Saturday, August 7 – 1897
The team which the directors of the Grimsby Town Football Club have decided shall represent them for the ensuing season have commenced training. The players will be called upon to meet Woolwich Arsenal, at Plumstead, on September 1st, and it is with a view of having the men thoroughly fit that so early a start has been made.
Encouraged by the excellent fight made in the English Cup ties last season – the team being again selected in the 18 exempted clubs – and the close proximity they came to entering the test matches, the directors have made a particularly bold effort to secure a strong side. In respect of finances, matters have been put upon a sounder basis, and with proper security certain directors are advancing £500 to tide the club over the close season, and to cover the training weeks’ expenses.
So far as the composition of the team is concerned, eight of last season’s players have been retained, the most notable absentee being Sandy Higgins, the centre half, whom the directors did everything to retain, but unsuccessfully. Every confidence is expressed that the new men engaged will, with so large a proportion of the old hands, prove equal to retaining their position in the team.
As is well known, the club was throughout the whole of last season, severely handicapped in failing to secure an efficient and reliable goalkeeper – a fact which makes the high position attained in the League a matter of surprise. For the position Walter Whittaker, of Fairfield, has been signed. The most prominent of the other new men is undoubtedly John McLean, who comes from Liverpool, and who will play as centre-half.
(Leeds Mercury, 07-08-1897)