November 2, 1895
An event of interest, not merely to Preston, but wherever football is played, takes place at Deepdale on Monday, and it is no less than a match between North End and Liverpool for the benefit of Bob Holmes.
Like the hero of that tear-compelling ballad descriptive of the peccadillos of one John Jones, Esq., Bob is “well known to everybody,” and as widely respected as know.
He has been playing in first-class football now for eleven years, and has never kicked a ball for any club outside Preston, except on such occasions as benefit and representative matches.
Persuaded to join the North End Reserves in 1883, he rapidly made his mark, and before he was 17 years of age had the honour, along with Bob Howarth, of representing Lancashire against Dumbartonshire – then in their prime.
Such champions as Forbes, Andrew Hannah, Bob Kelso, Kelly, Leach, and Keir were playing with the Scottish team, but they were beaten on their own ground by four goals to three.
On Good Friday, 1884, Holmes made his debut with the first team, and has never been out of it regularly since.
Lack of space precludes lengthy references to his many fine performances, but in brief it may be stated that the beneficiare has played on now fewer than eleven occasions for England – four times in succession against Scotland, twice against Wales, and four times against Ireland.
Last season he was captain of the team against Ireland, and in the eleven in the inter-league match, for which he has four times appeared, he was also elected to that position of honour by the authorities.
We all know is style of play, that he is a magnificent back, and has no superior in his position to-day, that he is one of nature’s gentlemen, in the field and off it.
Two facts, however, are not so well known – (1) that in no representative match in which he has appeared, league, county, or international, has he been on the losing side, and (2) that his “bete noires” are interviewers and photographers.
(Lancashire Evening Post: November 2, 1895)
Bob Holmes, Preston North End.
Bob Kelso, Everton (Lloyd’s Weekly News: September 24, 1893):