December 1887

Association Game.
December 3 rd 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
The time has at length come round when the question of local supremacy must be solved. Last season Everton and Bootle were fated to meet in the first round of the local cup-tie, with the result that Everton retained possession of the converted trophy. Today, at Anfield they meet in the second round, and thus, unfortunately, the contest will again be robbed of the interest while in previous years marked the annual event. Last Saturday the clubs sailed fourth in quest of fresh laurels in the National contest. Everton bearding the famous Preston at the Deepdale ground, whilst Bootle antagonized the Higher Walton team, which a few weeks ago had done so well that victory was counted upon as a matter of course. This was a local idea, which it is needless to say, was not shared by the visiting team, and how erroneous the calculation was in shown by the cruising defeat of 6-1. Bootle played up strongly from the start, and pressing heavily, were ahead at the interval by four to nothing. With such an immense advantage in hand, the “stripes” afterwards slowed down considerably and only scored twice, while Higher Walton, notched their first and only goal. How differently fate dealt with Everton is now a matter of history. Beaten last season to the semi-final, and disqualified the year before, the Preston North End now put in all they knew. For they were who were sanguine enough to believe in the ability of Everton to lower the Deepdale flag, but while the defeat created only partial, surprise, the followers of the Anfield team stood aghast had been beaten by 6-0. As Bootle and Everton have not previously met this season it is extremely difficult to gauge the chances of success, and only by the tortnouses process of unraveling collateral form can an approximate idea be arrived at. But this, as we knew, is misleading, and the figures must therefore speak for themselves, out of a total off 15 matches played by Everton, 10 have been won, and 5 lost –44 goals, against 27 being scored, or an average of 1-17. The most notably victory gained by Everton was over the Bolton Wanderers, who were beaten by 2-1, drawns being effected with Church and Notts County. Out of 19 matches played by Bootle have won 14, and lost 5, scoring 63 goals to their opponents 26, or 24 to 1. Here Bootle would seem to show a better balance –sheet than their opponents, but the process of etncidtin is a doubtful one after all. We have also the local rivals pitted against leading Lancashire clubs, the results being as follows;

Lancashire Evening Post - Saturday 03 December 1887
That the game at Deepdale last Saturday was the most unenjoyable one since the memorable occasion when Belger's leg was broken; that from the manner in which the Evertonians were playing, the spectators were uneasy as to the safety of the home team, and a sigh of thankfulness went up when Mr. Armstrong sounded the whistle for the cessation of hostilities; that the Evertoniams are the roughtest and dirtiest lot of players who have ever appeared at Deepdale, and the frequenters thereof do not wish to see them again.  That Prestonians are of opinion that the Liverpool papers were not far wrong when they christened the Everton right full back "Dirty Dick" that the manner in which he went for his opponents in the most foul manner made many spectators' blood curdle time after time; that he was cautioned by the referee more than once, but the shabbiness of his behaviour was so inherent that he could not get off it; that his partner was not much better, while the backs and Gibson, the centre half-back, made up a trio which any club would do well to get rid of.  That Bob Smalley pleased Prestonians, and many and loud regrets were expressed that he had been allowed to slip away; that he is now, however, a thorough Evertonian, and during the past week has even tried to defend their play last Saturday; that on more than one occasion he has tried to justify Dick's charge of Gordon just in front of the top goal; that his explanation is that Gordon was about to jump on him, when Dick rushed to the rescue, and put his head in the "right-wing flyer's stomach, an unjustifiable practice, no matter under what circumstances; at least so thought Mr. Armstrong.
That the general idea is that Bob will be included in the North End ranks ranks next year; that after the match last week it is reported that abet was made by a "North End official" with the Everton secretary that Bob would be between the North End sticks next season; that the secretary at once found out the Prestonian and communicated his bet, and was assured he need have no fear. 

Preston North End Bolton Wanderers Witton South Shone
Everton 0-6 5-6 4-9 1-2
Boolte 3-9 3-2 2-2 4-1
Everton played four games with the Bolton Wanderers and two with Witton, whereas Bootle twice met Preston and South Shone respectively. It will thus be seen that whilst Everton scored ten goals to 22 by opposing teams Bootle scored 12 against 14, the majority arising out of the matches with Preston, who won by 3-1 and 6-2. That the crowd will be larger than on any previous occasion may be taken for granted, and with the game, well and fairly contested, may the best team win, it is stated on good authority that the major of Liverpool CM. T.W. Oakshot) and the mayor of Bootle (Alderman John Howard) will grace the match with their presence.

Everton v Bootle
December 5, 1887. The Liverpool Mercury
The thoughts of all followers of the Association game in Liverpool were on Saturday concentrated upon one event –the encounter once more between Everton and Bootle for local supremacy. It was indeed a veritable carnival. The fine weather tempted all who take an interest in the dribbling code, and who had a spare hour or two, to visit the Anfield ground, and so the gathering was the largest yet seen in Liverpool, numbering something like 11,000. To demonstrate the spreading popularity of football, the Mayors of Liverpool and Bootle, and many prominent ladies and gentlemen, personally patronised the match. The contest, however was not by any means the most scientific seen in this district of late. It was a most determined tussle, as all other matches between Everton and Bootle have been, and in some respects resembles that of last year. Bootle were able to renew the attack over and over again, and indeed, did most pressing, but were miserably weak in front of goal; and of the many shots sent in, there were only two –by Hasting and Morris –that possessed real merit. Everton, when once near goal, are always dangerous. They were conspicuous for occasional rushes rather than sustained attacks, and it was by this mode of warfare that Bootle's flag was lowered twice –first by a magnificent shot by Farmer, and then by Gibson from a corner, in each of which successors Fleming correctly placed the ball. The first half of the game was in favour of Bootle, their combination being better than Everton's; but they feil off as operations proceeded, and when once the score went against them, lost all vitality. On the whole, the cleverest team won, as Everton were effective at the critical moment, for it is of small advantage to get within shooting distance, and not know how to score. It is to be regretted that there were many bits of questionable play. Both sides were sinners in roughness, but Bootle were the greatest sufferers, as Hastings and Morris are rather seriously injured; Weir also had his arm put out. When will players remember that heavy charging is neither essential nor conductive to the advancement of the dribbling game? If Everton should fail, which it is to be hoped they will not do, to come out of their entanglement over the National Cup with clean hands, Bootle, as a consequence, will doubtless claim the tie. Some surprise was expressed at Everton raising the price for the bottom stand; and there will probably be representation made on the subject of this stand to the Liverpool Association. Spectator.

December 5, 1887. The Liverpool Mercury
Liverpool Cup (Second Round).
The meeting between Everton and Bootle gained rather than diminished through compulsory postponement, for the important gathering which must have been nearly 11,000. Excited that local interest had developed to the highest pitch, when on Saturday, the opposing elevens ranged themselves, for action at Anfield. The Everton enclosure, with its ample accommodation, thronged as it was in every park, presented a most animated aspect, while glamour was given to the proceedings by the presence of both the Mayors of Liverpool and the mayor of Bootle, in company with other prominent personalities. The weather, too, was most genial and through the exhibition of football was not of the highest order, the afternoon's entertainment proved to be most enjoyable. Both clubs were enabled to put their full representation of eligible players in the field, and the contest must be considered a fair test of prowess. Everton had two alterations from the team that went down before Preston North End last week, Fleming and Cassidy taking the places of Richard's and Izzatt, but Bootle were represented by the exact eleven that gave Higher Walton their quietus. A few minutes after the appointed time, upon Everton winning the toss, Lewis opened hostilities by kicking downhill against a wind that swept from goal to goal. Everton were at once on the ball, but Bootle kicked out somewhat prematurely. Weir took the throw in, Woods kicking up without advantage, as Farmer and Cassidy were too great a match in a tussle with Holt, and ran down to the corner, terminating a bit of nice play by sending over. From the goal kick, Holt was foiled in a quicker movement by Gibson, who sent along to Farmer and Weir, pressed though not severely. A foul against Holt again let in Everton, a throw-in by Weir being well taken up by Fleming. Veitch was at hand to clear, but Dick wound up the argument by sending behind in a long shot. Lewis got well away until Dick interposed in a good kick to which A. Watson replied. Holt closed on the ball, and Dick missing his aim. Holt, Lewis and Wilding went on in fine combination, a bad shot by the latter rendering the effort null, and void. Lewis then came into collision with Gibson, and Dick sending right into the goal mouth from the place gave Jackson an anxious moment, which forced him to risk a corner. The pace just now being relied to by Hastings, who went off from the goal kick and got almost within shooting range before Dobson rushed in and kicked out hard. Bootle, however, resumed the assault, and Morris shot wide. Farmer ran, and Allsop save hands, but the passing was found through the Bootle backs, and so Anderson with no better success tried a shot from the left, Weir cleared though ineffectively as Morris and Wilding dribbling down the right. The latter sent over to Hastings, who delivered a lightening like shot, but the visitors were again doomed to disappointment as the ball flew over the bar. A lame kick out by Farmer reinstated Bootle in the attack, Holt dodged Goudie, and Lewis baffling both Gibson and Weir, Dick deemed it prudent to give a corner which was easily cleared. Holt was again too tricky for Gibson and Morris ran the ball out. Cassidy then fouled Allsop, and though danger threatened from the free kick, Dick and Dobson were impassable. Everton now got up to the Bootle end. Watson drove players back in a hugh kick, but Farmer returning and shot well. Watson heading out smartly. Woods beat in turn Fleming and Gibson, and sent up to Morris, who shot lamely, and Dick and Dobson each had to interfere to keep off Hasting and Wilding. A Watson on Farmer and Cassidy going up the left, made a miskick and was forced to concede a corner, Dick almost scoring. Woods cleared with a well judged kick to Lewis, who necessitated Joliffe fisting out brilliantly. Everton then attempted to move up, but were intercepted before getting within shooting distance. Morris and Wilding dribbling down in a pretty fashion, and again Joliffe had to knock out. Farmer next dashed past Holt and Lewis, but shot badly, and after a free kick, given through Dobson's foul near in, had been efficiently attended to Watson and Goudie in a nice passing run gave trouble. Bootle got away from Gibson's throw in, but Dick was just in time to prevent disaster from the shot Lewis essayed. Flewming and Watson were away, and hands against Bootle near goal looked ominous, but Morris was in the way, and a free kick at midfield gave the visitors another opportunity, but though both Gibson and Dobson gave hands in a scrimmage close in, Bootle could find no outlet and half-time arrived with the record a blank. Watson went away in a short dribble on Goudie restarting, and Farmer beating Holt, shot over. Farmer was superior to Morris in a tussle, but Watson attended to the former, so Higgins was put in possession, only to shoot behind. From the goal kick, Morris forced his way right up to near goal, when Lewis shot over. Watson charged Holt and Veitch placed the ball well, but Weir (who was now playing under difficulties through an injured arm) saved smartly. Farmer went away in a strong run, and though Veitch pulled him up, Fleming was at hand to give a goal kick. Hasting had no difficulty in dodging Gibson and Dick. Morris, however, was faulty in shooting, and with their let off the Everton forwards moved down the slope in combination, and a pass by Fleming being well taken by Farmer, Jackson was upset by a terrific shot, a mighty cheer demonstrating that the cup-holders had drawn first blood. Everton at once renewed the attack, but Veitch proved a check, and play became less animated. Farmer went half back to strengthen the defence. Still Bootle settled down for a sustained siege, but were wretchedly weak in front of goal, shots by Morris, Hastings, Anderson, Holt and Wilding being all feeble. Hastings when about to take a shot, got severely kicked, which prevented him from continuing play. Bootle's chances of victory with this mishap dropped to zero. However, they had another shot or two at goal, and then a further misfortune befell them, as Morris was rendered of little service, he having received a bad knock on the head in charging Higgins. Everton at length went away and A. Watson missing a kick at a critical moment, Fleming forced a corner, which he placed so well that Gibson had no difficulty in steering through. Everton with this double success infused some exciting play, but nothing came of the spurt and a severe fight terminating in one more triumph for Everton over their old opponents. Teams;- Bootle; Jackson, goal; Watson and Veitch, backs; Allsop, Holt, and Wood, half-backs; Wilding, Morris, Lewis, Anderson, and Hastings, forwards. Everton; Joliffe, goal; Dobson and Dick, backs; Higgins, Gibson and Weir, half-backs; Cassidy, Farmer, Goudie, Watson and Fleming, forwards. Umpires; Messrs R.M. Sloane, and A. Nisbet. Referee; Mr. A.B. Hull.

Bolton Wanderers v Everton
December 6 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier
Everton Club suspended.
Last evening a meeting of the executive Committee of the Football Association was held in London to consider the dispute between the above club, the result hey that the protest of the Bolton Wanderers was sustained, and Everton was suspended for a month from yesterday. The Bolton play Preston at Preston on Saturday next.

Everton Football Club
December 7 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir-may I be allowed through the medium of your valuable paper to record my protest against the action of the English Football association in suspending the above club for what is termed “veiled professionalism.” The fact of the case are as follows; -
According to the rules of the Football Association, no professional football players is eligible to cup-ties unless he has resided for two years with a six miles of the ground or headquarters of the club for which he plays.
A “Professional” is defined as follows; - any member of a club receiving remuneration or consideration of any sort above his necessary hotel and travelling expenses shall be considered to be a professional.
For some time past it has been the custom of several leading association clubs in the country, having regard to the above rules, and in order that their new players may be able to play in Cup-ties, to provide situation for them in lieu of engaging them as professional. Rightly or wrongly the Everton Football Club following the course adopted by many clubs, recently obtained for their club a number of players from Scotland, and found employment for them in Liverpool. In the recent cup-tie between the Bolton Wanderers and Everton, the former protested against Everton on the ground, the result being that the Everton club have been found guilty of professionalism, and have been suspended for one month. There can be no doubt that the Association are to blame in this matter in more respects them one. They must have been well awarded for some time past (though not officially) that the system of providing situations for players in lieu of engaging them as professionals existed amongst most clubs of standing in the country, and yet no means were taken to make it perfectly clear to the clubs that by doing so they were considered by the Association to be infringing the rule relating to professionalism. I need only refer to the case of Calderwood the Bootle Football Club (which was reported in the Football field of the 24 September last) to show that the knowledge has been public property for some time past. In this case it is reported that Calderwood signed an agreement with the Bootle club for a sustuation at 25 a week and that Mr. Heard, the secretary of the Bootle Football club, in his evidence before the Scottish Football Association, stated that Mr. Sim, a member of their committee was an “employer of labour” that the club could not play. Calderwood as a professional according to English rules, that Calderwood was employed at the docks as a labour, and that it was very unlikely that he would have been retained at the docks if he left the Bootle club.

Moreover it is pretty generally know that when Wilding left Everton for Bootle employment was found for him through the instrumentality of the Bootle club. In fact, there is scarcely a club of any standing that is not culpable in this respect, and it is therefore manifestly unfair, seeing that the rules relating to professionalism are so very ambitionious and that the association have permitted the system to continue and by implication ascended to it that the Everton club should at the present time, with their Christmas and New Year engagement before them be treated with such severity, and I sincerely trust that an effective appeal may be made to the association to reconsider their decision and that they may so after the rules relating to professionalism that in the future there may be no misunderstanding them. Yours etc, Fiat Justitia Liverpool December 6, 1887.

Everton Football Club
December 8 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir- Kindly gave me space in your valuable paper to express my feelings with regard to the Everton Football Club. I think it is a piece of imposition to charge twopeace on a stand to see their match with the Bolton Wanderers, which before that was free to those who paid admission to the grounds; and not satisfied with that, they “pile on the agony” by sticking on another penny last Saturday. Now, sir, I think at this is the working man's sport, it comes hard on him when he has to pay sixpence before he can get a fair sight of the game. Let them be satisfied with the gates they have been getting. Hoping the working man's friend Councilor Houlding, as president of the club will do something in this matter, I am et., An Evertonian, Everton, Dec 7 1887.

To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir –as one who has taken a great interest in Liverpool Association Football, and whose interest began considerably before the above club attained its present unenviable notoriety, I should like to say a word or two on the subject. I do not like professionalism in football. When I first knew anything about the game in Liverpool, six or seven years ago and even for some length of time after the local cup competition began, there was, I believe (and I speak as one of the committee, during that time) none of it. The gates were small; there were few clubs, and of course there was nothing like the same rivalry there now is. But conceding that professionalism was, and is, a necessity, I maintain (and I am sure that the majority of those who take an interest in the game are of this opinion) that there is absolutely no necessity fort the “amateur professional.” He ought to be suppressed, and it is an exceedingly good things for the game that the Football Association have shown that he is to be extinguished. Therefore, I cannot at all agree with your correspondent. “Fiat Justitia” that suspension at the present time is a hardship on the Everton Club, but I do think that a change in its management would not be a bad thing for it.

If as “Fiat Justitia” says there are other offenders, it does not matter; two blacks do not make a white, and their time will come. For my own part, I hope that the Liverpool and District Football Association will follow the lead set them and I am thoroughly sure that if this “amateur professionalism” is knocked on the head, no matter who are the suffers, football will greatly benefit thereby. Yours, etc., Rambler, Dec 7, 1887.

To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir –if Everton has been unjustly or harshly dealt with by the association, by all means let the appeal asked for by “Fiat Justitia” be made. But the association have gone carefully into the matter, have even sent a special committee to the city to take evidence, and it now rest with Everton to make a full and explicit statement of the facts of the case to show that they have been unduly punished. If, however, the reports now being circulated are true they will have some difficulty in doing so, and it seems evident from “fiat Justitia;s” plea on their behalf that he has not told us all he knows.

It is no doubt very hard on the folks who run the Everton show that the rain of sixpences and shillings which has been so plentiful with them of late should thus suddenly dry up, and at a time when there was a prospect of a glorious harvest. But, sir, there is a feeling abroad that it is the loss of income more than the loss of fame that troubles Everton, and folks say that if they are a good lot they ought to be, as they have never been backward in strengthening themselves at the expense of other, and especially neighboring, clubs; while some affirm that the interests of true sport would be advanced rather than restarded by the “permanent suspension” of a club which, by the aid of its long purse, was able to induce two of the best members of a rival club to desert on the eve of an English Cup tie. –Yours etc Dec 7 1887, A. Scot.

To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir – I agree with your correspondent (in today's courier) that the above club have been hardly dealt with by the English Association. Of one thing I am quite certain, that I an quite certain that, if by employing players, as the Everton have done, then nearly the whole of the clubs in the Country (including out neighbours in Bootle) have been guilty of the same practice, and should be sentenced according. Everton have done more than any other club to popularize the game in this part, and can command a gate second to none in Lancashire. I think if our Liverpool Association were to take the matter up that the severe sentence imposed may be somewhat modified, and enable Houlding's Boys to play their Christmas and New Year's matches. Yours etc., Dec 7 1887., Everton Waisters.

Everton Football Club
December 9 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir- it would be well to point out that the suspension of the Everton Club for a month affects all the members of that club, none of whom may take part in any match till January 5 th –Yours, etc, Rambler, December 8, 1887.

To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir –I have read with much interest the correspondence in the courier on this subject, and I agree entirely with the remarks of “Rambler.” True, I am sorry for the supporters of the club, who will be deprived of their usual Saturday afternoon's pleasure; but here my sympathy ends. The committee of the club richly served the sentence of the Association Committee for in spite of repeated warnings from well known members of the club, and from outsiders too, they have gone on from blunder to blunder, and have brought disaster on the club and disgraced themselves and the players. It is no defence to say that Bootle and other clubs have acted in the same way. If so the same penalty awaits them. The rules are perfectly clear, and it is simply amazing to find one (like “Fiat Justitia”) attempting to place as interpretation on the rules, which they will not bear. The club has been badly managed, and the committee appears to have entirely ignored their own responsibilities, and yielded to the wishes of the few forgetting the interests of the many. The members will act wisely to have a general meeting and rearrange the executive. I am aware of more than one gentleman, who declined to act as a committeeman because of the unsatisfactory proceedings of the committee. I trust Everton will take the lessons to heart; and that they may speedily be on the warpath again under competent leadership is the hope of yours etc, Old Evertonian December 8 1887.

Association Game
December 10 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
Like the Gladiators of old although in less sanguinary conflict the local champions at length have met, and history records for Everton a victory and for Bootle a defeat. The scene was altogether so remarkable that to those who remember the contests of the olden time, it would appear as if the wizard's skill had been invoked, so magical was the change. Where in earlier years hundreds interested themselves in the annual struggle for supremacy ten thousand enthusiasts now crowd around the field of play, with the mayors of the respective boroughs at their head. In the first year of the existence of the Liverpool and District Association, Bootle were the winners, but owing to financial reasons did not hold the trophy, for the simple reason that the public pulse had not been moved, and the funds were low. As time wore on the pastime found favour with the masses, and the following year the cup which has so long adorned the Sandon Hotel passed into the keeping of Everton, by whom, with a single exception, it has since been held. Last season the clubs were fated to meet in the first round of ties; whilst this, as if by the cruel irony of fate, they were destined to antagonise in the immediate later stage, and thus for the second season in succession the contest was completely benefit of further interest. Unfortunately for the welfare of the pastime, the old faud still exists, and that the breach is as wide than ever; is attracted by the intense partisanship of the followers of the respective clubs. Meeting under such conditions it could not reasonably to expected that the game would be devoid of friction; but to the credit of the officials in charge of the play, be it said, that they did their best to control the belligerents on either side. The inevitable happened, however, and maims and bruises were inflicted regardless of consequences, the chief sufferers in the numerous melees, being Hasting (who retired from the field before the close of play), Morris and Weir. Still, the play was not devoid of those fine touches which rander the Association game so enthralling. The characteristic of the first half were masterly attack and defence, and at this time so evenly matched were the teams that the sides changed ends with out neither having placed a point to their credit. It was evidently a question of endurance, and in this the superior stamina and quick action of the Evertonians prevailed. Twenty minutes or more had elspaed from the restart when Farmer, who was the life, and soul of the Everton van shot through goal with marvelous quickness, and registered a point amid the wild acclaim of thousands of the followers of the club. Soon after this Hasting retired, and thus crippled Bootle fought a next to hopless uphill game. But whilst the “stripes” were never afterwards dangerous, the cup holders renewed their efforts and were at length rewarded with a second goal, Everton eventually being the winners by two to nothing. Bootle however, were unfortunate as of yore, and with better luck should have scored at least a point. Farmer played quite up to his best form, and the backs were safe; whilst for Bootle Wilding and Morris were perhaps never seen to great advantage. Holt also excelled, and Watson was cool and effective to a degree.

It savior of an unchivalrope feeling to kick a man when he is down, but this is precisely what is being done to the Everton club. Consequent upon a protest lodged by Bolton Wanderers, the committee were arranged before a commission of the Football Association, and found guilty of flagrant violators of the law bearing upon professionalism or, in other words, they persistently encouraged a wholesale system of “amateur professionalism” an innovation, which a couple of years ago was the subject of much bitter controversy, and which the Association have since done their utmost to suppress. For thus contracting outside of and in defence to, the written law, the penalty of a month's suspension has been enforced –a severe one no doubt, but apparently called for by the facts of the case. It is useless so urge ambiguity in the clause relating to the employment of professional players or that your neigbour is “sailing in the game beat,” because, as has been pointed out, two blacks never did nor never will make a white. As a leading organisation, it was clearly the duty of those who central the affairs of the Everton club to set an example worthy of imitation, and this the commission, by their report, have declared has not been done. Who, than, is responsible for the state of things? The committee as a whole, or a section thereof? “Fiat Justitia” has taken up their cause, but so far the “principals,” have been silent –but this is no new feature and will create no surprise. An “Old Evertonians” writes –“ Inspite of repeated warning from well-known members of the club and from outsiders too, they have gone on from blunder to blunder, and have brought disgrace upon the club and disgraced themselves and the players.” Continuing “Old Evertonian” says, “I am aware of more than one gentleman who, declined to act as a committeeman because of the unsatisfactory proceedings of the committee.” This is a strongly worded indictment, and one which the members of the old club should not let pass unnoticed. It was different in the secretarial days of Mr. John Clarke, and of Messrs, Brettell and Higgins. During their regime the press were treated with the utmost official courtesy –but nowadays it is incompatible with dignity to supply even a list of fixture for the season, or with rare exception to furnish the slightest scrap of information relative to the affairs of the club. But apart from the professionalism forced itself into the pastime, and having been legalised, we must have no evasion of the laws regulating its existence. For the members of the Everton club profound regret is expressed on every hand. They have the power of remedy, but have they the will?

Everton Football Club
December 10 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir- I beg leave to endorse the statement made by “An Evertonians” re the suspension of the above club in your issue of today. Now, I should like to make a few remarks regarding charges made.
I being one among some thousands of others a constant spectators, therefore a weekly supporter of out local champions, I do think the heads of the department are coming it rather strong when they make an extra charge as on Saturday last of 3d per head on the recently erected stand at the Breckfield road end of the ground, which piece of furniture I consider was well paid for last season. Therefore I do not think they are treating their main supporters (the Bristish workman) anything like fairly, considering that it is by us poor men they have been raised to the position in which they stood up to last Monday evening. It was one of the first clubs in the country, and taking these exceedingly hard times into consideration surely the British workman should have some favour shown him, if ever so little. Of course we are only too pleased to be honoured with the presence of our local chiefs, but what about the eximson covered seats for them to rest upon, in connection with the this 3d extra for the stand referred to? Poor B.W. must suffer no matter what the times are. –Yours, &C, A Lover of Fairness. December 9, 1887.

To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir –I regret to see in the communication of “A Scot” which immediately fellowed my letter to you on the 6 th instant, an element of malice, which it was not my intention to excite. My reference to the reported case of Calderwood and the Bootle club, was in my opinion necessary in order to prove that the course of procedure adopted by clubs became public property so far back as 24 th September last.

Your correspondent “An Old Evertonian” is in error in supposing that I endeavored to put any interpretation whatever upon the rule relating to professalism. I merely noted it for the purpose of showing that no club is prohibited by it from obtaining situations for players in lieu of engaging then as professionals; and I endeavored by reference to a case in point reported in the public press to prove that the system must have been at well known to the committee of the National Association for some time past as it was to the general public, and that notwithstanding this, the association permitted the practice to continue without actifying to clubs that they were considered to be infringing the rule relating to professionalism. I contended that the National Association were much to blame in this respect in that by their inaction they tacitly ascended to the course which was being adopted, and clubs actually assumed that their probajure was perfectly legal.

Under the circumstances I contended that the Everton club had been treated with undue severity and although many extransons subjects have been introduced, I have seen nothing in the subsequent correspondent to render untamable the position which I have taken up –Yours, &c., Liverpool Dec, 1887. Fiat Justitia.

December 12, 1887. The Liverpool Mercury
The clouds have fallen at Anfield. Yesterday basking in the sunshine of increasing success and popularity, today Everton are overwhelmed in a deluge of discomfiture, or, in other words, the proffered cup has proved a positioned chalice, and they are strictly with helplessness for an injudicious draught of a delusive beverage. They have been tried on a charge of veiled professionalism found guilty, and sentenced to a calendar month's suspension from the 5 th instant. To be ordered to “stand at ease” for a few weeks does not appear a terrible infliction on the surface, but on penetrating a little deeper it is found to be disastrous in some of its results. The punishment falls at a most inconvenient time, as in addition to some interesting Saturday matches, all the extra Christmas and New Year's fixtures will have to be abandoned, to the great financial loss of the Everton Club, to say nothing of the widespread disappointment of the many thousand followers of the denizens of Anfield. But the most unfortunate suffers will be the Scotchmen concerned- namely, Dick, Izatt, Weir, Watson, Goudie, Cassidy,, and Murray –for, having been adjudged to be professional importations, they are prescribed for two years either as professionals or amateurs unless they can persuade either the English or Scotch Associations to mitigate the penalty. Dick, however, it is said, has a residential qualification, and will be registered as a professional. The others will doubtless bide their time though Murray and Cassidy have “gone back” not liking the prospect of compulsory professionalism. It was evident from the influential names of the commission, which consisted of Messrs Crump (Birmingham), J.C. Clegg (President of the Sheffield Association), R. P. Gregson (Secretary of the Lancashire Association), and C.W. Alcock (Secretary of the Football Association) that the inquiry was to the conducted in no half-hearted spirit. The question of whether Everton had found situations for Scotsmen was soon settled, as it was admitted by Mr. Nisbet at the outset; but the knotty point, as to whether these men held bona-fide “jobs” independent of the club, was a matter the council had to satisfy themselves on. This they did on Monday, and decided that Everton had imported players for a “consideration.” It has been a huge bungle on the part of the Everton officials, and they no doubt feel keenly the disgrace their management has visited upon a club made famous –though it must for the present be described as notorious –mainly through their energy and enterprise; but the trouble has arisen perhaps more from error of judgement than deliberate intention of driving a coach and four through laws for football guidance. The Everton officials may be to blame for the deadlock; but whether they are or not, and whether they are to enjoy continued confidence as a managing body, is a subject which may safely be left to the club members. Everton are applying for re-instatement on the 19 th , and on Wednesday will appeal for the support of the Liverpool Association. At the local Association meeting Everton's position in regard to the cup competition will be settled. Severe as is the blow on the Liverpool cup holders, their suffering may yet prove a “blessing in disguise,” if it should lead to amendment of the professional rule and render it more in conformity with common sense and practicability. There should be equality among professionals, and the residential qualification must be less rigid. It is a matter that concerns all clubs, for how many could be put through the crucibles and leave no dross –Spectator.

• Gymnasium and St.Peter's requisitioned the Everton ground. Little public support was given to the event, however, and the ground presented a gloomy contrast to last week's animated scene. Gymnasium won by 6 goals to nothing.

December 12 th 1887. The Football Field
Everton's suspension
Chat with Mr. Nisbet
How the club came to the front.
As all the world knows by this, the Everton F.C. have been adjudged guilty of infringing the laws relating to professionalism and importation, and suspended for a month, the sentence remaining in force until January 5, and thus depriving the club of the benefit of the New Year fixtures. The following seven players have been declared professionals; - Dick, Watson, Izzatt, Murray, Weir, Cassidy, and Goudie. In obedience to our commission, our Everton representative has looked up the courteous secretary of the unfortunate club, and below we are enabled to give the opinions of

Mr. Nisbet on the situation.
Well, Mr. Nisbet, I have called this evening to trouble you with a few questions, but before proceeding allow me to express my sympathy with you and the officials, as well as players of the club, in your present difficulties. Now, having got rid of that, can you tell me when your club first started?

Mr. Nisbet; Yes, it was in the year 1878. Mr. Watson was then the secretary, and through his advice and influence the Old Church and St. Domingo clubs amalgamated under the title of our district and was named the Everton. I suppose you had no enclosed ground then?

No. For several seasons the club played in Stanley Park, and of course this prevented the club from coming to the front sooner than it did, although on the other hand it helped to foster a love for the game which was then very little understood in this district.

When did you first begin to emerge from comparative obscurity?

I cannot give you the exact date just now; but I may say that the first ground we secured was in Prior-road, Anfield; but it was not a success, as it was too far out.

Then you really date the beginning of your success from the time when the Committee took possession of your present ground?

Yes; but even here we had great difficulties to contend with. After a couple of seasons the then owner was about to sell the field for building purposes, and knowing that there was not another site to be had in the neighboorhood, a deputation was appointed to wait on Mr. John Houlding (“King John” of Everton, as he is familiarly styled), well aware of the interest which he takes in all kinds of sport indulged in by our working men. Our difficulties were placed before him, his support was solicited, and advice asked as to what could be done. Now what he did, in answer to our appeal, was this. He brought the ground and let it to the club at a rental which only amounts to 1 and a quarter per cent on the outlay. From this point we steadily but rapidly worked up to a first-class position, and now our average gate is up to the best in England.

The cause of the trouble.

To what cause do you attribute your present difficulty?

To the Bolton wanderers' desire to be reinstated in the English Cup. They moved in the matter owing to information voluntarily supplied to them by some person or persons who no doubt had become jealous of the rapid progress made by out club. And in connection with this I consider it a great pity indeed that Mr. Fitzroy Norris, the late secretary of the Wanderers' club failed in his duty to register Struthers in time, as in our first contest with the club they recorded a win, and of course the present difficulty would never have been heard of.

Do you blame the Wanderers for making the protests?

I do not blame them at all. In a conversation, which I had with the present secretary, Mr. J. J. Bentley, he said that he did not object to the men referred to playing in ordinary matches, but, if the charges against them were correct, he did not think if fair that they should be played against the Bolton Wanderers in Cup ties.

The professional rule.

Do you think that the rule on the subject of professionals is an equitable one?

Most certainly not. Would you mind giving me your reasons for saying so?

Not at all. It is thus. The simple accident of a player being born in Ireland, Scotland, or Wales debars him from entering into competition with English professionals in England. In point of fact it is protection in its worst form.

Well, but how did such an objectionable rule come to be introduced?

It was introduced in to the English rules sorely for the purpose of pleasing the Scotch Association, which really does not take the slightest notice of Scotch players moving from one club to another in Scotland on inducements of an exactly similar nature to those held out by clubs in this country.

Has it been contemplated by any one in connection with the English Association to move for a modification of Rules 23?

Yes. I tried hard a year ago at a general meeting of the Association to find a seconded to a resolution for the purpose of eliminating the clause, which reads “When of different nationality etc,” but I regret to say I could not find one. My opinion is that it only needs to be considered carefully in all its bearings by a full meeting to bring about a much-required alteration. In fact I know that the opinion of several of the leading lights of football in Lancashire is wholly against the clause named, and that at the next meeting a strong and, I hope, successful attempt will be made to expunge it from the list of rules.

The seven Ex-Amateurs.

What action will it be necessary for you to take with regard to the players whom the Association have decided to make professionals?

There is only one course open to us. They will have to be registered as professionals before they can play, and so soon as they are registered they come under the professional clause, which requires two years' residence before they become eligible to play in a match of any sort, and thus we will have the anomaly of men registered as professionals to play football and yet not to be allowed to play. Is it not a fact that you are at liberty to play a clubs not members of the F.A. during the Mon of your suspension?

We could most certainly fill up our month's suspension by playing Scotch and Irish clubs, but out of deference to the express wish of the Council we will not do so. I understand that the rule the breach of which has brought discomfortiture to Everton has also been broken by members of others clubs throughout the country?

We are now threading on delicate ground, and you will pardon me if I confine myself to a mere general answer. I am told on good authority that such is the case, and, unfortunately, that our club, which is ambitious to come to the front, has achieved the unenviable notoriety of being the first to be dragged forward and made a scape-goat. Then I suppose you would not care to name any of the clubs, which you consider as deep in the mud as yours is in the mire?

Not at present, if you come some other day with a bigger piece of paper than that perhaps I may tell you. Do you think case has been fairly commented on by the Press?

No, decidently not. In cases which creep into a court of law the Press reserve their opinion until judgement has been given, but in our case newspaper after newspapers has prejudged us and written us down week after week.

Will the club suffer?

Do you think that the prestige of the club will suffer in consequence of this unfortunate business?

No, I am glad to say that many expressions of genuine sympathy have been received, and I do not therefore anticipate any falling off in our supporters when we emerge once more from under the present cloud. I will just ask you one more question. How do you stand with respect to the Liverpool and District Cup!

First-rate. We lived long enough to beat Bootle, and I have no doubt that we will be able to obtain an extension of time for the next round, and even leaving out the men who are now ineligible we can still put a team in the field strong enough to keep the cup at the Sandon.

Why they were suspended.

It seems to us that the evidence given before the Commission ought to be published or at any rate a resume of it given for the purpose of enabling clubs to define for themselves what constitutes professionalism. Though we have not been able to obtain any official information on the subject, we believe we are correct in stating that there was no absolute proof of payment to any of the players implicated, and that they all denied having received any. That being so, it follows that the Commission decided that there was some other consideration –which has been spoken of as “veiled professionalism” –and that was doubtless obtaining for these men. We understand that they had employment at jobs, which they were not accustomed to, such as labouring, and received more than a fair rate of wages for such occupation, and that was the reason why the F.A. decided they were professionals. If a man comes from Scotland to Lancashire, finds a situation for himself and then joins a football club, from whom he receives no wages, that man is not a professional; but if the club engages him to come on the understanding that he will be found employment if he plays football for the club, than that man is a professional, though he may not receive a penny in payment from the club. We cannot see the force of this ruling, and we are not alone, for why should not a man better himself of he is a football player, without being a professional? Again, Grimsby Town seems to have got off all right. We don't know the nature of the evidence, but on the face of it would appear identical with that of Everton. Here men are brought from Edinburgh, they are found employment by members of the football club and play for the club. Everton were the first and evidently had to be punished, but the F. A. only inflicted a nominal penalty, and in that case we think they might have made it so that the club could have fulfilled its holiday engagements –it would have had the same effects as the month's suspension on outsiders. The club has suffered enough in losing at least five of their best men, and we feel sure that a memorial signed by the leading Lancashire clubs would be favourably considered by the Council if the Football Association, and so far as we know Everton have not any enemies outside their own immediate districts.

What the quidnancs think

The “wholesale importation” business has brought another club in the Football Association Cup competition to grief. Everton, after having carried on the system for years and made its position through it, has been suspended for a month. It obtained large sums of money through the Cup ties with Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End, and having been defeated by the latter, could not be punished by being disqualified for the competition. The sentence of the Council in this case is so absurdly lenient that it is not likely to discourage other offenders; but we may point out that it affects the whole of the members of the club, none of whom may take part in any match until January 5 th . A decision which will give rise to general surprise is the re-admission of the Bolton Wanderers to the Cup competition. The Preston North End, although they have by defeating Halliwell reached the fifth round, will now have to hark back and re-play their tie in the second round on Saturday next. Should the Bolton Wanderers win they will have to meet Halliwell, but otherwise the result will stand as it is. The Bolton Wanderers hardly deserve the consideration they have received at the hands of the Council, for they undoubtedly knew as much about the “wholesale importation” by Everton when the competition commenced as they did when they were defeated, but, notwithstanding, they took part in three ties with that club and only protested after being defeated. A club which connives at such lawbreaking forfeits its right to complain. It is probable that the revelation with the protest against Everton may lead to some very pertinent inquires as to the method in which other clubs in the same district have obtained players from over the Border, and found them the appropriate employment which good football players from over the Border, and found them the appropriate employment which good football players appear to obtain so easily – Pastine .

Liverpool football
The suspension of Everton
The Thunderbolt.
The blow has fallen, but its violence has not been such as well expected. There was little doubt in the public mind that the Bolton Wanderers had made out a case against Everton, after the meeting of the Commission of the Football Association at the Compton Hotel; and the only question which agited the minds of the locally interested parties, was the severity of the sentence. This turned out more lenient than was generally expected, but I rather fancy the effect of the Association decision upon the seven Scotchmen declared professionals is not fully appreciated. Dick, Weir, Izatt, Goudie, Watson, Murray, and Cassidy have by this fiat been practically debarred from following the game either as professionals or amateurs for a very considerable period. One of the rules relating to professionals forbids the registering of any player not of English birth (that is so far as English clubs are concerned; of course, professionalism is unknown beyond the Tweed), until he has resided two years in England. The English Association has declared the players in question to be professionals; the Scotch Association will therefore have none of them, and they cannot be played as professionals in English club matches, so that their position is not a very pleasant one. The month's suspension will mean a serious financial loss to Everton, but the loss of prestige is a far more serious matter, and it would be well, in the interim, for the members of the club to consider well the policy, which has brought about this calamity.

A hardship and a blunder.
It was undoubtedly a very difficult problem, which offered itself for solution to the Everton Committee at the close of last season. A phenomenal growth in public favour, a support promising to exceed that accorded to any Lancashire club, demanded from them the provision of a team capable of ranking in the very forefront of English clubs. During the summer months rumors were afloat regarding the selection of a most formidable eleven, but when the Everton season opened disappointment was keen, for all these rumours proved unfounded. For a time matters went badly at Anfield-road. None of the imports were at all brilliant, several were rank failures galling defeats were sustained, and the general form of the team was decidedly inferior to that of last season. That any risk should have been run for the purpose of securing such players was undoubtedly bad policy; they could not be registered as professionals, and here is where the hardship is felt. It seems, indeed, an arbitrary proceeding to forbid a man making a livelihood in England, even though it be in the interest of sport. All would, no doubt, have been well had Everton abstained from the English Cup competition, which has, undoubtedly been to them the source of much misfortune. Of course great bitterness is felt over the question; there will undoubtedly be a setting of the house in order before the New Year, and let us hope that out of all the unpleasantness will spring a sound policy in the future conduct of the affairs of the Everton club. Who are the real informers? Naturally the credit has been attributed to their neighbours father North; but the incriminating evidence came from within; and it is one further illustration of the fact that the only safely is to be found in the strict adherence to the rules laid down by the Football Association. The facts disclosed to the Commission were such as could not have been furnished by anyone outside the very innermost circle of the club.

After the battle.
It is difficult to write calmly about the exhibition at Anfield-road last Saturday, when the two leading clubs of this district met in the second round of the Liverpool cup competition. Too long, however, has it been the custom to wink at or to gloss over the shady side of Association football, and unless a firm stand is made, it will become impossible to attract to an Association game anything but the residuum. I have spoken with many of those who were present at the match, and have been met on all hands with expressions of sorrow, of anger, of disgust at the sport to which we were treated. As a result of the match there were three players seriously hurt. Weir, of Everton, had his shoulder put out, Hastings, of Bootle, received a most cruel and painful hurt, whilst Morris, of the same club, got an ugly kick on the head. Dick emerged from the contest as he might from a brawl, with a black eye, and many of the other players will not readily forget the heavy charges and cruel kicks. Added to this, for a portion of the game one of the combatants acted on the defensive, and the ball was allowed to roll out of playtime after time, merely to waste time. Thanks! Messieurs, for these delectable! Many Thanks!! In last week's issue I once more called upon the rivals to shake hands and bury the hatchet, alluding to the concentrated bitterness imparted to the only meetings of the clubs. But really I had failed to appreciate the depth of the antagonism, an antagonism not as of English rivals in sport, but of bitter enemies. The referee's task was a difficult one, and Mr. Hull undoubtedly did all that was possible, but much might have been gained by the securing of an entirely strange official, for the repeated free kicks for foul play were quite ineffectual to prevent its recurrence. Everton won the match by two goals to nil, but their disqualification may effect what no club in the district has been able to do in the last three years, and the Liverpool Cup thus find a new resting-place at the close of the present season.

The bright side.
There was a grand gate, the attendance passing 12,000, and the magnificent weather, together with the presence of the Mayors of Liverpool and Bootle, rendered additional eclat to the proceedings. The arrangements for the accommodation of the vast crowd were admirable, but there was a lot of grumbling about the raising of the price for the bottom stand. Bootle do not consider themselves fairly treated in the matter of division of the spoils, but Everton were quite within their right in refusing to raise the price of admission whilst the charge for a seat on the vast Oakfield-road stand. In any case a very large sum must have been taken, and though Everton assert that their cup ties with Preston North End and Bolton Wanderers caused them a serious loss, it may be safely asserted that something like £300 has fallen to them as their share of the takings in the last six Cup ties. Both clubs showed perhaps worse form than in any previous engagement, but there were several brilliant episodes. None more so than that which resulted in the first goal for Everton. A fine combined run of the whole front rank was wound up by a splendid goal from the foot of Farmer, one of the best-tempered little fellows that ever toed a ball. Hastings of Bootle was frequently cheered for a brilliant flashes, and once all but scored a magnificent goal.

Liverpool and District football Association
Everton Disqualified
December 15 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
A full meeting of delegate repressing, this association was held at the Neptune Hotel Liverpool last evening, Mr. A. B. Hull president, occupying the chair. The position of Everton in reference top the local cup tie was under consideration an appeal in view of the existing suspension by the Football Association being made for an extension of time so as to enable the defaulting club to compete in the later stages of the local contest. After a protractor discussion, lasting close upon two hours, Everton was disqualified and Bootle and Liverpool St. John, the two clubs beaten by the cupholders were reinstated. It is understood that Bootle made no claim, the case being left entirely in the hands of the assembled delegates. Bootle and Liverpool St. john's will therefore meet in the second round of ties on Saturday next, and the winners will have to meet High Park (Southport) on the 7 th of January next, an extension of time having been granted for that purpose.

Everton club
December 19 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir –I notice in your paper that the Everton Football Club had a general meeting this week. I an old member, had no notice of it. Many friends of the club asked me if I attended, and I informed then I had never heard of it until I saw your remarks. This must have been a veiled meeting. If not, why not call the old members together. Your's &c, Old Evertonians. December 17 th 1887.

Everton Football Club
December 19 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir- The announcement of the decision of the Liverpool Football Association with regard to the Everton Football club cannot but occur to all as being anything but fair. The precision with which they (the Everton Football Club) have been singled out as the representative to bear the onus of a practice, which was introduced by and is still in vogue in teams so high in favour as Bootle and Stanley, is remarkable and greatly adds so the reputation of the impartiality of the association. How the individual members of that association can reconcile their minds to their own inconsistency is beyond the comprehension of a few. They, without a protest of any kind, take the question of importation in their own hands, and after two hour's discussion this is the result –Bootle reinstated not interfered with, and Everton (as usual) “sat upon.” Perhaps some of your readers can inform me whether any of the following are imported football players or not; - Bootle; - T. Vietch, W. Vietch, G. Galbriath, R. Hutton, Anderson, Heyes, Calderwood, or Calderbank” Hasting, Izzatt, Lewis, and Watson. Stnaley; - R. Stephson, McGregor, Pollock, Weir, Goodall, Yours &c, F.B., Liverpool Dec 17, 1887.

The appeal of the Everton Club. Football difficulties.
December 20 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
The difficulty which has arisen as to the action of certain local football clubs is being eagerly discussed by those who take an interest in the game. It is pretty generally regretted that the hitch should have taken place at this period of the season when the pastime is so much participated in, and when some important and interesting matches are arranged, which have been looked forward to not only by players but by the public, as affording amusement to those who like outdoor sports at Christmas time. Among various clubs it is feared that if moderate action is not adopted serious further complications may result. Whatever may be the immediate consequences we hear that a revision of some of the rules of the Association will be proposed which will tend to make them more definite, and which will prevent this difficulty arising another season.

A meeting of the Council of the Football Association was held last evening at Holborn, when the application of the Everton club asking for a remission of their month's suspension was considered, but the council refused to sustain it.

Everton Football Club
December 20 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
Sir- During the present crisis why should the members wait for the committee to issue invitations to a general meeting? It is for the members to call a meeting to see if they think the present committee are competent to rule the club –Yours &c, Another Evertonians. Everton, Dec 19, 1887.

Everton football club
December 21 st 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir –I have to thank you on my own and on behalf of a large section of the football public of this city and district for the space you have devoted to matters relating to that sport in your columns, and especially in regard to the present difficulty at Everton.

Several letters have appeared referring to your statement that a meeting of the members of that club had been held during the previous week. I cannot learn that such a meeting has been held, and if it was, many who ought like myself to have been apprised of it, have not. I cannot think therefore it has been held. Such meeting, however, should have been called, and will be, I trust ere long, the sooner the better; and the suggestion of “Another Evertonians” be adopted; and seeing that the committee, for reasons best known to themselves, have not called it, members ought to form the necessary syndicate and compel them to do so.

The present position of the club is irritating and embarrassing enough, but the responsibilities of member's percuniarily entitle them to some more direct control of the club's business and a more intimate knowledge of its transactions. I say this out of no spirit of a antagonism to members of the committee as individuals, but with the full sense of my duty as Member of the Club, Liverpool, December 20 1887.

Everton Football Club
December 24 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir –I learn there is at length a probability of a general meeting of the members being called for the discussing of the club's affairs. The financial question will, no doubt be discussed, and I therefore append the following extract from the rules;- “That if the funds shall at any time be insufficient to meet the current expenses of the club, a levy shall be made on all the members, who shall contribute proportionately to make good the diciency. As this clause greatly effects every member of the club, it is to be hoped that a full and exhaustive inquiry will be made. Yours, &c, An Old supporter of the club. Dec 23, 1887.

To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir – The District Association have, to my mind, placed themselves in rather an awkward position over the Everton inquiry so far as the reinitiating of Liverpool St John's was concerned, that is, if they were guided by a decision of the English Association. Dick was the only player dealt with by association who took part in that tie. If dick was not a qualified Everton man on that date, what about his qualification to represent the district at Paisley after the tie? I do not think the association took the wises course of action to them, with regard to the Bootle v Everton tie, certainly not the most satisfactory for either club. if, as we are led to believe, they were framing their action from, and going to be ruled by the decision of the parent association, the best plan would have been to extend the time, and them keep the clubs from meeting all the result was known. I do not know what their grounds of inquiry were certainly not on precedent of the action of the senior associations on such questions, their being the result of protests while ours would make us believe it was from purely disinterested motives their inquiry was made. If they intended, as a professedly unbiased body, which they are supposed to be, to go into the matter thoroughly so as to see to what extent veiled professionalism is carried on the district, why did they not, for instance take the team they selected to play versus Aryshire, and inquire into the eligibility of some of the so-called amateur who represented them in that match; and not an individual club against which according to their own showing their was no protest. Trusting the committee appointed to investigate the question will tell members they are there as an independent body, not as a clique, to sift the matter thoroughly with out fear of favour, Yours &c, T.H., Bootle, Dec 23, 1887.

December 27, 1887. The Liverpool Mercury
An evenly contested match was played gratis at the Everton Ground yesterday morning between teams representing the married and single members of the Everton Club, the Benedicts winning by 5 goals to 4. J. McGill was credited with all the points by the victors.

Everton F.C. and their goalkeeper
December 31 st 1887. The Liverpool Courier
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir –I will esteem it a favour if you will grand me a few lines in your valuable paper to say a few words regarding the above. Now that the expiration of the time of suspension is near at hand and we shall have the pleasure of seeing the favorite blue and white again perform, I hope the committee will not continue to act so unfairly to their tried and clever goalkeeper, Joliffe. Hundreds if thousands were greatly disguised by the committee leaving Joliffe out of the team after his wonderful display against the Bolton Wanderers, and the grand display against Bootle in the local cup tie. Surely there must be something radically wrong with the committee to put a player out of the team, who is playing so well, and to bring a man every Saturday from Preston, which I think, is a very expensive way of doing things. I hope that when the Everton Club play their first match on January 5 th , I may have the pleasure of seeing “the right man in the right place.” I m sure thousands will be greatly pleased like myself. –Yours, &c, One who never missed a match, Everton, December 30 1887.

Note from courier
In securing the Everton ground,, for the Stanley v Ulster fixture, There was an attendance of 3,000 spectators.