British Football’s Most Remarkable Transfer

Prior to Liverpool’s FA Cup tie with Oldham Athletic this Sunday a minutes silence will be held in memory of Wayne Harrison, who died on Christmas Day and was the subject of a record breaking transfer between the two clubs in 1985.

Stockport born Harrison came to Liverpool’s attention when he starred in Oldham’s 4-3 FA Youth Cup victory in December 1984. Having already attracted interest from Everton, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United, whose manager Ron Atkinson was interested in a play swap deal, Liverpool acted fast.  Worried about a rival signing such a top young talent, Chairman John Smith lodged a £250,000 cash bid which Oldham manager Joe Royle readily accepted given they were struggling to survive on crowds of less than 5,000 in the old 2nd Division.

The fee was a world record for a teenager and stunned the football world, given Harrison had played just five games for the first team. But there was good reason why the Reds were willing to spend big. Harrison had electric pace and could also read the game extremely well, showing great awareness in staying onside and having excellent finishing skills. Royle felt that Harrison was the best player he had seen as a sixteen year old since Trevor Francis had broken into Birmingham’s side in 1970.

It was a dream come true for Harrison who had grown up as a Liverpool fan despite the proximity of Manchester United and Manchester City. But he would have to be patient in waiting for a chance as after completing the deal he was loaned back to Oldham to continue his development but before the end of the season he was recalled to Liverpool, scoring twice in four games for the reserve side that retained the Central League title.

However the next three years were blighted by injury, including a near fatal one sustained on a pre season reserve tour when he fell through a greenhouse and suffered a major loss of blood. The local ambulance service was on strike and he had to be stabilised by army medics before being taken to hospital. He also suffered from groin, cartilage, shoulder and knee injuries and managed just sixteen appearances between 1985 and 1987 and didn’t play at all in 1987-88.

By 1988-89 Harrison was fit enough to spend a short time on loan with Crewe Alexandra where he scored once in three games. He then enjoyed a successful end to the Central League season with Liverpool, scoring seven times in the final eight matches.

In 1989-90, Harrison scored eighteen goals for the reserves and finally looked to be on the verge of a first team breakthrough, only to collide with the Bradford keeper in the final minute of a 3-1 victory on 3rd May. He was carried off and was diagnosed with a cruciate ligament injury. Harrison underwent a series of operations but in the summer of 1991 new manager Graeme Souness gave him the news that he dreaded, that medics had determined his career was over.

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Liverpool travelled to Boundary Park for Harrison’s testimonial in April 1992, Don Hutchison and Ronny Rosenthal scoring in a 2-2 draw. 4,400 fans turned out for the game but Harrison was unable to make even a token appearance due to his injury.

It took Harrison a few years to fully recover but showing no bitterness, he took a job as a driver for Robinson’s Brewery in Stockport and played occasional Sunday league football. In 2011 he was unfairly labelled one of he five worst teenage transfers ever by the Daily Mail. On Christmas Day 2013, he died in Stepping Hill hospital in Stockport at the age of just 46 after suffering from pancreatic problems.


Reds Win At Spurs to Kick Start Challenge

In 1985-86 Liverpool bounced back from a disappointing derby defeat with a win at White Hart Lane to start off a run that would see them crowned as Champions.

With just twelve games to go Liverpool were eight points behind Everton in the title race, a 2-0 home defeat to the Blues the following week seriously denting their hopes. It wasn’t just Everton that Liverpool had to overhaul if they were to win the league. Manchester United were in five points ahead in second place while Chelsea, who were in fourth and separated from the Reds by goal difference, also had three games in hand.

In the game against Everton Bruce Grobbelaar had inexplicably allowed a low Kevin Ratcliffe shot to squirm under his body, the latest of a serious of gaffes that season. On BBC Grandstand’s Football Focus the day before the Spurs game, it was estimated that Grobbelaar’s errors had cost the Reds as many as fifteen points already that season.

It was a bitterly cold Sunday and Liverpool’s fans setting off for London did so in the knowledge that the game was sill in some doubt. However heavy sanding of the pitch managed to save the day as Spurs were desperate not to lose out on television revenue and late morning the pitch was declared fit for the 3.05pm kick off. There was now even more ground to make up, as the previous day Everton had beaten Aston Villa to open up an eleven point lead.

White Hart Lane, Spurs and English football in general were completely different propositions than now. Although they had been Everton’s main challengers for the title the previous season, Spurs were struggling in the bottom half of the table this time around and the pressure was building on manager Peter Shreeves after three successive home league defeats. The stadium too was crumbling, with three of the four stands dating from before World War II, although it was seen as somewhat modern (for the time) in that it offered both standing and seating on all four sides and was totally covered.

There was no need to worry about tickets, with all terraced areas being pay on the day and admission prices being below £3. Liverpool’s support was accommodated in just two of the four sections in the away end and they were only about half full, with the total crowd being just 16,436 in a ground that could hold close to 50,000.


After just four minutes Liverpool were a goal down and it was again Grobbelaar who had to take responsibility. After turning Chris Waddle’s shot around the post for a corner that was taken by Glenn Hoddle, the Reds keeper jumped for the ball and palmed it goalwards, Waddle helping it over the line.  The rest of the first half was dire from the Reds, who struggled to put more than a couple of passes together on the bone hard pitch and at half time they were given a rollicking by Kenny Dalglish and Ronnie Moran.

The players came out rejuvenated for the second half and played some of their best football for some weeks. Former Reds keeper Ray Clemence made two great saves from Steve McMahon and Craig Johnston, while Jan Molby had a powerful headed bounce back off the crossbar. McMahon, returning after an injury, was dominating the midfield allowing Molby the space and vision to seek out the attackers and it was the big Dane who eventually got the equaliser in the 66th minute.  From a Johnston corner, Ronnie Whelan’s shot rebounded back to Molby who scored with a low drive from the edge of the area.

Liverpool dominated the rest of the game as the temperature remained around freezing point. McMahon hit the bar and Clemence made three good saves from Rush. As the game entered injury time, it was the home side who were whistling for the referee to blow for full time. Then in the 94th minute, Whelan played a defence splitting pass into the path of Rush, who was one on one with Clemence. He calmly stroked the ball past him into the corner of the net, sparking huge celebrations amongst the visiting fans, while Rush was mobbed by most of his teammates.

Rush told the Daily Mail after the match: ‘Bruce was the most relieved man in the ground when I scored the goal. I’m glad for him that I got the winner.’ Grobbelaar himself was honest in his assessment of the mistake that could have cost Liverpool he game, saying: ‘After all the publicity I’ve been getting it was a poor show to make a mistake like that. Fortunately the lads pulled it round for me. In the past I’ve made mistakes and they haven’t been able to do that but this time it might be quickly forgotten.’

The win was the fillip for Liverpool’s title charge. They won ten out of their next eleven fixtures and clinched the league championship on the last day of the season, when Dalglish himself scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Chelsea.


Liverpool Draw Record Crowd to Hull

The match between Hull City and Liverpool on 1st December 2013 is only the 20th time the two clubs have met in competitive games and friendlies.  Games in Hull have generally taken place at Boothferry Park and more recently the KC Stadium, but the very first meeting between the sides in 1905 attracted a record football crowd to The Boulevard.

Promotion chasing Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Everton in an FA Cup 1st round replay left them with a free Saturday on 18th February. They agreed to take part in a friendly fixture with Hull City, who had only been formed in June the previous year and were still not members of any league.

There was a lot of excitement amongst football fans in a city dominated by rugby league, with the Hull Daily Mail commenting on 9th February that ‘supporters at Hull cannot help but rejoice in their misfortune’  when it was confirmed Liverpool’s cup exit meant they were coming to The Boulevard. The paper also wrote that there would be five internationals in the Liverpool team, one of whom Alex Raisbeck was the brother of City’s half back Andrew. He had been at Liverpool with his brother between 1901 and 1904, but never featured for the 1st team.

On Thursday 16th February the Hull Daily Mail predicted that the game would be witnessed by a record crowd for association football, and praised the board of the club for their enterprise. The paper wrote that as the season had progressed followers of Hull FC had began to accept that there was room for two types of football in the city providing it was of sufficient quality, concluding that ‘the general public cares not one joy whether one club or another provides the good football.’

The Liverpool team were described as a ‘combination of star performers as has never been seen in Hull before.’ Many pass holders who could have got in for nothing also indicated they were willing to still pay the 6d admission in recognition of the efforts in bringing such a star studded line up to the city.

Hull Daily Mail 16th February 1905
From the Hull Daily Mail 16th February 1905

The gates opened early for the 3.15pm kick off and a crowd of 8,000 attended, he highest to watch Hull City at The Boulevard to date. Liverpool’s secretary-manager Tom Watson watched from the stands, sat amongst a number of directors and shareholders of the rugby league club who expressed their approval of the entertainment on offer. The paper described how Liverpool’s forwards ‘weaved their way through by masterly dribbling which was invigorating to watch.’ They also claimed the Reds would more than hold their own against half the teams from the 1st Division.

The match may have been a friendly but Reds half back and captain Alex Raisbeck was in fine form, breaking up nearly every opposition attack and distributing the ball forward. This led to Hull trying their luck down the flanks, where their pacey wingers caused the Liverpool full backs numerous problems Ned Doig in goal was tested on a number of occasions.

Liverpool’s superiority showed though and they ran out 6-2 winners. Jack Parkinson scored a hat trick and Raisbeck got a goal himself with a shot from near the halfway line. The home side certainly hadn’t disgraced themselves though and Watson told those around him that he thought they would be worthy applicants should they try to gain admission to the Football League.

That evening, both sets of players watched Beauty and the Beast at the Alexandra Theatre. The following day Liverpool’s players headed for Hornsea, where they stayed for six nights to prepare for the following Saturday’s crucial league game at Grimsby.

The Reds beat Grimsby 1-0 and in the summer Hull City’s application to join the Football League was accepted. They wouldn’t be facing Liverpool though, as they won promotion to the top flight and it would not be until 1954-55 that the two sides met in a league fixture.

In 2008, Hull finally lost its status as the biggest city in England that had never had a top flight club. However the dominance of the oval ball there can still be seen today with the name Hull FC referring to a rugby league club, with Hull City having had to distinguish itself by having ‘association football club’ in its name. In 2013 that has changed though with owner Assem Allam removing that phrase completely and re-registering the club as ‘Hull City Tigers.’

The Boulevard in 2009 (Paul Glazzard)


Reds Go Top Unnoticed Due To World Events

A strange omen about the impending Mersey derby on 23rd November 2013 is that it gives Liverpool the chance to go top of he league, fifty years to the day since they went top for the first time in the 1963-64 title winning season.

All the games on 23rd November 1963 though were overshadowed by the assassination of John F Kennedy at 6.30pm British time on the Friday.  A Daily Post journalist was dispatched around some pubs in Liverpool city centre to get some opinions and was told by one drinker: ‘You feel as if you knew him personally. It’s hard to believe that such a thing could take place.’

One pub goer who thought he could bring a humorous touch to the event failed to do so. A planned screening of serial Emergency Ward 10 on ITV was cancelled, leading to a man to comment that they should have left it on as the doctors may have been able to help. The Post reported that he was knocked off his barstool by a left hook from another regular, to the cheers of others.

On the River Mersey ships flew their flags at half mast but life went on and there were no cancellations of the planned football matches, although a period of silence was held at all 1st Division games. The one that took place at Goodison Park though was interrupted by a fan shouting ‘Long Live Kruzchev’ leading to his arrest for a breach of the peace. The shooting clearly did have an effect on the attendance at Old Trafford though as the crowd of 54,654 was less than the 60,000+ which had been expected.

The Reds sat back early in the game and Peter Thompson almost gifted united an opportunity when he tried to play a ball upfield but instead sliced it across the edge of the penalty area. Thankfully Denis Law and Bobby Charlton were taken too much by surprise to capitalise on it. United’s gameplan to stop Liverpool seemed to be to stifle Roger Hunt, which gave Willie Stevenson some space and his hard low shot was only just tipped around the post by Harry Gregg. United hit back though with Albert Quixall having a shot go just over the bar and another pushed away by Tommy Lawrence within the space of a minute.  Ronnie Moran then misplaced a pass into the path of Paddy Crerand, whose cross was headed inches wide by Law.

Most of Liverpool’s attacks were coming from the back, with Hunt dropping back on one occasion and undertaking a thirty yard run, but Jimmy Melia failed to take advantage when the ball was laid off to him and he shot well wide. The Reds had another great chance when Ian St John prodded the ball past Gregg but as it slowly dribbled towards the goal the united keeper managed to recover and get to it before Hunt could help it over the line. United were continuing to look dangerous, with Charlton giving Ferns a hard time and Quixall trying a shot at every opportunity. They then came close to taking the lead in comical fashion when Gordon Milne’s attempted clearance looped over Lawrence’s head but the keeper managed to acrobatically get back to tip the ball over the bar.  United then strongly appealed for a penalty when Ron Yeats tackled David Herd on the edge of the area but the referee waved their claims away.

After surviving the first half onslaught Liverpool almost took the lead shortly before half time when Thompson took a corner which was headed goalwards by Yeats bit cleared off the line by Maurice Setters, who clattered into the post. The game was stopped while both Setters and Gregg, who had been knocked out by Yeats, received treatment with Bob Paisley lending a hand. Gregg was stretchered off the pitch with Herd taking over in goal but Setters was able to carry on. Yeats was booed by most of the crowd when he touched the ball for the first time and after the half time whistle went Gregg continued to receive treatment for a couple of minutes at the side of the pitch before he was able to get up and walk to the dressing room.

When the second half began Liverpool adopted a more attacking approach as they sought to utilise the extra man advantage and United’s lack of a regular keeper. Thompson put in a dangerous cross from the left which was knocked down by Ian Callaghan to Jimmy Melia, whose shot was deflected wide by Noel Cantwell. Thompson then cut inside after Hunt had drew some defenders away from him but his shot was skied well over the bar. After Liverpool’s initial flurry United managed to get to grips with the numerical disadvantage with Quixall posing a significant danger. Ferns was still struggling and hauled back the United winger, leading to calls for his dismissal from the crowd but the referee had a word with him and nothing more.

Liverpool’s best chance came just after the hour mark when St John’s pass got behind Bill Foulkes and gave Hunt a clear run on goal, but his effort was weak and gratefully gathered up by Herd. The stand-in United keeper then had a let off when Crerand hit a poor backpass but he managed get out of the box and clear the ball before St John got to it.  Herd then had to make his first save when Melia hit a low shot near the post after a cross by Callaghan. With fifteen minutes remaining Liverpool took the lead through Yeats, who came forward for a corner and ran onto the ball, stooping low head the ball past Herd and claim his first goal for the club.

United almost got straight back into the game when Setters tried a long range effort but it went just wide of the post, but Liverpool had two good chances to double their advantage with St John and Thompson hitting shots over the bar. With nine minutes left the crowd was stunned when Gregg re-appeared with his arm strapped to his chest to take his place on the right wing. As he went on to the pitch the Liverpool players joined in the applause for a player who turned out to have a fractured collar bone. Gregg only touched the ball once, but Moran was able to tackle him without making bodily contact as the Reds held on for victory.

Cynics may have pointed out that Liverpool had only won the game due to Gregg’s injury, but in his analysis in the Daily Post on 25th November Horace Yates commented that he doubted United could have fought any harder even with eleven men. He also believed that Yeats’s header was so powerful that even Gregg wouldn’t have saved it.  Bill Shankly afterwards pronounced that the Reds scorer was the greatest centre half in the world, while any suggestion that he had been responsible for Gregg’s injury was ridiculed by Yates. He wrote that ‘only the nincompoops’ thought he should take any blame with Yeats himself saying ‘it was just one of those unfortunate things.’ 

With leaders Sheffield United losing at Fulham, it meant Liverpool were now top of the league but only just, with the top four teams being separated only by goal average. By the end of the season though it was far more clear cut as the Reds eventually clinched the title with three games still remaining.


Reds Come Back To Win Thrilling Derby

One of he most pulsating Mersey derbies took place on 21st November 1970 when after a goalless first half at Anfield Everton went 2-0 up, only for Liverpool to come back to win 3-2 to show they were on their way back to becoming the best team in Merseyside.

Liverpool were very much a side in transition going into this game.  A little less than a year earlier they had beaten Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park but that had been the last great result for his all conquering sixties side. The following week they lost 4-1 at home to Manchester United and eventually finished fifth, fifteen points behind eventual champions Everton who avenged the Goodison defeat by winning 2-0 at Anfield.

It meant that Bill Shankly was now rebuilding his team and only three players from that Goodison victory lined up at Anfield, whilst eight of the Everton team were taking part. Amongst the derby debutants was Steve Heighway, who had been playing amateur football with Skelmersdale United the season before while studying economics at university and was making just his seventh league start. 21 year old striker John Toshack had no experience of Anfield at all, having signed from Cardiff City just ten days before for a club record £110,000.

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The first half was a scrappy affair, with Everton having the better of the chances. Ray Clemence made a great save from Joe Royle, who then missed a sitter in front of the Kop leading to the chant of ‘He shot he missed, he must be F*cking p*ssed – Joey Royle.’ In the second though, two goals in eight minutes put Everton in control. First ex Reds winger Johnny Morrissey crossed for Alan Whittle to score in the 56th minute, then in the 63rd Whittle dispossessed Tommy Smith as he tried to dribble the ball out of defence. He then passed to Royle who lobbed the ball over Clemence to make it 2-0.

In the 69th minute, Smith passed to Heighway on the left and he went on a jinking run before hitting a low shot that beat Andy Rankin at the near post. At half time Shankly had told his players that Everton’s midfield would not last the full ninety minutes given the pace of the game and Liverpool now had renewed hope. Forward Phil Boersma was sent on in place of midfielder John McLaughlin, while Everton sent on an extra defender in Keith Newton as they desperately tried to hold on to their lead.  With the roar of the Kop helping to drive Reds players on, Heighway got the ball on the left and crossed for John Toshack, who headed the ball past Rankin to bring the scores level with fifteen minutes left.

Liverpool’s youngsters had been instrumental in getting the players back into the game, it but was one of the old guard who got the winner with six minutes remaining. A free kick was floated into the area and flicked on by John Toshack into the path of Chris Lawler, a veteran of the 1966 title winning side. The full back had ghosted in unnoticed on the right of the six yard box and his low angled shot went in off the post.

It was and remains one  of the greatest ever Merseyside derbies and was the coming of age of players such as Heighway, Toshack, Clemence, Larry Lloyd and Brian Hall. Toshack later said that ‘I had never experienced anything quite like that before.’ The win lifted Liverpool up to sixth place, four points clear of Everton. Later in the season they proved this win was no fluke as they beat the Blues 2-1 in the FA Cup semi final, and two and a half seasons later this exciting young team, aided by the addition of Kevin Keegan and Peter Cormack, brought the league title back to Anfield.



Practice Games Get Players Ready For New Season

After winning promotion back to the 1st Division at the first attempt, Liverpool’s players got ready for the new season by playing two ‘Blues versus Whites’ practice games at Anfield.

The first game took place on Thursday 20th August 1896 and attracted a crowd of 15,000, higher than all but one of the regular league fixtures in the 2nd Division the previous season.  The ground was reported by the Liverpool Mercury to be in capital condition and players were said ‘to have showed evidence of careful training’, but the result was not recorded.

It was apparent looking at the line-ups though that each side was a mixture of 1st teamers and reserves, with the regular forwards playing together and trying to score against the first choice back line, with the reserve players doing the same. The reason that it was blues against whites was because at that time Liverpool still hadn’t adopted red shirts.

The next practice game was on Friday 28th August, by which time new secretary-manager Tom Watson, had officially taken up his role having travelled down to Liverpool from Sunderland the previous Sunday. This time, the forward lines were mixed up somewhat meaning that the ‘Blues’ were comfortably expected to win as their side contained more regular first team players. However there was an upset when the Whites won 3-0, the Mercury commenting that it was hoped the efforts of some players would be ‘more judiciously directed’ when the season proper began.



1895 Annual Picnic

Liverpool Football Club’s annual picnic in 1895 saw them return to the same venue as they had gone to the year before as they sought an immediate return to the 1st Division.

The club’s inaugural top flight season had ended in relegation but the squad was strengthened in the summer with the signings of forwards George Allan from Leith Athletic and Fred Geary (below),  who had been Everton’s leading scorer in their 1890-91 title winning season.

fred geary

With the season due to start on 7th September, the picnic took place two weeks before on Saturday 24th August. Billed as the annual picnic of the ‘committee, players and friends of the Liverpool Football Club’, the party of fifty gathered at the Sandon for a 2pm departure aboard a fleet of wagonettes. 

It was a glorious day and the journey to Ormskirk took about two hours, and on arrival committee members Mr Bailey and Mr Gibson began arranging the sports events. They consisted of a 120 yard sprint, half mile race, a dribbling contest as well as an event that saw who could kick a ball the furthest without bouncing.

Fred Geary showed his pace when he won the 120 yard sprint and he also finished second in the dribbling contest. The best kicker of the ball was left back Billy Dunlop, who managed to hit it sixty yards. John McCartney was the player with the most stamina, winning the half mile race.

After the events were completed, William Houlding distributed the prizes and told the players he hoped they could all pull together for he coming season. The players then ate what the Liverpool Mercury described as a ‘capital tea’ before boarding their wagonettes for the journey back to Anfield.

Victory Celebrations End in Arrest

In what must be one of the first cases of footballers appearing in court anywhere, three Liverpool players arrested in the night time after a victory over Preston North End in 1898 saw their case dismissed in court.

On 12th November 1898 Liverpool beat Preston 3-1 in a 1st Division encounter at Anfield, with Hugh Morgan scoring two goals and George Allan the other. Later that night Morgan and Allan who were both Scots, were seen arguing in Oakfield Road with another Scottish player, John Walker.

When a policeman tried to intervene following a complaint from a member of the public Walker is alleged to have said ‘Let’s show him some Scotch blood’ leading to Allan being restrained. Walker and Morgan were then said to have manhandled the officer as he was taking Allan into custody and this led to all three being arrested and charged with Breach of the Peace and Obstructing a Constable.

Two days later all three appeared at the Liverpool Police Court and the case was adjourned for two days whilst more witnesses were sought.  On 16th November back at the same court the public galleries were packed for the trial, at which Walker denied making any comment about Scotch blood. Instead, it was alleged that the officer himself had made derogatory comments to the players for being Scottish. The officer refuted this suggestion, but he did admit taking Allan to the Bridewell without telling him what he had been charged with.

Dismissing the case, the Stipendiary Magistrate  said that none of the players had been drunk at the time and if they had gone on their way when first told to, the arrests wouldn’t have been necessary. However he did advise the players to ‘turn in earlier on Saturday nights’ and not argue in the street.

As the players (pictured below – Morgan, Walker and Allan) left the courtroom to cheers from the public gallery, the Stipendiary was forced to call for order, the following day’s Liverpool Mercury commenting that ‘they were reminded that they were not on a football ground.’

                              George Allan






Burglary at John Houlding’s Brewery

As if John Houlding didn’t have enough to contend with in the summer of 1892 with the foundation of Liverpool Football Club, he also had to deal with a burglary at his brewery in which a large sum of cash was stolen.

Houlding’s brewery was founded in 1871 and situated in Tynemouth Street, which was off Breckfield Road North in Everton near where Turpins pub is now. It was there where Houlding’s Beacon Ale was brewed, which was the only alcoholic refreshment available at Anfield.

On Sunday 17th July 1892 John Waters and Charles Holmes climbed over the gate and entered the office, which was left unlocked as the Excise had the right to enter it at any time.  They stole £10 and 9s, the equivalent of £1,088 today and were alleged to have distributed this around friends, four of whom were arrested for receiving the money.

All six males were committed to trial at the Liverpool Sessions in St George’s Hall, their case being heard on 23rd August. This was just three days after Houlding had taken the newly signed Liverpool players for a picnic and sports day in West Kirby. Waters and Holmes were found guilty and sentenced to two months imprisonment, but the other four accused, one of whom was a female, were acquitted.

After John Houlding died in 1902, his son William took over the running of the brewery and it eventually closed in 1939 after being bought out by Ind Coope. Tynemouth Street is now long gone but Tynemouth Close stands in the vicinity. The only reminder of Houldings Ales left is a glass panelled window in a door at Ye Cracke pub in Rice Street, Liverpool city centre.

The 1894 Annual Picnic

Liverpool’s players prepared for their first ever season in the top flight with an annual picnic and sports day taking place in Ormskirk a week before the start of the season.

On Thursday 21st August 1894 a party of forty players, led by John Houlding and John McKenna, headed to the newly developed Victoria Athletics Grounds in Ormskirk. The weather was wet but everybody resolved to have an enjoyable time, with races being run over 100, 120 and 440 yards as well as one mile. Unlike previous years, there were no field events.

The 120 yards was the most closely fought race, with Patrick Gordon (below) just edging out Hugh McQueen. John Whitehead proved to be the runner with the most stamina as he won the one mile race, the last of the day. Dinner was then served under the direction of  local man James Eastham, who like John Houlding was a brewer. Houlding then gave a speech in which he said he hoped one day to see the ‘League Championship Cup’ at Anfield Road.

patrick gordon

The party arrived back at Anfield at 10pm, but after two successive first place finishes Liverpool found the top flight tough going and finished bottom, their relegation then being confirmed after a test match defeat to Bury.