Mike Higgins Benefit match at Anfield

May 26, 1888
Mr. Sudell’s team v. Everton, Bootle and Stanley Combined.
The Everton ground presented a very animated appearance on Saturday evening, when fully 10,000 people assembled to witness a match under the above title, and at the same time give practical proof of their appreciation of M. Higgins’s ten year’s football service.

The beneficiary, who is 26 years of age, first played football in Stanley Park, and soon became a prominent member, in conjunction with Tom Evans, Tom Marriott, William Parry, and others, of the United Church Club, an organisation at the time St. Domingo, which included Jack McGill, and Robert Morris as their great rivals.

In 1879 these two clubs amalgamated, and formed the present Everton Club. After a short experience as a second eleven player, Higgins was promoted to first team rank, partnering in turn J. Richards and William Gibson on the left wing with marked success.

Latterly he has been seen as an outside half-back, in which position he has even excelled all previous performances, and in addition, as a “handy man,” could always be depended upon to fill any place on an emergency with credit.

During his career Mike had won six medals (four gold and two silver), and up to 1885 had played for every district match.

Mr. Sudell’s team, though only containing one Preston North End man (Ferguson), was a very strong one, whilst the local eleven could hardly have been improved, including Watson, who with Goudie, was reinstated at the National Association meeting on Friday.

Higgins and Watson entering the field together received a great ovation, and at 5.45 Roberts kicked off. Liverpool forced their way down hill but failed to pass Lang, who put in a clever bit of back play.

The home forwards at once renewed the attack, Farmer, Hastings, and Jamieson showing up in nice combination. Hasting, however, was wide in his shot, and on the left wingers again beating Friel, Farmer just went outside. The visitors’ right cleared, Gallacher calling upon Smalley, whilst Duncan, from Roberts, made a good attempt at goal.

Wilson followed in a spin on the right, and centred accurately to Jamieson, who shot against the bar, a corner well placed by Higgins giving trouble.

The home left wing were the next to attack. Holt lifting over from the pass, Wilson following with a grand shie, which Gallocher smartly met.

Farmer and Hastings then contributed another fine passing run, but the former had no luck with his shot. Duncan missed a chance off Roberts, and let in Hastings and Farmer. Friel saved, but on Wilson heading to Jamieson, the latter headed a goal.

The visitors now settled down for an onslaught. Duncan, Gallocher, and Roberts each being very near scoring. Just before the interval a fine combined movement by Watson, Wilson, Hastings, and Jamieson secured another goal for the homesters, Jamieson putting on the finishing touches from Hastings’s pass near the line.

The second half was very evenly contested, the Liverpool right wing having more work than in the first half, Ferguson was often called upon to clear up to 20 minutes of the restart, but towards the close the visitors in the endeavours to save the game, became very troublesome. Smalley, Dick, and Veitch, however, were impassable, and so a fairly good contest terminated in favour of Liverpool by 2 goals to 0.

Liverpool; Smalley, goal; Tom Veitch and Alec Dick, backs; Mike Higgins, Johnny Holt, and George Dobson, half-backs; Willie Hastings, George Farmer, Jamieson, William Wilson, and E. Watson, forwards.
Mr. Sudell’s team; Ferguson, goal; Lang and Berry, backs; Abraham, Friel, and Keenan, half-backs; Duncan, McFettridge, Roberts, Crombie, and Gallocher, forwards.
(Liverpool Mercury: May 28, 1888)

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