Thursday, October 29 – 1896
The business of transferring players is a very lucrative one in English quarters at present, and some clubs are making quite a little mint out of men they have been cute enough to secure when rough diamonds, and who have turned out in their hands champions. Here is a little incident which will, doubtless, prove interesting.
The Liverpool Club had occasion to issue an order suspending Frank Becton, their crack forward, who, it may be remembered, was one of the outstanding lights in the ranks of Preston North End. Some feeling had been raised between Becton and the committee on the subject of his suspension, and the Anfield Road authorities gave it out that they were not desireous of retaining Becton’s services further.
Thus, this week the emissaries of various League clubs had their faces turned Liverpoolwards. On Friday, then, the Chairman of the seaport club sat awaiting his visitors. First comers were Manchester City, offering £150 for the transfer. So low as that?
Interviewer No. 2 was the representative of Aston Villa, whose overtures were not to be entertained at any price, owing to some little unpleasantness of a Perry Barr Villan to Liverpool last season. After he had gone the ambassador of the Wolverhampton Wanderers, who badly want one or two goal-getters, stepped forward and was prepared to give up to £250.
He had to do so. A bargain was struck in favour of Liverpool, and all that was wanting was Becton’s signature. That perverse young man, when unearthed, however, at his home in Preston declined to put his fist to any paper but one for Aston Villa, and the representative of the “Wolves” had to go empty away.
As the League rules say that no player of another club should be approached without that club’s permission, unless that player be on the transfer list, and, as Becton was not on the transfer list, the little question arises. How came Becton to know that Aston Villa wanted him? (Dundee Courier, 29-10-1896)