The Reverend that was offside

Sunday, September 12 – 1897
Preaching at Leigh Congregational Church Harvest Festival Service Sunday night, the Rev. H.T. Spencer, of Wavertree, condemned the athletic craze which made men think of nothing, talk of nothing, and understand nothing but their football or cycling, remarking that there were more people at the Liverpool football matches on Saturday than there were in all the churches in the city on Sunday. He strongly upheld athletics in their proper place, but protested against excess.
(Manchester Evening News, 13-09-1897)

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