September 3, 1894
Liverpool’s debut as First Leaguers took place at Blackburn on Saturday, before one of the most critical audiences in English Football. The reception, and particularly the result is a most gratifying one to the Anfield club, especially so as they were unable to place their full available strength upon the field.
Neil Kerr is not thoroughly recovered, and Jimmy Ross does not yet seem to have made up his mind what he will do. The vast concourse of people (15.000) was a proof of the esteem the Blackburn people hold of the Liverpool club, and despite the acknowledged superior style of forward play, the game never lacked in interest.
Liverpool F.C., although not near so strong, on paper, as their neighbors, possess a class of men who have the greatest confidence in their abilities, and who from the first to the last kick will slacken not their efforts to ensure success.
They have not shown any particular aptitude for combination – I speak of the forwards – but doubtlessly this will come and exhibit its bright side later on. Malcolm McVean, last Wednesday evening, was about the best man on the field, and he and Patrick Gordon were tons in front of Harry Bradshaw and John Drummond.
Abel Hughes will never do for the first team, but James Cameron came out strongly at half back during the last practice. As he can play full back – at length it is said so – it will be well to give him a further trial in that position. Duncan McLean and Andrew Hannah have shown improvement, and it was interesting to see them pitted against John Givens, McVean and Gordon.
McLean had the most to do with his wing, and came out of the ordeal evenly. Kerr, their new centre, met with slight accident Saturday whilst practising, and it is to be hoped he has come off to-day.
William McCann was not bullet proof last Wednesday, but John Whitehead did not disgrace himself at the other end. I believe he is anxious to sign on for Liverpool, and no doubt, if he maintains his present form, he will be accommodated. Good goalkeepers are not to be plentiful.
Joe McQue, James McBride and Matt McQueen, three old halves, are a splendid trio, and first class forwards will have some enjoyment when they get on the other side of them. They not only play well themselves, but in time of difficulty they afford McLean and Hannah those advantages which they cannot themselves make use of. McCartney has done noble right through, and the club have, at least a good class of halves.
For the sake of Liverpool football, and for the honour of Liverpool F.C., it is to be hoped that their players will only show in their League matches something to delighten their followers.
(Source: Cricket and Football Field: September 1, 1894)