 19, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Should Players Work For A Living?
Football-Officials by W.C. Cuff
Football is the cheapest; cleanest, best governed game in the world. I make this statement and pause for any challengers that may arise. All Governments are better for opposition ranks and football has long had the cynic airing his lack of knowledge, crying in a wilderness about supposed evils arising out of Saturday’s sport. The most pronounced opposition arises through the lack of knowledge regarding the game, its control, its laws and its government. For generations the game of football has had to withstand the cry that it is commercialised sport, players are sold and brought like cattle in the market place and hugh sums are demanded for fees for the transference of players from one city to another. I would like to bring to your notice the remarks made by the late Lord Derby, that famous all-round true sportsman, who vowed that he would be happy if racing were governed as admirably as football is governed. One could not wish for a finer tribute from a finer man. The game is the greatest teetotal agency in the world and it is a fact, that recently the authorities of the game considered whether they should stress their urge for Sunday football to be barred. Our rules do not tolerate Sunday football or footballers, and inquiry from the police of London (where Sunday football has become a massive vogue) lad to the Chief of Police declaring that he hoped nothing would be done to disturb Sunday football, for the simple reason that he had not sufficient police on duty to cope with the crime that would arise if all these thousands of spectators were let loose because Sunday football had been stopped. So football’s government ceased its request and bowed to police knowledge. We, on our part, have to abide with Continental customs when we go touring, and play international games on a Sunday because it is their habit to play on that day.
The Double Life
In liking manner we, as controllers of football, are often being asked; “Why shouldn’t the professional football ‘work for his living?” meaning of course, that he should work at an office until the day his football task becomes due. This, is like many another ideology, is not an easy problem to solve. We have always encouraged players to work during the week; we invite them to do so and are all in favour of them going so. But the players have their angle on this knotty problem. And what do we find? We find that players who do not work during the week, apart from their training routine, are against any fellow-member making money during the week and being content to do a few hours’ night training, whereas hey themselves have to go through the training spell every day. It is so easy to theorise, so difficult to hold the balance between a body to say, 40 professional men each drawing the same wage and each dependent upon the other for his success and living. A missed goal from an easy position by the “working footballer,” and the comrades at once come to the conclusion that if “he” had been through the curriculum of training “like ourselves,” he would have scored. Thus trouble is born in the camp. This season two players who “stayed out” for months have found it most difficult to “resume where they had left off.” Every club should encourage the professional footballer to realise he is here today, gone tomorrow and he must make sure of his future before the adulation of the onlooker has waned. When I survey the number of old-time footballers of the game, I find the percentage of those who have not cashed in and kept a balance for the possible rainy day, is very small. Around the country I see notifications that so-and-so, the former footballer, is trading in a shop, or in other directions. There is a goodly return for a professional footballer if he has the balance to use his cash in a right manner.
Haste To The Bank
Tony Weldon, the former Everton forward, could not race quickly enough each pay day to the bank to slot a goodly percentage of his money into safe keeping –or the keeping of the safe! Troup, that galliant little wizard winger at outside left, was another who kept his shop in mind, and today has a flourishing business in Dundee, while one of his compatriots, James McDougall, of Liverpool F.C., went to work with a will the moment he felt he could not preserve any longer with his beloved game – he brought a house, and shop in the south-end of this city and made himself secure. There are many such cases, and best of all would be the instance of Jack Parkinson, well beloved centre forward in this city’s sport. When we were returning midnight Saturdays from our away match, it was no uncommon sight to see Jack, with a barrow, hoisting thousands of papers upon his “deck.” He became one of the biggest newsagents in the country and a highly-successful business man. Alec McGhie of Kirkdale and Blackburn Rovers is another player who raised himself after a splendid football career –Joe Mercer is also in that category. The opportunity is there for all players to follow in their steps. None should be down and out the moment his football life is ended.
Here I would suggest in homely homily that most frequently the professional footballer gets caught up in wonderful and weird stories of four –legged animals, who are alleged to be in a state known as “past the post” which, being interpreted means” they have a horse.” In my secretarial days I used to marvel at the innocent way some splendid players vowed that “Tommy So-and-so well posted. He had a big win over Changealot at Windsor.” Never once did I hear of the occasions when he had a lot on “Downthcourse.” And sure enough this well-informed player came to the day when he had to retire from the fray, and having no football wage was faced with the fact that he had scarified two benefit match payments (say £700) and also a share of transfer fee (£300) – a total of £1,000 – with nothing to show for it except bookmaker’s chits. The public, I fear, do not estimate what perquisites arise to a footballer when he is the hero of the day. Wireless talk, newspaper articles (not so common these days because of shortage of paper), even hair tonic and hair cream payments, free food and hotel payments on match days, free from fee during his weeks of special training a theatre or two a picture or two, and many other means to an end of financial outpourings are his for the asking, or otherwise. I remember some of our players doing quite well out of a new tobacco –McQuaid “made” money for them. It all went up in smoke!
Keep Your Dairy
A life story can produce a star a sum of hundreds of pounds –his name is the key to the financial haul. I would counsel all young players becoming professionals to keep a diary of every-day events, remarks, funniosities ad facts – it can be an invaluable aid to his money-making near the end of his testing time on the field of play. Today there are vast causes and avenues he can turn to –training abroad –well paid, and good, company and food –indeed the life of a professional footballer can be very happy during and after his playing days, if he keeps a balanced head and equally balanced bank sheet. I remember a boy from the north-east coast standing outside a London hotel one evening after we had played Charlton Athletic. He had been in senior football no more than two months. I asked him how he proposed to spend his evening and he replied “Pics sir,” “Good,” said I. Then to my horror I found him charter a taxi to take him –this athletic young man of 22 –a distance of 300 yards to –the pics- It is that habit of trying to live up to £12 a week or like a millionaire that eats up a player’s wages, I am not preaching economy; I am talking plain facts to the future footballer of this and other cities. Monday –Mighty names of a grand game.
EVERTON’S SECOND AWAY GOAL A STIMMLANT
February 19, 1949. The Liverpool Football Echo
It But New Life Into Lowly Preston
21-Minutes Scouring Burst
Preston 3, Everton 1
Preston; Gooch, goal; Brown (W.) and Walton, backs; Horton, Waters, and Robertson, half-backs; Finney, Beattie, Morrison, Knight, and Langton, forwards. Everton; Sagar (captain), goal; Saunders and Dugdale, backs; Farrell, Jones, and Lello, half-backs; Corr, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Briggs, Cheadle. Like Everton-Preston were out to called to some points in which they face in great need. A defeat to-day would put them in queer street, and it became known that Shankly, the captain could not play. He developed stomach trouble yesterday afternoon. His place was taken by the utility man, Horton. This was the only team change. Preston were interested in the reappearance of their former player Corr. It was a glorious afternoon, ideal for the game yet the crowd did not seem immense for there seemed to be many open spaces around the terraces.
Today Ted Sagar broke a record, It was his 400th League game for Everton. Just before the game started Sagar was presented with what looked like a clock from his colleagues. Almost in the first minute Everton broke through the North End defence and Eglington delivered a centre which Wainwright headed on to Corr, who without hesitation, tired a shot but his effort was blocked. Corr collected the rebound and slipped it inside to Wainwright who, although on the half-turn, hooked in a shot of direction but no power. Preston, through their right wing, worked their way down and eventually North End took a corner, but this did not lead to any great trouble.
Danger From Finney
There was much more danger in the next Preston move in which Finney was involved. After beating his man, the outside right closed in and delivered an angular shot which Sagar stopped at the foot of the post. For the next five minutes or so the Everton defence had to put in some solid work against an attack, which was full of determination and keen to have a shot, whenever an opening presented itself. That there were not many openings was due to the smart marking and positioned play of the Everton defenders. When Everton earned a free kick the ball seemed to be going safely to goalkeeper Gooch, but Wainwright appeared on their scene and actually headed the ball out of his hands. It was a narrow escape for Preston. So far there had been plenty of life in the game and good football ideas, and Preston on this showing did not look a bottom of the League side.
There was one occasion when the North End moved off in clockwork fashion, and it took them to within striking distance of the Everton defence. There were times when only desperate measures extricated Everton from difficulties. Corr was having quite a good innings against his old club. Well supported by Fielding he put the ball over very nicely for Eglington to make a header, which however, had no power behind it. The ball travelled a yard outside.
The Masters Touch
Sagar was showing that he had lost none of his skill throughout his long service with Everton and he made a brilliant save when Morrison was put through for what looked like a certain goal. The North End centre forward him the ball with all he had but Sagar brought off a masterly save. He could only push the ball out and it went back to Morrison, who tried again, but Sagar was there ready for such an emergency. The ball was too much in the air if anything but the game was fast and Fielding and Eglington were giving their wingers every opportunity to shine. One bit of combination, which was a joy to watch, broke down on the fringe of the penalty area. Taken all through there had been some well-conceived movements with the North End he more persistence side. Beattie was here, there and everywhere, but he found few open spaces and when he veered over to the left wing Saunders waited and dispossessed him. Finney was content to make the quick pass and from one of them Morrison hooked the ball outside –quite a nice effort. Brown pulled down Eglington as the flying Irish winger was making headway for goal. Lello, who took the free kick, put the ball right into Gooch’s hands. The Everton wing halves were giving full support to their attack with the ball on the turf. This was the big comparison with the North End halves, who were inclined to balloon the ball. There was one tense moment in the Everton goalmouth when Sagar had to save at the last second, and turned the ball out for a fruitless corner. If anything Everton were now the more impressive team. Wainwright from the inside left position, tried to hook the ball into the net instead of which he hooked it outside.
Half-time; Preston 0, Everton 0
After Langton had caught Jones, on one foot in the first minute of the second half he looked to be a certain goal-scorer, but Dugdale rushing across the goal got in the way of Langton’s shot to save a perilous position.
This Was It
Immediately after that Everton broke their spell by scoring their first away goal since they defeated Aston Villa on November 20, and if as due to one of the finest bits of opportunism it has been my pleasure to see. Horton failed to reach a ball which went to Catterick, who side-tapped it to allow Wainwright to come rushing up, and without any attempt to deaden the ball, he hit it into the net at terrific speed, with Gooch unable to do anything about it. This was at 50 minutes, and it appeared that Preston’s chances had trickled down to nothing, although Sagar had to punch away a long shot from Walton and turn over the bar a shot from Horton. Then came a quick turn in the events of the day. Langton won a corner and taking it himself, he landed the ball right in the Everton goalmouth which was chuttered up by Everton and North End players. Finney had also joined the throng and he got his head to the ball to score a really magnificent goal. That was at 58 minutes, and the spur of the goal showed itself in Preston’s following play, and five minutes later they scored again. It was a curious goal –at least the making if it was. Sagar ran out of his penalty area to challenge Finney, and from the resultant free kick, Finney and Sagar went up for the ball together, and it seemed to me that Finney’s header touched Sagar’s hands on routs to the back of the net. Three men went up for the ball together, Morrison being the other and Sagar seemed to be swung round. Jones appealed for something, but he got no hearing from the referee. From that time on, Preston dictated the course of the game, but Fielding made one long shot, which Gooch dealt with ably. The tonic effect of a goal or two had a great influence on the goal starved Preston, and in the main, the North End were generally on the attack with Everton defending hard. They had to do. Occasionally, Everton made a raid and once Brown impeded Gooch so badly that the goalkeeper lost possession of a ball he would most assuredly have taken with ease, but Preston were now on their mettle. The Everton defence was not so confident as hitherto so that at 77 minutes Knight was able to pop in a third goal, which put the Preston people in good feather. They might very easily have had a fourth when Finney beat Dugdale cut in and unleashed a very powerful short range shot which by some means did not go into the net. Everton had another escape when Sagar failed to field the ball which went trickling across the Everton goalmouth until Dugdale cut in and lashed it away. An interesting note is that Knight is the first North End inside forward to score a goal this season. Final; Preston 3, Everton 1.
• Newton YMCA 1, Everton “A” 1
SAGAR BEATS DEAN RECORD, 400 GAMES
February 19, 1949. The Evening Express
Captain For The Day, He, Sees Side Second Away Goal
Everton broke their four months non-scoring sequence away from home when Wainwright scored a great goal at the 50th minute of their match with Preston North End at Deepdale today. Two goals, both headed by Finney – one from a corner and one from a free kick –in the space of three minutes, however, enabled North End to dash into the lead. Preston’s wingers and Finney in particular brought about the transformation in a vital game as keen and thrilling as any cup-tie. Preston for half an hour played electrifying but were defied by Sagar and his co-defenders. But Everton gradually wore down the opposition by superior understanding and craft. North End were always enjoying more of the pressure and Gooch had an easy compared with Sagar. Everton’s defence became hesitant late on when Knight added a third goal. Everton took about 3,000 spectators by road and rail to see a match with a vital bearing on the relegation question. Billy Shankly, the Preston Scottish international half-back, was indisposed, and so Horton came into the team at half-back. Dugdale made his first appearance for Everton since the Manchester City up-tie, and Corr came in at outside right to play against his old colleagues. Preston; Gooch, goal; Brown (W.) and Walton, backs; Horton, Waters, and Robertson, half-backs; Finney, Beattie, Morrison, Knight, and Langton, forwards. Everton; Sagar (captain), goal; Saunders and Dugdale, backs; Farrell, Jones, and Lello, half-backs; Corr, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Briggs, Cheadle. Ted Sagar was given the captaincy for the day to celebrate his 400th Football League appearance to beat Dixie Dean’s record, and he won the toss, making North End face a strong end-to-end sun. Sagar was given a grand reception by friend and foe alike and before the kick-in a presentation was made to him on the field by his colleagues. Everton made the first thrust with Walton charging down a shot by Corr but Corr got the ball again to slip it inside for Wainwright to take first time shot which Gooch saved low down. This was intense football, and even the very atmosphere seemed electric as North End set out to take command of a game which they simply had to win in view of their position. The speed was breath-taking as Preston swept to the attack using the long ball to their wingers with remarkable accuracy and operating with a fluency belying their lowly position. Finney streaked through cleverly and cut inside to flash in a low-centre which had “goal” written all over it but Sagar celebrated with a daring dive into the ruck of players to emerge with the ball.
Everton Defence Firm
Everton for a spell found it difficult to get the ball away and the Everton defence stood firm with Lello and Jones in particular invariably there to deny rampant attackers. Saunders made a mistake in trying to beat Langton and the pass-back was called for by Sagar. Preston got a free kick but this was disposed of and away went Everton to almost take a goal through Wainwright. From Lello’s free kick Waters stood still and the quick-thinking Wainwright darted in head towards goal, Gooch being lucky to get his right hand to it and prevent a certainty. Everton were taking a long time to settle down against a defence not too convincing, Sagar became the hero when Morrison picked up a long pass and brought the ball back behind Jones to shoot hard with his left foot. Sagar got his body in the way, and the ball went back to Morrison who, still coming in at top pace, let go another shot which was speeding home when Sagar hurled himself across to put the ball around the post. The save was so good that Beattie the Preston inside-right ran up and shook Sagar by the hand. Wainwright tried a quick shot which went over the top, and then Brown was injured in holding the flying Eglington. Preston continued to call the tune, Robertson and Beattie having shots charged down before Beattie streaked through to flash a shot across the face of the goal. Everton were taking a long time to settle down but when Wainwright whisked across a glorious pass to Eglington whose first time shot flashed behind. Dugdale was getting the “hang” of Finney ad suddenly Fielding flashed into activity with some glorious dribbles which brought a lot of pressure but only one shot – from Fielding and this went over.
Morrison tried to surprise Jones with an overhead shot but it was well off the mark. It was not surprising that the speed had slackened in view of the hectic opening. Waters was dumbfounded by the presence of Wainwright and Catterick and Wainwright darted past him to a clear opening but the referee pulled him up for a doubtful foul. Sagar dived across to parry a quick shot by Morrison which was taken on the turn but Everton seemed quite content to allow North End to run themselves, out and sure enough from the 35th minute it was Everton who called the tune. Playing with greater method and less hurry. Wainwright dashed through at outside left to flash his shot just by the far post. Then Eglington and Fielding both almost got through, Fielding ending the half with a low shot which gave Gooch little trouble.
Half-time; Preston N.E. 0, Everton 0
Everton opened the score magnificently, using the ball well but they only rarely managed to get within striking distance. It seemed that Preston had run themselves out to a certain extent and in 50 minutes Everton scored a brilliant goal to end their non-scoring period away which has lasted since October 23, and which was their second away goal of the season. This was a grand effort with Catterick moving a little to the right, taking Waters with him, and then adroitly back-heeled the ball to the in-running Wainwright, in centre forward position. Wainwright running at top speed, flashed the ball low into the net with his right from 12 yards –a shot which never rose an inch. Everton tired hard to cash in on their success, but North End once again began to employ their raiding wingers, and when Langton got through at centre-forward Dugdale came across with a marvellous intervention. Finney raided and was looking like a scorer when Saunders raced over to deny him. In the 55th minute N.E. equaliser and in 58 minutes they were leading by goal. The transformation came from corner kicks. Finney was the scorer in each case, two headers. The first was from Langton’s corner with Finney hurling himself up over Morrison to head the ball home and then when Finney was breaking through Sagar came from goal and diving at the ball beyond the penalty area got Finney’s legs, so N.E. had a “short” corner. Finney went to the goalmouth leaving Horton to take the kick and with Morrison standing by the far post Finney managed to head the ball through as he was turning in the air. This was a shock for at the time of the turn-round Everton seemed to have the bame in their grip. Gooch saved a high up from Fielding and Sagar was there to save from Langton as N.E got on top again. In 78 minutes, Beattie broke through but failed to trap the ball which ran between his legs and with Jones slow to clear Knight jumped in gleefully to ram the ball home. Gooch saved a fine header by Wainwright before Finney went right through the defence to let go a mighty cross-shot which Sagar beat away magnificently. North End were now playing full of confidence, and it was only rarely that Everton managed to get away with an attack of potency. When Lello was menaced by Langton he pushed the ball back across goal but Sagar had come out and Dugdale had to dash in with a flying clearance to prevent Morrison from getting to work. Final; Preston North End 3, Everton 1.
EVERTON RES V STOKE RES
February 19, 1949. The Evening Express
Stoke City, who had to face a glaring sun, were on the defensive, Wilkinson bringing off good saves from Lewis and Powell. Stoke made a couple of breakaways but found Clinton and Moore two stout defenders. Mcllhatton and Pinchbeck provided an excellent wing, and it was only due to the good display by Wilkinson in the visitors goal that kept them from taking the lead. Half-time. Everton Res 0, Stoke Res 0. Full Time; Everton Res 1, Stoke Res 0.
AWAY GOAL NO.2 DID NOT COUNT
February 21, 1949. The Liverpool Daily Post
Preston N.E. 3, Everton 1
We have not seen the like of this Everton since November when Everton scored their first away goal at Aston Villa. More often than not recently, that goal would have produced two points for Everton have had quite a spate of goalless games. With North End languishing near the foot of the table, I went to Deepdale expecting victory. For more than half the game I was optimistic. Everton took the Preston strain in the first half hour without yielding and Preston looked anything but a bottom-of-the-league side. Not only did they play well they set a pace that was bewildering. Any faltering and this capable Preston would have run up a heap of goals. Three times Sagar made outstanding saves, and as time wore on it seemed that Preston had given up hope of breaking down the defence. They must have began to think “What do we have to do to beat Sagar?”
A Wainwright goal five minutes after the interval stupefied the North End and the elusive away win seemed in sight. The Everton defence have shouldered heavier burdens and come through unscratched and we naturally expected them to do it now. Then we saw the greatness of Finney. He stealthily moved into the goalmouth for a Langton corner, leaped high in the air to head a perfect goal, on which set Preston alive again. They geared themselves up to greater effort and five minutes later Sagar rushed outside the penalty area to bring down Finney who was clean through. From a free-kick taken by Horton, Finney’s head nodded a second goal. No one seemed clear as to who was the scorer, for Morrison also went up and who it was who applied the finishing touch still remains a mystery. Preston say Morrison; Sagar does not know. Others claim the ball was handled into the net. Goal it was, no matter who scored it. Preston got another through Knight who took advantage of a wavering defence; a defence which had in previously seemed goal-proof. Preston were riding the crest of the wave, and Sagar made another wonderful save from Finney –a great player and more effective than Matthews. Everton rarely had a look-in after Preston’s equaliser. They had to bring back their forces to check the North End who need not worry about relegation on such form. Wainwright’s goal was a fine opportunist one.
EVERTON RES 1, STOKE CITY RES 0
February 21, 1949. The Liverpool Daily Post
After having the better of the play throughout Everton ran out narrow winners by a penalty goal scored in the 85th minute by Clinton. Mcllhatton proved a capable right winger and had a good partner in Pinchbeck. Wilkinson did yeoman work in the Stoke goal and but for his brilliance Everton would have won by a better margin.
THREE FAMOUS FIGURES
February 21, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
McGregor, McKenna, Sutcliffe –Men Who Made the Game
Football –Official by W.C. Cuff
Let us give thanks to the fates that the great game of football had as its headstone men of sterling worth and football concern and interest. The Football League’s birth is one of the romanances of the game. It was born in Birmingham where a Pickwickian character named William McGregor conceived the notion that friendly football matches were all quite well in their own stolid way but a\ gathering of all the football clans could formulate a scheme whereby each them would tackle each rival, home and away, and then –here came his biggest golden thought for the day –a league could be created. Played, won, lost, drawn, goals for, goals against, points –just as simple as that. And from that day to the present every form of sport (except cricket, which could not enter the frame-work owing to abandoned in completed and drawn matches) had founded its meetings upon that excellent plan, and league for every manner of sport have been unable to add or take away from the McGregor plan which was the Football league plan.
It was a triumphant start to football’s gathering glamour. “Pa” McGregor (“Bee’s god-father in football) was a Scot of piercing eye, discerning brain and goodly proportion of build. He would have passed for a Scottish minister. He was, however, owner of the fent shop in the Midlands. Even in those far-off days some enthusiasts of play were found to be dogmatic –the type that cannot be wrong. To such, Mr. McGregor put on a scorned expression and made practical converts to a state of demureness. As for example the grandstand spectators who vowed. “That ball was over the line; it was a goal,” Mr. McGregor begged him join in ocular demonstration. The dogmatic one kept his grandstand seat while Mr. McGregor had a ball taken to the precincts of the goal-line and the ball was duty paced in six-different portions of the goal. “Mr. Dogma” making his “tic” from afar off. When the check had been completed it was found “Mr. Dogma” had been right but once in six times –which should e a lesson to all of us. Angles and distances are most deceptive, and angels and minsters should defend us from unauthorised refereeing tasks. McGregor was a picture of a president –the first gentleman of football. Second in command as leader of the League came J.I.B which initials were known the country over by reason of the newspaper life –he became the new outspoken, practical football reader and not only did he rule the newspaper lines of the Athletic News of fond memory, but he had association with a Manchester club, being its manager. A fine athletic figure of a man J. J. Bentley was the breeze which floated over football during his reign –a Bohemian a grand comrade, and a learned football man in every phase of the game.
Third on the list was “Honest John, John McKenna, of fond memory. Here was another brilliant personality, a man of large heart body and outlook on the sporting life of our players. He suspended a truly bad football player. For the third time this player’s enthusiasm had run away with him, and he came up for judgment. I can see him now – quite an inoffensive – looking footballer; on looks without vice on the field without a thought of the other fellow’s legs. The sentence of the Commission is that you are suspended for three moths thus President McKenna who added in his breaky attertone I want to see you afterwards, young man.” The player awaited the clearance of the room and then (so the player told me) Mr. McKenna took the player to his heart and told him of his folly, of the future of the possibility that next time he “would be out of the game for ever, d’ve understand me now? “ The player learned his lesson; all was well for ever more. Another typical action of “Honest John” was shown when he was being shaved. He had a horror of the then fashionable football habit of ready-money betting on three homes or three drawn games. He eyed the barber as he raised a coupon as the receptacle for the scraped-off soap. Three papers – Mr. McKenna’s eagle-eye noticed they were all betting papers. Rising to the height during the shave, he cross-examined the barber regarding his traffic in football coupons. “Oh, that,” said the barber “Oh, that’s nothing Mr. McKenna, I buy the surplus coupons not sent out by the bookmaker. Mr. McKenna sank into his chair. Another time for Mr. McKenna’s intervention arose when a Liverpool footballer of rousing style was sent off the field for striking an opponent. The revered Sir William Clegg was at the head of the Commission and was about to rest the footballer for six months, when Mr. McKenna spoke in defence. He claimed the offending player had been called an opprobrious name, which, to Liverpool people, is the greatest insult a man can suffer. He would not have been a Britisher if he had not retaliated. “I would have taken the same action in the same circumstances,” said Mr. McKenna. Case dismissed with a caution!
The fourth president was Mr. Charles E. Sutcliffe, of Rawtenstall –a man hated by many because he would not tolerate hypocrisy. He had been a referee for years, he had been a counsellor, and now as President he was the best brains the Football league ever had or could hope to have. Charles Sutcliffe was “nothing to look at” –he had neither height nor personality, but football owes him everlasting debt for his ability in helping football through its most difficult periods. He had learned to face difficulties. Did he not retire from a scolding football crowd at Sunderland attired as a Police constable – as forecast the same day by Bee, by a cartoon on the Lloyd George escapade at Birmingham Town Hall when he dodged bricks and tiles by attiring himself in a constable’s clothing. Yes, he same week Charles Sutcliffe borrowed Lloyd George’s cloak to escape personal injury. It was Charles Sutcliffe whose fertile brain created the fixture lists for the season –a most difficult task which everyone else thought –easy because they knew not that every fixture had to be clear from neighbouring opposition, if possible and when you had teams like Bolton, Blackburn, Bury, of Villa, Birmingham, West Bromwich and Wolves, the task of splitting the football atom asunder was anything but easy. Charles Sutcliffe managed it, and also managed to be the only authority of the game who foresaw the fiasco that was Wembley in the first Final tie issue. Charles Sutcliffe, in the columns of the Football Echo, wrote for months on end forecasting he debacle. He warned and was unheard or unnoticed. He advised that football authorities should take control of the gate. His words fell on stony ground, and everyone knows how near the first Wembley final was to being abandoned. It crept to its 90th minute with every regulation football knows being broken. The crowds encroached the touchline till one could not see whether a ball was in play or out of play. Some of the players believed the game was being played as a friendly to prevent a riot. West Ham’s captain, the present manager of Liverpool F.C (Mr. George Kay), did not see one goal scored against his side –he was busy picking himself out of the crowd into which he had plunged in one of his desperate efforts. He heard the shout, he knew the worst, but he saw nought. Yes, Charles Sutcliffe was the greatest President –the brains-behind the movements of pay, players control and creation. And this is where I came in as President, very happy to be in line with great men of a great game. I was deeply conscious of the honour conferred on me and, of course, on my club, Everton F.C.
Tomorrow –Memorable Games.
February 21, 1949, The Liverpool Echo
Preston North End will not be relegated. I am convinced of that after watching them defeat Everton at Deepdale. Such football as they produced must have its reward. I am fully aware that they are in a tough spot, at the moment and that it will take a good pull to take them to a safe area, but the players are there to bring it about. The North End have been one of the spenders of the season, and it has so far got them nowhere except a lowly position in the table (writes Stork). With players like Finney, Langton, Beattie, Morrison and Knight in their attack goals should be automatic if they will only get together and not work as individuals. It is team work and not units which make a successful side, and Finney and company must remember this. They got together against Everton with disastrous results to thee Goodison men, whose defence has never been so harden and ripen apart as it was at Deepdale. For half an hour the North End looked like League champions with their smart combination and terrific speed, and had it not been for Sagar (presented with a plaque by the supporters on the occasion of his 400th League appearance) they must have been three goals up in no time. Preston will not meet many goalkeepers of the Sagar calibre. He nearly broke their hearts, so much so that they lost almost everything that had made them such a menace. I honestly thought that Everton were going to win at half-time, for Preston seemed to have snuffed out, given it up as a bad job. Preston followers had similar thoughts, particularly when Wainwright scored with a brilliant shot five minutes after the break.” We had begun to look upon the Everton defence as impregnable. Preston soon proved that no defence is invulnerable if the right tactics are employed –united action. A defence which had worked wonders in the first hail began to waver; lost its well-knit formation and Finney was able to score with a brilliant header from Langton’s corner kick. That did it. Preston found they could lift what they must have formerly considered an iron curtain, and two further goals followed. Everton raids were few and far between. It was a case of all hands to the defensive wheel. When Sagar gave away a free kick outside his penalty line. Horton put the ball close in to goal. Finney, Morrison and Sagar went up for it together and who ultimately put the ball into the net is still a mystery, although Preston credited it to Morrison. I thought it was Finney so did most others. The Sagar couldn’t tell me but he did say he was pushed when he went up for the ball, and so was Jones, who appealed against the goal, but went unheard. Knight added the third goal to complete a convincing victory. Everton had played really well in the first half, some of their combination being excellent even though it had no finish. As a matter of fact it was an attractive “45”. The second session belonged to Preston apart from Wainwright’s great shot. What an opportunist he is. Catterick had apart in it for he “placed” the ball so that Wainwright could run on to it and drive it with power into the North End net.
FORWARD PROBLEMS REMAIN
February 21, 1949. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton’s first League defeat of 1949 came just at the wrong time, for all the other lowly clubs, with the exception of Middlesbrough, won I thought during the middle period of the game at Deepdale that the Toffees were going to win, and confidence increased when Wainwright scored such a mighty goal. Yet the magic of the North End wingers, and Langton, and surprising hesitancy on the part of the Everton defence eventually enabled North End, by 3-1 to take much of the gilt of Ted Sagar’s celebration day. Make no mistake about it, North End playing like an inspired team well deserved their win, in fact had it not been for Sagar they would have had it all tied up before half-time. So great was this prince among contemporary goalkeepers that even Bobby Beattie, the Preston forward had to shake Ted by the hand after one sensational save. Finney was a delight and a constant head-ache to Dugdale, while Langton’s trickeries did not make it a really happy happy game for Saunders. For once, Tommy Jones missed his way as witness the fact that one of the best defences in the land conceded three goals. Tommy was feeling the after-effects of influenza for he was slow and unenterprising. Lello was managnificent in-every respect –a fine half-back discovery is Cyril – while Farrell had another good day. Wainwright and Fielding were the forwards who so often had the not-over-confident North End defenders running the wrong way, and they were the only attackers who were consistent in “having a go.” I think Fielding might have celebrated at the ground on which he made his debut for Everton had he not been quite so unselfish, Catterick’s cute back heel for the goal was the highlight, while a word for Tommy Eglington for coming back to help subdue Finney at times in the first half. Corr had an indifferent day. Later Finney could not be held and he headed two goals before Knight got a third. Finney’s second actually went in off Morrison, who could not, however, take credit for it, for the ball struck him. It was a pity that the Everton defence should have struck a below-par day once a lead had been accrued, but ...the non-scoring bogey in away games has been broken.
MOST MEMORABLE GAME
February 22, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Football –Official by W.C. Cuff
So many exciting games have been played in our city, and by our clubs that it is rather difficult to leave out any of them, but I feel I must name two which stand out in the memory as classics. The first was not so very long ago, and is common property to the talking football fan, of which here are millions. Need I say that I refer to Everton’s Cup-tie victory over Sunderland, 6-4. The score was as uncommon as 5-5 draw at Sheffield Wednesday’s ground. It was an odd flighty figure – 6 to 4, more like a racing shout from Tatterall’s than a final score. But there was much more behind this score. To begin with; Drawn at Sunderland, we managed to make a draw, and strangest feature of this beginning was that both sides felt the referee had been unsatisfactory, and maybe unsatisfying. For both sides to decry a referee was uncommonly interesting. The F.A. granted both clubs’ request and appointed Referee Pinkston to hold the reins of the replayed tie.
Now Admirable Beattie keeps the Everton door against all comers, and Pinkston’s father used to keep Aston Villa’s main door –directors of the Villa club would find it difficult to pass by his portals if they had forgotten their tickets. Players and Pressman he just swept away with a withering demand. “Show me your ticket.” Even when “Bee” had a gilt-edged invitation card from Villa to see one game, the police refused to allow gates to be opened and Pinkston heard him not – and he failed to see the game. This 6-4 replay at Everton came upon a dirty day. Sunderland sent their mascots and their men and woman. In the stands they had draped their colours over the grand-stand seats. It was a day when anything could happen, when no goal might be scored, when someone might be sent off –no, not that, because every player knew as he stepped on to the field that Pinkston would tolerate no nonsense, no word, no arguments. The setting of the game, is well known, but it must be recalled that Everton leading 3-2 saw, to their horror, Bob Gurney, the Sunderland centre forward, kick the ball over his head into the goal for an equaliser -3-3! The last kick of the 90th minute. Gurney did not see the ball enter the net, and mention was made in the papers that he was the only one who didn’t see it, only to find complaint that the statement was not quite right – there were five blind spectators at the ground” They too, had not seen the goal scored.
It was at the 90th minute that the drama found its laughing parade. The players awaited their trainers for the sponge, the lemons, the drinks. Pinkston turned them straight round, but before he could restart the game he found a diminutive man on the field of play, which is all against the rules. Pinkston eyed this man (half his massive height) and demanded to know” What do you mean by coming on to this field of play?” The little man replied; “I’m the manager.” Pinkston flew flurried words at him; “I don’t care if you’re the manager of the best team in the world. “He had not time to finish his “sentence” when the little man replied, “But I am I am, I Yam!” That manager went home with a 6 to 4 verdict against his side in one of the greatest and most exciting games of my lifetime. The goal thrill was as nothing to the thrill of the completely upturning state of the game, the continual cut and thrust, the certainty followed by the uncertainty that came into everyone’s mind. A roaring Cup-tie with a homely win and homely touch of laughter from the little man from Sunderland.
Quite the most unexpected debacle occurred in another Cup-tie in which Everton were engaged. It was played at Bolton, and time was passing at all too furious a rate when Bolton took the lead. Bolton spectators leapt the fences, acclaimed the scorer and the rest of the team. Bolton players imagined the goal had ended Everton’s Cup run. They showed not a thought for the remaining moments. While they were actually still in the act of shouting their hurrahs and kissing the goal-scorer, Harry Makepeace passed the ball to Jack Sharp, who skipped off to the top right-hand corner of the field before planting a perfection centre for Jimmy Settle to shoot into the goal – 1 all. Bolton could not believe their eyes. They had not finished their amours, and a goal had been scored against them without a single Bolton player touching the ball from the time they had planted their leading goal. It was the quaintest of anti-climates, and when Bolton came to Goodison Park to replay the tie one could sense they had no heart to push their Cup boat to success. Indeed it was a hollow victory for Everton, who later on proceeded to sign a famous Bolton player. Now the transfer world makes strange bedfellows. In the original tie, Everton players had been very cross about this Bolton pivot for his methods. They did not hide their complaints. Yet within a week or ten days the signing had been made and Clifford became “one of us.” I often wonder what some of the older members of our team said when they were introduced to “the new comrade.” One of the difficulties of a new signing is that he oft-times meets the man he has dispossessed. In that connection, Joe Clennell went up to Frank Bradshaw to offer sympathy not knowing that Bradshaw had not been told of his signing or of Bradshaw’s dropping out of the team. The first kick Joe Clennell got at the ball was a goal – isn’t that a record? I imagine it must be. Tomorrow – “Dixie” Dean’s record and Sam Chedgzoy’ £2 corner-kick.
“DIXIE” – A GREAT SCENE
February 23, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
When Sam Chedgzoy Got £2 For A Famous Corner Kick
Football -Official by W.C. Cuff
Pagliacci sing that. The story he tells you is true. I think of his statement when I am shown a Sunday newspaper detailing Soccer history and making remarkable claims concerning Everton F.C. Let me show the remarks made concerning the man with a name like a sneeze, otherwise Sam Chedgzoy. This is an illustration of Everton players putting brains into their play. When the football law, makers altered the rules to allow a goal to be scored direct from a corner kick, they forgot to reinsert the clause which prevented the man who took the corner playing the ball twice. Chedgzoy spotted this omission and forthwith set thousands of pairs of eyes jumping out of their heads by dribbling the ball goalwards from the flag. The referee told Sam he couldn’t do it. Sam said he could, and at half-time showed him the rule book. The law-makers had a special meeting to remedy the defect. In the cause of Everton and football history, may I be allowed to tell just what did happen, and readers can make their own decision concerning Chedgzoy’s case. The rule had been altered, and undoubtedly the omission of a comma altered this whole rule. This created in “Bee’s” mind a notion that a corner-kick taker could dribble the ball inward, taking two or more kicks at the ball. So he asked Donald McKinlay if he would test it out in a game.
McKinlay agreed at first, but began to fear his manager directors or that the public might not feel he was playing the game. He dropped out of the experiment. “Bee’ then offered the fee (£2) to Chedgzoy with but one proviso –“get the corner in the first 20 minutes if possible as I want to feed my newspaper clients around the country with the full story, and if it arrives after then the wires I send will not reach London, Manchester, Preston, aye, every big town, in time for publication.” The scene of action now concerns the goalmouth at the Park end. Everton kicking towards Stanley Park and Chedgzoy handing on to the ball to try to force an early corner kick. It was the funniest interlude for years. He crowd shouted to Chedgzoy; “Centre, Centre” But Sam Chedgzoy wanted a full back to come near enough to force the ball on to his legs for a corner kick. Raid followed raid, but Chedgzoy could not quite get the rebound he had been trying to force on a full back. The crowd meantime got waxer and yelled instruction what he should do with the ball. Eventually the corner arrived and Chedgzoy took it as arranged by “Bee.” Dribbling in, he glanced upward to see if the referee was objecting and found he was not objecting – the referee had studied his rules and knew Chedgzoy was not breaking the rule.
Dressing Rule Scene
So much for Everton “history,” as purveyed by a London writer, and the facts of the case as herein provided. Far from Chedgzoy showing the rules to the referee at half-time, I can give you the curious facts of the interval. “Bee” had asked permission to “ see Chedgzoy for three seconds at half-time.” I had granted that entry into what is always a sacred room, and “Bee,” having paid the two pound fee to Chedgzoy, and said, “Thanks for the fun” ran into a cross-examination on the part of an official who demanded to know “What right have you in there?” which only serves to show some of the difficulties football directors and Press writes suffer.
Dean’s Sixtieth Goal.
In similar vein a London scribe once went into panegyric concerning the scene of years before when William Dean scored his sixtieth goal. The writer went to great pains to paint an alluring picture of the record breaker playing against Arsenal, needing three goals to complete the smashing of Camsell’s total of 59 goals. All would have been well but the writer went on to explain that thousands of Liverpool people lined Lime Street Station to welcome Dean “back from the Arsenal ground with his record 60.” As the game was played at Everton, this comment made some journeys quite unnecessary. Dean’s 60th goal was one of the outstanding joys of any Evertonian’s life. The conclusion of the game was quite the most pantomimical of my memory. Picture the situation, Arsenal, then famous and in the Chapman grip. The last game of the season. A sunny day, ball lively, ground dry and dustyish. Charles Buchan – quite the outstanding personality of play at that date – is playing his last game before entering into journalism ad broadcasting. Nearly 70,000 people have gone there to a see a personal triumph. But three goals when needed and when wanted are surely too much to expect. Players don’t deliver goals to order, and although every player on the Everton side was prepared to hand the ball to Dean on a golden plate, the match did not travel quite like that.
How Time Weighted!
Dean having got one goal from a penalty –how he rushed up to take that spot-kick awarded by the referee from Worcester, as if anyone else had dared to think of taking the penalty kick –Two goals to Dean and still the task appears abundantly impossible. Arsenal would not give him a goal, they didn’t want it to be said. “Dean scored three against Arsenal and thus broke the world record.” Time passed on. One felt like asking the referee tom order extra time if need be! Finally the chance came, and Dean having worked more solo than in any other match in his life, had hardly the strength left in his worn-out body and limbs to take the chance. GOAL! Dean had done it by head, by foot, by the aid of the Troups –meaning all his comrades for they all helped him to his fantastic record of 60 goals in a season. That was the signal for the pantomime dames and gentry to take up their stance. The crowd raced on to the field of play; the game appeared as if it could never be restarted. Players leapt to the air. Dean’s mother, seated in the Press box upstairs. Had prayed at the 70th minute that her only son should be granted “just one more chance.” Many must have felt demented at the joy of their hero making a goal-drop that may stand for all football’s history. There were some minutes left to complete this league game. No one cared a brass farthing. The ball? Anyone could have it. Play had stopped to all intents and purposes, and Arsenal players were so bewildered by the brake on the game that they did not take advantage of the chance of winning –they joined in the processes of wasting the moments. Arsenal could have had goals galore in the last ten minutes; no one would have worried if they had taken them. The score, officially 3-3; the score in all Everton’s eyes Dean 60. This was Dean in his heyday acclaimed the best centre forward of the seasons. In heading ability I doubt if anyone could be anywhere near him, because he had the lost art of adding pace to the ball when heading it, and his capacity for turning the ball from his curly locks was monumental. Goalkeepers have told me they would have bet pounds he could not head the ball beyond them “at that angle” but instead they found he placed the ball better with his head than many moderns place the ball with their boots. William Ralph Dean was a drawing card and a fascinating footballer. He helped Everton come out of the Second Division –first offence m’lud –in one session, and everywhere the old club went they recorded the greatest crowds of their history.
Tomorrow –The Fallen Stars.
THE FALLEN STARS
February 24, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
The Signing –On Season Can Bring Many Heartbreaks
Football –Official by W.C. Cuff
Scenes in football domains are his First Division course, but they very rare, and it is good to think offer a handsome wage and a the game has continued its age-old reign with but few outrageous incidents to mar and bring it into disrepute. But in dealing with a collection of all types of footballers, a manager and a club can find their paths are prickly. Signing-on time is far more difficult than signing-off time. The club surveys its wealth of talent, the aging player of loyal service, the young fellow who has perhaps got the big for his boots and needs a sharp reminder –all these things are considered when signing-on becomes necessary. So biting can this become that some players have taken more than umbrage to their hearts when they found themselves “not wanted for next season. I know one rascally and riotously hard footballer who took a gun with him when he heard he was not to be engaged, and the manager was naturally in a shocking state of nerves when he found his bundle of mischief threatening him. Another manager has been known to hide his big bushel under the office table as a disappointed footballer entered to make protest by means of his physical strength and his fistic facility.
Football’s traditional ending in early May can cause much unhappiness to players who are married, and who have not made the grade. Yet to-day, more than ever before in the game’s history, the outlet for the unwanted player of First or Second Division standing is greater, and the number of minor clubs ready to take a nameplate and field him with their lowly side is quite phenomenal. At this moment I know of a team anxious to sign a very well-known and well-behaved star forward, who, to my mind, has not nearly completed his First Division course, but they offer a handsome wage and a percentage of gate receipts if he will take over the club, manage the boys, makes public appeal for increased support &c.
In the old days the sacked footballer was not wanted. He drifted out of the game in less than a year. To-day we have an army of coaches and guildes aiding the Dutch footballers learn our way of “playing the game.” This city has provided these men to the ranks of Holland’s sport. Tiny Bradshaw, Jess Carver (now at Millwall) Duke Hamilton (now in Canada) Savage, ex-Liverpool and Wrexham; Crooke, of Blackburn Rovers; and many others –all through a famous old player Jack Reynolds, taking up coaching in the country 30 years ago. He has retired from coaching and has been given the most sumpious benefit fees one could imagine. There is no more pitable sight than the former star footballer languishing around the entrances of the clubs begging a ticket, and seeking whip-rounds among the pros inside the dressing room. Some look disgraceful, and the present day player, with all the best will and sportsmanship of his heart is troubled to think of a star player reaching such depths. The cause of the fall? Living beyond their means, thinking they could cheat nature and play till they were 45, and living like a Rockefeller without thought of the day when his living became dying his football wares unwanted. The public to-day, I find, are not at all slow to recognise that footballers are well paid for their labours.
Where Such Benefits?
Confessing that their profession is a difficult one, a short life, a merry one with “no future,” I am inclined to ask where else could anyone get better treatment, better wages, more prospectively good chances, more concern by his employers. Before the war, football clubs in many divisions had reached a low level of finance. The outlook was appalling for many of them. Players called for increased rates –the very few clubs that could pay had to agree with those how were unable to pay advances. The boom of football since the war has been a godsend to many, many clubs, who must be warned that to sink back to their spend-thrift way is courting renewed trouble. Every ground in the country has need of extensive alterations improvements, replacements and renovations –these will cost a fabulous figure when the permit of the Board of Trade arrives. For the benefit and for the sake of their public they must give earnest attention to all football ground buildings, which have been untouched for over ten years – paint, rebuilding, strengthening, girders – every feature to satisfy the authorities must be included, and the out-going for these alterations will be enormous. So long as football continues to be entertaining, so long will the crowd roll up to club doors. The moment the slump sets in and football becomes points alone and thus pointless to the public, clubs will feel the severity of the winter of their discontent.
Tomorrow =Famous Referees.
REFEREE CHEERED LIKE A CENTURY-MAKER!
February 25, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Famous Men With The Whistle –And The Blackboard Expert
Football –Official by W.C. Cuff
I desire to put on record my belief that the referees of to-day are as competent as they ever were. Crowds may bellow their charge against a supposedly blind referee, but worked on the triangular basis that obtains today, I state my position belief that the control of play today is in excellent hands. Of course, there will be errors of judgement; of course there will be malcontents who vow they have been “robbed” by the referee. But it is well to remember the referees have passed a searching test and have been schooled in the business of reading football law. Many of their detractors, yes, even in a boardroom, have never even taken the trouble to read the rules of the game, yet imagine they are entitled to sit in judgement against those who have passed with honours in an examination and through the school experience of small large and larger matches.
Not A Test
I had the notion that two referees would be helpful to the sound control of play, and we had a game at West Bromwich Albion’s ground to test out this unusual theme. It was voted unsuccessful, albeit it was hardly a suitable occasion for the test, and a stern League game would have been a better grounding for the experiment. No one can deny that the game today has speeded up to almost limitless pace, and a referee who can keep time with professional footballer and their dashing raids from goal to goal must be an Olympic Marathon entrant. It is not possible to keep pace with the flow of the fastest games, and I felt, and still believe, that one official in either half can allow the referees a passenge of waiting time in which to recover their breaths and that ensures them being “on the spot,” no matter at which end the goal incidents arise. The project was not carried forward, and today the Trinitarians who work diagonally, with sound linesmen as liaison officials for corner kicks –one referee in one half of the field only –have framed the field in such a way that nothing should be missed.
At a corner kick the linesman is instructed to make inroad toward the goal to witness the close-goal incidents, and having assured that one linesman shall be in one half of the field, but parallel line for off-side verdict must be brought to a minimum if the linesman does the elementary thing –namely, keep alongside the game. Many think referees should never be seen out of their own private dressing-room, except on the field of play. The authorities of the game are set against referee courting officialdom or “taking wine with the home team!” I know of one official who is chairman of the club, an admirable fellow, but when I see him taking a tray of tea to the referee’s room at half-time I feel he is going beyond his duties, and it is not wise to “walk that way.” We have heard of referees who found a mysterious liquidity bottle in the dressing-room, when they stooped to tie their boot-laces. A referee must be free from all innuendoes and should not be made welcome in the boardroom. It may be, it is fact too, that in the older days of the game the referees had more personality than to-day’s referees. You could not mistake a Pinkston, or a Howcroft –be capped and raising his cap to the applause of the crowd who may have been applauding their team favourites, but at any rate Jack Howcroft strode his great lengths to the middle of the field, and raised his cap like a century-maker returning to the pavilion after scoring his hundred. You couldn’t mistake the kingpin of them all, James Mason, of Stoke, still alive, a lithe, tall figure who never had any complaints from any clubs – a masterly referring mind or a John Lewis, a Sutcliffe or a Barker, and later Tom Crew, Sir Stanley Rous &c. Today the referees is not known by his personally –one follower of the game says “We used to recognise the referee forthwith; today we look at our programme –they have become standardised in dress and we know them not at first sight.” Staffordshire, as a country, produced more class referees than any other county in the country – though why that should be the case no one can tell. In former days schoolmasters used to take on the ticklish task, and I recall one of their number in our area being to rattled by a player’s derogatory remark that he struck him –and he refereed no more. Another, in the Midlands, would be out every night of the week giving his famous blackboard lecture on the rules of football to those, who desired to become referees. Now this man, Jack Adams was be whiskered, as was the fashion of his day, and on the board, with his scholarly talk, he created many good officials for the game. But on the field of play this born orator and knowledgeable football referee could not put into practise the themes he had propounded which proves that referees are born not black boarded.
Sweetly Does It
Jack Howcroft, of Bolton, had some tough lads to deal with, and carried a packet of sweets (unrationed; price probably one penny per ounce), so that whenever a player committed an offence Jack refused to make a display of his caution. He would sidle up to the player, give him a sweet to suck, and say, “That’s the end of your rough stuff, d’ye understand? And the player always agreed with him. Considering the number of games played every Saturday it is a remarkable tribute to the controlling by referees, linesmen, club officials and the Football League authorities that there should be so few scenes on the football grounds –so few outbursts of violence. There are fewer men sent off, the field in 1949 than ever before in the history of the game. One doesn’t forget cases in our own city of three players leaving in one match –not a pretty thought, for the reading public and a crashing blow to the spirit of football. Today the game is faster, today the game is cleaner, today the game is better refereed than ever before, and ordering-off cases are virtually halved-which is a lasting credit to the players. After all, they are all in this game to earn their living, and it strikes me as odd that anyone should sacrifice his living by a suspension and/or fine for endangering the life of a fellow-artist, for that is what he is, and the Players Union badge shows “hands grasped” – which doesn’t mean a boxing clinch. Tomorrow –Tommy Jones.
BLUES NEED BOTH POINTS
February 25, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
Powell and Higgins Recalled
While national interest tomorrow will mainly centre in the sixth round F.A. Cup-ties, the Everton-Burnley game at Goodison Park, which is our chief concern, is frought with vital consequences for the Goodison Park side. Normally, Everton’s form over the last three months, which has brought them 18 points from 15 games, would have been good enough to relieve all anxiety regarding relegation. Unfortunately for them, the clubs lower down the table have also been gathering an improved percentage of points, so that while Everton’s position is much happier than it was, they cannot yet be regarded as completely out of danger. Against Burnley they look to have a good chance of taking both points, for the Turf Moor side has won only one away match this season –against Preston North End, and hardly seems to have a sufficiently penetrative attack to overcome Everton’s stout defence. As I have so often remarked before the crux of the position rests in the hands –or feet –of Everton’s forwards. The defence has done its part manfully since it has regained its confidence after the succession of “nap hands” in the early part of the season. Greater forcefulness in front of goal is still an obvious Goodison need. Everton make two changes compared with last week, Powell coming in for Corr and Higgins for Catterick. Tomorrow’s match has another point of special interest. It is Ted Sagar’s first home outing since he beat Dixie Dean’s record of 399 football League appearances for the Blues. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Powell, Wainwright, Higgins, Fielding, Eglington. Burnley; Strong; Loughan, Mather; Attwell, Cummings, Bray; Chew, Morris, Harrison, Potts, Hays.
EVERTON BID FOR NINTH HOME WIN
February 25, 1949. The Evening Express
Burnley Hope Of Double’
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton make a bid for their ninth home win of the season when Burnley visit Goodison Park tomorrow, seeking their second away win of the season and a “double” at the expenses of the Blues. Everton have had a great run of success at Goodison since losing by the only goal to Derby away back in October, and have been defeated, while the goals against have been so few and far between that it is high tribute to a great defence. Everton suffered their first League defeat of 1949 when they went down 301 at Preston last week, and a pointer to tomorrow’s game is that Burnley’s only away success this term was at Deepdale – by 3-0. Burnley bring the side which defeated Chelsea 3-0 last week, and every player in the team was with the club during the days Manager Cliff Britton was in charge at Turf Moor. These include Mr. Britton’s war-time discoveries –Cummings and Harrison. Everton have made two changes Billy Higgins being recalled to lead the forwards in place of Catterick for his first game with the seniors since being injured in the cup-tie with Manchester City, and Welsh international Aubrey Powell being at outside-right for Corr, Higgins at centre forward has not been on the losing side this season. There is a doubt about George Saunders, who has suffered a sad bereavement in the lost of his younger brother in a motoring accident. We all hope this grand work will be able to play. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Powell, Wainwright, Higgins, Fielding, Eglington. Burnley; Strong; Loughan, Mather; Attwell, Cummings, Bray; Chew, Morris, Harrison, Potts, Hays.
• Everton “B” v. Aintree S.S at Bellefield
EGLINGTON SCORERS TWO GREAT GOALS
February 26, 1949. The Evening Express
Everton 800th Football League Victory
Clinton Shapes Well When Making His League Debut With Blues
Dixie Dean Congratulates Ted Sagar On Appearance Record
A grand first half double Tommy Eglington placed Everton on the way to victory over Burnley at Goodison Park today and on to their 800th Football league victory. Everton were the better side in the first half, but seemed upset later on when Burnley reduced the lead from a penalty. Clinton, the young Irishman, was called on to make his football League debut at the last minute, as Saunders following a family bereavement did not feel up to playing, and he did splendidly, playing with a coolness and effectiveness which stamped him as a player of the future. Everton’s new tactics with the wingers repeatedly coming inside proved a winner in a game having many dull patches and in which Lello once again emphasised what a great half-back discovery he is. Clinton, Everton’s young Irish defender made his Football League debut when he played at right back. He took the place of Saunders, who did not feel up to playing, following the loss of his young brother in a motoring accident last week-end. Clinton’s only game with the first team was in the Lancashire Senior cup. Everton were seeking their 800th Football league win and brought back Higgins and Powell to the attack. Ted Sagar was again captain for the day, so that the spectators could pay tribute to him on his 401st appearance, which has beaten the record of Dixie Dean, who came along especially today to join in the celebrations. Everton; Sagar (captain), goal; Clinton and Dugdale, backs; Farrell, Jones and Lello, half-backs; Powell, Wainwright, Higgins, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Burnley; Strong, goal; Loughan and Mather, backs; Attwell, Cummings, and Bray, half-backs; Chew, Morris, Harrison and Hays, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Houston (Blackpool). Some sloppy defence on the part of Everton in a quiet opening fortunately for them brought no pressure to bear on Sagar. Then Farrell and Fielding got Eglington away and he slipped the ball forward for the enterprising Higgins at outside left. Higgins’ centre was a good one but Cummings just beat Wainwright to it. Jones; lobbed a free kick accurately to the goalmouth for Wainwright to try a header which Strong saved on the bounce. Everton won a corner by the intelligent use of Farrell’s throw-in and Powell placed it well, but Eglington had gone a little too far in and Strong was able to clear.
Everton were playing lovely football, the ball always on the floor, and they took the lead in six minutes through Eglington, who leapt high to celebrate that it was with his “notorious” right foot. Fielding, Farrell, and Lello laid the foundations, and eventually Fielding slipped the ball to Wainwright, who dashed forward and with the ball running away from him, got it across to the goalmouth, where Eglington coolly brought it down to his liking and then placed it low with his right foot almost between Higgins’ legs into the net. Higgins might have been touched the ball as it passed, but that was all. Everton tried to make it two with some more good football but eventually Burnley settled down, and Lello had to dash across to kick away from Morris. Burnley kept it up with some precise passing, Morris pulling the ball back to give Potts a chance to shoot but he was off the mark. We had a comic moment when Chew centred dangerously, Harrison and Sagar went for the ball together and Sagar fisted away for Farrell to complete the clearance. Sagar lost his cap, which he quickly retrieved, but Harrison lost his jersey, which was ripped over the right shoulder and only remained on by the left arm. We waited some minutes for a spare jersey to be brought and then it was without a number. When Harrison was stripped to his torso wags in the crowd did not forget the popular “Woof” whistle. Burnley forced two corners, and from the first Sagar had to save high up off Morris. Two more corners came Burnley’s way, and they continued to dictate the game, thanks to the dominance of their half-backs, Strong for a long spell merely watching the game. Everton’s backs are certainly getting in the wars” these days, after Dugdale carried in after a heavy fall, Clinton damaged his back in a collision with Harrison. After a dull period Everton sprang to life with their latest and certainly potent tactic. Eglington and Fielding had been changing places to the bewilderment of Loughan and Eglington moved to centre-forward to take a low square pass, first time, with his left foot. Strong dived but the shot was too hot to hold, and it bounced yards from him, but was no one up to do the necessary. Chew, Burnley’s leading goalscorer, tried to pull out a surprise one when like Eglington, he cut inside with a right foot shot which skimmed inches over.
Everton were two up in 30 minutes with a really glorious goal by Eglington –a shot which would have beaten two goalkeepers, let alone one. Higgins and Eglington did the work between them, for Eglington again came inside to a perfect position to pick up the cute headed pass which Higgins nodded back to completely outwit Cummings. Eglington was moving at speed just inside the penalty area and he cracked the ball home with his left foot, Strong to his credit, just managed to get his fingers to it, but that was all. Harrison was in the “wars” again after a heavy tackle with Clinton but he was able to carry on, limping. Everton were showing the better ideas, and Fielding once almost went through on his own, only to find that the referee did not “fall” for it when he tried to gain a close-up free kick. Dugdale ran through to beat Attwell but he was brought down and for the second time had to receive the attentions of Trainer Cooke. Powell was beating Bray by sheer persistence, but he was fouled and Jones placed the free kick for Wainwright to head outside. Higgins went to outside-left and middle the ball and Strong had to dive forward to hold it. The referee blew so loudly for off-side against Potts that everyone thought it was half time. Before the free kick could be taken half time was signalled, and the pigeons were released, but play till went on Sagar picking up a low shot from Morris.
Half-time; Everton 2, Burnley nil.
Right from the restart Eglington almost completed his hat-trick, a mighty catch by strong defying him, Wainwright dashed away at outside right to beat Bray and Mather by sheer speed and flashed the ball in from the goal-line. Eglington ran in to meet the ball and his header was speeding home when Strong clutched it in mid-air practically on the goal-line.
Harrison caused more than a spot of brother by his roaming to the right, but Burnley failed completely to crown their attacking efforts with effective shots. Eglington enabled Powell to come in for a shot which Strong caught well. Lello was magnificent, being not only strong in the tackle and in clearances, but in his accurate use of the ball. In 58 minutes Burnley were awarded a penalty, from which Attwell reduced the lead. Harrison and Lello were chasing a ball which looked to be passing outside when Lello just touched Harrison’s foot and the referee unhesitatingly awarded a penalty, Attwell’s shot being placed well out of Sagar’s reach. This brought Burnley back into the game with every chance, but it was Everton who took up the running, without being able to get into shooting position. Burnley came away again, and Chew should have equalised when he ran in to meet Pott’s centre, but his shot well beyond the far post. Burnley seemed to take a grip of the game with Everton rather jittery, and Jones was thankful to concede a corner from which Morris headed over. Everton found it hard to shake off the grip of Burnley’s splendid half-backs, and even when Cummings miskicked, Eglington just could not get the ball back. Lello saved a certainty when he nipped across to boot the ball away from the feet of Morris. Everton had certainly fallen away, losing much of their first-half rhythm and the defence stood still when Morris slipped through on his own, and although challenged, Morris managed to get in his shot, which was passing wide of Sagar when Ted got to it with hand and foot. Clinton fell in trying to clear, and this let in Hays, who seemed certain to score until he was forced over the line, and Sagar booted the ball into the crowd. Eglington had a half chance, but this time got too far under the ball as he took his quick shot. Eglington almost got his hat-trick with a fine right foot shot which Strong save at full length. Then came a characteristic Wainwright effort when he burst through at speed and cracked a terrific shot against the face of the bar. Burnley came away for Sagar to fist away from a corner, and Dugdale injured himself in collision with the upright. Burnley tried to maintain the attack, but the referee held up play because of the injury to Dugdale, and Burnley were a bit upset when, after Chew had run the ball into the net, it did not count. Final; Everton 2, Burnley 1. Official attendance; 34,568.
BURNLEY RES V EVERTON RES
February 26, 1949. The Evening Express
Everton, keeping the ball on the ground, opened with clever football and Catterick led his line with effect; but after 14 minutes Bellingham scored for Burnley. McLaren added another from a corner. Half-time; Burnley Res 2, Everton Res 0. After the interval Burnley kept up their pressure on the Everton goal and Bellingham and Henderson went close. Full-time; Burnley Res 4, Everton Res 1.
TOM JONES –MY IDEAL CENTRE HALF
February 26, 1949, The Liverpool Football Echo
A Style of His Own –and a Grand Coach
Football –Official by W.C. Cuff
It has never been my pleasure to see the in vowed “stopper” centre half-back whom I rate as a mere chopping-Block –he need not be a good footballer, he has only to have the merit of heading ability immense leg power and a keen eye to follow the ball, and he will fit most football sides this generation. I have no love for mere stopping tactics that have become the foundation of must modern football sides. Rather would I have on my side the Tom Jones type. Now here is a player who has rarely gone from his pivotal lair, although he has been tried as centre forward and inside forward. His natural ability would make him prevail if you played him in any position, but he is the natural centre half back by birth ad upbringing. He has the height, the flair for sizing up the next move of a forward, eyes glued to the ball, and heading ability.
I like even better than those factors, his side-footed delivery of the ball and his infinite care to place the ball to a fellow player – in that phase he has no superior today, although Carey of Manchester United runs him close. Carey, however, has not the cluttering number of opponents around him when he sends the ball away. Jones on the other hand is generally over-loaded with opponents. Now I have been deeply interested in Jones’s career, because he plays nothing but the game, aims at the greatest arts of defence and forcing attacks, and I imagine no class player has had quite the same difficulty in keeping the loyalty of those who look at his game. For instance, when one read of his likelihood of leaving us for Italy, one wondered why so illustrious a player and loyal a club man was thinking of leaving English football or leaving Everton at all. It can be put on record that there were those in authority who declaimed that they would not have Jones in their third team, adding “I know what you will be thinking of me.” He was right, we knew all too well. The last three months have surely been sufficiently evidence of Jones’s ability. Then you may wonder how such an express one of disbelief could originate I think it is due to the personality of the player. You cannot escape or miss a Tommy Jones. His figure is upstanding his style is his own he has no copyists and I imagine some officials seeing him dallying with the ball in the goal-mouth must suffer agonies of heart trouble lest in these close-goal movements he loses the ball.
Slow But Sure
It is nothing to them that he has probably saved 20 goals by his hesitance to get the ball away and their only fear is that he might be robbed of the ball before he has got it to his liking for delivery purpose to his comrades. Fear and football oft go hand-in-hand, indeed it has been said of one club that it is providential they do not get to the Final tie, because if they won their way to Wembley the directors would never see the game, as they would die of heart failure and shock. Jones is a credit to Connah’s Quay, Wrexham and Everton. He has enlightening methods, and anyone who says he “would not play him in his third team” just doesn’t know what he is taking about. I reckon a tall footballer who is artistic must be supremely clever, because his height is rather a point against him. Defence can “see him coming.”
Buchan On Ice
It was so with Charlie Buchan who was not always the resolute forward his spectators would have liked. After one game, in which he was reviled from the first kick to the last kick, he asked Sunderland for his transfer. He had done little that day, but remember Charles Buchan was over 6ft in height and had a longer way to fall on this icy turf than the wee follow. A tall man is very naturally frightened of an ice-box fall, where a smaller fellow takes the risk and gets the applause. In recent years schools have had the privilege of Tom Jones as their coach, through the coaching scheme adopted by the football authorities. This gives us great hope for the future of football, because Jones can show the idolising boys just how he does it and he can instil into them the futility of the fool’s cry of “Get rid of it” by showing them an easy way out by means of a pass to the wingman. There is hope for football of the future so long as we have men of the Jones stamp to make their football impress upon the boys of our schools. I am not telling tales out of school when I tell you Tom Jones has been voted the best coach in the football world. High praise ad worthy of a great player. The pivot of similar character is Neil Franklin, of Stoke; he, too, finds time to escape from the stopper class to develop his side’s forward attacks.
On Grand Lines
W.H. Jones, of Liverpool, is of great strength, without being quite the same in his lead-up. He has an immense solidity, and his height enables him to cut out many a centre from the wing, but he has not yet perfected the art of completing his work with a sure pass to his forward or wing half back. Jones is so versatile he can play anywhere with success and it needs but little in the future to make him a challenger to the greatest, pivotal names in the football books, and therefore a worthy successor to his clubs forerunner, Alec Raisebeck who, I hear has been in hospital for a minor operation. Tom Jones, of course, lines up in the indents of such famous centre half-backs as John D. Taylor, Jimmy Galt, Tommy White, Charlie Gee – Brewster and one named Young (Bob) –Everton have always been ‘attractive” at centre half back. Long may they be so. Monday –On Everton’s Board; Milestone in My Career.
EVERTON VICTORY HAD TWO DEBATABLE POINTS
February 28, 1949. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ernest Edwards (“Bee”)
Everton 2, Burnley 1 (Attendance 34,000)
Burnley left the field vowing they had won 3-2. They would find the error when they opened their evening papers. They should ponder on this and on their treatment of the referee Mr. J. Houston (Blackpool); otherwise some of them may find themselves sent off for stripping the referee of garments in protesting. There had been one stripping instance in the first half when Harrison was cold-shouldered and awaited redness, for three minutes. His jersey had been torn from him and he resembled a nudist. Was the referee justified in refusing two Burnley goals late on? The first occurred simultaneously when the galliant Dugdale lay prone in his goal area. If the whistle had sounded for offside that would constitute an error but I have a notion it sounded for “stop play.” In any case if the whistle sounded the ball was dead and a goal impossible. In the grand-slam finish by Burnley with corner-kicks and wholesale endeavour, the linesman who had placed himself close-in as aid to his referee shot up his hand indicating an offence by a Burnley man. That is why linesmen close in to take stock of incidents out of the referee’s view. Everton were fortunate. Burnley’s attack, with Potts and Harrison able to dovetail, produced the forward pass that has become almost non-existent from our own side. Everton’s second half play was sluggish and suggested some of the players play well only when they are leading. Once a goal has been levelled at them by the opposition they go back to the common-place. So that it was good of Eglington to take up a two-goal lead (it could quite readily have been three) by two patterns one associates with the rather mercurial winger. His first due to Lello’s loping style and wise use of the ball, hardly had the strength to cross the Rubicon; the second was a magnificent drive with his left foot, this time, and the goalkeeper touched the ball without being able to arrest its enormous flight. This was a goal to remember and its possibility was due to the unselfish, wandering Higgins who edged the ball back so that Eglington could stride on to it.
The part played by Higgins in this goal and other of his appearances as outside left showed what possibilities the Everton attack could have if it functioned with some degree of regularity, but always, it appears uncertain in concluding items by the extreme wingers, and Wainwright, apart from his ferocious drive to the cross-bar, after an electric burst, was strangely quiet, while Fielding playing much brilliant stuff came to the level of the others, second half, when the phase of passing paralysis came upon them all. Certainly Clinton, making his League debut, showed up strong and Dugdale’s tackling was intense ad splendidly – times. Farrell’s first half was brilliant and Lello’s defence was stout when most needed, his use of the ball being expert. It was Lello who brought Burnley into the game by the concession of a penalty kick taken by that great half-back Attwell and from that point Everton were on the collar.
Follow The Leader
Burnley started in drab manner, Strong was not in happy goalkeeping mood, and the backs appeared slow, in due course Potts, Harrison and Llandudno’s Morris made strides and if they had not suffered the modern disease of inability to make concluding effort they would have been a really good team. They had many joyful rounds of passing and Sagar had to make one of his supreme saves to steam the course of a game that was flowing away from his side, he being captain for the day to celebrate his 401st (record-breaking) League appearance for Everton. Williams Dean was there to congratulate Sagar upon his victory and one felt the crowd (below normal through cup-tie broadcasts, no doubts) would have levelled in the view of Dean playing his tribute to Sagar on the field. I have omitted the name of Jones, The fact is it is redundant to talk of him. To many a nervy mind he would be judged as below form in the first half, whereas one sensed that the sunshine in his eyes was the chief reason. In the other half Jones came to his customary commanding control and the length he got from a two-yard run with the last-minute debated free kick on the goal line was a revelation. The ball was delivered by Jones to the half way –no mean feat; Jones saunters, in the Matthews manner so delightful to the eye. Relegation? Everton will get the points they need.
EVERTON TRAINING PLAN HAD ITS REWARD
February 28, 1949. The Evening Express
Eglington’s Right Foot Accuracy
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The foundation for Everton’s tenth victory of the season was laid on the club’s trial ground last Wednesday when for more than an hour Irish international Tommy Eglington, under Manager Cliff Britton, concentrated on the development of right foot accuracy. The work on that right foot had its reward in the sixth minute of the match with Burnley at Goodison Park on Saturday when Tommy slipped home the first goal with his right and on went Everton to their 2-1 success. Eglington himself always has appreciated –maybe a little too much –that his right has not been as good as his left, but Mr. Britton aided by the conscientious Tommy decided that practice could make perfect and between them they have brought desired effect. Eglington now has confidence and accuracy with his right, and continued intensive development will make Eglington into one of the deadliest two-footed wingers in the country. It was the old favouritie left which flashed home the second goal in a game having many gratifying features so far as Everton are concerned. Granted that Everton had to struggle towards the end after Attwell’s penalty success, but the outstanding success of 23-year-old Irish Tommy Clinton as “stand-in” for George Saunders emphasised that there is no real need for Everton to go headlong into the transfer market. The talent is already at Goodison ready to be developed in the same way as Eglington is being made two footed.
Clinton gave a methodical display with a keen sense of position. This boy has a future without doubt, The advancement of Clinton was as pleasing as the continued brilliance of Lello at left-half. Here, in my opinion, is the Everton discovery of the year and another example of how it is possible to make inside-forwards into wing half-backs, even if it is hard to make wing half-backs into inside forwards. Lello I rated the best man on the field without taking from Eglington the glory of being match winner, Lello has made the position his own now. Billy Higgins had a grand day at centre forward, being always master of the ball and a grand provider, while Dugdale’s success was built up on the principle of possession being nine points of the law. Dugdale was generally at the ball before Chew. Farrell was a fine attacking half, and Sagar had to be good in the later stages, with nimble Harrison making it anything but a comfortable afternoon for Tommy Jones. Fielding foraged splendidly, but might have parted a split second sooner, and Wainwright and Powell came into things in thrilling flashes. Given time to gain a working understanding, this pair could make a most potent right flank. The Toffees always were more dangerous in front of goal, and would have won more convincingly had they not panicked when their lead was cut. In the end Burnley almost snatched a point. To clear up the mystery of the free kick to Everton after Chew had run the ball into the net with Dugdale lying injured the kick was awarded because Potts impeded Sagar. Dugdale by the post, ruled out all question of offside. Keep going, Everton the days of worry are behind you.
ANNUAL MEETING RUMPUS
February 28, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
How I Joined Everton’s Board
Milestones In My Career
Football-Official by W.C. Cuff
Friends have asked me for my stepping stones toward the high station of football life. They began when I was elected a member of the Everton Club in 1890 before the club was formed into a limited liability company. The club grew out of the St. Domingo Church followers, and its first playing area was on Stanley Park, where the foundation of Everton’s greatness was laid, and to this day one of the gentlemen playing those days is alive with us –Mr. W.H. Parry, who resides at West Kirby and still follows the fortunes of his old club. Everton broke away in 1892, and when a move was made to Goodison Park, I applied for and got shares (3). At the annual general meeting there was a distinct rumpus –there were many collisions of interests from that day to the present –and I was elected to the Everton board in 1895. In 1901, I was elected secretary of the club owing to the resignation of the late Richard Molyneux and continued in that office until 1918, war-time spell, when I resigned through my legal profession growing to a point which made it difficult to carry on with the football club position.
A Generation’s Work
The late William Sawyer succeeded me as hon., secretary, and I returned to the board in 1921, became chairman in 1922, and continued in that position until 1938. In 1948 I resigned from the Everton board. These, then, are the milestones in a football life of intense interest, instruction and enjoyment. In addition, however, to the Everton section of the game, I had the honour of starting the now famous Central League in 1911, and have been president for a generation. The Central League was created through a coup sprung upon the football world which fell to earth the moment we started the Central League. I am only living founder-member of that League, whose early founders, Mr. Wilkinson, of Manchester City, Tom Bracewell, of Burnley; Tom Barcroft, of Blackpool; E. Magnall, of Manchester, and W.R. Clayton, of Everton. By common consent, the Central League provided a rich vein of football worth. It took the place of a parochial Lancashire Combination series which was good in its own particular way, but had not the pulling power of the Central League into whose ranks the star teams from as far as Sheffield, Newcastle, &c., entered their second-teams, and the league became a strapping child, and has held the public ever since. Please acquit me of any desire to mention these facets of football. I do so merely because I have been asked to do so. I do not hide any pride that the Central League has proved successful –it entails much work and much travel, but it has been worthwhile, if only to blend together the high class clubs who form its ranks.
A World League? Ah, how that suggestion recurs in football debates and newspapers articles. It is a splendid notion –if it could be a workable scheme, which is, unfortunately, not the case. When I am asked; “Can we have a British League?” and Can your league include such Scottish stars as Glasgow Rangers, Celtic, Hibs, and the like?” my reply is; “It would be nice having them, but we should be most unfair to consider any Scottish star side joining in the Football League ranks because any of them joining us would denude Scotland’s fair share of first-class sides.” It would be most unsporting to encourage Rangers, Celtic, “Co.” To link up with us, because we should be doing so, sound the death-knell of the other clubs in Scotland. Without their star sides Scottish football would be necessity become a paltry thing, unworthy of public support. The question of travel would not be insurmountable, but the question of sporting instinct and decency would be violated and while we should unquestionably gather kudos and sporting interest, it would be at the expense of the lowlier Scottish clubs. We have had the joy of Scottish visitors to our grounds –Albion Rovers, the most recent, and Queen’s Park at Cadby Hall ground, where a silent game was arranged by “Bee” with no referee and no linesmen, everything conceded by splendid sporting players. He whistled the kick-off and the cease-fire, and believe it or not, there was a penalty kick “award” granted by the defence, and with hardly a claim by the side “awarded” the spot kick –surely the most fascinating football oddity in the game’s history. Those present vouch for the splendid state of play, the brilliance of both sides, and the joy a noiseless game produced. But apart from friendly games, the visits of Scottish teams to our grounds are a rarity –more’s the pity. Abandoned games, postponed games through cup-tie commitments, make friendly matches difficult to fit in, especially when April crowds it’s vast excess of fixtures into the programme. Naturally the directors of clubs are anxious to escape injury to their players and do not court these friendly games until the season has ended or is in its last days. Arsenal have an annual affair with the French football team, and other clubs could make an annual contact with a famous side, but the crowd will not come a second time to a friendly game if players do not make the friendly game a worthy display with definite efforts to “make a game of it.”
I can recall Corthinians visiting Everton and giving us one of the best games the ground ever provided. L.V. Lodge and C.B. Fry came to the ground all dressed for the fray –in a cab! Red-haired Lodge as a beautiful stylist at full back, and we also had the joy of seeing Stanley Shute Harris – whose very name insisted he should be a forward and get goals. I tried hard to get him to sign for Everton to link up with Harold Hardman, our amateur, but he would not listen to the blandishments and seemingly –compelling talks about his appearance as a regular fellow with Everton F.C. Corinthians are still in being, but the war killed their progress. They were a vital link in English cup-ties and gave many a pro, side the battle of their lives. To-day, I believe a Liverpool man, Mr. Petit, is trying to revive the famous old club, but the task is a difficult one. We should all encourage the return of the famous amateur eleven who graced the game, and knew how and when to deliver a charge on the field of play if not in their expenses sheet.
Tomorrow –Unseemly Scenes – Fred Geary’s trophy.
STANDARD STILL SLIPPING
February 28, 1949. The Liverpool Echo
All Speed –Little Skill
Have Arts and Crafts of the Dean Era Finally Gone for Good?
There is no need to scour the dictionary for superlatives after Everton’s display against Burnley, which must have caused Mr. William Ralph (Dixie to you) Dean, sitting in state in the Shareholders stand, to reflect nostalgically on the days that used to be, and wonder what his transfer fee would be today if he could put the clock back twenty years. “ Dixie” confessed afterwards that he looks in vain for concerted ideas in the play of most modern forward lines. “In my day we always tried to use our passes to advantage,” he said. “We knew where to put the ball, we seldom parted with it until we had drawn an opponent, and we could always rely on the men alongside us being in the right place at the right time. Today, forwards get rid of the ball too quickly, don’t move into the open spaces ad far too many passes go astray.” By modern standards –not those of the Dean era – the first half was not too bad, but the second portion was scrappy and desultory, with much aimless kicking. It was well for Everton that their defence was again in good form, with Jones playing his usual immaculate game and the two reserve backs giving him excellent support. Clinton made a very promising debut, and Dugdale never put a foot wrong. The latter has a grand turn of speed which gets him out of many a ticklish situation.
After establishing a two-goal interval lead, both scored by Eglington –who might have had a hat-trick had he been a little steadier with two other good chances –Everton allowed Burnley to get the upper hand during most of the second half, when only desperate defensive measures and some slice of luck enabled the Blues to maintain the lead after Attwell had reduced it with a penalty.
Apropos the somewhat mystifying decision when Referee Houston appeared to give Burnley offside while Dugdale was lying injured by the goal-post just inside the field of play, the referee told me later that the decision was for a foul on Sagar, flagged by the linesman. Despite Everton’s table-climbing feat of the last few months. Manager Cliff Britton still has several forward problems to solve. Though Powell supplied some smart passes at times and frequently tried to open up play with crosses to the oppose wing, outside right is still a weakness. The opposite flank while a little better, is still below par, despite Eglington’s two good goals, while Higgins though a conscientious trier, is hardy yet up to First Division standard. He has some good ideas, and with experience may make the grade, but that seems some little time off yet. Fielding and Wainwright are the most consistent, but the former rarely trouble any goalkeeper, and Wainwright often calls in vain for the return pass which would complete the opening he has sought to make. Lello is proving himself a sound wing half however, and with Farrell gradually coming back to his old form and not chasing his own tail so ineffectively, as he was doing a few months ago, the intermediate line is a more useful unit. Burnley on this showing are a very ordinary side, and while the points were extremely welcome there is no great kudos in beating so mediocre a team by no narrow a margin. Considering the amount of desperate endeavour exerted by both sets of forwards neither goalkeeper was troubled as much as he should have been. It was, in fact just another of those displays, becoming so frequent these days, in which he superiority of well-knit defences over persistent but plainless forward line makes for very stodgy “entertainment.” Now and again we did see brief flashes of smart combination but as a rule even these were carried out as though the ball was red hot and their rarity only served to emphasise the crudity of the bulk of the forward play.
Only front-line strategy can win matches – and that is where Everton are still lacking, despite the efforts of the two inside men. Mr. Britton has now tried pretty well every possible combination with the wingers on the books and given them all ample chance to make good. He must now be coming inevitably to the conclusion that the only solution is from the outside in the shape of new talent via the transfer market. He has done extremely well to lift Everton from their seemingly hopeless position to one where the danger of relegation no longer threatens, but there is still much to do before anything like the standard of his own playing days is revived. Maybe it never will be. A sad thought, but one which is increasingly forced upon us. It begins to look as though we shall never see again the classic type of football of a decade ago. Pure skill is scarified so often on the altar of speed that one despairs of the return of the arts and crafts of the days when Dixie Dean was in his prime. More’s the pity.