EVERTON’S RUN BROKEN.
January 1, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Blackpool 3
Blackpool Win At Goodison Park.
Everton’s long sequence of successes came to the end in their friendly game with Blackpool, who won 3-2 at Goodison Park. Yet they need not have lost had they taken their chances early on. But by the same token Blackpool missed many simple chances. In fact, the score might have been 6-6 rather than 3-2. Dodds, the Blackpool centre forward, should have had a gala day, in that for some reason or other T.G. Jones decided to forsake his customary role at “third-back” and go out on an attacking mission which left Dodds with no centre half-back to face. Here was his chance but he would take it. Time and again he was right through the Everton defence which did not quite know how to meet the new Situation, and with only Sagar in front of him all he got was two goals, the other being scored by the former Everton winger, Lewis, who scored the goal of the day. Why Jones changed his tactics I cannot say. Whether it was his disgust in missing a penalty I do not know, but his change of front provided Blackpool with openings they would probably not otherwise have gained.
Blackpool’s second goal would not have been scored had Jones been in his place. His desire to wander upfield left a gap down the centre which enabled the Blackpool inside forwards to sweep towards Sagar and put him in peril time and again. It was a mistaken policy by the Welsh international. Greenhalgh and Jackson could not hope to close the door against five forwards. Everton’s play was far too close with the conditions as they were –there was no run on the ball, whereas Blackpool swung the ball about and were more direct. Three times they struck the woodwork –three times Greenhalgh saved further goals, once kicking off the line when the ball appeared to be over. Everton should have had three or more goals in the first half hour, but having missed their way, such chances did not come their way again, although there were several opportunities put before them towards the end to augment the goals of Stevenson and Lawton. I thought Blackpool worthy of their win, for they played a game more suitable to the conditions. fancy passing was out of the question, yet there were many smart movements and the football excellent considering the circumstances. Watson was outstanding for Everton and the Blackpool middle line Johnston was another grand footballer. Sagar did his best to prevent his unbeaten record –Everton had not been beaten since he took over the captaincy. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (TG), and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Bailey, forwards. Blackpool: - Roxburgh, goal; Sibley and Jones, backs; Farrow, Hayward, and Johnston, half-backs; Finan, Eastham, Dodds, Munro, and Lewis, forwards. Referee Mr. C.E. Taylor (Liverpool).
GIVE AND TAKE AT SOUTHPORT
January 1, 1940. Evening Express.
Thrilling Raids By Everton.
Everton made three changes for their game with Southport at Haig Avenue today, Lindley, Merritt and Boyes appearing in place of Jackson, Sweeney and Bailey. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Lindley and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Merritt, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Southport: - Stevenson, goal; Liddle and Grainer (j.), backs; Hodgkiss, Harrison, and Scott (R.), half-backs; Grainer (D.), Rothwell, Hunt, Watson, Tomkins, forwards. Referee Mr. W. Prescott (Southport). Southport took up the attack immediately, and Sagar saved a long centre from Tomkin. Southport made a second raid on the left wing, but this time Lindley headed Tomkin’s centre outside for a corner, which Sagar caught and cleared.
Everton’s first attack followed a break-through by Lawton, who side-tapped the ball to Boyes for the winger to place over the bar. Everton were now more dangerous and when Lawton slipped the ball between Harrison’s legs Stevenson was just too late to connect. It was give and take football, both goals being visited in turn. Southport went close when Dennis Grainger centred for Tomkin to place over the Everton bar, and the home goal had an even narrower escape immediately afterwards. Bentham did the spadework, and the final pass to Lawton barely eluded the international as he slid along the ground in an attempt to push the ball past Stevenson. Bentham came into the limelight again when his solo run finished with Mercer scooping the ball over, a performance which Tomkin emulated at the other end. Southport’s Watson threatened danger to Everton when he broke away on the left, but he took the ball just one yard too far, and Greenhalgh was able to dash across and intervene. Everton were awarded a free kick when Lawton was impeded, but Stevenson had little difficulty in saving Watson’s shot. Everton continued to attack, but ball control was difficult in the circumstances, and they were unable to press home their advantage, although Lawton should have made better use of a gilt-edged opportunity which followed a fine run by Bentham. The Everton leader had only the goalkeeper to beat, but he got underneath the ball, which sailed over the bar.
SOUTHPORT HOLD EVERTON
January 2, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post
Southport 2, Everton 2.
Sagar Fine Saves.
Southport delighted their supporters at Haig Avenue yesterday by drawing 2-2 with the League champions, Everton. Had Southport taken their chances they would have won, for Sagar and his full backs had much more to do then Southport’s goalkeeper and his defence. Southport did not come to their best until early in the second half. At that point they were a goal in arrear due to a Stevenson goal in 31 minutes. Rothwell, a smart little inside forward, scored a minute after the resumption after a shot had been saved by Hunt. From then on they played as though they were figuring in a Wembley final. Urged on by the 3,000 people, they made Everton look anything but a championship side. They were prepared to take more risks than Everton, and were so quick in the tackle that Everton were not able to get into that formation which had brought them so many victories.
Rothwell’s goal had given them the urge they needed, and how the Everton goal did not fall on at least three occasions in the next twenty minutes was rather amazing. Sagar had to be right on his toes and came through the game with honours. One save of his was particularly brilliant. Gringer (D.) swept in an oblique shot which seemed certain to find its billet, but a long arm shot out and the ball was turned on the upright. Sagar made many other fine saves, and when Hunt scored at 71 minutes it looked as though Everton were going to be a losing side for the second time in three days. But seven minutes from the end Mercer made one of his runs and gained a corner. The ball was placed into the goalmouth with great precision by Merritt, and Lawton glided the ball right away from Stevenson. Considering it was a friendly game there was plenty of bite in it and plenty of good football too, even though Everton for quite a spell were mainly on the defensive. Stevenson’s goal was a two-piece suits in that it was started and finished by Boyes and Stevenson. They completely outwitted the Southport defence, especially with the final touch, when Boyes dragged the ball back for Stevenson so that he was left with a gilt-edged chance. . Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Lindley and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Merritt, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Southport: - Stevenson, goal; Liddle and Grainer (j.), backs; Hodgkiss, Harrison, and Scott (R.), half-backs; Grainer (D.), Rothwell, Hunt, Watson, Tomkins, forwards. Referee Mr. W. Prescott (Southport).
WILLIAM MALEY TO RETIRE
January 2, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post.
52 Years In Scottish Football.
Mr. William Maley, manager of Celtic F.C, has announced that he will retire from football within the next few weeks. His story is really the story of Scottish football, and with his retirement the game will lose one of its greatest personalities. Mr. Maley is 72 years of age, and 52 years of his life have been devoted to the services of Celtic –first as player, then secretary and until now secretary-manager. His retirement breaks the Celtic club from its last remaining link with its founders. He is an original member of the club, and Celtic are one of the eleven clubs to formed the Scottish League at its inception in 1890. As player, Mr. Maley won all honours-cup medals, league championship awards, and caps against England and Ireland. He was president of the Scottish league from 1921 to 1924. He also gained fame as an athlete. He won the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association 100 yards championship in 1896 and later became president of the S.A.A.A.
LAWTON HEADER LEVELS.
January 2, 1940. The Evening Express.
A perfect header by Lawton, Everton’s centre forward, enabled the Blues to share the honours with Southport at Haig-avenue yesterday, after the home side had seemed certain to gain the day. Following an even first half Southport dominated the play for the first 20 minutes following the interval. Everton led at half time by a goal scored by Stevenson but within a minute of the resumption Rothwell placed Southport level and Hunt subsequently gave them the lead. Taling the game as a whole Southport were a more forceful combination than Everton. During the period in the second half when they took command they were quicker on the ball than the Blues, who failed to make any progress against defenders, who positioned themselves well and timed their interventions to a nicety. The conditions were not in favour of the wingers and Bentham who was responsible for several scintillating runs in the first half, took the honours in attack with Mercer, lending a helping hand to the forwards, particularly in the early stages of the game, and Jones accomplishing much good work in defence. Stevenson kept goal finely for Southport, who were also well served by J. Grainger, Hodgkiss, D. Grainger, and Rothwell.
SOUTHPORT NEARLY DO IT.
January 2, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Southport almost became the giant killers, in their game with Everton at Haig Avenue, yesterday for they came as rear to beating the championships as any team this season. And how that would have delighted the crowd, who gave their team great vocal help throughout. In games of this nature where a First Division side is up against one in a lower section, it is not uncommon to find the “little” fellow” taking all the risks in the hope of beating their more famous rivals. It was ever thus, and it was so here, for the Southport boys put their heart and soul into the endeavour in spite of the dangerous conditions, and let the tell you the Everton defence was sorely tried to keep these rampant forwards at bay. Sagar’s goal fell in the first minute of the second half. Rothwell’s goal levelling the one obtained by Stevenson at the half-hour. This was the signal for concerted action, and let me say that each and every one of the Southport team put in their best. Their football was of good quality and their speed and quick tackling a menace to the Everton goal.
Fiery Forwards. Sagar made great saves the woodwork once helped his cause, and his full backs and half backs had to work double time for a lengthly spell to check up this lively and fiery forward line. D. Grainger in particular was a dangerous winger. He made some grand openings which should have been turned to account but having had their innings, and failed to knock up a score commensurate with their pressure. Everton came back to life and Lawton nodded home a sweet goal from Merritt’s corner kick. Nevertheless the Southport people were delighted with the form of their favourities. I liked Rothwell and Grainger, two youngster who are destined to make a name for themselves, and in normal times would command a high figure in the transfer market. Hunt last season’s top scorer in the Third Northern, got few chances against Jones –he took one –but was ever a danger when he was about. Shooting was not one of Southport’s strong points. Everton had Lindley at full back, and he did uncommonly well in his strange position. Merritt started well, but later tailed off a little. Mercer had a grand first half, but I am afraid friendly games are not taken seriously enough by Everton.
TORRY GETS A BREAK
January 3, 1940. The Evening Express.
If a footballer has a couple of pals they are treasures which cannot readily be replaced. You can well appreciate how Wally Boyes the Everton international winger, felt when he turned up to catch the motor coach taking the Blues to Southport on Monday and found he had left his boots at home. Fortunately, the party had time in hand and so the coach was turned around and went off to Wally’s home Aintree way –his house is next to that of Torry Gillick. While they were waiting who should appear but Torry himself. It was a big moment for the lads. No one expected to see him at home. Truth is that Torry was given a welcome surprise. He was allowed to go home for a couple of days prior to his gratying operation, following the burns received in the fire at the home, and he had a good chat with his pals. Torry returned to Walton Hospital yesterday per Mr. Theo Kelly Taxi.”
FOOTBALLERS IN CRASH
Liverpool Evening Express - Thursday 04 January 1940
Jack Davies and Cyril Wyles, two players of Everton Football Club, are suffering from injuries received in motor accident on the East Lancashire road yesterday. They were passengers in the Car Davies received injuries to the head, and Wyles to his leg. Neither will be able play for some time.
EX-FOOTBALLER BECOMES LICENSEE
Liverpool Evening Express - Friday 05 January 1940
Ted Thomas, the Chester full-back and former Everton and Preston North End player, today became licensee of the Chirchester Arms. Garden-lane, Chester,
January 5, 1940. Liverpool Echo
Everton have a most important engagement at Goodison Park on Saturday for they are called upon to meet their sectional leaders Manchester United. Having had a long rest from the regional competition –they have had a sequence of four friendly games – Everton return to serious football facing a stiff task. A win over the United will take them to the top of the table, unless Manchester City also come along with a big victory. Goal average alone separates four teams in the Western Division, and let me tell you there is keen desire to top the table. Some people will tell you the teams do not care whether they are top of the League or not. That is not so. Everton are as determined as ever to prove their championship claims by winning this season’s championship even though there is no trophy attached to it, and it comprises only a small proportion of First Division sides. There is a probability that Jimmy Caskie will come down for this important League game and, should be manage it, it will mean that Everton will be at their full pre-war League strength for this game Caskie has been playing regularly for St. Mirren since he returned to Scotland. The following is their likely team-Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Caskie (or Sweeney), Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Note the kick off for this match has been brought forward five minutes, and will now be 2.40 instead of 2.45.
EVERTON’S TWO TEAM DOUBTS.
January 4, 1940. The Evening Express.
Everton have two doubts regarding their team to oppose Manchester United in the Western Regional games at Goodison Park on Saturday. Mr. Theo Kelly, the club secretary, is still awaiting word from Scotland regarding the ability of Jimmy Caskie, the international winger, to play at outside right. Should Caskie not be able to play. Merritt who is on leave from the Army, will again appear at outside right. Merritt, who has put on weight, played exceptionally well against Southport on Monday. Jackson is making good recovery from the injury he received in the match against Blackpool on Saturday, but should he not be able to play, the right back position will once again be filled by Lindley, who created a good impression when making his debut as a back in the Southport game. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, (or Lindley), Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Caskie (or Merritt), Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
January 4, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
War-time football is doing more for young players than giving them frequent opportunities for senior-service. In many instances difficulties of team selection are providing unusual chances for the display of versatility and unearthing talent in unsuspected directions. Outstanding in the latter direction is the case of Leslie Compton, one-time Arsenal reserve full back, whom a sudden emergency forced into the centre forward perth from whence he started hitting them into the back of the net in amazing fashion. For versatility, the case of Carey – Manchester United’s 20-year-old inside forward –will take some beating. Since the war he has figured in six different positions in United’s team –both full back perths, right half and centre half and each inside forward position. What is more according to Mr. Walter Crickmer, Manchester United secretary he has filled them all admirably. He will occupy the centre half position against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday in the vital Regional match. Voce the St. Helen’s native and former Peasley Cross player, has not been well lately, hence Carey’s filling or his shoes. With six of their players in the Army, and another dozen scattered at work all over the country, Mr. Crickmer is not finding team selection an easy matter these days. Up to mid-way today he could not tell me definitely what the side would be. The probable eleven, however, is:- Breedon; Redwood, Roughton; Warner, Carey, MacKay; Hanlon, Butt, Smith, Pearson, and Wrigglesorth.
Everton have not yet had definitely word whether Caskie will be able to play in this match. If he cannot Merritt will take his place. Jackson is also doubtful at right back. He has not yet fully recovered from the toe injury he received in the match against Liverpool Lindley will deputise if necessary. Two Everton players, Wyles and Davies were involved in a motor accident on the East Lancashire Road yesterday. Davies received a rather nasty head, wound and Wyles a damaged leg; but happily both are making good progress, and are not likely to be laid-up long.
EVERTON FOOTBALLER BECOMES LINENSEE
January 5, 1940. The Liverpool Evening Express
Ted Thomas, the Chester full back and former Everton and Preston North End player, today became Licensee of the Chirchester Arms, Garden Lane, Chester.
January 5, 1940. The Evening Express.
Everton have not yet suffered defeat at Goodison Park in a League game, and I think they will be preserve that record against the United. The Blues have lost only one match since Teddy Sagar took over the captaincy. That was last Saturday, when they lost the friendly against Blackpool. It is half-back power which should pave the way for the victory of the champions always provided Tommy Jones plays his usual game and does not sacrifice defence for attack as he did against Blackpool. Personally I do not think that the Manchester attack strengthened as it is by the inclusion of Len Butt, the Blackburn Rovers inside-right, will be able to break down the resistance of that grand line of Mercer, Jones and Watson. This should be another match of the 100 per cent variety, despite the absence of Jimmy Caskie the Scottish international who will not be available until the Blues face Stockport County at Goodison on January 27. Merritt will be at outside-right, and I think you will see tremendous improvement in a lad who has grown a lot since joining the Army. Either Jackson or Lindley will be at right-back. Everton: - Sagar; Jackson (or Lindley), Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Meritt, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Manchester United: - (Probable); Breedon; Redwood, Roughton; Warner, Carey, McKay; Hanlon, Butt, Smith, Pearson, Wrigglesworth.
January 5, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
The tussle for supremacy at the top of the West Regional section is as keen as any former League battle, so that tomorrow’s game at Goodison Park where the present leaders –on goal average –Manchester United are visitors should provide one of the most important games seen on Merseyside this season. The Everton players, as League champions, have provided championship football in most of their games this season, and I know of no more enthusiastic set of players than they. There may be nothing at the end of the present tournament but the honour of topping the table, and you can take it from me that is an incentive, for Everton are determined to live up to their title. Even in their friendly games Everton have shown a keenness to win. They just hate the thought of defeat, and although Manchester United are just as keen to show that they are not a false position. I can promise the United a hard game. Manchester United are the only club to beat Everton in the scoring of goals. They had marked up 33 goals in eight games at against Everton’s 30, whereas the margin against just favours the Mancunians by a single’s goal -14 games 15. Everton’s have lost but one of their Regional games, and that was at Chester, when they were deprived of the services of Lawton, Jones, and Mercer through the International match. The United have fallen twice, their last one in November, when they were beaten at Anfield. Both sides have put up some big scorers, and as goals are said to be the salt of the game, their should be no shortage of goals and thrills to tomorrow. Everton were hopeful of having Jimmy Caskie in their team, but he found he could not make the trip, so that Merritt, now in the Army will partner Bentham. The Kick-off is at 2-40 (not 2-45). Everton; Sagar; Jackson (or Lindley), Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Merritt, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Manchester United: - (Provisional) - Breedon; Redwood, Roughton; Warner, Carey, MacKay; Hanion, Butt, Smith, Pearson, Wrigglesworth.
EVERTON QUICK OFF MARK.
January 6, 1940. The Evening Express.
United Soon Tested
Everton lacked the services of Tom Jones, their Welsh international centre half, for their game with Manchester United, at Goodison Park today. Jones is suffering from a slight cold and the versatile Maurice Lindley took his place. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Lindley, and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Manchester United: - Breedon, goal; Redwood, and Roughton, backs; Warner, Carey and McKay, half-backs; Hanlon, Butt, Smith, Pearson and Wrigglesworth, forwards. Referee Mr. J.N. Brown. The United immediately attacked on the right before Mercer intervened to clear. He sent Sweeney away, but Butt checked the movement with a clever back heel. Everton were quickly on the attack again, and when Sweeney centred the situation looked dangerous for United, but he raid fizzled out with Lawton offside. Smith let in Everton when his attempted back-pass went astray, but McKay nipped in to stop Bentham as the inside forward was coming in to shoot. The home goal had an even narrower escape just afterwards, for when Smith placed across the goal to Wigglesworth the winger was unmarked a few yards out. Wigglesworth allowed the pass to run beneath his feet, and Everton were able to recover. The first real shot came when Lawton eluded the United defence and tested Breedon with a low drive from the edge of the penalty area. This led to a corner, from which Breedon saved from Stevenson. Lawton broke through again, but this time the Blues centre hooked a bouncing ball wide of the post.
LEADERS AT GOODISON
January 6, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester Utd’s Visit.
Lindley Proves Utility Man Of Side
Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Lindley, and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Manchester United: - Breedon, goal; Redwood, and Roughton, backs; Warner, Carey and McKay, half-backs; Hanlon, Butt, Smith, Pearson and Wrigglesworth, forwards. Referee Mr. J.N. Brown. Jones (T.G.) was unable to play owing to a heavy cold, so that Lindley who is quite a utility man for the Everton club these days, went to centre half and Jackson who has been out of two goals games due to an injured ankle returned at full back. Everton were the first to attack, and they did so through a run by Sweeney, whose centre, however, was not accepted and then Lawton also offered up a gilt-edged pass to Sweeney whose cross was this time met by Boyes who shot outside. Then the United came into the picture and they had rather bad luck in that Butt, the Blackburn Rovers’ inside man had pulled the ball wide when he had an excellent chance of putting it into the net. All things considered the football was entertaining, and one run by Lawton during which he caught Redwood on the wrong foot, ended with a powerful drive which was of such power than Breedon could not hold it. He did the next best thing he got it away from his goal, it was returned but this time the direction was all wrong, the ball finishing in among the crowd at the back of the goal. Considering the difficult conditions one could but admit that there had been some nice football movements and Lawton once again went through to deliver a fiery drive which hit the side netting. Butt with a scissor pass set his left wing in motion, and when Jackson, by a simple hesitation let Wrigglesworth through there was a promise of some trouble for the Everton defence, which however, fizzled out through the Manchester winger not getting his centre into the middle. Stevenson was allowed to go on although he was offside and the United goal seemed certain to suffer a downfall but the Irishman put the ball away from the goal.
LAWTON OF EVERTON, JOINING UP
Liverpool Evening Express - Monday 08 January 1940
Tommy Lawton, Everton and England centre-forward, has applied for the post of physical training instructor to the Royal Air Force. Lawton undergoes his medical examination today, and expects to be called up in about ten days’ time. His clubmates Mercer, Thomson, Cook and Britton are already on the Army physical training staff.
EVERTON GAIN THE TOP PLACE
January 8, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Manchester United 2
A Merseyside Double.
Clever Football At Goodison Park
Everton got through their stern test with Manchester United by the odd goal of five, the winning goal coming four minutes from the end. It was a grand game, and I must pay tribute to the whole of the twenty-two players, who have such a clever exhibition of football when everything was against them. Everton’s success sends them to the top of the Western table with a better goal average than Liverpool, who are second as a result of the fine victory over Manchester City. While Everton were the better side, Manchester United, who were their section leaders when they stepped on the field made such a rally that they almost retained their lead. A two goal lead certainly appeared to be sufficient to carry the day for Everton, but the uncertainty of taking things for granted is always dangerous. While Everton were taking a breather, as it were, Manchester United got together and wiped out their opponents lead, and it appeared that a half for each would be the outcome, but Everton set to work again, and, with four minutes to go, Bentham lobbed the ball towards the United goal, and Breedon caught it, but Stevenson dispossessed him and slipped the ball into the net. There was a lengthy argument between the United players and the referee as to the genuineness of the goal, but on the word of the linesman the referee’s decision stood.
Breedon had done excellent work before this slip. He saved a penalty shot by Stevenson, and, although I admit there was little pace behind the ball, Stevenson had tried to place it out of his reach, he did well to get across to the ball. He had to face up to another spot kick, this time taken by Lawton; while a dozen Breedons could not have saved a goal. Breedon did save many other worthy efforts before he fell again to Sweeney, who picked up a clearance from Breedon, who had pushed out a hot one by Stevenson, and cracked it back into the net. Sweeney is coming on space. He might have had an earlier goal if had not offered the chance to another instead of taking it himself. The Wingmen naturally had the best patch of ground to work on, and it was only natural that they should have a good innings, but Lawton’s leadership was top class. Boyes was a veritable box of tricks. Warney and Redwood did not know which way he would so. The United forward line was not quite so united as that of Everton. Hanlon was good, Preston a shade better, and Butt did not show up in his tree light, while Smith found Lindley an able deputy for Jones. In the second half a free kick, a doubtful decision for Greenhalgh and Hanlon both fell without touching each other, saw Smith head McKay’s free kick into the net. Then came McKay’s shot quickly following a corner, the half-back stapping the ball through a bunch of players with Sagar perhaps unsighted. With matters all square and little time left Everton set up an attack which culminated in Stevenson making up the winning goal already described. It was a grand game, played by twenty-two heroic men. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Lindley, and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Manchester United: - Breedon, goal; Redwood, and Roughton, backs; Warner, Carey and McKay, half-backs; Hanlon, Butt, Smith, Pearson and Wrigglesworth, forwards. Referee Mr. J.N. Brown.
January 8, 1940. The Evening Express.
It was only in the closing minutes that Everton settled the issue against Manchester United at Goodison Park. The Blues won by the odd goal and so went to the top of the Western Region table. After leading by two clear goals at the interval, Everton lost their grip in the second half and Manchester drew level. The deciding goal came four minutes from the end and it was hotly disputed by the visitors. A rising shot by Bentham was only partially saved by Breedon. The ball dropped behind the goalkeeper, who was standing out of goal, and as he tried to throw himself full length to recover, Stevenson dashed in to put the finishing touch to the movement. The finish of the movement could not be seen from the Press box in the fading light, and although Breedon emerged with the ball in his hands the referee awarded a goal. The United disputed the decision, and after some discussion the referee consulted the linesmen who upheld his decision. By this goal Stevenson made amends for his failure with a penalty kick, Breedon pushing his slow shot around the post. Everton were awarded a second penalty and from this Lawton scored. Sweeney added the second goal. In the second half, Smith and McKay scored for the United before Stevenson added Everton’s third goal. Everton were in more forceful side.
HEROES OF GOODISON.
January 8, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
Who said footballers would not take risks for a mere 30s? That is the popular idea at the moment. Well anyone who was at Goodison Park on Saturday saw twenty-two of them take more risks than I would have been prepared to take for the prize offered. Both teams gave of their best to attain their object, no matter what it cost them, and Everton did not win through until four minutes from the end at a time when the light was not very good; in fact, it was a matter of conjecture who scored the winning goal. Three names were mentioned, Boyes, Lawton and Stevenson, but the official verdict is Stevenson. This is how it came about. Bentham lobbed the ball into the goalmouth; goalkeeper Breedon made a catch, but was challenged by Stevenson, who I am told, kicked the ball out of Breedon’s grasp and slipped it into the net. It was a testing match for Everton, when United had wiped out a two-goal deficit and seemed certain at least a half share, for there was not a lot time left when McKay secured the equaliser. Everton were undoubtedly the better side. There was more punch in the attack, and their defence was more solid. Well lead by Lawton they were soon at grips with Breedon, who made some grand saves, one from a penalty when Bentham was brought down. Stevenson’s shot had no great sting about it. He did not intend it to be a hot shot, replying on placing the ball away from the goalkeeper. He put away all right, but it travelled so slowly that Breedon was able to leap sideways and save. Breedon had to face up to another penalty shot, this time taken by Lawton, and if the whole Manchester team had gone into goal I don’t think the ball would have been kept out of the net. The two United goals were of a doubtful nature. The foul which was the starting point of Smith’s goal was never a foul, for Greenhalgh and Hanlon fell without either touching the other. I know that for certain, for it happened under my very nose. Smith headed the free kick beyond Sagar. McKay’s goal came as the result of a corner. Now there again it was not a corner, for a Manchester man was the last to play the ball before it went over the goalline.
Tom Lawton, Everton’s and England forward, hopes to quality as physical Training Instructor to the R.A.F. he goes for medical examination tomorrow, and expects to be called up within the next ten days.
AGAINST OWN COLLEAGUES.
January 12, 1940. The Evening Express.
The curiosity about the Everton and Tranmere Rovers game at Goodison Park is that Jackie Jones and Bob Bell, the Everton players, will be playing for the Rovers! Jones has been playing for Tranmere since the war, and Bell has helped them when his services have not been required by the Blues. Everton will have Tommy Jones back on duty, and no matter how I look at the game, I can see little hope for the Rovers who have yet to secure a point in the Western Region. The class of Everton should prevail. There are few better side at the moment than the Blues, who cannot be faulted in any position. The Rovers continue their policy of giving young players a chance and persevere with young Price at centre-half. Here is a lad who should go far. They are also bringing in a youngster from their “A” team (A. Martin) to inside right. Another worth watching is Byrom, the 18-year-old left half back. For sheer football artistry, watch Bridges. He certainly took my eye when I saw these teams in action at Prenton. It will be a case of the quick-tackling of the Rovers opposed to Everton’s craft. I side with the craft. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Tom), Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Tranmere Rovers; Daniels; Jones (Jack), Owen; Davies, W.B. Price; Byrom, Ashcroft, Bell, Sloan, A. Martin, Bridges.
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL.
January 12, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
Tomorrow the Rovers will visit Goodison Park and they will come with more hope than anything else after the trouncing they received at the hands of the champions. Tomorrow’s game is A Cup contest. True, it is only a Liverpool Cup, which has last some of its appeal for the two senior members, Everton and Liverpool I can recall the day when the senior Cup match was considered of such importance that the best available side was turned out. But in later years it became the persevere of the Central league team. Now we are back where we started for Everton will put out their best side –almost their championship side –against Tranmere Rovers in the first round so the Prenton side must expect no quarter. Neither will they give any but they should be heartened by their form in the Potteries last Saturday. They have included three amateurs in the side. The game has a flavour about it for two of the Rovers team are Everton men, Jack Jones, and “Bunny” Bell. Bell scored two of the Rovers goals when last the clubs met. He will be out to have a dig at his club mates, but if Jones (T.G) is at centre half Bell will know what he is up against. Bridges is a nice type of player, and Byrom has the Everton class when he is in possession but everything points to a comfortable victory for Everton, who are difficult to beat on their own ground, or anywhere else for the matters. Everton: Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Or Lindley), Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Tranmere Rovers; Daniels; Jones (JE), Owen; Davies, W.B. Price; Byrom, L. Ashcroft, Bell, Sloan, A. Martin, Bridges.
EVERTON SCORE IN FIRST MINUTE.
January 13, 1940. The Evening Express.
Lawton’s Fine Goal Against Rovers.
Everton to make a last minute change for their first-round Liverpool Cup tussle with Tranmere Rovers, at Goodison Park, today. Bailey, who made his first team debut, against Blackpool several weeks as took the place of Sweeney at outside right. Tranmere, who included three amateurs, also had the assistance of two Evertonians –Jack Jones and “Bunny” Bell. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (Tom), and Watson, half-backs; Bailey, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Tranmere Rovers: - Daniels, goal; Jones (Everton) and Owen, backs; Davies, W.B. Price, and Bysom, half-backs; L. Ashcroft, Bell (Everton), Sloan, A. Martin, and Bridge, forwards. Referee Mr. A. E. Smith. There were barely 1,000 spectators present to see Everton early on the defensive, but within a minute Tommy Lawton put the Blues ahead. Bentham sent Bailey away and the young winger returned the ball to Bentham, who crossed it to the waiting Lawton. The international left Daniels helpless with a low drive into the far corner of the net. In the next minute Lawton tried a repeat this success, but his longest shot was cleared without difficulty by Daniels. Up to this stage, Tranmere had not been in the picture, although Jackson had to be on the alert to intercept and meet a headed pass from Martin and Bridges. Tranmere forced a corner on the left and then Sagar had to come out to catch a high centre. A second corner kick to Tranmere looked like causing trouble, and Bridges put the ball behind with a intended centre. The hard ground was making the ball difficult to control. Everton adapt themselves to the conditions better than their opponents. Martin failed with a good chance when he elected to shoot from far out which pass might have produced better results. Tranmere began to come into the picture more, and it was unfortunate in Sagar that he was on the spot to deal with a hot drive from Davies. Mercer initiated several Everton attacks, the only result of which was drive by Bailey, which was well off the mark. Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes figuring in a clever passing bout, only for Lawton’s pass to find Bailey in and an off-side position. Jackson’s tenacity proved a bugbear to Bridges when the Rover’s winger looked dangerous. The Everton goal had several lucky escape mainly owing to lack of accuracy on the Rovers’ shooting.
A LOVING CUP SEMI-FINAL
January 13, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
A Girl And Goal For Lawton
Football On The Quiet At Goodison
Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (Tom), and Watson, half-backs; Bailey, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Tranmere Rovers: - Daniels, goal; Jones (Everton) and Owen, backs; Davies, W.B. Price, and Bysom, half-backs; L. Ashcroft, Bell (Everton), Sloan, A. Martin, and Bridge, forwards. Referee Mr. A. E. Smith. Tommy Lawton who is likely to be in the Army in a very short time, because engaged to Miss Rosaling Kavanagh, of Walton today. I understand that Lawton will go South in the course of the next few days to join the Army School of Physical Training. Lawton got a goal for Everton in one minute against Tranmere Rovers in the first round of the Liverpool Cup at Goodison Park today, before a very meagre crowd. He also tried another one, but Daniels made a save. So far Tranmere had been held in their own half but their left wing did made an incursion into Everton territory and actually took a corner which like most corners nowadays, was not made use of. Sagar had to catch a long ball from Jack Jones, former Everton back, now helping the Rovers and a misunderstanding between Tommy Jones and Sagar helped Tranmere to get another corner. Bridges placed this nicely, and when Sloan tried to head a goal the ball swung out again to Bridges, who this time hit the side net. This was one of the quietest games I can recall. There was no enthusiasm from the crowd at all. Not a single shout of any sort was made during the first ten minutes of the game. A free kick against Lawton resulted in a hard drive slamming up against Jones’s body, and then Sagar had to make a smart save from his colleagues, bell.
Out For Work.
Bailey intercepted a ball and made a left-foot shot for goal. His direction was all wrong and Tranmere retaliated with an attack which gave them a definite chance. But they were inclined to be rather finicky in front of goal. A first time shot was what was needed but the Rovers preferred to kill the ball and work it into a better position. While they were doing this, the Everton defence nipped in and cut the idea to pieces. Bell appeared to be all out against his old club and he once hit the upright after he had worked his way through the Everton defence. At this stage of the proceedings there was not a lot to rave about, but the Rovers were doing remarkably well, and Ashcroft showed his paces when he slipped round Watson and delivered a centre which was safely dealt with by Sagar. Boyes scored a second for Everton in 19 minutes.
TRANMERE ROVERS DRAW WITH EVERTON
January 15, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 4, Tranmere Rovers 4
Liverpool Senior Cup
Eight Goals Divided
Rovers’ Second-Half Revival.
Everton did not find Tranmere Rovers such easy prey in the Liverpool Cup-tie as they did in their Regional match at Tranmere where they won 9-2 for at Goodison Park the Rovers held the champions to a draw of four goals each. Everton scored in the first minute through Lawton, and when at the interval they led 3-1, a victory seemed assured. But the Birkenhead side fought back and earned a replay which will probably take place in the season. It was a good game in which the Rovers gave the champions many anxious moments by their forcefulness and football ability. There was a time when they looked a better team than Everton, and one spectator said: “This team is too good for one which has not won a Regional point as yet.” The Rovers, on this showing should not be wooden spoonists of their section. One or two of their players have outstanding ability, and on this form should book a number of League points.
The Rovers decided at the beginning of war-time football to put their faith in local boys or amateurs which had hardly been a qualified success judged on results. But their three amateurs did grand work against the champions. Price was ever ready to contest the issue with Lawton, and Martin and Ashcroft, particularly the latter, was one of the successes of the attack. He gave Greenhalgh as testing a time as many a more famous professional, for he had pace, craft, and centring ability. Bell, who is an Everton player, got the last goal for the Rovers by breasting the ball through Martin’s centre. Martin took the first, Sloan sandwiched in two, the second of which he obtained after beating three men. Sloan was a live leader of a line which had much to commend it. Twice the ball was kicked off the goal line with Sagar beaten. Sage did not seem to be quite so sure as usual. Following Lawton’s goal, Boyes and Stevenson by intricate passing, moved down the Rovers defence and Boyes finally slipped the ball; from goalkeeper Daniels. Then came Bentham’s goal, which had a slice of luck about it, for his shot struck the defender, and the ball deflected right away from the goalkeeper. Had it not been for the interference Bentham would not have scored. The fourth goal, which could not be seen from the stand owing to the lack of light was actually scored by Boyes, who had taken over the outside right position to allow Bailey to go to his real position on the left wing, where he undoubtedly showed much better football. Stevenson could not get a true line to his shots, otherwise he would have had a big goal crop. Lawton had one goal disallowed because it was cald be fisted the ball into the net. Another time he claimed the ball was over the line when Daniels scooped it out. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (Tom), and Watson, half-backs; Bailey, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Tranmere Rovers: - Daniels, goal; Jones (Everton) and Owen, backs; Davies, W.B. Price, and Bysom, half-backs; L. Ashcroft, Bell (Everton), Sloan, A. Martin, and Bridge, forwards. Referee Mr. A. E. Smith.
EVERTON-LIVERPOOL CUP-TIE DATE
January 15, 1940. Evening Express.
It is probable that Liverpool and Everton will arrange to play their Lancashire Senior Cup semi-final at Goodison Park on either February 17 or March 2 –with odds on March 2. The clubs have not yet “got together” officially, following Liverpool’s 4-1 success over New Brighton in the second round on Saturday at Rake-lane, but these are the most reasonable dates. Liverpool are not engaged on either day –up to now –and Everton, also being without Regional fixtures, have provisionally arranged to play a friendly with Preston North End at Deepdale on February 17, and a friendly with Leeds United at Elland-road on March 2. Cup-ties, of course, take preference over friendlies. Both Everton and: Liverpool feel that the later they can play this attractive semi-final the better it will be. I agree with them. Everton have not yet arranged their Liverpool Cup replay with Tranmere Rovers. The Rovers sprang a real surprise by forcing a 4-4 at Goodison Park on Saturday. At the moment there is a ban on mid-week football, but I think the authorities will lift that shortly. Otherwise I cannot see how all the matches are going to be filled in. There have been plenty of postponements of Regional games, and the only solution seems to be to play them on evening in mid-week when summer-time returns.
TRANMERE’S SMART FORM.
January 15, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
Tranmere Rovers’ form against Everton in the Liverpool senior Cup match at Goodison Park was a revelation. Remembering how they were cut to ribbons in the Regional game, one naturally expected a convincing Everton victory, but actually the champions had to battle strongly to remain in the competition. A Lawton goal in one minute, and the simplicity of its making led us into a false belief about Tranmere’s ability. We anticipated another “slaughter” such as we witnessed at Prenton Park, and when Boyes nipped in with a second we had little idea that we should see Everton striving tooth and nail to remain in the competition. It was something which had never entered our minds. Here was an easy win for Everton. That was the frame of mind we entered the ground. We left is saying to ourselves, “The Rovers should not be at the foot of their section on this form.” “What brought about this transformation, for it must be admitted that the Rovers were a poor side in their League game, of was it that Everton were so much better than they were on Saturday? With Everton leading 3-1 at the interval there appeared little likelihood of the Rovers living to fight another day, but there were circumstances which brought the teams down to am level which hardly seemed possible at one time. The Everton defence has had easier times against superior teams than Tranmere, who once they got to within striking distance of their rivals’ score gained a belief in themselves and three times they saw the ball luckily kicked off the goal line, and not by Sagar, who did not seem quite so confident as usual. Boyes’s first goal was a picture affair; a two-piece suite, between he and “Stevy” who passed and passed again to completely outwit the Rovers’ defence. Boyes got his second goal in the gleaming when he was at outside right –he had changed places with Bailey. But none of the eight goals was better than Sloan’s second point. He beat three men in his run down the middle before he shot well out of the reach of Sagar. Tranmere Rovers have been criticised for not falling into line, and utilising “guest artists,” and replying on “home products.” Well their three amateurs did as much and more than their professional brethren in this game, for Ashcroft, the Flint outside right, made a grand impression. He gave Greenhalgh a deal of trouble by his quick runs, his clever ball control, and his good-length centres. Martin, too, displayed craft, and Price saw to it that Lawton did not get too many chances. But of the half backs I liked most of all Davies and Bysom. Bell was tickled to death when he scored the equalising goal against his clubmates. Lawton and Bentham will, in all probability, go to Aldershot next week for their training as physical training instructors.
EVERTON AND LIVERPOOL FIX CUP-MATCH DATES.
January 16, 1940. The Evening Express.
Everton and Liverpool are now all set for their sixth meeting of the season. They have come to arrangement regarding the date of their Lancashire Senior Cup semi-final tie. It will take place at Goodison Park on Saturday, February 17. Neither team has any Western Regional match for that day. The Blues had arranged a provisional friendly against Preston North End at Deepdale, but this is now cancelled. Everton have also come to an arrangement with Tranmere Rovers regarding the replay of their Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final. The teams drew 4-4 at Goodison Park on Saturday. They will meet again at Prenton Park on Saturday, March 2, another blank day so far as Western Regional games are concerned. Everton had fixed a provisional friendly with Leeds for that day. This will be cancelled.
Everton have to make alterations in their team to visit Wrexham at the Racecourse, on Saturday, in the Western Regional game. Joe Mercer, the international half-back, will not be available, as he is due to appear in the Red Cross Fund international between England and the Army at Selhurst Park. Consequently, his place will be taken by the versatile Maurice Lindley, who this time will be in his correct position –right half. Mr. Theo Kelly, the Everton secretary expressed the opinion today that Sweeney the Army outside-right would be fit again following injury. If so, he comes back in place of young Bailey. The remainder of the team is unchanged. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
ERVERTON’SA TWO CHANGES.
January 16, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
Everton are due to visit Wrexham at the Racecourse, on Saturday, and will make two changes compared with the side which drew with Tranmere last week. Sweeney comes in to the exclusion of Bailey at outside right, while Lindley takes over the right half position, due to the fact that Mercer will be playing for the Bristish Army eleven against the F.A. at Crystal Palace. The team therefore reads: - Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes.
This will probably be the last game played by Lawton and Bentham before they go into the Army. Both are expecting word to report early next week. If their duties later bring them, within reasonable travelling distance of Merseyside, however, they may again be seen in Everton’s colours after their period of training down South is concluded. So far Wrexham have not chosen their side. Unfortunately Cullis will not be available, as he is taking part in the same match as Mercer, otherwise the Welsh folk would have had an opportunity of weighing up the respective abilities of Tommy Jones their own country’s centre half and England’s automatic choice for the same position. Great as my admiration is for Cullis I give the palm to Jones, who to my mind, is without equal anywhere today.
EVERTON AT WREXHAM
January 18, 1940. Evening Express.
Billy Cook, Everton’s Irish international back, will play against Everton on Saturday. He will assist Wrexham against the Blues at the Racecorse. He has been playing fairly regularly for the Welshmen since he joined the Services. Wrexham (from); Jones, Cook, Screen; Snow, Tudor, Briggs; Williams, Rogers, Morris, A.N. Other, Hughes, Brown.
Juniors On Parade.
Everton will place no fewer than three teams into the field on Saturday. First they have the Western Regional game at Wrexham –this should be a big day for Wrexham –and their “B” and “C” teams will be concerned in cup competitions. The “B” team will oppose Marine at Goodison Park in the first round of the Liverpool County Challenge, and this should provide an excellent game. Everton select their eleven from the following; Burnett; Sherratt, Dugdale, Hill, Bearsdwood, Atkins, Hankin, Sumner, Sharp, Cobham, Lyon, Bailey.
RETURN OF “DIXIE.”
January 18, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
War-time football brings an old favouritie out of retirement in the person of Bill (Dixie) Dean, idol for ten years of Goodison followers. Dean is not coming back into Regional football. He has had plenty of offers to do that, but his work has not permitted it. He is donning football gear this time in aid of charity, along with Morton, ex-Everton and Burnley, and Kennedy, former of Everton and Tranmere. All three are at present employed by the engineering firm of Fawcett, Preston and Co, of Bromborough, and will appear for their work’s side against Port Sunlight Old Boys at the Oval, Port Sunlight on January 27. Proceeds of the match will go to the Red Cross Fund and with Dean in the team and so close to his old “nursery” the crowd is sure to be a big one.
Good Work Goes On.
In spite of the war the good work which was done last summer by the Everton Shareholders’ Association in connection with it’s “bun-penny” scheme is still going on. Mr. Dick Searle vice=president of the Association, who inaugurated the fund and has worked like a Trojan for it ever since, called in to tell me yesterday that he has provisionally booked the Dyserth Children’s Camp for 100 poor children from the Everton neighbourhood, who will be entertained by the Bun-Penny Fund to a week’s holiday in the last week of June. I hope that all those folk who worked so hard to make the scheme a success last summer -100 children were sent away for a week then –will rally round and do their part again. The need, unfortunately, may be even greater this year. Mr. Searle, who has recently elected to the City Council as a member for Walton Ward, has also made provisional arrangements to take the camp for the first week in July for 100 poor children from the Walton Division.
THIRD AWAY WIN?
January 19, 1940. Evening Express.
Everton, Western Section leaders, hope to record their third away win in the Regional competition when they oppose Wrexham. At the moment the Blues are joint leaders with Liverpool on the 14 points mark, but they have the better goal average –one better! A few weeks ago I went with Liverpool to Wrexham and saw the Welshmen smash Liverpool’s unbeaten record. They played good football, too. Can Wrexham complete a “double” at Merseyside’s expense? That is something I doubt. Everton dumbfounded the soccer world by failing to beat Tranmere Rovers last week, but I expect them to take the points tomorrow. It is doubtful whether Sweeney will be able to play, and this means that Wyles the former Peterborough player will appear at outside-right. This will be Wyles’s first game with the seniors. The Everton followers will be saying “Au revoir” to Tommy Lawton and Stanley Bentham. This will be their last game with the team for some time as they are going away to become Army Physical training instructors. Hopes are entertained; however, they will subsequently be stationed to posts, which will enable them to play for the club now and again. One of the highlights of tomorrow’s game should be the duel between the Stevenson-Boyes and Billy Cook, the Everton international, who will be playing for Wrexham. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Wyles, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Wrexham; (from) Jones; Cook, Screen; Snow, Tudor, Briggs; Williams, Rogers, Morris, A.N. Other, Hughes, Brown.
EVERTON’S BIG TEST.
January 19, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, tomorrow, will tackle the “Guest Artist” specialists, Wrexham, on the latter’s own good plane of turf at the Racecourse, in their Regional game, and the Welsh club make no bone’s about it that they will give the leaders something to think about. Neither do they make any bones about the fact that their plan to use whatever materials they can get hold of has paid them well; don’t in actual results, at least in gate receipts. Their manager has his eyes well skinned and he has only to get the slightest hint that there is a well-known professional in his neighbourhood to be on his doorstep at the first available moment. No club has had the use of so many First League players as Wrexham, and they are hopeful of turning out a high-class side for this attractive match with Everton. But Everton will face up to them with a confidence that can only be gained by a side playing together week by week. Tomorrow, Everton will have their championship in the field with one or two exceptions and those who will do duty or those not available have done exceptionally well when they have been called upon. The game may be the last one with Everton for some time for Tommy Lawton, who is expected to join the colours a week today. I am sorry Cullis will not be in the Wrexham team, for it would have been a fine sight for the Welshmen to see Tommy Jones, their own boy, and Cullis in opposition. I have no doubts whom they would plump for, and it would not be Cullis. Jones made his name with Wrexham, and Wrexham does not forget it. His name compares more than favourably with those of Fred Keenor and Tommy Griffiths. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones (TG), Watson; Wyles, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Wrexham; Jones; Cook (or Tunney), Screen; Snow, Tudor, Briggs; forwards from; Williams, Rogers, Wilson, Jones (Birmingham), Hughes, Brown, Morris.
Bentham Out-Sagar In?
There has been a hitch in Bentham’s plans to join the Forces as a P.T. instructor, owing to his being in a reserved occupation. It is possible he may not be allowed to go. Yesterday’s announcement that Nieuwenhuys is seeking to join the R.A.F is now followed by news that Sagar, of Everton has also made application in the same source3 for acceptance. Sagar and “Nivvy” are working these days in the same workshop, and would like to keep up the association. Both are 28.
EVERTON AT WREXHAM
January 20, 1940. The Evening Express.
Wrexham played Wilson Jones, Birmingham Centre forward against Everton, at the Racecourse today. The players of both teams wore black armlets as a token of respect for J.A. Mackie, a Wrexham director, who died recently. News of the d avis that Tom Lawton will be given special permission to play for the Football league at Bradford next Saturday, and he will report to the Army after the match. Teams: - Wrexham; Jones, goal; Tunney and Screen, backs; Snow, Tudor, and Briggs, half-backs; Williams, Rogers, Wilson, Jones (Birmingham), Hughes and Brown, forwards. Everton: - Sagar, (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Lindley, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Wyles, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. C. Fletcher (Davenham). The start was delayed. Tunney, the former Everton player held up the first advance of the Blues before Snow had his shot charged down.
LAWTON’S LAST MATCH.
January 20, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
With Everton At Wrexham Racecourse
It was expected that Tommy Lawton, Everton and England centre forward, would play his last match for Everton, today, at Wrexham, for he joins the Colours probably a week hence. The first item of note at Wrexham was the news that Lawton would play in the Red Cross international match at Bradford on Saturday next. I understand he has got permission to report for the Army on Sunday. Both teams wore black armbands as a token of respect for the late Wrexham director Mr. Mackie. Teams: - Wrexham; Jones, goal; Tunney and Screen, backs; Snow, Tudor, and Briggs, half-backs; Williams, Rogers, Wilson, Jones (Birmingham), Hughes and Brown, forwards. Everton: - Sagar, (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Lindley, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Wyles, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. C. Fletcher (Davenham). There were not 2,000 people present when the teams kicked off, but indications suggested that there would be a few more as time went on. The kick-off was delayed about three minutes and Wrexham were soon on the warpath. Hughes cut his way through the Everton defence and tried a shot which blocked out and the danger subsequently cleared. The clearance put both Boyes and Wyles off side. Again the Wrexham forwards made inroads into the Everton defence but Jones by the cutest of moves held up Rogers.
WREXHAM HOLD EVERTON
January 22, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post
Wrexham 0, Everton 0
Sagar Staves Off Defeat.
Vital Penalty Save.
Sagar, the Everton captain, saved a penalty kick in the 18th minute against Wrexham at the Racecourse on Saturday and that save prevented the champions from losing their second Regional game to date. He took Roger’s spot kick like a slip fielder and made it look easy, whereas it was not so easy as it looked. Wrexham should have won, for they were the more progressive and dangerous side. That they did not do so was due in the main to Sagar. He played a grand game, apart from his penalty save, and T.G. Jones playing on the ground which give him his real start in big football, often held up ominous attacks by the virile Wrexham forwards.
Wrexham Take Risks.
I have often said that the Third Division team will always put in that little extra when meeting a side of greater fame, and I say it again, for it was Wrexham’s determination to “take down” the champions if that was possible. They went out to meet the ball, take all the risks, and would have taken some goals in the first half when Everton secured to be at a standstill. Williams, the outside right, was so well fed that he should have had a gala day, but like many others he could not find a true line with his shoes. Once when only a few yards out, he sliced his drive outside the upright. Wilson Jones had a couple of worthy shots, and Hughes and Rogers added their share, but Sagar was in one of his most dominant moods, and that means something to Everton. Wrexham called the tune, Everton’s first shot was made at the 50th minute by Stevenson. The Wrexham defence handled the game well. They went out to meet the ball whereas the Everton players awaited it’s arrival, and it was only too obvious as to who would take possession. They cut into Everton’s attempted combination with knife-like keenness, and tendered it impotent until well on in the second half, when the champions became a more lively force and appeared likely to match a goal. It was a most enjoyable game and there is no disputing that Wrexham have gathered together a smart side, which severely tested the defensive ability of Everton, who were pleased with their half share. Lawton was too well matched to do any damage I can recall one instance of his making a true Lawton drive at goal, and the ball sped outside the woodwork. I would name Bentham as Everton’s best attacker, but all the honours for the share of the points goes to the Everton defence. Lawton will play in the Red Cross match at Birkenhead at Bradford on Saturday next. He has been granted permission to report for his Army training on Sunday. Sagar has decided to give up the idea of joining the Army as a physical training instructor, at least for the time being. Teams: - Wrexham; Jones, goal; Tunney and Screen, backs; Snow, Tudor, and Briggs, half-backs; Williams, Rogers, Wilson, Jones (Birmingham), Hughes and Brown, forwards. Everton:- Sagar, (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Lindley, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Wyles, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. C. Fletcher (Davenham).
DEATH OF GOODISON HEAD GROUNDSMAN.
January 22, 1940. The Evening Express
The death took place at Stanley Hospital last night of Mr. Joseph Smith, of Sleepers-hill, Liverpool, who for the past 14 years had been head groundsman to Everton Football Club at Goodison Park. Mr. Smith has been ill about four weeks. He joined the Everton ground staff 40 years ago. The flag at Goodison Park was flown at half-mast today. Mr. Smith leaves two daughters, one of whom is married.
HISTORY WAS MADE.
January 22, 1940. The Evening Express.
Everton were held to a draw at Wrexham on Saturday in a fine game, the thrills of which compensated for the fact that no goals were scored. The match made football history. When we gathered in the warmth of the boardroom after the game, Mr. Jack Hughes, chairman of Wrexham, made a nice gesture by officially welcoming the Everton club to Wrexham. Today he said “history” has been made. Whereas Wrexham and Everton have played in some friendly games, this is the first time that they have ever met in competitive football. “We at Wrexham feel honoured at having the privilege of welcoming such a famous club and express the hope that it will be the forerunner of many such meetings. “The conditions stopped what would have been a record gate, but we have had a great game and a most satisfactory result from both standpoints.” Mr. Ernest green, the Everton chairman, who was accompanied by Mr. Will Gibbins and Mr. Theo Kelly –not forgetting the loyalist supporters in Messrs Herbert Barker, Tom Cawley, Jack Wilkinson and Fred Simmons –, expressed thanks for the hospitality shown and aid that from Everton’s point of view they were highly pleased with the result. I agree there, too. Personally, I thought Wrexham had the chances to win, and that a victory would not have been flattering to them. Mr. Herbert Pritchard, Mr. George Turner and Dr. Davies were among other Wrexham directors who went out of their way to make everyone welcome, and it was nice to renew acquaintance with manager Mr. Tom Morgan. I had a chat with Mr. Tommy Griffiths, the former Everton centre-half, now “mine host” at a local hotel. Tom looks well and still does “his stuff” on the cello. The Wrexham folk, by the way, paid high tribute to the splendid service Billy Cook, of Everton is giving them. They say he has been in brilliant form all along.
Honours To Defence.
It must have been a little ironical to the 1,950 Wrexham supporters who paid £88 to see one of their former players so persistently holding up their own attack. This was Tommy Jones, whom Everton secured from Wrexham for a moderate fee and who now ranks as the best centre half-back in the game. Jones was the centre piece of a brilliant Everton defence which outshone the attack. Rarely have I seen the Everton forwards so ineffective. In the first half not a single shot was directed at Wrexham goalkeeper, Jones, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes rarely seen, and with Wyles rather out of position, the honours went to the diligent Bentham. The defence, however, was splendid with Jones much too good for the inside forwards, and Sagar giving another super display in goal. Neither Jackson nor Greenhalgh could be faulted, and Watson and Lindley completed a fine half-back line. The Blues played a second fiddle throughout the first half, but were rather the better side later. Wrexham have a fine serviceable side. They were exceptionally quick on the ball and scored because they went to the ball instead of waiting for it to come to them. Young Briggs, ex-Aston Villa again took my eye at left half. In normal times this lad, whose ability was loudly praised afterwards by Alex Stevenson, would be attracting all the scouts. I liked the splendid defence of Screen at left back, and the Cook like manner in which Tunney, another ex-Evertonian, filled the right back berth. Tudor, of West Bromwich, was a strong pivot, and Rogers and Brown were outstanding in the home attack. Yes, Wrexham were good. The result itself prove that. Yet, though Everton dropped a point they retained the Western Section leadership. They are going to take some shifting from position number one.
EVERTON A SHADE LUCKY.
January 22, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
Everton went to Wrexham in the full knowledge that there was a stiff task ahead of them, for the Welsh club had got together a strong eleven in their effort to bring about the fall of the champions, yet Everton were able to return with a half-share of the spoils. The game was billed all over the Wrexham district as a “big attraction” but there must have been other places more attractive, for the attendance fell far short of anticipations; there were 1,950 people on the Racecourse, and they saw their favourities “play” Everton as they have not before been played this season. The whole Everton party had to admit that they were fortunate to take a point, for Wrexham were the better side. The how comes it that they did not win? Just this –that Tad Sagar saved a penalty kick in the eighteen minute of the game, and for the remainder the Everton defence put in some solid work to outwit the virile Wrexham forwards, who did suggest great possibilities. When I tell you that Everton’s first shot came at the fiftieth minute, you can well imagine the hold the Wrexham defence had on the Everton forwards. They cut into any suggestion of combination with lighting tackling and attained their object by being first to the ball.
They were not prepared to wait its arrival. They sought it and invariably took possession of it. Everton waited for it, and it never came. Wrexham’s defenders saw to that. Sagar had been kept successfully busy until Tommy Jones put a hand to the ball and the fatal spot kick was inevitable. “Now we should see a goal,” we acclaimed, but Rogers who put plenty of “beef” behind his shot, had the mortification of seeing Sagar take a step sideways and take a catch like a mid-off cricketer. Sagar had made it look easy, whereas it was rather a difficult save. That save saved the day, for while they had several more chances, Williams, in particular being remiss from a few yards out Everton’s defence triumphed. Everton were distinctly better in the second half, and one began to wonder would they sneak away with the spoils. It would have been rank bad luck for Wrexham, for they had done so much that a defeat after such an effort would have been heartbreaking. Sagar by the way, tells me that he has dropped the idea he once had of joining the Army as a physical instructor. He was rather puzzled as to which team he was to play for at Bradford on Saturday. Lawton will also play. He has been granted permission by the Army authorities to report for duty on Sunday instead of Saturday. I regret to say that Joe Smith, the Everton groundsman, died last night. He has been with the club for over forty years.
Davie Raitt is Back in Action
January 23 1940 Dundee Courier
By Don John
Back on military duty again is Bombardier David Raitt. Recohnise the name? None other than right back David Raitt, who was Nappier Thomson formed one of the strongest defensive partnerships in the story of Dundee F.C. He is a veteran volunteer. From start to finish he took part in the 1914-18 struggle -won the Mitary Medal. He might have stayed at home, but in a simple sentence he says;- "I did not like the idea of a stand by job, merely waiting for something to happen." He was empoyed by Dundee Town Council. In September he was included in an emergency squad formed for decontamination work, Raitt reviewed the prospect decided to return to army service. And Now he is with a Royal Artillary unit in Scotland.
FOOTBALL names are more readily recalled two by two. Dundee have been particularly fortunate in having sound defenders. The names of Darroch and Sharp jump from a very early chapter. The Raitt-Thomson partnership is still easily remembered. David Raitt was Fife miner. Napper Thomson was an engineer and a product ot the local junior Fairfield. Their styles blended well. The virile tackling Raitt. The more subtle Thomson, one of the most successful defonders in exploiting the offside rule. Link was broken when Dundee accepted an Everton price for Raitt. A disappointing transfer to home followers, yet just an Everton custom. Their captures from Dens Park have included Alec Troup, Raitt. and Jock Thomson. Later they transferred Raitt to Blackburn Rovers.
ARMY " DISCOVERY."
HIS readiness to return to the army is easily understood. It was from the service that he stepped senior football in 1919. Reports the fine play of the captain of the Warwickshire regimental team reached Dundee. They inquired—" discovered " David Raitt. Last night the once-popular back left the city after a short leave. He resides at 22 Kinloch Street. He declined to discuss with me the details of the adventure in which he won the M.M. last time out." He did disclose that had again agreed to accept foreign service. And for the benefit of former playing colleagues whom he has entertained, I must mention that has not lost his touch on the accordion. The instrument has been with him on his army travels. He contributed to one special bumper programme Christmas time
January 24, 1940. The Evening Express.
Dixie Dean, famous England and Everton centre-forward who still holds the Football League goal-scoring record with 60 goals, scored in season 1927-28, returns to soccer on Saturday. He will lead a side from his work’s against Port Sunlight Old Boys in a match arranged at Dean’s suggestion for the British Red Cross Fund. It will take place at the Oval, Port Sunlight Recreation Grounds. In Dean’s side will be Harry Morton, the former Everton and Aston Villa goalkeeper; Andy Kennedy, who played for Arsenal; Everton and Tranmere Rovers; Williams, former of Millwall; Cleugh the ex-Waterford player; and Potter, a Scottish junior international. The Old Boyes are the present leaders of the Wirral Combination.
Officials of Everton Football Club have gone out of their way this season to do all they can to brighten the lives of the lads in the Services. The Cigarette collections at the international and Liverpool “Derby” matches proved a hugh success –they brought in about 20,000 cigarettes for the boys –and every time the club have been able to offer any hospitality they have not hesitated. On Saturday the Champions are going to provide a day’s outing for some of the naval boys. A company of officers and ratings from a certain depot have been invited to attend the Western Regional game at Goodison Park between Everton and Stockport County –and the invitation has been accepted. Mention of Everton reminds me that Ted Sagar has been suffering from a chill but he will be all right for Saturday’s international at Bradford. Cecil Wyles was also suffering from a cold at Wrexham on Saturday, and went right back to bed after the game. He is almost right again now.
ON EVERTON’S BOOKS.
January 25, 1940. The Evening Express.
Three 16-year-old players from the Southport League who have scored 100 goals between them since the start of last season are now on Everton’s books. Some time ago the Goodison Club signed Ronald “Dandy” inside-left, and Arthur Rockcliffe, centre half from Fleetwood Heskeith Juniors, a side which has carried all before them since the start of last and scored 227 goals against 40 in that time. Now Everton have signed Eddie Wainwright, clever inside-right or right-half from the same team. Last season Wainwright obtained 30 goals for the team from inside-right and Dandy 25 from the inside-left position. Dandy so far has 19 goals from 13 matches this term and while Wainwright has been converted into a wing half he has kept up his scoring feats. Rockliffe is the side’s penalty expert and all three, who were outstanding schoolboys a couple of years ago, promise to make first rate players with ordinary luck.
Blues Seeking Caskie.
Mr. Theo Kelly, secretary of Everton Football Club, is trying to secure the services of Jimmy Caskie, the Scottish international winger for Saturday’s Western game against Stockport County at Goodison Park. Should Caskie not be able to travel, Wykes will continue at outside-right. There will be other changes owing to the international calls, Bell leads the attack in place of Lawton, and Burnett appears in goal for Sagar. This will be Burnett’s second match of the season, he having played at Chester. Lindley continues at right-half in place of the absence Mercer. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Walton; Caskie, (or Wyles), Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes.
EVERTON’S ENFORCED CHANGES FOR STOCKPORT VISIT.
January 25, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
Everton have had to make three changes in their side to meet Stockport County, at Goodison park, on Saturday, owing to Lawton, Mercer, and Sagar being on duty for the Football league in the Red Cross game at Bradford. Burnett comes in as goalkeeper, for the second time this season. His previous first-team appearance was against Chester in mid-November, and it was not his fault on that occasion that Everton sustained what so far has been their only Regional defeat. The absence of Mercer these days does not cause Everton any qualms, for in Maurice Lindley, the once willowy youth who has now filled out so grandly they have a capable substitute who has well proved his worth this season –and not only at right half. He has filled so many position in the past three months that he can justly lay claim to be Everton’s more versatile player. More than that, he has given a fine display in them all, and none better than his centre half exhibition against Manchester United early this month.
To be Or Not To Be.
Bell naturally comes in for Lawton at centre forward, while at outside right Everton are hoping once more to get Caskie down from Scotland. His name has been mentioned several times before, without the player being able to manage the journey, and though the club are doing their best to fix it up we shall have to wait and see. If Caskie cannot appear his place will be taken by Wyles, who last week made the tenth debutant to take his bow in Everton’s first team this season. A bit of a change from last term when Everton, to all intents and purposes, played the whole programme with practically only twelve players on tap. The team for Saturday thus reads: - Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Wyles, Or Caskie, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes.
Stockport County’s side will include an old friend in Fred Howe, formerly of Liverpool and Grimsby, who has been assisting the Cheshire club in war-time soccer. Howe has found his shooting boots all right with his new club. He has averaged over a goal a match, including one hat-trick against Bradford and a bag of four not long ago against Manchester City.
Catterick Going Strong.
The County will be led by a former Everton reserve player in Catterick, who has been loaned to them since the war started and has played so well that he has been automatic choice ever since. , bar a short spell when he was laid up by injury over Christmas. There will also be interest in this match in the appearance of Douglas Reid, the former half-back whom Stockport have converted to inside-forward, and whose transfer was sought by so many First Division clubs last season. Reid joined the Army a fortnight ago, but has got his commanding officer’s permission to make the journey to Goodison. While Stockport’s Regional record is not particularly impressive those who follow them regularly tell me they have been serving up really good football. With Everton keen to maintain their top-of-the-table placing the match should be well worth seeing. Stockport’s selected team is; McDonough; Topping, Owens; Chapell, Nelsson, Titterington; Bagley, Reid, Catterick, Howe, Keightley.
Everton Still Picking Em.
Everton are continuing to pick up promising young juniors from the Southport and District League. Their latest signings in the direction is a 16-year-old Eddie Wainwright from Fleetwood Hesketh Juniors. The side won three trophies last season and so far this season have won 12 of their 13 matches. Not until Saturday did they drop their first point, drawing with Holy Trinity. Since the start of last season they have scored 227 with 40 against. Wainwright, from the inside right position scored 30 goals last season, but nowadays plays at right half. He is still scoring. Two other 16 years-old, in Ronald Dandy, inside-left and Arthur Rockcliffe, centre half are also both on Everton’s books. The trio of players have scored 100 goals between then since the start of last season. Dandy’s tally being 44. Rockcliffe is the side’s penalty expert. All three promise to make first-rate players with ordinary luck, while the centre forward, Richard Abram, another more boy, who has scored 61 goals since the start of last season, also looks like making a name for himself. Bolton are interested in him at the moment.
January 26, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
Representative games have often cut into the Everton team with knife-edge keenness, and such is the case on Saturday, when Lawton and Sagar will be on duty in the English League side at Bradford Park Avenue’s ground. Everton tried to get Caskie down for the game, but he cannot get away from his important week. Wyles who made his debut in Regional football a week ago at Wrexham will again figure as partner to Bentham. He was out of touch with his game on the Racecourse but the experience he gathered in the game should stand him in good stead. In goal we have Burnett, who put up such a fine display in Everton’s game with Chester week’s ago. He is a confident type of goalkeeper, with a safe pair of hands and good judgement. One need not ask who will take Mercer’s place. That position of right half automatically falls to Maurice Lindley of the Crayston style, and ability. He gave a grand display at Wrexham, but he rarely play a poor game, and given satisfaction whereas he has played. I would not have been surprised had he been selected for goal, for he has played in all the half back positions, and at right back, so he must be considered Everton’s utility man these days. Stockport are alongside Tranmere Rovers at the wrong end of the section with five points from nine matches, their only victories (two) being obtained at home against Tranmere Rovers and Port Vale. But they are quite capable of creating a surprise as they did against Manchester City at Hyde Road last month, when they shared a dozen goals. But look at the game as you will, I don’t think you can get away from the prospects of a convincing Everton victory. They are at the head of the “league2 and one are determined to stay there. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Wyles, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes. Stockport –McDonough; Topping, Owens; Chapell, Neilson, Titterington; Bagley, Reid, Catterick, Howe, Keighley.
January 29, 1940. Evening Express.
Owing to the postponement of Regional football games, there is going to be a big congestion towards the end of the season. There seems little chance of the matches being re-arranged for early dates, seeing that the majority of the clubs had shown forethought and made ample arrangements to ensure that they had no blank Saturdays. So far as Everton and Liverpool are conceded, they have fixed up various friendly games, and have several cupties which must be decided in addition to the regional games.
Three Times Unlucky
A wing forward Keighley, an 18 year old lad is particularly anxious to make a name for himself in football. Keighley used to play for Stalybridge Celtic, and then went to Accrington Stanley. A few weeks ago Stockport County got on his track, and he agreed to help them. Three weeks ago he was chosen to play in the County first team. His big chance had come. Imagine his feeling when the game was postponed. The next week he was selected again. The same thing happened. He was in the County’s team to face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. He travelled from Accrington and arrived at Goodison Park as noon to find that for the third week in succession the match had been postponed. Mr. Theo Kelly, the Everton secretary provided the youngster with some food, and put him on the home-bound train. Maybe next week Keighley’s luck will turn.
BACK TO STRENGTH.
January 30, 1940. The Evening Express.
I expect Everton will be back to their best available strength on Saturday, when, having no league engagement, they are due to play a friendly against Sheffield United at Bramell-Lane. Everton who would draw a big crowd in Sheffield, if the match goes on, have Sagar and Mercer back in the team which will probably be. Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Wyles, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes.