Club news

Dan Kirkwood’s benefit at Anfield


March 24, 1893
This friendly game, by the kindness of the executives of the competing clubs, took place at the Anfield enclosure last evening, before 2,000 spectators. Seeing the great favourite this unfortunate player was, it seems inexplicable that a much greater number were not present to show their sympathy with him in his distress. From the money taken at the gate, together with the expected sale of tickets, it is computed that the Liverpool secretary will be enabled to hand over, when all accounts are paid, about £50.

When he teams lined up it was seen that both sides were not at their full strength, the most noticeable absentees being Sydney Ross and John McCartney on the Liverpool side, and Jimmy “Punch” McEwen and Charles McLafferty of the Bootle team.

Liverpool: Matt McQueen, Andrew Hannah, Duncan McLean, John Cameron, Joe McQue, James McBride, Malcolm McVean, Thomas Wyllie, John Miller, Jock Smith, Hugh McQueen.
Bootle: John Whitehead, J. Hutchinson, Smart Arridge, W. Grierson, William Hughes, Hope Robertson, John Clarkin, Willie Gallacher, James Brandon, Jones, A. Montgomery.

The game opened rather tamely, but after some heavy kicking by both pairs of backs the Liverpool team settled down into some very pretty passing, and working with more method than their opponents they were the first to attack, Smith putting in a gallant effort to reduce the Bootle goal. McVean followed with a rattling shot, which, had it been more correctly directed, could not have failed in its desired object. Montgomery next had an attack, and Jones, a second team player, who throughout the game showed to good advantage, finished up with a nicely judged shot, which the home custodian as cleverly cleared.

After Brandon had followed with another hot shot, the homesters gave a fine display of combination, and a curious decision on the part of the referee gave him a corner, which McBride skied over the bar. Selfishness on the part of Wyllie lost the home team a chance, and then Brandon, Jones, and Montgomery got away in characteristic style, but when danger was imminent Montgomery spoilt the previous good effort by shooting wide of the post. Hughes met the goal kick, and tipped to his right wing, but McBride pluckily tackled Clarkin, and Smith obtaining possession, compelled Whitehead to first out. Bootle returned to attack, and were pressing at half-time.

Bootle reopened in capital style, good defence by Arridge and Hughes keeping the Liverpool forwards at bay, and McQueen had to negotiate several shots from Brandon, Jones, and Gallacher. At length Hannah cleared effectually, and McVean and Wyllie sprinted up the right wing, the latter sending across in magnificent fashion, but the home left failed to utilise the opportunity.

Splendid play by the Liverpool halves now confined the game in their opponents’ quarters; Miller sending in to Whitehead, who saved in nice style when hardly pressed. A rapid burst away by Jones and Montgomery, and Hannah only just nipped in in time to save what looked like a certain goal; McBride then showed good judgment, and dropped the leather in front of Whitehead, and before he could effect a clearance Miller and McVean rushed the ball through, thus scoring the first point for Liverpool. Nothing daunted, Bootle played up with great dash, but the home team if anything maintained the advantage to the finish, and won a clever game by a goal to nil.
(Liverpool Mercury: March 24, 1893)

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