Blackpool F.C.: The annual meeting of 1893


July 20, 1893
On Thursday night the annual meeting of the members of the Blackpool Football Club was held in St. John’s Schools, under the chairmanship of the president of the club (Mr. Alderman Bickerstaffe). There was a very large attendance, among those present being – Messrs. G. Whittaker (secretary), R. Banks, W. Corry, A.P. Firth, S. Whittaker, J.T. Todd, Whittaker Bond, R.G. Barlow, J. Cardwell, R. Nickson, J. Pye, H. Wilde, G.W. Bonny, and R. Wilkinson.

Before the ordinary meeting was opened a special meeting to consider alterations to the rules was held, and some discussion took place as to the advisability of not allowing the captains and sub-captains to attend the committee meetings as ex-officio members, and a resolution to this effect was proposed. An amendment to the effect that the secretary and assistant-secretary should not be allowed to vote in committee was proposed and carried.

Mr. G. Bonny expressed the opinion that it was monstrous that the annual meeting should not be held until July 20th; the end of May was quite late enough. The new committee would have little chance of engaging fresh new players now.

The chairman explained that it was in consequence of a deficit of £200 that the annual meeting was delayed. The old committee delayed the meeting till they had reduced that deficit to £50 (applause). They ought to be praised rather than censured (applause). He presumed the players had been engaged for next season.

Mr. George Whittaker presented the secretary’s report, which showed that the first team played 43 matches, won 31, lost eight, and drew four, scoring 155 goals to 68, or an average of 2:28. In the English Cup competition they had to go through the qualifying rounds, and in the four different stages they acquitted themselves well, winning every match, and scoring 19 goals to six. The report also have particulars of the Lancashire League matches.

The report was unanimously adopted.

The next business was the election of a president, and Mr. Alderman Bickerstaffe said it was not his intention to seek re-election. His duties had become so onerous and numerous that he would have to relinquish some of them.

He had monopolised the position of president since the club’s formation, and thought it was time someone else put a little new blood into the club. He regretted that they were not victorious in the Lancashire League competition.

They did win the cup if they had their rights (hear, hear) and there was another reason why he did not seek re-election as president – because he could not meet men – he would not call them gentlemen – who had acted so unfairly towards the Blackpool club (applause). A more unsportsmanlike or sneaking transaction he never knew in anything he had been connected with (applause).

He referred to the meeting called to consider the conduct of Parkinson (Blackpool) and Pratt (Fleetwood). The case was partially gone into, when, before it was settled, to his astonishment he was called into the room, and the chairman for the time being (Mr. Smith) very coolly stated that the case was adjourned, and that Pratt and Parkinson were suspended until the adjourned meeting had been held. Of course they knew the reason why.

They knew very well that Blackpool had to meet Southport in the League cup competition, and they also knew that if Southport beat Blackpool and if South Shore beat Bury that the cup became Liverpool’s by virtue of the best goal average.

Mr. Bickerstaffe went on to describe the second meeting on the following night, when the Liverpool representative cowardly left the room, and left them without a quorum. Such a trick was unsportsmanlike and discreditable.

He went on to express regret that the South Shore club could not agree to the proposal which the Blackpool club made to amalgamate the two clubs. They knew where the fault lay, and he maintained that it was the duty of everybody in Blackpool not to divide their support, but to give the whole of their support to the club that went in for an agreed to amalgamation (applause).

He appealed to the football supporters to have one club in the town; and if they gave their support to the club that deserved it, they would give it to the Blackpool club (applause).

On no account could he seek re-election this year.

After a hearty vote of thanks had been accorded to the retiring president.

Mr. Bonny proposed, Mr. Todd seconded, and Mr. Alderman Bickerstaffe supported a motion that Mr. A.P. Firth be appointed president, and the proposition was carried with acclamation.

Mr. Firth, in acknowledging the appointment, said it was true, as Mr. Bonny said, the committee had broken a rule in delaying a meeting but they had raised £150 by so doing (applause).

The chairman moved the adoption of the balance sheet, and remarked that if the Blackpool people wanted a good club they should double their subscription.

Mr. S. Whittaker seconded, and the motion was carried unanimously.

It was decided to open a subscription list in the meeting to clear off the £50 deficit on the club.

Mr. G. Whittaker resigned the office of secretary, and Mr. Wilde was unanimously elected in his stead. A sum of £20 was voted to Mr. Whittaker for his services last year.

The following officers were elected: – Messrs. R. Banks and M. Buck, auditors; Whittaker Bond, treasurer; Harry Stirzaker, captain; Harry Tyrer, sub-captain; Messrs. McVittie, S. Whittaker, Walmsley, Coe, Corry, Swarbrick, and Grundy, committee. Mr. Swarbrick, who had resigned, refusing to serve, Mr. Spiby will be put on.

The usual votes of thanks closed the meeting.
(Preston Herald: July 22, 1893)

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