The Association game in Liverpool


October 13, 1880
To the editor of the Athletic News.
Sir, – Observing in your last issue a letter from “Liverpudlian” wishing to be enlightened as to the whereabouts of the Liverpool Association Club Ground, I shall endeavour to give the desired information. It struck me, however, when reading his “grievance,” that he surely could not have been in Liverpool for the “long time” he asserts, and taken much of an interest in the game, or he could easily have found out from the match reports in the daily papers that there were Association clubs here, and also where the different grounds were situated.

I only came to Liverpool, from one of the large centres of the Association game, in the middle of last football season, and was much surprised to find the same so very little known here. I easily found, however, from the previously-mentioned source, that the game was not totally unknown even in Liverpool, it being supported last season at least three clubs – viz, the Liverpool, who had their ground in Newsham Park; the Everton, ground Stanley Park; and the Bootle, ground Bibby’s-lane, Bootle – all of which I managed to see play, and, although none of them showed perfection, still they had each several good exponents of the game.

The Bootle Club, I think, asserted their superiority here-abouts last season. About the end of the season I witnessed a game between that club and the Everton, in which the latter were the losers. Then a week or two later I was present when the Bootle Club met the Liverpool Club in Newsham Park, the former being again the victors, with about half a dozen goals to the good, after a very nice game, not altogether void of the “passing” or “dribbling” element.

I, as well as “Liverpudlian,” was a little disappointed at not seeing the game between the Darwen and Liverpool Clubs played here last month, and may also put it down to my not being aware of it; but, on the other hand, we cannot expect the Liverpool, or any of the other clubs who play on public parks, to advertise their matches in the papers, &c., when they cannot charge for admission.

With reference to the game in question, I understand the Liverpool Club attribute their so decided defeat to want of practice, as they were then only starting for the season. I hope, however, to see some of the five or six local Association clubs that are in existence this season before long retrieving, to some extent at least, the repute of our city under the Association code.

In conclusion, I would also inform your correspondent that he can see by Messrs. Richardson and Co.’s list of fixtures in Lord-street, any day, the matches that take place on the following Saturday, as this, I think, is the only mode of advertising that the clubs here avail themselves of, unless when doing so for “a gate.” – Yours, &c.
(The Athletic News: October 13, 1880; signed by ASSOCIATIONIST and written on 07-10-1880)

The letter was an answer to the following letter on print in the Athletic News, October 6 – 1880.
1880 Liverpool

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