April 27, 1901
John Birchall, who has been playing left half for Blackpool during the season, has pleased everybody by his clever, resolute tactics. He is without doubt the best man the Seasiders have had in their intermediate lines for a number of years.
A native of Prescot, he commenced his career with Whiston Ramblers, and then signed his first professional form and joined St. Helens Recreation, who were then just entering the Association world.
His form with the Recs attracted attention, and Liverpool capturing him in 1898, he turned out regularly with the Reserve team in Combination fixtures, and occasionally figured in the first eleven. Whilst at Liverpool he had as a companion, John Parkinson, who had gone from Blackpool to that club, and it was the latter who persuaded him to sign for Blackpool.
(Source: Lancashire Evening Post: April 27, 1901)