epte“CHAMOPN” DAY AT EWOOD PARK
September 1, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton Have a Big Task
It is going to be a champion day at Ewood Park, Blackburn, tomorrow. Everton, champions of the First Division, face the Rovers, who last season became champions of the Second Division. The Rovers could have asked for no better attraction to welcome back First Division football after a space of three seasons. No doubt the Blackburn folk feel that they can lower the colours of the Blues, for Ewood Park has not been a happy hunting ground for them. Judging from what I have seen of Everton this season, I cannot see them losing, but of one thing I am certain the Blackburn folk will be given a football feast. The Rovers lost by the odd goal at Portsmouth last Saturday after putting up a fine display, and against Arsenal at Highbury on Wednesday were beaten by a penalty goal. Those results go to prove that the Rovers, with last season’s side, are capable of reaching a good position in the First Division table. There will be two Merseyside district players in the team. They are the outside-left Langton. He went to Blackburn from Skelmersdale United, and Hough, the right back, who was with New Brighton. A prominent member of the Rovers’ attack is Butt, ex-Huddersfield Town, while in the centre will be one of the most virile centre-forwards of the day –Weddle, who led Portsmouth for so many years. The Rovers’ half-back line, with Whiteside, Pryde and Chivers, is strong. They will take a lot of outwitting, but Everton have the men to do it. The easy mode of progress which Everton revealed against the Villa should be sufficient to take the Rovers’ defence out of its stride, and I think Everton will record their second successive away win. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Blackburn Rovers; Barron; Hough, Crook; Whiteside, Pryde, Chivers; Rogers, Butt, Weddle, Clarke, Langton.
Everton “A” team begin their home programme in the Liverpool County Combination with an attractive fixture at Bellefield, West Derby Tomorrow. The opposition will be provide by South Liverpool Reserves. The team always put up a good show. Everton are fielding a strong side including many players with Central League experience. Everton “A” Burnett; Lambert, Saunders; Wyles, Edwards, Hill; Johnson, Dean, Catterick, Griffiths, Sharp.
EVERTON TACKLE BLACKBURN ROVERS
September 2, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel.
Everton renew acquaintance with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, and memories of many old-time struggles with Crompton and his colleagues will be recalled. There are few full-backs today, who dominate like Crompton used to do in the old days. A powerful and galliant player there was no defender who surpassed him in technical defensive skill, and he was a most difficult player to overcome. The Rovers have won promotion are in the senior circle again, and though they have lost their first two games, played away the team is likely to improve and Everton will find the new Rovers quite worthy opponents. Still If Everton reproduce the form they exhibited against Aston Villa they ought not to be beaten. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Blackburn Rovers; Barron; Hough, Crook; Whiteside, Pryde, Chivers; Rogers, Butt, Weddle, Clarke, Langton.
“The Bees” Stung Everton Back To Championship Form.
September 2, 1939. The Liverpool Football Echo
New Charging Rule Cost A Penalty At Villa Park
Programmes That Mess Up The Numbers
As I left the Goodison ground on Saturday last, I heard rumblings, dissatisfaction at Everton’s display, and there was some reason for the “trembling.” We had expected something akin to last years form from the champions, and did not get it; in fact the display gave us much room for thought. I pondered over it during the week-end and could not believe that anything was amiss, but that it was just one of those days when everything goes wrong. You have experienced them yourself, no doubt. Every club has such a day, Everton had one last New Year’s Eve, and by a strange coincidence it was against Brentford. Now I am no great believer in “bogey” teams, for there is no reason why a certain club should be able to put the Indian sign on any particularly side, but Everton with the self-same side which won them the championship did not touch championship class by a long chalk. But at this moment I feel that their experience against Brentford has all been for the good. No one knew better than the players themselves that they had a poor game, with one or two exceptions. They discussed the matter between themselves, I suppose and came to the conclusion that something was wrong. What that something was only they knew. I went to Birmingham on Monday, wondering what would happen. Would their failure against Brentford show itself against the Villa? It did but in am entirely different direction. It was the old Everton, the champion Everton. So, for my part, last Saturday’s experience was perhaps of more value than a victory. A win against the Bees would not have caused any deep thinking any worry, or any need for an alteration in tactics. A draw created just those three things. And how important it was that they did, for Everton were an entirely different team at Villa Park. So you see something good often comes from something bad. I have heard it said that Everton had got a superiority complex. Well, there may have been a taint of it, but you can take it from me that the boys are fully aware of what is in front of them, and are in no way cocksure about anything. They naturally believed they could beat Brentford –any club which enters upon a game with any other thought but victory is not worth its salt. The reason was well and truly learned, for at Birmingham they were a vastly improved team. So all is well out Goodison park way. The need for concern no longer exists. There is one thing which it must impress upon defenders, and this is the interpretation of the new rule about charging and obstructing an opponent who cannot possibly play the ball. Greenhalgh found himself giving away a penalty at Villa Park for no other reason than that he obstructed Broome, as the ball was going to the goalkeeper. Last year that action would not have cost Everton a penalty, for referees were not too sure about the matter, but apparently they have got together and decided to carry out the rule to the letter.
Now to the numberings of players, I think it is a good plan; not so much for the regular” but there are so many who find it a boon and a blessing. Brentford’s numbers were none too distinct. Black numbers on a self-colour are plainly seen, but the Bee’s red on red and white striped jerseys was not easily distinguishable. Here’s a suggestion a cut-out of white with Black numbering. It would not interfere in any way with the colour scheme. Also let us have uniformity in the numbering in the programme. Printers have made errors which were a hindrance rather than a help. One club had two 3’s another had numbers from 12 onwards. The right way and the only way is numbered from 2 to 11; then there can be no errors. A wrong number might bring the “bird” to this wrong man.
THRILLS IN EVERTON GOALMOUTH
September 2, 1939. Evening Express, Football Edition
Langton Puts Blackburn Ahead
Rovers More Effective.
Half an hour before the match at Ewood Park, there were not 100 people on the ground despite the fact that Everton, the First Division champions were opposing Blackburn Rovers, the Second Division champions. Still they rolled up rather well at the last minute. Both sides were unchanged. The weather was too humid for football and the international tension obviously had its effect on the crowd. It was a quiet opening and there was little cheering. Teams: - Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (Tom), and Watson, half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes. Blackburn Rovers: - Barron, goal; Hough and Crook, backs; Whiteside, Pryde, and Chivers, half-backs; Rogers, Butt, Weddle, Clarke and Langton, forwards. Referee Mr. E.D. Smith (Maryport). The Rovers opened promisingly, but they could not shake off the grip of the Everton immediate line. Boyes broke through, but delayed his pass to Lawton and a fair chance went abegging. Praise to Mercer for a sinuous dribble, in which a stumble failed to check him, and then a thrill at the Everton end when Rogers broke through, cut inwards and then placed perfectly for Clarke to hit a shot on the full volley. Sagar flung himself full length to turn the ball around the post. Boyes won a corner, but Lawton just failed to head the ball home. Then interpassing between the Everton forwards saw Lawton go away. He was just shaping for a shot when Hough took the ball from his toes. The Rovers came in menacing style, only for the final pass to go astray. Twice Barron was drawn by Bentham and Boyes secured to lob a centre against the face of the bar. The ball rebounded to safety. Weddle placed Butt through delightfully but the inside right could not get the ball under control and his shot went yards wide.
The danger of obstruction was proved when Sagar ran out to pick up and Jones stood stock still. A Blackburn player ran up and charged Jones in the back and the referee gave a free kick to the Rovers. Obstruction did it. Rogers took the kick just outside the area and his shot grazed the bar. A swinging pass saw Gillick get the better of Crook and his centre went far across to the left. Boyes tricked Hough in grand style, but his centre travelled straight to Barron. Tom Jones was at fault when the Rovers next took up the running and Butt got in a terrific shot which Sagar beat away. Pryde was keeping a particularly close watch on Lawton and his attempts to burst through the middle were of no avail. Rogers sent through another well-judged centre and Langton came in at top speed to head the ball downwards. Once again it was Sagar who barred the way. So far the Rovers had been the more effective side. In fact, Sagar had three times the work of Barron to do.
Bentham shot outside, but the thrills were being enacted in the Everton goalmouth, for the Blues were not revealing the poetry of motion which characterised their play against the Villa. Maybe it was the old Ewood bogey again. It is 20 years since the Blues won there. Sagar and Greenhalgh both flung themselves out to divert Rogers quick header and Sagar just turned the ball aside. Boyes ruined a good opportunity with a faulty centre, and then Bentham was well off the mark again. In 33 minutes the Rovers took the lead, and no one could deny that they deserved it. Langton was the scorer, and it was “all his own work” as the pavement artist puts it. He cut inwards to gather when Mercer failed to control the ball and he survived Mercer’s tackle. Jones came to lend a hand, but by grit and determination Langton beat him to it, ran on unattended, and cracked the ball into the top of the net with such force that it rebounded into play. A corner to the Blues, playing in white, by the way, saw Bentham head onto the roof of the net, and then the lad from Skelmersdale, Langton, came again and crashed in a rising shot which was again saved in perfect style by the ever-alert Sagar. Barron fisted away from Lawton, but these brief Everton raids were not of the Goodison vintage. There was a tantalising raggedness. Rogers pulled the ball down with both hands, thinking the whistle had gone, and so sacrificed a free kick. From this Greenhalgh placed just under the bar, and Barron was thankful to turn the ball over.
Half-Time; Blackburn R 1, Everton 0.
Everton Force A Draw At Blackburn
Two Great Goals By Lawton.
Rovers Draw Level With A Penalty
Two great goals by Lawton enabled Everton to gain a 2-2 draw against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park. Everton failed to produce their Villa Park brilliance in this game, and they were fortunate to be only one goal down at half-time –a Langton effort. It was Sagar and Mercer who kept the Rovers out in this period. Everton got back to something like form after the interval, and Lawton’s great equaliser gave them heart. Lawton actually put Everton ahead in 81 minutes, but Rogers secured an equaliser for Blackburn. Everton resumed on a much brighter note and Gillick surprised Pryde by his characterise runs into the middle, outwitting two players before shooting. The ball rebounded off an opponent to the in-running Stevenson, who placed in low just by the post. Barron, who had come out, flung himself back to gather the ball on the line. Everton kept up the good work, and in 50 minutes were rewarded with a brilliant equaliser from Lawton. Lawton gathered a clearance kick just beyond the ten yards circle and made ground. Tackled by the ever-watchful Pryde, he quickly side-passed to Stevenson, who had become inside right. Stevenson glided the ball beyond Crook and Lawton was through. Lawton moved only a yard forward and then from the edge of the penalty area beat Barron all ends up with a brilliant left foot shot. Yes a goal to remember and one which certainly inspired the Blues.
Gillick’s Surprise Shot.
At last Everton settled to their work. There was some semblance of their usual rhythmic efforts, and Gillick just missed with a surprise shot, taken at half volley. The Rovers were kept on the defensive and Gillick was becoming a real menace to them. He ran through again and beat Crook in close tackle and then let go a right-foot shot which Barron turned over the top with one hand as the crowd gasped. The Rovers got back to something like their first half form for a spell and with Jones having an exceptionally poor time at centre half –he had been upset by the over-robust Weddle –there was a lot of desperate defence. Sagar remained form even when Butt shot from close range and the ball travelled to the far corner. Sagar shot out his hand and stopped it “dead.” For ten minutes –apart from a commendable dribble by Bentham –it was the Rovers who did all the attacking and it was well for the Blues that they covered with precision. After the defensive work on Everton’s part came a shock for the Rovers, thanks to another of those grand man-to-man move so expertly engineered by Everton. Boyes began it by coming across the field and enlisting the aid of Stevenson. He got the ball and then called on Gillick. Again he got the ball back and by this time he was outside right. Then he pushed the ball along the floor and Lawton was there to crack the ball into the top of the net, again with the left foot. In two minutes Blackburn were level. A penalty from Rogers did the trick after the luckless Jones was adjudged to have handled the ball. The ball seemed to come up off his boot and struck his hands while no attempt was made to play the ball with his hands. Cook made his protest, but the referee would not listen and Rogers scored easily. A Lawton header almost brought Everton victory. In the last minute, Sagar ran out and dived at Butt’s feet to save a certain goal, and so the Blues preserved their unbeaten record. Final; Blackburn R. 2, Everton 2.
EVERTON RES V BLACKPOOL RES
September 2, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton tried Caskie at outside right, Trentham coming in on the left wing. From the start Everton displayed good football and when Caskie forced a corner Roxburgh was hard passed to save Barber’s header. Blackpool eventually attacked in a methodical manner, but when Munro crossed the ball into the goalmouth Ashworth shot outside. Blackpool were doing better at this stage, and although the crowd claimed offside the Seasiders winger was allowed to go on and send over a centre which Lovett saved under the bar. The Everton keeper shortly afterwards made another good save, this time from McFarlane. Everton resumed their early aggressiveness and Bell was just outside with a good header. The Blackpool goal during the next few minutes was under pressure, and when Trentham neatly turned the ball into the goalmouth, it only required a touch to bring a goal. Fortunately for Blackpool none of the Everton inside forwards were lying handy. Jones, the Blackpool left half, who was of injured for a time, signalled his return with a grand drive which went inches wide of the upright. Munro was doing a lot of good work on the visitors right wing, but the inside forwards, Ashworth in particularly found Gee very difficult to pass. Everton had a quiet spell, but eventually Lindley lobbed a free kick into the goalmouth, Roxburgh missed the ball completely but there was no real danger as McDougall was on hand to clear. Bell netted for Everton, but was offside. When play was transferred to the other end, Ashworth sent in a strong shot which Lovett saved brilliantly by shooting out his hand and turning the ball over the bar. Roxburgh saved a point blank shot by Barber and in the following mix-up Bell missed a chance of opening Everton’s score. Half-time Everton Res 0, Blackpool Res 0.
Early in the second half Bell gave Everton the lead and shortly afterwards went close to a second goal when he headed against the upright. Everton were well on top this half and the Blackpool goal had some narrow escapes. Jones equalised for Blackpool, but Everton regained the lead through Cunliffe. Final; Everton Reserves 2, Blackpool Reserves 1.
• Britain At war announcement by Premier at 11-15 a.m, Britain, France and Poland Stand together, The Premier said that no undertaking had been received from Germany. Consequently, this Country is at war with Germany”
EVERTON STILL UNBEATEN.
September 4, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackburn Rovers 2, Everton 2
Champions Meet At Blackburn
Everton are still unbeaten, they have taken four points from a possible six but we all had to agree, players included, that they were fortunate to take a half through a division of four goals, from Blackburn Rovers. This was a meeting of champions, Everton Division 1, and the Rovers Division 11, but the only thing which could bear the championship tag were three of the goals, each a gem in its own setting. I say this was a lucky point for Everton, yet at the same time stating a fact, which may appear paradoxical, that Everton were unlucky not to take both points. They were unlucky in losing the lead near the end through a penalty which was never a penalty. Jones stopped the ball with his chest with his arms outstretched. It ran down his body, struck his knee and flew on to his hand. There was no opponent near to Jones, so there was no danger of a goal. When the referee pointed to the spot Jones was flabbgasted. So Rogers was able to hit an equalising goal. That is why I say Everton were unfortunate.
A Doubtful penalty.
On play they were hardly worth one point, but having obtained the lead at a vital point of the game and then to loss it on what must be considered a doubtful penalty was rank bad luck. Everton were greatly below form. They were right out of touch with their game, especially so in the first half. Had it not been for some grand goalkeeping by Sagar, the Rovers must have taken more than a goal lead, scored by Langton, who took advantage of a defensive slip. Blackburn people wondered about this championship Everton. They must have played better to win the title last season. I had to tell them they did, and promised them something different. Whether they were satisfied that it was or not they had to admit that Lawton’s 2 goals were brilliantly executed. Each was the result of top class manoeuvre. The first between Stevenson and the score, the second between Stevenson, Gillick, Lawton and Boyes. I am not sure which was the better goal, for each was the result of a terrific shot.
The Rovers are a pushful sort of side, with two good wing men, but there was a weakness sin finishing despite the fact that Sagar gave a brilliant exhibition in the Everton goal. In the first half in particularly he made magnificent saves to keep the game within the compass of the Everton team which failed to produce its Villa form. T. Jones had one of his poorest games, Weddle is not one of the cleverest of centre forwards, but the simple dummies he produced beat the Welshman, time after time again, Cook and Greenhalgh were stout defenders while Mercer and Watson tackled well they did not get the ball to their forwards often enough. Teams: - Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (Tom), and Watson, half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes. Blackburn Rovers: - Barron, goal; Hough and Crook, backs; Whiteside, Pryde, and Chivers, half-backs; Rogers, Butt, Weddle, Clarke and Langton, forwards. Referee Mr. E.D. Smith (Maryport).
TRAINING AS USUAL AT GOODISON TODAY!
August 4, 1939. Evening Express.
Everton Carry On pending Official Word;
Prospect Of Section Games.
Everton Footballers were in training at Goodison Park today! The lads turned up as usual for their ordinary football preparation. Mr. Theo Kelly, the club secretary explained that at Goodison Park they are carrying on as usual. “We shall carry on until we receive official word,” he said, and that, I expect, will arrive after today’s meeting of the Football League Management Committee. Any official notification received will be discussed at a full meeting of the Everton directorate, which is scheduled for tomorrow night. In addition, the club will review the entire position so far as players’ engagements are concerned.
Then there were sectional competitions –Northern, Midlands and London. The competitions would be designed to cut down the travelling to the minimum, the aim being to do all travelling by road. It is curious that Everton were Football League champions when football ended during the last war. They still hold that title, although they hardly played up to their reputation at Ewood Park on Saturday, when they drew 2-2 with Blackburn Rovers. The Rovers were the more workmanlike side, and had it not been for the brilliance of Sagar in the Everton goal, must have had the match well won before the interval. As it was, they saved only a point as the result of an extremely doubtful penalty five minutes from time. Everton showed snatches of brilliance, as witness the leading-up play to those two wonder goals by Lawton in the second half which negative d Langton’s earlier point. Them Tom Jones was adjudged to have handled a ball, although making not the slightest attempt actually to play the ball, and from the penalty Rogers equalised. The Everton stars were Sagar, Cook, Greenhalgh, Mercer, Boyes and Lawton.
POSITION OF FOOTBALL CLUBS
September 4, 1939. The Evening Express.
“Stand By For Time Being,” Says League President
“I am advising all clubs of the Football League to instruct their players to stand by for the time being. The Management Committee will meet as soon as possible, and will then issue a statement. “Mr. W. C. Cuff, president of the Football league made this statement to Pilot today regarding the position of professional footballers. Mr. Cuff stated several clubs had been inquiring what to do and while it was not the official ruling of the Management Committee, it was the advice he was giving to all clubs pending the meeting. “I do not think the clubs should allow their players to disperse,” Continued Mr. Cuff and the Committee will deal with the position as quickly as possible.”
With reference to the contracts between the clubs and players, Mr. Cuff stated that this was a domestic matter. “There is the question of the contract of service, “Mr. Cuff said, “and if it is found impossible to carry out the contract then of course, the parties are excused. “It is a legal matter, and if a declaration of war makes it impossible for the terms of the contract to be fulfilled, then the clubs owes no liability to the player and the player no liability to the club. That would really become a suspension of the contract. “It is far too soon to be dogmatic on these points, but tells the clubs of the League to enter their players to stand by, and we shall publish a statement regarding the players of the Football League, and no doubt the Football Association will issue a statement affecting other clubs.” The secretary of the Football league stated today that football is suspended and all contracts with players are automatically cancelled. Whatever clubs do for their players is voluntary. Mr. T.L.A Kelly, secretary of Everton F.C., states that while profession training goes on at Goodison Park, evening training for part0time professional’s and amateurs will cease owing to the lighting difficulties.
SUSPENSION OF FOOTBALL
September 5, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Clubs Advised To Retain Players
The secretary of the Football League stated yesterday that football is suspended, and all contracts with players are automatically cancelled. Whatever clubs do for players is voluntary. Mr. W. C. Cuff president of the Football League yesterday said that for the time being clubs should instruct their players to stand by. While it was not the official ruling of the Management Committee, this was his advice at the moment. “I don’t think the clubs should allow their players to disperse,” continued Mr. Cuff, “as the committee will deal with the position as quickly as possible. Contracts between the clubs and players is a domestic matter in the opinion of Mr. Cuff. “There is no question of contract of service, and if it is found impossible to carry out the contracts then of course the parties are excused.” “We shall publish a statement regarding the players of the Football League and no doubt the Football Association will issue one affecting their clubs.” The Management Committee of the Football League meet Crewe tomorrow and will issued a statement later.
L’POOL AND EVERTON F.C. BOARDS DISCUSS POSITION
September 6, 1939. Evening Express.
The directors of Liverpool and Everton football clubs met as usual last night –with the item “team selection” missing from the agenda. Both boards discussed football of the future, and what will become regarding players contracts. No decision was made however. Both Boards decided it would be better to await the decisions of today’s meeting of the Football league Management Committee, and also the important joint conference between the League and the Football Association, which takes place on Friday. Both Boards will meet again next week to settle matters.
FUTURE OF FOOTBALL LEAGUE’S DECISION
September 7, 1939. Evening Express.
There will be no football for some weeks, at least. Everything will close down until such time as the authorities think matches can be resumed. This was decided at the meeting of the Management Committee of the Football League at Crewe yesterday. Clubs had been told to keep their players standing by. That edict has been withdrawn and on the majority of grounds today the players were packing away their gear and leaving for home. But not at Goodison Park or Anfield. The players of both Everton and Liverpool were at the ground today doing a spot of training. I think they are wise. Mr. Theo Kelly, Everton’s secretary said the Everton boys have been giving some rousing exhibitions in their six aside games. They were at it again this morning.
Newcastle United have already “put up their shutters. Apart from the routine business in carrying on the companies and dealing with tradesmen’s matters there will be nothing doing in the football work. Hundreds of people, as a result will be thrown out of employment. It is a said story. Yet the football folk will take it all with a grim. They know how to take the hard knocks, and you can rest assured that the majority of players will go into the National Service scheme until such time as the call comes to join the colours. Players contracts have not been cancelled but merely suspended. That does not mean that when football is resumed that players will be able to join any club they wish. Their registrations with their present employers must stand.
Footballers are entitled to their wages for this week. Mr. W.C. Cuff, the president of the Football league, said to me that players were entitled to this week’s money. I would advise all players who have left their clubs without their wages to make application immediately.
EVERTON PLAYERS RETURNING HOME.
September 8, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
After standing by for a week as advised by Mr. W.C. Cuff the League President, the Everton players returning home at the week-end. They have been training in the usual way all week, but with little possibility of a resumption of football for some time there is no point of them staying on at Goodison Park. They will all be available to be called back in time to start should they be needed, and of course, if they have not been required for other and more important work. Most of them are domiciled in and around Liverpool. They will make their own arrangements in their own districts. Several of them have obtained civil employment; in fact only a small minority are without some sort of employment. There will be the usual meeting of directors next Tuesday.
FOOTBALL ENTIRELY SUSPENDED.
September 9, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
The Football Association yesterday issued the following statement: - “In accordance with the Proclamation by his Majesty’s Government under the Rule 27 of the rules of the association, all football under the jurisdiction of the Football Association is entirely suspended until official noticification is given to the contrary. “This does not apply to football arranged by his Majesty’s Forces.” This announcement by the Football Association has the automatic effect of ending contracts between clubs and professional players. Rule 27 provides that the council shall have power to suspend the game entirely and “agreements between clubs, players, and officials shall be subject to such decisions. “ Representatives of the Football Association and the Football league met in London yesterday. Several import matters concerning the winding-up of the League competition was discussed.
FOOTBALL FROM TODAY IN CERTAIN AREAS.
September 9, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Hope For Sectioned Games Later.
After a week of uncertainty and much speculation comes the Government’s announcement this morning that football is to be permitted in neutral and reception areas from today onwards. League football as we know it, of course, is definitely out of the question, but in the light of the Home Secretary’s statement the Football league and F.A. will have to reconsider their earlier decisions to stop the game altogether. It may be possible shortly to formulate some scheme of sectionalised games in the permitted areas. That however, is a matter for further consideration. At the moment of writing football is definitely prohibited in, among other places. Liverpool, Bootle, Birkenhead, Wallasey, Runcorn, Chester, Litherland, Great Crosby, Warrington, Widnes, and Whiston. The fact that a certain district is not named in the prohibited list must not be taken to signify that games are permitted and clubs which are considering staging games during the next week or so would be well advised to seek the advice of their local police chief or other official source before making any definite arrangements. Another point to be borne to mind is that the present permit is only for areas where it is not anticipated that large crowds will gather. If it is discovered that big crowds are flocking to these matches then the authorities may decide to cancel the facility. In their own interests the smaller clubs should not seek to “make hay while the sun shines” by endeavouring to attract large gates. So far friendly’s games only are authorised. If any sort of competitive football takes place in which League clubs are concerned the Football league will naturally endeavour to see that it is only under their jurisdiction, and will take suitable steps to safeguard the public interest in the light of official guidance. All games played today were of necessility of a scratch nature, but later we shall probably get down to a more organised form of competition, where the game can be played. Just now, however, future plans are very hazy and indefinite. “Wait and see,” is still the watchword. I am glad that the resumption of football has been permitted, even in its present limited form, and, while always bearing in mind, that the paramount need of the day is to safeguard the civilian population from any possible danger. I hope that eventually we shall be able to get down to some form of competitive football. “All work and no play not only makes Jack a dull boy, but ultimately defeats the end in view, for the mass of ordinary folk work better during the week when they have a little occasional relaxation and particularly at a time like this have something to talk about to take their minds off the grim realities amid which we are living today.
EVERTON AND LIVERPOOL MAY FIX AWAY FRIENDLIES.
September 12, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
So far as Everton and Liverpool are concerned their own grounds, of course cannot be used, but when the board have their usual weekly meeting this evening it is possible some attempt will be made to arrange an away fixture with Lancashire clubs within easy travelling distance.
September 11, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Liverpool players who are available are still reporting to the ground day by day in case they are required. No training is being done, and the club is waiting for official guidance before they make any definite move. Everton are doing the same except that in their case only the players who live in the immediate neighbourhood are calling in at the ground. Several of those who live at a distance have gone home to await further orders.
EVERTON TO PLAY AT BLACKPOOL
September 13, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post.
Everton, Liverpool, South Liverpool and other clubs in this area cannot play at home, but the Everton club have got over this difficulty by deciding to play their games on away grounds. At the meeting of directors last night it was decided that they would play two games with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, on Saturday next and Saturday, September 23. The players were dispersed last week-end, but every endeavour will be made to get the championship side together, for the games. Several of the players have obtained employment since football was closed down to them, but Mr. Kelly, the Everton secretary is hopeful that he will get the release. The journey will be made by road. If that is out of the question the railway will be sought. Season ticket-holders of Everton and Blackpool will be admitted to games on the production of their passes.
BLUES FOR BLACKPOOL
September 13, 1939. Evening Express.
It has been agreed that season ticket holders of both clubs shall be admitted to the Blackpool game. Everton are hoping to field their full championship side against the team which, when Football League fare ended, were placed top of the table with a 100 per cent record. The Blues’ players are in the district –most have secured situations outside football –and Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly is hoping to secure their release.
EVERTON TO PLAY BLACKPOOL ON SATURDAY
September 13, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Everton originally arranged with Blackpool for a second game on Saturday week but the Seasiders have today advised that this will not be possible, Everton will probably fix up elsewhere in the meantime. Mr. Theo Kelly, the Everton secretary is doing his best to get together the championship side of last season, but at the moment it is impossible to say how many will be available. Tom Jones and Tom Lawton are practically certain to play, but in several cases, as the players have already taken up either industrial jobs or work of National Defence. Mr. Kelly will have to get in touch with each individually and see whether it is possible for them to take the journey. Some of the men are working at the docks, a couple have joined the special police, Bentham has got employment at his former job as a fitter. Caskie has returned to Glasgow has a structural engineer, another is in the Auxiliary Fire Service, two at least are working as joiners and so on. As a matter of fact, the surprising thing of this present upheaval is the big proportion of football players who have second string to their bows and the ease with which they have got jobs pending such times as their services may be required in other directions. Naturally a man with a trade in his fingers can get work easier these days than in normal times, but it would seem from present indications that the F.A.’s benevolent fund to settle professional footballers in civilian jobs after their playing days are over may not be called on to the extent that some people visualised. I have always advocated the wisdom of a young player sticking to his trade until his apprenticeship is up, instead of making football his whole-time occupation. The value of the advice has been amply bourne out this last week. The re-start of football on a friendly basis will not find Everton unprepared. When the players dispersed last week, Mr. Theo Kelly made arrangements with all the men to write to him at once of any chance of address. Everton therefore will not be in the plight of Arsenal, who after having fixed friendly with Cardiff at Ninian Park tonight find that they are not certain in some cases of the addresses of their players, and have had to send out a newspaper SOS asking the chosen men who see their names in the paper to proceed without delay to Cardiff. Everton’s only difficulty is to know just what men will be available to go to Blackpool on Saturday.
GAMES TO BE CONDUCTED ON AMATEUR LINES.
September 15, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
The Football League has sanctioned Saturday’s friendly’s matches, but the players, for the time being will be amateurs. No payment of wages can be made until the F.A. gave a ruling at their next meeting. The Management Committee spent two hours at Preston yesterday discussing the subject, after which the secretary Mr. F. Howarth stated that the League are making certain recommendations to the F.A. for consideration at their meeting on Monday. No wages can be paid as the F.A. have cancelled all contracts but players taking part in Saturday’s matches will be insured under the Workmen’s Compensation Act. The League, Mr. Howarth explained have no desire to shelter behind technicalities to avoid responsibility towards anyone who may be injured.
EVERTON’S FULL TEAM
September 15, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Everton with their championship team go to Blackpool tomorrow, and the “Pools” are likely to have a strong side at their disposal a good game of football should be the outcome. Twelve months ago Everton surprised Blackpool’s expensive team by beating them by the goal scored, and it was one of the best Lawton scored, throughout the season. Wallace got his hands to the ball but could not hold it. Since then, the Blackpool team has been changed and changed again, and on what it has done this season it would appear that Joe Smith the manager, has got the right hand, sometimes, he strove to get last year. I understand that Wallace will not be available and that Buchan is not likely to be seen in the forward line, but for all that they have capable deputies to put in their places. Everton, like Blackpool were unbeaten when hostilities started, but the Seasiders were at the top of the table, having won all their three matches. So this is in effect a meeting of champions. Most of the Everton players have obtained employment and Mr. Theo Kelly thinks that he will have no difficulty in obtaining their release for the afternoon in which case the usual team will be on duty. Following are the probable sides: - Everton; Sagar, Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (T.), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Blackpool: - Roxburgh; Sibley, Butler; Farrow, Hayward, Johnston; Finan, Astley, Dodds, Eastham, or MacFarland, O’Donnell.
Leicester Daily Mercury - Friday 15 September 1939
THE Press Association stated to-day that the Home Office decision allowing the re-opening cinemas and theatres applies equally to football and organised games. This decision would allow the Football Association to proceed with competitive matches. It is understood that there will not be any professional club matches in London to-morrow, because there is not the time to assemble players, but several of the clubs have arranged friendly matches away from home. IT is known that the London Football Combination has a scheme for a competition between the leading professional clubs in and around London which can be speedily put into effect. Local competitions could also be arranged in Lancashire, Yorkshire, the Midlands and the West of England. It is understood that there is no question of the Football League competition being resumed. The mid-week and Saturday fixtures already lost as a result of the cessation of play have completely disorganised the competition. Another factor militating against League Football is the question of transport. Tentative arrangements had been made by Everton F.C. to play their home matches on the ground of Wigan Athletic, but now that the ban has been lifted and football may be played anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales, it is expected that Everton will remain at Goodison Park. A programme of 32 Association and eight Rugby League “friendly” matches have been arranged for to-morrow in England, Wales and Scotland.
September 15, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Ban Raised By The Home Office.
Sectional Fixtures On 1915-18 Lines.
The Echo is informed that the Home Office decision to allow the reopening of cinemas and theatres throughout England, Wales and Scotland applies equally to football and organised games. The decision would allow the Football Association to proceed with competitive matches. This is good news for football followers, but particularly for supporters of Everton, Liverpool, and other clubs whose headquarters hitherto had been banned, and who were more than a little perturbed whether they might not be deprived of their favourite entertainment for the duration. Now that each club will be able to play on its own area –with the exception of those whose enclosures have been applied to other purposes –I can disclose that had the ban remained on Merseyside Everton would probably have played their “home” games at Springfield Park, Wigan. The Everton and Wigan Athletic boards had discussed the matter tentatively and a definite decision would probably have been made at Tuesday’s board meeting. Happily the problem will not now arise. Everton retain the use of their ground.
League President’s View.
The Home Office decision will not affect the friendly’s arranged by several clubs for tomorrow, except that those in banned area who have not already arranged anything may be able to fix up a game on their own ground. In any case Mr. W. C. Cuff the League president, tells me there will be no question of resuming the League programme where it was left off a fortnight ago. Apart from the fact that some grounds are already otherwise engaged, and players have been dispersed to other occupations, there is also the necessity to minimise travel as much as possible. “The decision will give considerable assistance to the Football League war-time committee which meets on Monday” said Mr. Cuff. “I now anticipate we shall very speedily be able to bring into operation organised football, but on the lines of that carried on during the last war. It is impossible to do anything before Monday, but we have a scheme in mind which is almost complete, and which would be immediately practicable.”
League officials are naturally not disclosing their plans until the whole scheme has been hammered out in full detail, but we can take it as pretty definite that the ideas will be to run the game on geographically sectionalised lines. To what extent the competitive spirit will be permitted is another matter. Meanwhile Everton go ahead with their game at Blackpool tomorrow and Liverpool will visit Chester. As it happens the original League fixture for tomorrow was for Everton to play Liverpool at Anfield and it would have been quite possible for both clubs, now the ban is lifted to have played the game but naturally neither club wanted to disappoint the people at Blackpool and Chester.
Blackpool will have to play almost a reserve forward line for the match with Everton tomorrow. Buchan has returned to his home in Scotland, and three other forwards, Dodds, Astley, and Finan are engaged on Government work and will not be available.
FOOTBALL BAN LIFTED.
September 16, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Both Clubs Must Get Police Sanction.
Size Of Crowd The Vital Factor.
The Home Office decision to allow the reopening of cinemas and theatres throughout England, Wales, and Scotland, applies to football and organised games. This decision, it is expected will enable the football authorities to proceed with some sort of competitive tournament. Many friendlys matches, as previously arranged, will take place outside the danger zone this afternoon. There may be some matches in the danger zone areas –providing police permission is obtained. In interpreting the official announcement it should be noted that the Home Office point of view is that they are not concerned with the terms “competitive” or friendly football. All they worry about is the size of the crowd. It is a matter entirely for the Football Association as to whether there will be competitive or friendly games, and the Football Association will have to consult local police to find out whether, on local grounds, it will be safe for crowds to congregate.
No large Crowds In Danger Zones.
Thus, although on paper football grounds are on the same footing as the other forms of entertainment on which bans have now been lifted, it can definitely be stated that no large crowds will be allowed to gather in the danger zones. Police officials will base their decision on an estimate as to what sort of crowd is likely to congregate and whether that crowd will constitute a danger, bearing in mind the locality concerned. This position, with any further development, will be considered by the War Emergency Committee of the Football Association on Monday. Until then the Football Association have no addition to make to their statement earlier in the week that clubs may play only friendly matches with the permission of the police.
Everton At Blackpool.
With the partial lifting of the ban on football and players will enjoy their sport today and the friendly character of all the games is likely to afford as opportunity of bringing out the finer points of the code, and enthusiasts in the permitted areas are sure to see some good displays. The Merseyside senior clubs are to play on foreign grounds, and thus Everton today appear at Blackpool. Everton expect to have their championship team at Blackpool and the home club will be strongly represented. The following teams are due to line up at 3 o’clock. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Blackpool; Roxbrough; Sibley, Butles; Farrow, Haywards, Johnston; Munro, Eastham, Ashworth, MacFarland, O’Donnell.
BLACKPOOL RALLY AFTER LAWTON GOAL
September 16, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton had out their full championship side for their friendly game at Blackpool today. Blackpool: - Roxburgh, goal; Sibley and Butler, backs; Farrow, Hayward, and Johnston, half-backs; Munro, Eastham, Ashworth, MacFarlane, and O’Donnell, forwards. Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (TG), and Watson, half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. A.L. Shakepeare (Blackpool). Stevenson and Gillick opened with deft touches and interpassing, until Butler took a hand. Sagar was given anxiety and had to diver low to save a low centre from O’Donnell. After a quick touch-line burst, Bentham found himself on his own. He tried to place low in the right-hand corner, but Roxburgh smothered the shot splendidly. This was entertaining fare for the 10,000 spectators. Bentham, playing a 100 per cent, attacking game, paved the way for the opening goal for the Blues’ in 15 minutes. Mercer glided the ball through for Bentham to give Butler the “dummy” and move inwards. Lawton ran to position by the near post and when Bentham turned the ball back to Lawton, the centre forward neatly hooked it over Roxburgh’s head into the far corner of the net. Sagar twice gathered with supreme confidence, and Stevenson grazed the bar with a fine left-footed shot. Boyes strove hard to carve an opening for Lawton. The header was well off the mark and in 31 minutes Blackpool drew level. Mercer, in heading away a centre from Munro, banged his head, and so when the ball dropped to MacFarland’s feet, Mercer, in his dazes state, could not launch a tackle. McFarlane therefore, had nothing to do but tap it home. Roxburgh made a fine save from a grand shot by Lawton. He also saved a certain goal by passing out his foot to turn aside a good shot from Stevenson.
Half-Tome Blackpool 1, Everton 1.
SANCTION FOR SOCCER IN LIVERPOOL
September 16, 1939. The Evening Express.
The local Police authorises have given permission for football to be played in Liverpool. Thus Everton and Liverpool football clubs will be able to participate in a sectional competition which will be formed at a Crewe meeting of the Football League next Wednesday. It is expected that wage limits for each section will be introduced. Everton have arranged to visit Bury in a friendly game next Saturday, provided there is no new competition.
September 16, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
By Louis T. Kelly.
• In the first season of the last war our Football League programme and the teams were very little interfered with. But there was a least one unexpected local result when Everton beat Liverpool 5-0 at Anfield, centre forward Parker (later wounded in the front), scoring three goals and Joe Clennell got the other two.
• In 1815-16 (sectioned games) Everton’s most percular result was probably a 5-2 home defeat by Stockport County
• In 1916-17 Everton had enlisted several new faces, including McNeal and J. Smith (W.B Albion), J. Blair a local amateur centre forward, and Fern had given way to Mitchell in goal. Everton that season came a 5-2 home cropper to Blackburn Rovers, for whom Eddie Litheron (killed in the war) did the hat-trick.
• In 1918-19 Everton still had a powerful list of players at hand, and in their first 15 matches actually picked up all but one of the 30 points at stake.
• Somebody suggests that I make this in part a “personnelia” story book for one week only. So here goes. Born February 27, 1870, at Ablieylands, Onchan, Isle of Man, the year Germany was last invaded, somebody says! Being the youngest son of a youngest son, had no luck in the shape of legable money to come, cash in hand, or carried forward. I was a Sunday, 11.30 a.m. arrival and an told that up this particular morning every member of the family (save in mother) was at divine service. Some of my earliest 2 ½ to 5 years old recollection includes a severe wasp string and failing from the top of a load of grass and coming within an ace of being run over. The framer’s life in these days was an ultra hard one, and I can still picture my father wielding his soythe and sharpening it to mow down the full grown grass, and fields of barley oats and corn. Fourteen to sixteen hours was his daily run in summer-time, for there was no machinery 70 years ago. One of my brothers at 14 years of age could handle one of those old-fashioned ploughs and he team of horses. Today it takes a lad of that ago to hold a horse’s head. Being venturesome my people packed up in 1876 and went into Douglas (Circular Road) to take in boarders and my plough-driving brother to serve his time as a watchmaker, and fewelier. What a change. Two years later, however, saw the entire family –six in all –paying their “transfer fees” to join Liverpool, and Liverpool it has been ever since with “yours truly.” I was now seven, but had never attended school because of eye trouble which had several times already taken in to Liverpool for examination at the Eye Hospital (Mount Pleasant and Stanley Hospital). So at seven my school life begin, and it ended as soon as I reached the ripe old age of twelve, my father having died when I was ten.. My first school was Great Homer Street, Wesleyan; where strange to say the head master was Mr. S. M. Crosbie, who died but some three years ago, after having long qualified as the “Father of Everton F.C. shareholders. Strange too, that the church organists there was none other than Mr. George Mahon, for long famed as Everton’s chairman of directors. My next school was Walton lane Council, Head Master Mr. Pritchard so I was gradually getting nearer Everton Football Club. My third and final school venture was to Brunswick Wesleyan, where the “heads” were Messrs Shaw, Tram pleasure, Proctor, Cassidy and Lewis. One will recall some of the old schoolmates, including monitor J. Coleman, later Coleman’s repository firm, A. Lucas of Gloucestershire Place Cake renown, and one of the Pearson (Shaw street),, brothers, already them dabbling in transit matters. At the ripe age of ten, I was already a part-timer butcher’s boy and spent Saturday’s with my boss in Scotland road Market to finish with a cab drive homeward and 2s 6d in my pocket, plus, perhaps a small shoulder of lamb. At twelve I was taken from school to help my rather delicate elder brother in a bread and flour trade, and this than remained my chief line. Right through life instead of the teaching business my schoolmaster wished me to follow. Then it was in those mid-eighties that one’s love of football steadily grew. At every opportunity I watched Everton, Bootle, Stanley (playing off City Road) and other clubs, especially those star turns like Burnley, Accrington, Bolton, four Blackburn clubs, Preston and many others who came here to play the part of “missionaries. My Journalist connections was started originally with a Bolton Paper, from which, after I had often bagged prises in a competition called “Nuggets” I received an offer to become a regular contributor. I evolved a scheme of my own for recording results, teams, and interesting facts which has served from those early days right down to the present tragic stage of war intervention and personal ill-health... finally Brethren, as a minister would put it, I was “called up” some thirty-odd years to introduce myself to Liverpool Echo readers in the shape of Stud-marks.” So now, dear readers, you’ve got it from A to Z” as far as my conditions permits me to tell you. My God bless you all, is my fervent prayer.
LAWTON WAS THERE.
September 16, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
McFarland Equalises For Blackpool.
Blackpool: - Roxburgh, goal; Sibley and Butler, backs; Farrow, Hayward, and Johnston, half-backs; Munro, Eastham, Ashworth, MacFarlane, and O’Donnell, forwards. Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (TG), and Watson, half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. A.L. Shakepeare (Blackpool). Everton travelled to Blackpool by motor-coach, but as Mercer and Jones were not up to time they had to make the journey by car. Everton had their championship side on view whereas Blackpool had almost reserve forward line out. It was a sunny day and about 9,000 people turned out. McFarland made a praiseworthy effort with a shot which passed wide. Lawton made a perfect opening for Bentham, who shot straight at Roxburgh when a goal should have been the right verdict. Eastham had missed one at the other end, but his shot did not even reach the goalkeeper. Eastham, however, was responsible for the start of one of the nicest movements so far. It culminated in Munro heading over the bar. Bentham had dribbled through the Blackpool’s defence only to spoil his good work by a faulty centre. A minute later –fifteen minutes –he took a pass from mercer, and calmly lobbed the ball across to Lawton, who lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and into the far side of the net. Eastham refrained from shooting for had he done so he would most probably have hurt Sagar, who later saved well from Munro and O’Donnell. Lawton found the ball screwed badly when he made a shot. Blackpool equalised through McFarland at 31 minutes. Mercer was walking about the goal area with his hands to his head so that the scorer had a free passage to goal. Sagar having no chance with his short, hard drive. Lawton used the old trick of standing still and letting the opposition run on, and his shot from the penalty line was well saved by Roxburgh. Stevenson had back luck when a shot of his hit the goalkeeper and few aside.
Half-time Blackpool 1, Everton 1.
In the first minute of the second half Bentham repeated the first half miss, again shooting straight at the goalkeeper. Munro shot right across the Everton goal face after smart play by Eastham.
EVERTON LOSE AT BLACKPOOL
September 18, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Nine thousand spectators paid £360 to see Blackpool oppose Everton at Bloomfield Road, the seaside club winning by two goals to one. It was of course, only a quiet sort of match in which many chances were missed. McFarland scored for the winners, while Mercer was holding his head between his hands and not knowing that MacFarland was boaring down upon him with an open goal at his mercy. Lawton had previously given Everton the lead with a lob shot after Bentham had run through the Blackpool defence. Ten minutes from the end a centre by the Blackpool left wing saw Ashworth head the winning goal. Gillick missed three opportunities, Bentham two, Lawton some, and on the Blackpool side Eastham one of the most entrancing ball players of the present day, could not find a true line to his drive. Several players seemed to be ambling through the game. However, this was the first game under the new order of things, and allowances must be made. There will have to be something to play for before we can expect anything like what we have been used to. Everton will definitely play Bury next Saturday, but after that sectioned football will be the order. Result-Blackpool 2, Everton 1. Blackpool: - Roxburgh, goal; Sibley and Butler, backs; Farrow, Hayward, and Johnston, half-backs; Munro, Eastham, Ashworth, MacFarlane, and O’Donnell, forwards. Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (TG), and Watson, half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. A.L. Shakepeare (Blackpool).
September 18, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
People who have been yearning for the return of football-any sort of football was better than none, they said- were not satisfied with the first war time game of the season at Blackpool, for it lacked the fire of the “bite” of the competitive game, and there was something wanting about it all. True, it filled a gap, but after that experience I feel that football with something at the end of it is necessary if the interest of even a war-time public is to be maintained. Sample goods are usually of good quality. This sample game between Blackpool and Everton created just a lukewarm interest. I know the players were playing without wages, without any incentive to go all out, but that was really milk and water football. Some players cannot help themselves once they step into a football jersey, but unfortunately, all are not built that way, but it was somewhat surprising to see some of them ambling through the game as if nothing mattered. Something does matter. The public are surely entitled to a square deal. That is how I look at it. But the introduction of sectional football will perhaps, bring more “heart” into the game. I hope so. Blackpool retained their unbeaten record. Everton losing their certificate something they should not have done had there been any accurate finishers in the front line. I never saw so many chances frittered away. Gillick should have scored three times, Bentham twice, and Lawton more than one. What a howl there would have been had this been a League game.
FOOTBALL CANNOT CONTINUE ON PRE-WAR BASIS
September 19, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
League Now Awaits Home Office Decision
Safety Of Public The Guilding Factor.
I am not sympathy with those folk who are urging that football should be resumed on the full unrestricted pre-war League basis. This is not the time to agitate for a return to pre-war conditions. This struggle is going to be a long and a hard one, and we might as well realise now that we are going to have to do without a lot of things we are used to in normal times. Unrestricted League football for peace time lines would defeat the objects the Home Office had had in mind all along, namely the limitation of crowd gathering and the relief of transport systems. Mr. W. C. Cuff president of the Football League told me this morning that it is absolutely definite that the full League programme will not be resumed. The whole idea is impractable,” he said. Mr. Cuff but forward the League’s proposals at yesterday are meeting of the F.A. in London. The F.A. have given favourites consideration to them, and probably in the next twenty-four hours they will go before the Home Office whose main consideration will be the safety of the watching public. As I have said all along, the League fixtures for the season are dead, and the most we have any right is that some form of competition may be permitted on regional lines. Even that will have to be hedged around the restrictions as to the number of spectators allowed. The order will probably be the admission will be ticket only, procurable advance. The Government is anxious at football should go on in some way and that the public should have an opportunity for relaxation, but it must be in harmony with the plans they have for the safety of the people. Pleas have been advanced that a return to pre-war conditions would mean better football, better gates and better rates of pay for players. No doubt, but those are infinitesimal matters in these days. In peace-time I have always taken the part of the players in a plea for better wages and conditions but this is not the time to maintain it. The lads who are fighting in France will not be getting as much per week as some footballers may get for one day’s play. Those who remain behind must be prepared to pull their full weight in the struggle. Business as usual is a motto that applies to essential trade and commerce, but not sport. Admittedly we must have some recreation for the people on essential work at home –that is vital –but I have no patience with those who want everything to be as it was before war broke out.
EVERTON ONE CHANGE.
September 20, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
The Everton team to meet Bury at Gigg Lane on Saturday shows one chance. Lindley taking the place of Mercer, who has joined the Army as a voluntary training instructor. The team is therefore likely to be –Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (T.), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes.
Football Pools To Resume.
For those who like their weekly flutter on the football coupons their is good news in a statement issued by the Pool Promoters Association. Following a London conference yesterday it has been decided to resume pools business on and after October 7.
NEW FOOTBALL PLAN.
September 21, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
No Trophies Or League Tables.
Plans are being prepared for the leading professional soccer clubs to take part in regional football tournaments, but there will be no championships, no trophies, no league tables and players will not receive any bonus. “The scheme was revealed by Mr. W.C. Cuff, president of the Football League, following a meeting of the League Management Committee at Crewe yesterday. Mr. Cuff said that the whole thing will be put into operation as soon as the Government give consent. In restricted areas gates were not to exceed 5,000 spectators and the reason would be arranged so that no club would travel more than 50 miles. There was a possibility that the figure of 5,000 would be increased to 8,000 gates in neutral areas would not be restricted.
Steps To Restrict Gates.
Mr. Cuff said he could not say which clubs would constitute the regions as the League had not received replies from all the clubs which they circulated. According to Mr. Cuff the scheme was based on the restrictions from the Home Office who required the plans to be as general as possible. With regard to the control of gates he disclosed that the Home Office proposal was that all seats should be booked. Mr. Cuff considered it might be left to the discretion of the clubs who could make more convenient arrangements by restricting admission at the turnstiles.
Teams for Saturday.
The Everton team to meet Bury at Gigg Lane on Saturday shows one change, Lindley taking the place of Mercer, who has joined the Army as a voluntary physical training instructor. Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (T.), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Bury; Bradshaw; Hart, Gemmell; Livingstone, McGowan, Halton; Jones, Wood, Burdett, Dougal, Olsen.
FOOTBALL IN WAR-TIME.
September 22, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Rules To Be Observed.
By Ticket Only In Some Cases.
The Football Association have issued the following statement as to the manner in which football may b carried on during the war. “The Football Association have decided after consultation with the Home Office in response to the Government’s request that recreation and entertainment shall continue as far as possible to give its full support to the organisation of both friendly and competition matches confined to local and district groups of clubs on Saturday and public holidays during the war, with the provion that it must in no way interfere with national service. “In the interests of public safety, however, the Government has decided that in evacuation areas the number of spectators must be limited and that in all areas, for the sake of police and transport authorise, large crowds travelling to and from grounds must be avoided. “All associations and clubs are asked to note the following Government regulations and to co-operate in their successful execution;
(A) In Neutral And Reception Areas
Before matches are arranged the proposed arrangements must first be reported to the local police headquarters. No general limit on the number of spectators to be admitted has been fixed, but the Chief Constable may, for special reasons impose a limit on any one ground, or require advance bookings, or even forbid it use.
(B) In Evacuation Areas.
1. The spectators at any one match must not exceed 8,000 in number, or half the capacity of the ground, whichever is the less. Arrangements for matches must be reported beforehand to the local police headquarters, and in exceptional cases, the Chief Constable may forbid the use of a ground or fix a lower limit for it.
In case of grounds having a capacity of 60,000 or more the Chief Constable had discretion to allow the admission of spectators up to a maximum of 15,000 provided that he is satisfied that proper arrangements have been made for advance booking. These arrangements must ensure that the admission to such grounds shall be by ticket only, purchasing not later than the day before the match, and no entry payment at turnstiles will be permissible on these grounds.
2. The spectators must be evenly distributed in the stands and terraces available. If experience shows that large number try to make their way into grounds and thus out a strain upon the authorities or expose themselves to unnecessary danger the Government have made it clear that additional methods will have to be advised which will restrict the numbers so as to prevent this happening and the Football Association have agreed to co-operate for this purpose if necessary.
The Football Association state that the clause concerning advance booking at football grounds in evacuation areas applies only to those grounds which decide to admit spectators above the limit of 8,000.
Spreading The Spectators.
Much depends of how the plan works out, and clubs and officials will be guided by experience. The public however, will welcome the opportunity of seeing organised football. Most of the big clubs whose grounds come within the 60,000 category could, it is felt, distribute 15,000 with safety. For instance, Everton and Liverpool could spread 15,000 over the grounds of occasion should arise. When approached by the Daily Post with regard to the position, Mr. Theo Kelly, the Everton F.C. secretary, said that this could be accomplished with ease. One of the difficulties, however, arose from the fact that spectators generally congregated at vantage points around the ground, and to prevent this occurring a big staff of Stewarts would be required. Goodison Park, has seating accommodation for 17,000, but less than half this number could be used. Mr. Kelly added that “the success of the whole idea has to be proved by experience.”
BLUES AT BURY
September 22, 1939. Evening Express.
Everton will visit Bury. Not since Everton were in the Second Division –in 1930-31 –have they been at Gigg Lane. They will travel without Joe Mercer, who is teaching the Armys lads the intricacies of soccer, but with tall Maurice Lindley, one of the most promising wing half-backs in the country deputising. At Gigg lane, the Blues will renew acquaintance with former colleagues in Peter Dougal and George Bradshaw. Dougal went there direct from Everton, but Bradshaw has been with Arsenal and Doncaster Rovers since he figured in that sensational deal between the Blues and Arsenal. . Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (T.), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Bury; Bradshaw; Hart, Gemmell; Livingstone, McGowan, Halton; Jones, Wood, Burdett, Dougal, Olsen.
EVERTON AT BURY
September 22, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
It is many years since Everton paid a visit to Gigg Lane, the home of the Bury club. The last time I was there was one New Year’s day, and I saw one of the finest games ever played. It was an atrocious day, the conditions being quite unfitted for football, but the twenty-two players gave a brilliant exhibition of football and stamina. The Press raved about the game and the crowd talked of if for months. What will the verdict be tomorrow? Everton will have their first team out with the exception of Joe Mercer, who is helping the Army, and Bury will field a strong side against the champions. While I don’t expect this game to be anything like the previous one I saw between the clubs, I am looking forward to a keen game. Bury, being the “junior member” will be out to show Everton that all the good football is not confined to the First Division. Everton have provisionally arranged to play Preston North End at Goodision Park tomorrow week. . Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (T.), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Bury; Bradshaw; Hart, Gemmell; Livingstone, McGowan, Halton; Jones, Wood, Burdett, Dougal, Olsen.
September 23, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
30/, Per Match For Professionals.
One Shilling Gate
The Football League have fixed the price of admission for civilians to matches during the war at one shilling, but clubs may charge less to soldiers, sailors, airmen, women, and boys. Professional footballers will not receive more than 30s for each match, and the clubs can pay the sum to only the eleven men who play and one reserve. There will be no additional payments for travelling to home matches. These facts are disclosed in a circular issued by the League to their club about the resumption of organised football on a regional basis. Upon the clubs acceptances depends the strength of the proposed new sections, but it is not anticipated that there will be any refusals to join. The statement lays down that travelling to away matches will be restricted to approximately 50 miles. No bonus will be paid on match results, and trophies will not be awarded. A registered player will be permitted to play for another League clubs within reasonable distance of the residence or work by consent of his club, but he will be debarred from assisting any club taking part in a recognised competition outside England and Wales. Proceeds of each match will be charged to the clubs concerned in accordance with F.A. Cup-tie rules. Each club will pay the League 2 per cent of its net receipts, partly for the insurance of players. Mr. F. Howarth, the Football league secretary, after issuing the circular said that no time will be lost in getting their competition going when the League have received replies from the clubs. The fee is not considered adequate payment by Mr. James Fay, secretary of the Players Union. Mr. Fay has called a meeting of the Union Committee to discuss the matter at Manchester On Monday, October 2.
Everton At Bury
Everton are due at Bury and the Gigg Lane club will field a strong side bent on showing that all the best football is not played by the champions. Everton will be without Mercer, but otherwise the team will be at full strength. Lindley take’s Mercer place. . Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (T.), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Bury; Bradshaw; Hart, Gemmell; Livingstone, McGowan, Halton; Jones, Wood, Burdett, Dougal, Olsen.
BELL SCORERS FOR EVERTON.
September 23, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
But Jones Equalises For Bury
Here is news for you. On Saturday October 2, Everton will play Liverpool at Anfield. This Derby game should have been played a week ago. Everton’s team showed two changes for Lawton was unable to make the journey and Lindley was at right half for Mercer. . Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (T.), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Bury; Bradshaw; Hart, Gemmell; Livingstone, McGowan, Halton; Jones, Wood, Burdett, Dougal, Olsen.
After Stevenson had shot wide, and Bentham had tested the former Everton goalkeeper, Bradshaw, Wood missed a great chance from close range. The football was quite entertaining, Bury providing quite a lot of it. Everton took the lead through Bell, who headed through a Boyes centre after a free kick by cook had been handled about in front of the Bury goal, Gillick by the cutest of moves, easily beat Halton and Gemmell, but his centre was wasted. The goal came at the 12th minute and for a time Bury were on the defensive. A cross-wind often spoiled what promised to be good movements. Bury should have taken a goal when Peter Dougal tried to show his former colleagues that he had lost none of his skill, but Olsen did not anticipate his partner’s pass which went over the line before he centred to Sagar’s hands. Boyes tried a surprise shot which finished up in the crowd. Everton’s football was craft, whereas Bury’s was more straightforward. Bury took the equaliser at the fortieth minute. A shot by Jones rebounded from the upright back to him, and he cracked it back into the net, finishing alongside the ball behind Sagar. Bury should have taken the lead a minute later, but hesitancy spoiled them.
Half-Time, Bury 1, Everton 1.
Everton were only seen in a defensive light after the interval and Bury looked the more likely side to score. Sagar had to punch away from Wood.
WAR-TIME FOOTBALL IN 1914-18; WHAT IT WAS LIKE.
September 23, 1939. The Evening Express.
In the light of recent events, I am often asked in what circumstances League football was carried on in the War years from 1914 to 1918. The circumstances were unusual indeed, but the game was kept alive. When the war broke out in 1914, the clubs were just about to embark on a programme to which they had been committed for some moths. There were two main competitions in those days –the Football league and the Southern League, each of which was made up of two divisions. These organisation decided to fulfil their engagements for one more season and than review the whole position to determine future policy. So the season started, but in a short time, it was realised that few clubs would escape without serious financial loss. All were faced with dwindling attendances, and many of the best players were answering Lord Kitchener’s call of arms. By the spring of 1915 it was regarded as hopeless to continue League and Cup football under the old conditions. Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United, Sunderland, Sunderland, Aston Villa, West Bromwich, Birmingham, and Wolverhampton were among the big League clubs that decided to close down. But the remainder formed themselves into three substitute competitions grouped geographically –the Football league (Lancashire Section), the Football league (Midland Section), and the London combination. Other clubs outside the original league came in to replace those which had withdrawn.
Two Matches In One Day.
Players were allowed to assist the clubs nearest to their places of residence or whenever their military stations of their work happened to be. Under the arrangement, many star performers were seen in strange colours. The three championships were won in 1915-16 by Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and Chelsea. The following season, Blackburn Rovers, and Birmingham returned to the game under the group system described, but Derby County withdraw. The difficulties were immense and a bitter winter made the running of a regular programme harder still. Yet the game went on. I recall that to keep abreast of their engagements Bolton Wanderers played two away matches on Good Friday, 1917, one at Southport and the other at Oldham. Lincoln City had a similar experience, and had to field two separate teams for away matches on the final day of the campaign. This time, the championships were won by Liverpool, Leeds City and West ham, all of whom were fortunate in having star players at their command. It was about this time that West Ham were first assisted the former Bolton centre half, George Kay, now manager of Liverpool, who was serving in the Army in the London district. He sign on for the club when the game resumed to its original football in 1914 and was their captain in the memorable first Wembley Cup final in 1920. Chelsea another strong London Combination side of the war years were able to call on the famous Charlie Buchan of Sunderland and the brilliant Bolton left wing pair, Joe Smith and Ted Vizard.
After the Armistice.
The opening of the 1918-19 season was similar to those that had gone before. The public had become accustomed to the substitute league, and although there was never any certainty about the players they would see, they found relaxation in watching keenly contested games. The War had reached a critical stage, but few people anticipated that it was so near its end. The signing of the armistice in November 1918, had an immediate effect on football. Gates soared all the old enthusiasm came back and the Football Association arranged representative matches in the form of Victory Internationals. The public could now look forward confidently to the resumption of the game on the old footing the following year. Meanwhile, the substitute leagues were providing them with thrilling entertainment. Everton won the Lancashire Championship in handsome style, losing only one match in 30 played. Nottingham Forest, for the second time were leaders in the Midland and, as in the previous season, the two champions faced each other for possession of the Cup. The game at Nottingham was drawn and the Forest by winning at Goodison Park, were proclaimed champions.
EVERTON FORWARDS LACK PUNCH
September 23, 1939. Evening Express.
Bury Level Goal By Bell.
Everton have arranged to play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, October 7. The Blues were at Bury today, without Lawton, Bell taking his place at centre forward. This was Everton’s first visit to Gigg lane since Second Division days in 1931. . Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (T.), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Bury; Bradshaw; Hart, Gemmell; Livingstone, McGowan, Halton; Jones, Wood, Burdett, Dougal, Olsen. Everton were given, rascal honours when they took the field. Stevenson and Bentham had shots off the target before Bentham forced the ex-Evertonian Bradshaw to save low down. Wood the former Prescott boy, had a good chance of giving the Bury the lead, but he hesitated at the vital moment, and Sagar dashed out to save. Gillick twice outwitted the Bury defence, without being able to find a colleague from his final pass. In 12 minutes Everton took the lead, Bell being the scorer. A free kick was given against Halton for hands and Cook placed this to the goalmouth. The ball was brushed aide to Boyes, whose short centre was headed through by Bell.
There was a big thrill when after a shot by Boyes had been deflected a quick counter caught the Everton defence out of position, and the Bury forwards went through in mass. Each of the five forwards had a chance, but the ball was worked away to Olsen, who only two yards from goal, screwed it back across goal for Wood to hit it first time. The ball bounded back into play off Greenhalgh’s knee when it looked any odds on a goal. Everton served up good football against the rather more direct methods of Bury but there was a lack of punch one the penalty area was reached. Watson contributed Everton’s best scoring effort when he almost grazed the post, with Bradshaw beaten, for generally the Everton forwards were prone to make that extra pass, instead of revealing their usual meritiveness. Bury drew level in 40 minutes, Jones being the score. Jones cut in to Burdett’s pass, and hit the foot of the post with his first effort. The ball rebounded to him, and he placed into the net as he fell headlong over Cook’s body. Sagar was hard pressed when Wood centred from the line, and he had to punch clear. Jones saved the situation.
Half-Time Bury 1, Everton 1.
EVERTON LOSE AT BURY
September 25, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post.
Finishing Power Absent.
Everton’s experience in this new football had not been very successful. They have been beaten in the two games played. Still it is the game which counts and for that reason the Bury people (5,874 spectators paid £253) were thankful of the opportunity to see the champions, particularly so in the first half when Everton seemed to be riding on a tight rein, but eventually Bury won by the odd goal in five. Everton’s football was more elaborate than that of their rivals, in fact it was their superiority which proved undoing, for while they were fiddling Bury were going straight for goal. There was plenty of thrills about the game, but not enough punch, and scoring chances were missed. Bell, who led Everton in place of Lawton, missed the simplest of chances almost on time. Everton took the lead early on when Bell headed through after the ball had bobbed about the Bury goalmouth. The equaliser was a thrilling affair in that the ball was cannoned out of the Everton goal three times before Cook finally kicked the ball against Jones off when it went into the net. A penalty goal for obstruction by Watson gave Bury the lead, Halton scoring at the second attempt. Sagar having punched out the first shot straight back to the shooter. The third goal was the result of Jones placing to Burdett who ran through a clear field. Everton, who had been pinned down in their own half, then came to life and Stevenson headed through. This was a very much better game than Everton had played at Blackpool, although the right wing was uncommonly quiet. Result Bury 3, Everton 2
. Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (T.), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Bury; Bradshaw; Hart, Gemmell; Livingstone, McGowan, Halton; Jones, Wood, Burdett, Dougal, Olsen.
EVERTON WILL JOIN REGIONAL COMPETITION.
September 25, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton Football Club have decided to participate in the regional competition which is being formulated by the Football League. This important decision was made after the return of the party from the friendly game at Bury, when the chairman. Mr. Ernest Green, was in telephone communication with other members of the Board to obtain their views. It means that Goodison Park will be re-opened for football and the Liverpool monetary finances will benefit to the extent of about £3,000. That is the sum which will be involved for rates. You may ask whether it is worth all that money. I agree with Mr. Green when he says “Yes.” “It would not be fair to our followers were we to take out home fixtures to another ground, “he said.” “Football even in wartime, can prove a great source of relief from other worries, and we feel that we shall by filling a public need by having games at Goodison Park.” Everton play Preston N.E. at Goodison Park On Saturday.
Lack Of “Bite”
It comes as something of a shook to find Everton, the Football League champions, losing two friendly games in succession. They have themselves to blame. At Blackpool they threw away innumerable scoring chances, and in a lesser degree, it was the same story at Gigg-lane, where Bury, who were more direct, beat them 3-2. In the last minute Bell placed outside with not a soul guarding the goal –and from two yards range! Bury possess one of the best young full-backs I have seen for a long time, in Hart. Aged 23, this is a former Earlestown lad who refused invitation to move to Merseyside. Bell and Stevenson scored for Everton, and Jones, Halford and Burdett for Bury. There was no doubting the real delight of the Bury people. The visit of Everton was a big day for them –and they said so.
EVERTON’S SECOND DEFEAT
September 25, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
There would have been some long faces had Everton lost two consectitive games in League days, but results are of such little importance now that it does no matter. It is the games that counts and Everton for a time played nice football against Bury at Gigg Lane, but there was no goals punch. They could have won this game had they not been so superior; so intent to show the Bury people how clever they were, and so missed the satisfaction for the shadow. I honestly thought they would win on a tight rain when they got their first goal, but instead they produced more and more finesse which failed against the more go-ahead football of their opponents. They have the impression that they had the superiority complex which does not do against teams of the calibre of Bury with their straight forward football. Bell scored one of Everton’s two goals Stevenson the other but in reply Jones,Halton and Burdett scored for the Shakers. Jones’s goal was curious for I doubt whether he knew much about it until he found himself lying at the back of the net alongside the ball. He had caught a Cook clearance the forehead as he was rushing forward. True Jones had previously hit the upright the ball rebounding out of goal three times before from the penalty shot through Watson obstructing Wood. Sagar saved Halton’s first shot. Tommy Jones was trying some of his clever stuff when Burdett scored. It did not come off for the ball went straight to Burdett who ran through and scored. Nevertheless the football was enjoyed by the Bury people who expressed the wish that it would not be long before Everton paid when another visit.
SEVEN FOOTBALL GROUPS
September 26, 1939. The Evening Express.
L’pool Clubs For Stoke Section?
The Football League are now going ahead with the plans for grouping club, into regional sections, but it is not expected that competitive football will be resumed before October 14. It is understood there will be seven groups and none will include more than 18 clubs. Everton, Liverpool, Manchester Utd, and Manchester City are likely to be put in the Stoke section along with the Cheshire clubs. So here are likely to be London 16; Manchester 12; Midlands 12, North Western 12, North Eastern 10; South and West Yorkshire 10, and West 10.
EVERTON WAITING AND HOPING.
September 27, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are in much the same boat for their game at Goodison Park with Preston North End. With the players scattered about on National service or back at their trade they may not be able to announce the team with any degree of certainty until Friday but Mr. Theo Kelly hopes to get the service of eight or nine of the regular championship side.
Central League Off.
From what I hear there is not much chance of Central League being revived. When it was suspended a month ago, circulars were sent round asking clubs whether they would take part in a war time scheme, but the responsible has been such that the idea has been dropped. It is just as well. Before very long it will probably take most clubs all their time to raise the side let alone two.
GOODISON PARK REOPENS
September 28, 1939. The Evening Express.
Football will be resumed at Goodison Park tomorrow, where only one first team match has been played since the opening of the short-lived 1939-40 season. Preston North End, one of the most scientific combinations in the country provide the opposition tomorrow. North End will have the aid of the O’Donnell Brothers Frank and Hugh. Frank played with the consent of Aston Villa and Hugh with the consent of Blackpool whom he assisted against the Blues two weeks ago. Lawton returns to Everton’s attack, vice Bell, and should bring the necessary punch which has been missing in the two friendlies up to now. Had the Blues forced home their territorial advantage in both the previous games they would have not been beaten. A former Everton player Harry Holdcroft will guard the North End goal in a game which should attract the limit attendance of 8,000. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (Tom), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Preston North End; Holdcroft; Williams, Beattie (A); Shankly, Batey, Milne; McIntosh, Mutch, O’Donnell (F.), Beattie (R.), O’Donnell (H.).
EVERTON ARE AT HOME.
September 29, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
In normal days such a meeting of Everton and Preston North End would bring it’s 40,000 people to Goodison Park but we cannot have more than the 8,000 allowed without ticket control. Preston have signed the brothers Frank and Hugh O’Donnell, their former players and they will be included in their team against Everton, along with Batey who comes in at centre half for Smith. Everton will be at full strength, Lawton coming in for Bell. The “Proud Un” have shown in recent seasons that ball juggery is their strong point, often at the expense of a shot. This has aggravated their own folk more than once. If this regional football ids to be worth anything it will have to have more “bite” about it than the two friendlys I have seen. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (Tom), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Preston North End; Holdcroft; Williams, Beattie (A); Shankly, Batey, Milne; McIntosh, Mutch, O’Donnell (F.), Beattie (R.), O’Donnell (H.).
EVERTON’S MATCH AT GOODISON.
September 30, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post.
A large number of friendly games are down for decision today. The regional competitions do not began until October 14 at the earliest. Everton play their first game at Goodison Park since the end of August. Preston North End being the visitors. In normal circumstances the meeting would attract a large crowd, is the limit. The kick-off is at 3.15. To comply with the regulations, gates will be opened at spaced intervals around the ground. There will be entrances in Goodison Road and Bullens Road to the terraces, and also the seating accommodation. The boys pen will be opened as usual. Members of his Majesty’s forces (and their woman friends) will be admitted to the ground only at half price. Everton will be without the services of Mercer, who is assisting an Army side against Aldershot, the Third Division eleven. The brothers O’Donnell are to play for Preston North End, and no doubt a most interesting game will be seen. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (Tom), Watson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Preston North End; Holdcroft; Williams, Beattie (A); Shankly, Batey, Milne; McIntosh, Mutch, O’Donnell (F.), Beattie (R.), O’Donnell (H.).
EVERTON RALLY AFTER REVERSE
September 30, 1939. The Evening Express.
Lawton’s Fine Goal Against Preston
Jock Thomson, the Everton captain made his first appearance of the season against Preston at Goodison Park today. He took the place of Jones at centre half. There was only a handful of spectators when the teams took the field. Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook and Greenhalgh, backs; Lindley, Thomson (captain) and Watson, half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Preston North End: - Holdcroft, goal; Williams and Beattie (A.), backs; Shankly, Batey and Milne, half-backs; McIntosh, Mutch, O’Donnell (F.), Beattie (R.), and O’Donnell (h.). The first thrill came when Holdcroft miskicked Watson’s low centre. There was no one in attendance, however, and the goalkeeper regained possession. The Preston forwards combined brilliantly, and it was only the speed of Watson which saved a threatening situation when Hugh O’Donnell provided, an opening for his brother Frank, Watson nipped in to clear. At the other end Holdcroft was forced to save a high pass back by Batey, the goalkeeper taking the ball almost under the bar. When Frank O’Donnell placed the ball high over the bar into the double Decker, there was no spectator handy to return it, and a new ball had to be requisitioned. Everton’s best effort to date came from Watson, who worked his wage through before placing inches over the bar from the edge of the penalty area. Lawton had a great chance following a free kick which left him with only Holdcroft to beat. The Everton leader casually side tapped the ball towards the goal from a few yards range only to see it pass over the bar.
In 20 minutes Preston took the lead, Frank O’Donnell turning the ball into the empty net were Thomson had intervened to prevent McIntosh centre from reaching Sagar. Gillick ran half the length of the field before shooting into the side netting, but he had the hardest luck shortly afterwards which struck the underside of the bar with terrific first-time drive. Everton drew level at the end of 33 minutes. There allowed a back-header by Bentham, which placed Lawton on a direct route to goal. Lawton scored with a fine, low drive, which had Holdcroft beaten from the word go. Everton subsequently had the better of the exchanges and they almost had a second goal when Holdcroft saved a header from Stevenson underneath the bar. Everton took up the attack and after Watson had missed his kick when about to shoot, Greenhalgh placed wide from about 3o yards. Following another attack on the right Holdcroft saved from Stevenson.
Half-Time Everton 1, Preston North End 1.
MILESTONES IN HISTORY OF FAMOUS CLUBS EVERTON.
September 30, 1939. Evening Express.
1878 –Formation of the St. Domingo Football Club by members of the New Connection Chapel, Everton. First game played in Stanley Park, original colours, blue and white stripes.
1879 –Name changed to Everton. First match v. Local St. Peter’s.
1880 –First railway journey –to play Gt. Level (Bolton) in Lancashire Cup.
1881 –Jerseys dyed black and scarlet sashes win club the nickname “Black Watch.”
1883 –First private ground secured at Coney Green. Priory-road. First “gate” 14s. Winners of Liverpool F.A. Cup
1884 –move to Anfield-road to rent two fields owned by Orrell brothers.
1885 –Professionalism adopted.
1887 –Cup-tie with the Famous Glasgow Rangers.
1888 –One of original twelve members of Football league.
1889 –Record League victory v. Stoke
1890 –John Holt and Fred Geary, Everton’s first internationals, capped v. Wales and Ireland. League Runners-up, two points behind Preston North End.
1891 –League champions, two points ahead of Preston North End.
1892 –split in the camp over question of ground rent. Some members move to Goodison-road to form limited liability company; remainder form Liverpool F.C. Goodison Park ground opened on August 24.
1893 –F.A. cup Final, Beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Fallowfield (0-1). Third In league without conceding a goal at home during second half of season.
1895 –Second to Sunderland in First Division.
1896 –Again in the first three. Third to Villa and Derby County.
1897 –Lost 2-3 to Aston Villa in Cup Final at Crystal Palace.
1898 –Beaten Cup semi-final by Derby County (1-3)
1902 –First Division runners-up to Sunderland.
1904 –Third to Sheffield Wednesday and Manchester City
1905 –Pipped by one point by Newcastle United in race for championship, Cup semi-finalists again. First continental tour. Games played at Vienna, Budapest, Prague and Haarlem.
1906 –Cup-winners at last. Newcastle United beaten 1-0
1907 –In Cup Final again but defeated this time by Sheffield Wednesday (2-1). Third again in league table.
1909 –League runners up to Newcastle United. Tour to Argentina.
1910 beaten by Barnsley in Cup semi-final by three clear goals.
1912 –Outpaced by Blackburn Rovers in League championship race.
1913 –visit of His Majesty King George V to Goodison Park.
1915 Vanquished by Chelsea in Cup semi-final (2-0) League champions for second time.
1929 –Relegation avoided by two points.
1922 –Cup defeat at home by Crystal Palace (0-6)
1925 –Dixie Dean signed from Tranmere Rovers.
1928 –Jubilee celebrated by winning league championship for third time. Dixie Dean set up new First Division marksmanship record with 60 in 39 games.
1930 –worst season in club’s history, Relegated to Second Division.
1931 –quick return. Runaway champions of Second Division
1931 –Cup K.O in semi-final by West Bromwich Albion (0-1)
1932 –Top of the League again
1933 –first trip to Wembley. Victory over Manchester City by three clear goals
1938 –tom Lawton signed at club’s record for (£6,500)
1938 –Record “gate” to Goodison Park; 68,158 spectators pay £5,877 to see Cup-tie v. Sunderland.
1939 –League champions for fifth time. Mr. W. C. Cuff, director and former chairman, elected president of the Football league.
EVERTON MIGHT NOT HAVE PLAYED REGIONAL FOOTBALL.
September 30, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Partisans take Their Medicine
The Mixture As Before
Believe it or not, but at one time the Everton directors were doubtful whether it would be possible to enter the regional football scheme. They decided to make the effort for the realised that it was necessary to keep the game warm for the time when more normal times come along. Had they not done so there was always the danger that many of their supporters would have gone over to Liverpool, who intimated their intention of linking up with others to help form a section. It is quite possible that many would have done so, but it is difficult to change a leopard’s spots. Once an Evertonian always an Evertonian is an axiom well-known on Merseyside, just as the Liverpoolian is always a Liverpoolian. Partisanship is football’s bread and butter. It need not be partisanship though one likes to feel that there is a keenest about one’s followers. Of course you get the fanatic who cannot see anything good outside Goodison Park or Anfield Road but they are not the best supporters of the club. Some people take their football very seriously. It brings their sleepless nights, days dreams, and often arguments stronger than words. I cannot understand such people. I don’t suppose anyone likes football more than me, but when it gets a hold of one in the extent of cramping the mind then I think it is time to take a hold and give one’s self a good talking to. If I fail to see how a rapid football follower can enjoy his game. He looks through coloured glasses, and has not got a good word for the opposition. In a contest of any character there must be another side, and surely that side is worth praising if it does anything worthy of a cheer. I know men who are so faturated in their own team that they could not go to an opponent’s ground even though their favourites were performing there. Now, where is the sense or reason in that! One Everton fan could not bear the thought of his side losing. This is no fairly story; I am going to tell you but the truth, for I knew the man very well. The week-end Everton were defeated was a nightmare for him. He would go home, refuse his tea, strut out of the house and not be seen for hours. He was very little better on a Sunday in fact, he was not only a misery to himself, but a miser to the whole household. It was not until about the middle of the following week that he regained his senses. Which is the most partisan crowd in the country? Did I hear you ask? It does not take me one minute to answer that. It is Sunderland. They are so bad that they “get at their own players if things are not running to rule –their rule only. An old Sunderland player once told me that if the team lost the players could hardly show their faces in the street on Saturday night. And you know Sunderland long run of non-success at home last season. Perhaps that was the result of over-partisanship. The ladies –oh, yes, they were among the severest critics. And they would have the last word. The Anfield crowd can at times be very “hot” I have seen them in restless mood, in biting mood, and one of the best crowds in the country, but at some grounds only one team counts. The Wolves people are the best of sports to a visiting team, while the Arsenal folk think that Arsenal the start and end of football. Last season, when Everton played at the stadium, the crowd were staggered at the way the Merseyside’s ran rings round their favourites. They did not like it, but I will say that they kept their chins up through it all. One little Londoner sitting close to me said to his neighbour. Look at the blighters showing us how to play football. One does not mind that it is when the crowd become bitter and hurl insulting remarks to the visiting players that partisanship seems all wrong. Some years ago I held a roaming commission round North Wales and had to visit such places as Holyhead, Bangor, Acrefair, Rhyl, and other centred. The crowds there are well biased. Tranmere are not free from people who consider anything done by a visiting player is an ordering off case. I suppose, however, we can put up with me few who lose themselves over their football.
FULL BACK’S SAVE BEAT GOALIE
September 30, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
O’Donnell Of Villa Nets For N.E.
Fancy Stuff Has Little Appeal At Goodison
Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook and Greenhalgh, backs; Lindley, Thomson (captain) and Watson, half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Preston North End: - Holdcroft, goal; Williams and Beattie (A.), backs; Shankly, Batey and Milne, half-backs; McIntosh, Mutch, O’Donnell (F.), Beattie (R.), and O’Donnell (H.). Referee Mr. F. Percy (Liverpool).
It was found necessary to make an alteration in the Everton team against Preston N.E. for it was found that Jones was not available, so that Captain Thomson made his first appearance this season at centre half. The attendance was only small, for no more than 2,000 people were present when the game opened. The first 20 minutes spell was noteworthy because of the good passing movement of both sides, particular that of Preston, but it did not bring either side anything. It was nice to watch, but the crowd wanted more pep into the proceedings. High-class combination was not enough for them –they wanted the thrill of a goal or at least the thrill of a shot. The first three occasions on which the goalkeeper were called to only were when they had to save from their own colleagues –Holdcroft from Batey and Milne, Sagar from Thomson and the first real shot came from the foot of Watson, who ran through to deliver a fast rising shot which grazed the top side of the crossbar. Frank O’Donnell shot over when well placed, yet it was this Aston Villa forward who eventually opened Preston’s account. McIntosh had done good work on the right wing and centred. It was obvious Sagar ball, but Thomson refused to take any chance and stepped in front of his goalkeeper, taking the ball on his chest. This proved vital for the ball ran out to Frank O’Donnell who cleverly hooked it into the Everton goal at 21 minutes. Another spell of intricate football followed and then Gillick had desperately bad luck when he piloted a great shot on to the upright with Holdcroft well and truly beaten. There was a shade more life about matters just about now, and Sagar had to make one or two smart saves following some nice by play by the Preston forwards. As the game developed the football was still on top class but there was the added spice of shooting and those who did not enjoy this fare must have been hard to please. A save by Sagar from H. O’Donnell in itself was worth the shilling paid for it looked a million to one against the Everton goalkeeper even getting in touch with the drive but alone keeping it out of his goal. He saved with one hand when all seemed lost.
Lawton who had been well taken care off by Batey at last got the chance he desired. Running out to the right hand side of the goal he hit a glorious shot which literally flew into the net at 35 minutes. Holdcroft could do no more than watch the ball speed past him. Holdcroft was responsible for the saving of a goal when he grabbed a header from Stevenson from under the crossbar.
Half-time Everton 1, Preston N.E 1
In the fiftieth minute Gillick ran through to score a clever goal. Holdcroft was in the correct position but instead of Scot relying on change, he smartly lobbed the ball into the net, Holdcroft trying desperately hard to make contact with the ball which passed over his head.