August 22, 1903
In accordance with our usual custom, we give this morning a list of the players signed by most of the leading clubs, from which it will be seen what progress has been made in the all-important matter of team-building for the forthcoming season, which has the appearance of proving quite as interesting as any of its predecessors.
MANCHESTER CITY, who have worthily earned a position in the First Division, look forward to the coming season with much hopefulness. Last season was a particularly successful one, both from a financial and a playing point of view, and with the new men which have been secured, in the hope of strengthening any weak spots in last season’s combination, the aspects of affairs appears particularly bright Hyde-road way.
The players, about 30 in number, assembled about a fortnight ago, and training has been carried on assiduously ever since.
The new men are Burgess, a sturdy little back from Glossop; Craigie, a forward from Larkhall, Lanarkshire; S.B. Ashworth, the Stoke amateur half back, who is an architect by profession; George Livingstone, the ex-Celtic and Liverpool right winger, who assisted Scotland on the day of the great disaster at Ibrox, in April, 1902; Joseph Moffatt, a tall, well-built centre forward from Paisley St. Mirren; Lot Jones, a nephew of the late Di Jones, a centre forward, rather small in stature, who was formerly associated with the Druids; F. Pearson, a Manchester player, who has earned considerable reputation as inside left with Preston North End; W.J. Lyon, a determined and fast half back, who was looked upon as one of the best men in the middle line in the Southern League; and Hinks, an outside left, who hails from Darwen, and who was formerly connected with Sale Holmfield.
The following is a complete list of the men signed on:
Hillman, Edmondson, and Whitehouse, goalkeepers; McMahon, Davidson, Burgess, Holmes, Slater, Hyde, and Sidebottom, backs.Frost, Hyndes, McOustra, Lyon, Craigie, Dearden, Robinson, and S.B. Ainsworth, half-backs; Meredith, Livingstone, Bannister, Joseph Moffatt, Lot Jones, Gillespie, Drummond, Pearson, Turnbull, Threlfall, Booth, Jee, Hinks, and Dennison, forwards.
The ground is in capital condition. During the summer months several desirable improvements, with a view of increasing the accommodation, have been carried out.
Manchester City, 1903/04:
MANCHESTER UNITED startled everyone twelve months ago by the capture of noted players they made and also by the extensive improvements that were created on the ground. This year, however, they have gone further still in their search for players of ability and the ground has again been overhauled, and when it is completed it should hold quite as many people as any ground in the country.
The idea of the ruling body of the club is to have a ground and players equal to the best in the league, and present appearances point to their efforts bearing fruit. The playing piece has been relaid, and is now in splendid condition, and extra accommodation in the way of stands is in progress of completion.
As regards the personnel of the team, a great change has been made from last season. Players who were then proud to work under the United banner have been scattered broad cast, the most notable change being Peddie, who has migrated to Plymouth Argyle.
After the weeding out process had been completed came the more important business of securing new blood, and the management are to be congratulated upon the result of their efforts. Judging by names, which is all we can work upon at present, the team is good enough for anything.
There are now three capable custodians in J.W. Sutcliffe, who last year kept goal for Millwall as well as ever he did for Bolton; H. Moger, of Southampton, who was understudy to Robinson; and J. Saunders.
The new backs are Blackstock (Leith Athletic), Bonthron (Dundee), Synott (Dublin Shelbourne). Each of these players have excellent reputations, and with the old hands in Bert Read, H. Rothwell, and H. Stafford, the club could not be better served.
The middle line will include Alex Robertson, of the Edinburgh Hibernians, a player who is noted for his tenacious work against good class forwards; and, with such another half-back in Downie on the other wing, and Griffiths at his best, this part of the team will cause much trouble to any forward line brought against them. In addition the services of Walter Cartwright will again be available, as well as Hayes and Bell.
It was originally believed that when Bob Valentine deserted Swinton for the “socker” game he was intended for a full back, but the last line of defence is so well built that the ex-Rugby three-quarter has been made into a centre forward.
Last season it was the forward line which was weakest, but the captures effected in McCartney, Alex Robertson, Ralph Gandie, and T. Robertson (John T. Robertson) will undoubtedly strengthen the attack to some purpose, each one of these players holding reputations which many others need envy.
The club have just added to their long list of new faces that of Pratt, a forward of renown from Belfast.
The following is a list of the players engaged: –
J.W. Sutcliffe (Millwall), goal; Blackstock (Leith Athletic), Bonthron (Dundee), Synott (Dublin Shelbourne), Read, H. Rothwell, and H. Stafford, backs; Alex Robertson (Edinburgh Hibernians), Griffiths, Downie, Cartwright, Hayes, and Bell, half-backs; McCartney (Edinburgh Hibernians), Alex Robertson (Dundee), Tom Robertson (John T. Robertson), Ralph Gandie (Aston Villa and Woolwich Arsenal), Pratt (Belfast), in addition to Schofield, Pegg, Akesdean, Morrison, and Booth.
It is the intention of the management to give budding recruits a chance, and next Wednesday a match will be played between teams of local youths, and it is hoped by these matches to encourage local talent.
The first full practice match takes place this afternoon, and the teams will be composed as follows:
Reds (first team): Sutcliffe; Read and Blackstock; Downie, Griffiths, and Robertson; McCartney, and Morrison (right wing), Robertson (centre), Arkesden and Robertson (left wing).
Stripes (second team): Moger; Bonthrone and Synott; Hayes, Bell, and Cartwright; Schofield and Pegg (right wing), Valentine (centre), Pratt or Goudie, and Booth (left wing).
ASTON VILLA’S list of players is a very strong one, numerically and otherwise, and with the wealth of talent at their command there is no reason why the club should not, as last year, cut a prominent figure in the game. They opened, however, as if they were going to qualify for the wooden spoon.
Practically the whole of last season’s best men have been retained, while a notable addition has been made to the strength of the team by the engaging of Lockett, the international left wing forward from Stoke.
The players whose names figure on the books of the club are: –
George, Cooch, Evans, Crabtree, Spencer, Wood, Wilkes, Leake, Shutt, Noon, Pearson, Clarke, Johnson, Garratty, Lockett, Harris, Windmill, Brawn, Hawkins, Miles, Yates, Buckley, Hall, Niblo, McLuckie, and Bache.
BLACKBURN ROVERS, who had a narrow escape od dropping into the second division, will have most of the old hands to rely upon with the addition of Evans, the goalkeeper, who “kept” for Wales in the absence of Roose last season; McDonald, of Ayr, a back, and two New Brompton forwards in Dunkley and Smith.
Two players who have been released are Joyce, the sturdy goalkeeper, who came with a big reputation from Millwall last season, and Swarbrick, the Blackpool youth who occasionally figured at outside left for the club.
The men retained and engaged are: –
McIvor and Evans, goal; Crompton, Eastham, McDonald (Ayr), and Riley, backs; Haworth, McClure, Birchall, and Bradshaw (Accrington Stanley), half-backs; Watson, Dewhurst, Smith and Dunkley (New Bomprton), Monks, Carthy, Russell, and Bow, forwards.
BURY, whom Lancashire people are so justly proud of, holders as they are of the English Cup, have retained practically all the players who did duty for the first team last season, with the exception of “Punch” McEwan, who has gone to Luton. In his place a player, curiously enough of the same name, has been secured as partner to Lindsay, the new man hailing from Edinburgh St. Bernard’s club, with which he has been honourably associated for some time.
At present the club seems to be somewhat weakly represented numerically in the back division, but no doubt this will be remedied before very long.
In addition to McEwan, another player well known to followers of the Socker code has been engaged in the person of D. Ronaldson, a forward late of Grimsby, but with these exceptions the new men have yet to win their spurs in higher class football.
The club seems to be well off as regards forwards, for they possess no fewer than 15 players who will endeavour to uphold the honour of the organisation in this department. Among the improvements which have taken place on the ground is the covering of the large stand behind the cemetery goal.
The first match is at Stoke on the opening night of the season, and the inauguration of the campaign is looked forward to with interest by players and supporters alike.
The players retained and engaged are: –
Goal, Monteith, Montgomery, Wolstenhome; backs, Lindsay, Hodson, and McEwan (Edinburgh St. Bernard’s); half-backs, Johnston, Thorpe, Ross, Mills, Butterworth, Brown (Gateshead N.E.R.), and Davies (Unsworth); forwards, Richards, Wood, Sagar, Leeming, Plant, Lambertson, D. Ross, Cox, Booth, Pooley, D. Ronaldson (Grimsby), Green (Gateshead N.E.R.), White (Prudhoe), Hannah (Newchurch), and Houghton (Elton).
DERBY COUNTY, who supplied Bury with such an easy victory in the final of the English Cup Competition on April last, have suffered severely by the migration of prominent players to Southern clubs. Their length goalkeeper, Fryer, as accompanied Soar and H. May to Fulham, who have been promoted to the Southern League, while Archie Goodall has transferred his affections to Plymouth Argyle.
The Derby club have, however, been fortunate in securing a couple of men, who from past experience may be considered as worthy substitutes for players who have departed, viz., Ben Hall, of Grimsby (centre half), and Walter Whittaker (goalkeeper), also of Grimsby.
Players signed are: –
Whittaker, Davies and Maskrey, goal; Methven, Morris, Ratcliffe, Hickling, and Morley, backs; Warren, J. May, Leckie, Lloyd, and G. Barratt, half backs; Warrington, Bloomer, Richards, Daves, York, Boag, Hodgkinson, and Middleton, forwards.
Derby County, 1903/04:
EVERTON, who have appointed Joe Lofthouse, a seven times international, late of Blackburn Rovers, to be assistant trainer, have signed on most of last season’s first team, though Jack Bell has migrated to Preston North End.
The new men are: D. Gordon (Broxburn), D. Murray (Levern Victoria), backs; McDermott (Celtic), Corrin (Portsmouth), H.P. Hardman, the youth who rendered such good service to Blackpool last season, and Simpson (Leicester Fosse), the last named being known as the professional cricketer now attached to the Heywood Club, and who during this season has assisted the Lancashire second string and Notts, of which latter county he is a native.
The following is a full list of players on the books of the club: –
Kitchen and Whitley, goal; W. Balmer, R. Balmer, J. Crelly, W. Henderson, D. Gordon (Broxburn), D. Murray (Levern Victoria), and Wildman, backs; Booth, Abbott, Wolstenholme, Chadwick, Makepeace, and Russell, half backs; Sharp, Taylor, Young, Settle, McDermott (Celtic), Rankin, Corrin (Portsmouth), H.P. Hardman (Blackpool), Dilly, McEwan, Simpson (Leicester Fosse), O’Hagan, and Sheridan, forwards.
LIVERPOOL have lost at least four first-class men in Goldie, Glover, Raybould, and Livingstone, the first three of whom were suspended by the Association for refusing the maximum wage from their old club and signing for Portsmouth. The other man, Livingstone, will be seen in the ranks of Manchester City. Another player to leave the Anfield-road club is McCallum, who has transferred his affections to Greenock Morton, while the name of Perkins, the goalkeeper who a few seasons ago was secured from Luton, for which club he rendered splendid service, is conspicuous by its absence. McLean (Vale of Leven), Chadburn (West Bromwich Albion), Craik (Greenock Morton), and F. Buck, the clever right winger from West Bromwich Albion, are the prinicipal of the new men engaged.
The club have enlisted the services of a new trainer in the person of Connell, late of Stockport County, with which club Goddard and Wilson, two men in the service of the Anfielders, were formerly associated. Full list of players is: – Goal, Platt; backs, Dunlop, Hoare (Southampton), McLean (Vale of Leven), and Chadburn (West Bromwich); half backs, Parry, Raisbeck (A) , Fleming, Craik (Greenock Morton), and Raisbeck, C. Wilson, J. Hughes (Aberdare); forwards, J. Cox, E. Chadwick, R. Morris, J. Carlin, F. Buck (West Bromwich), A. Goddard, Nixon, Lathom, C. Morgan, and Sid. Smith.
MIDDLESBROUGH, who made such a promising beginning in their first season with the First Division, but who finished no further up the list than thirteenth, have gone in for strengthening their eleven, but more particularly the forwards.
The work of the goalkeepers and backs has apparently given satisfaction, and no addition has been made to this position of the team. For the middle line, noted for the stalwart character of the men composing it last season, the services of Aitken, of Ayr, and McNaughton, of Arbroath, have been secured, while steps have been taken to obtain men who may reasonably be expected to strengthen the forward line.
Two at least of these are players who are very well-known to all interested in the game, being no other than Sandy Brown, the centre forward who made a big name for himself while associated with the Portsmouth Club, and Atherton, of Edinburgh Hibernians, who has occasionally assisted Wales in the international matches.
The following is a complete list of the players signed up to the present: –
Williamson and McFarlane, goal; Hogg, Ramsay, Blackett, and Craig, backs; Smith, Jones, Davidson, Aitken (Ayr), Piercey, and McNaughton (Arbroath), half backs; Atherton (Edinburgh Hibernians), Gettins (Gainsborough Trinity), White (Dundee), Brown (Portsmouth), Cassidy, Goodson, Carrick, Muir, and Page, forwards.
NEWCASTLE UNITED have, as usual, a formidable list of men to call upon, though last year the results obtained were not very satisfactory. Andrew Gardner has been transferred to Bolton Wanderers, while Howie, of Bristol Rovers, has been added to the forward line.
Players signed are: –
Kingsley, Watts, Crumley, Aitken, Bennie, Agnew, McWilliam, Alex Gardner, Carr, Veitch, Templeton, McColl, Roberts, Appleyard, Turner, Orr, Stenhouse, Howie, and Graham.
NOTTS COUNTY when the season opens will probably be hardly distinguished from last season, though it is quite possible that one or two new men will be afforded a trial. Apart from the departure of Innes, the principal of last season’s first team have again signed on.
Men who for the first time will don the colours of the club include Glen (Grimsby), Chapman (Sheffield United), and Dainty, the clever half back who has played for Leicester Fosse and New Brighton, but who has latterly been associated with the Northampton Club.
Players signed are: –
Pennington, Mellors, Prescott, Montgomery, Griffiths (Bristol Rovers), Mainman, Bull, McDonald, Kelly (West Ham), Dainty (Northampton), Humphreys, Green, Ross, Gee, McCall (Bristol Rovers), Glen (Grimsby), Chapman (Sheffield United), and Reid (Worksop).
NOTTS FOREST, who made such an auspicious opening in last season’s campaign, will be constituted pretty much as last year, though a notable addition to the list is Innes, the Notts County half back, who has thus transferred his affections across the way, as it were.
Other men secured are Jones and Davies, a back and forward respectively, who have rendered good service to Swindon; while Griffiths, a late Reading forward, has also had his name added to the list of players secured by the club.
The men signed are: –
Linacre and Newbigging, goal; Iremonger, Craig, Dudley, and Jones (Swindon), backs; Henderson, Warren, Timmins, Crawford, Norris, and Innes (Notts County), half backs; Spouncer, Morris, Calvey, Sugden, Griffiths (Reading), Davies (Swindon), A. Docurs Turner (amateur); also several local players.
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY, the League champions, have every reason to be satisfied with the way in which their men acquitted themselves last season, and it is not surprising that they have not deemed it necessary to secure many new hands.
The only prominent player engaged from outside is W.E. Hemmingfield, the Grimsby half-back, though three other men not so well known as the ex-Grimsbarian have had their names entered on the roll of the club.
No organisation in the country resorted to less chopping and changing last season than the Owlerton organisation, and it may be taken for granted that very little alterations will be made in the composing of the team at the opening of the forthcoming campaign.
The full list of players signed is: –
J. Lyall, F.L. Stubbs, W. Layton, A. Langley, F. Thackerey, H.A. Burton, W. Eaton (Attercliffe), R. Ferrier, T.H. Crawshaw, H. Ruddlesdin, W.E. Hemmingfield (Grimsby), P. Crawshaw, M. Moralee, W. Barketh, W. Ruddlesdin, H. Davis, H. Chapman, A. Wilson, J.N. Malloch, F. Spikesley, V.I. Simpson, J. Ryalls, T. Marrison, J. Beech, O. Townson (South Shore), J. Stewart, G. Simpson, F. Levick (Tinsley).
Sheffield Wednesday, 1903/04:
SHEFFIELD UNITED, who finished but three points behind their fellow-citizens, will probably rely upon most of the players who have done duty for them for some seasons past.
They have enlisted a goodly number of new recruits, but these will for the most part form the reserves. Perhaps the most important new player secured is Clay, of Belfast Celtic, a back who played in the Irish v English League contests, and was reserve in all the Irish internationals.
The men signed are as follow: –
Goal, Foulkes, Lewis, Lievesley (Poolstock), A. Francis (Wycliff), amateur. Backs, Thickett, Boyle, Layton (Roystone), Clay (Belfast Celtic), Dyer (Leeds), Heeley, Fidler (Sheffield), F.H. Milnes (amateur). Half-backs, Johnson, B. Wilkinson, Needham, Morren, Parker, Hogg (captain, Morpeth Harriers). Forwards, Bennett, Common, Brown, Priest, Lipsham, Lang, Donnelly, Edgeley (Crewe), Needham (A), Wilkinson (W.H.), Hunt (Glossop), Copeland (Wycliffe), Drake (Doncaster R.), T. Stewart (Wycliffe), amateur.
STOKE have lost three or four men, but others who are claimed to be quite as good have been engaged, so that the coming season is looked forward to with considerable hopefulness.
Clarke, the old Heart of Midlothian back, has, along with Leech, the half back, migrated to Plymouth Argyle; Lockett has gone to the Villa, and Prosser to the new club, Bradford City.
The players now in the service of the club are: –
L.R. Roose, Viner (Birkenhead), Hartshome (Burslem Port Vale), Burgess, Benson, S. Meredith, Holdcroft (Burslem Port Vale), Huffadine, Moore, Bradley, Baddeley, Holford, Sturgess, Watkins, Whitehouse, Higginson, Capes, Morgan (Newcastle Swifts), Harris, Len Hales, Gallimore, Jones, Lloyd Davies, and Woolley.
SUNDERLAND are quite prepared for the opening of the new season. They will mainly depend – for the commencement at least – on the team which they were playing at the end of last season.
The team to be relied on will therefore be as follows: –
Doig, goal; McCombie and Watson, backs; Farquhar, McAllister, and Jackson, half backs; J. Craggs (late of Reading), J. Gemmell, W. Hogg, J. Miller, and A. Bridgett, forwards.
In addition to Craggs, the following new men have been engaged: – James Watson, a half back from Inverness; J. McConnell, half back from Cliftonville, Belfast; T. Walker, forward from Thornley Colliery, and H. Buckle, forward from Cliftonville, Belfast.
BLACKPOOL have had their ground taken up and levelled, and it is now in good condition. They play Nottingham Forest on September 14th and Everton on the 21st (both at Blackpool).
The following men have been signed for the forthcoming season: –
Goal, Hull and Hodgson (Poulton); backs, Birket, Scott, Lowe (All Saints’), Hoyle (Lytham), and P. Pickford (Stockport County); half backs, Threlfall, Wolstenholme, Hughes (Aberdare), Heap (Lytham), Ingham, and Crabtree (All Saints’); forwards, Anderton, Miller (Poulton), Rooke (Aberaman), Spencer (Bury), Pentland (Small Heath), Bennett (Fleetwood), Hulme (All Saints’), Parkinson, Davies (Liverpool), Evans, Edwards (Holywell).
Prominent names missing from the above are George Anderson, last year’s captain, and late of Blackburn Rovers, and Hardman, the clever left winger, who has thrown in his lot with Everton.
Bolton Wanderers, who have to undergo the experience of a season in the second division, on Wednesday night had a private practice match. There were only the directors present.
The new men include Yenson (West Ham), Andrew Gardner (Newcastle), Watson and Clifford (Trabboch), Robertson (Drongan), T. Barlow (Southampton), and Slade and Gittins (Horwich).
The public practice match will take place this afternoon.
Players retained and engaged are: – Broomfield, Davies, Watson, Brown, Struthers, Ostick, Freebairn, Taylor, Greenhalgh, Boyd, Robertson, Yenson, Stokes, White, Marsh, Wright, Hanson, Barlow, A. Gardner, Clifford, Slade and Gittins.
BRADFORD CITY’S career in the second division during the first year of the club’s existence will be watched with considerable interest, and though the players secured have scarcely the appearance of winning a place in the inner circle right away, they will no doubt prove a serviceable lot.
Their names and positions are: –
Goal, Seymour; backs, Wilson, Bright, and Halliday; half backs, O’Rourke, Miller, and Farnall; forwards, Guy, Prosser, Robinson, Carter, McMillan, Graham, Forrest, Beckram.
GLOSSOP, whose players reported themselves for training on Monday last, have engaged several new men for next season, and it is stated that the team will be much heavier than any that has yet represented the club.
Burgess, the clever little back, has gone to Manchester City, and a partner has been found for Norgrove in J. Hancock, of Bradeley Swifts.
The half back line has been strengthened by the addition of W. Galley, Shrewsbury Town, while J. Bainbridge (Sunderland Royal Rovers); S. Jones (Bristol City), and G. Barnes (New Brighton and Aberdare) have been engaged to do duty in the forwards.
An evening match in connection with the transfer of Burgess to Manchester City has been granted by the Hyde-road club, to take place in September.
C. Berwick, the Glossop C.C. professional, and who used to assist Derbyshire, has been engaged as trainer to the team.
The players signed on are as follow: –
D. Clark, goal; J. Hanock (Bradeley Swifts) and F. Norgrove, backs; W. Pell, J. Boden, W. Galley (Shrewsbury Town), F. Coates, half backs; J. Bainbridge (Sunderland Royal Rovers), J. Thornley, S. Jones (Bristol City), E. Murphy, G. Barnes (New Brighton and Aberdare), forwards.
BURNLEY, by reason of an inferior goal average to Stockport County, finished at the bottom of the Second Division table, and had perforce to apply for re-admission, which they succeeded in obtaining.
For the coming season they have secured several new players, and the forward line will be quite differently constituted to last season.
Training commenced on the 10th inst., and it will not be fault of the management if a better show is not made during the forthcoming campaign than last season.
The following players have been engaged: –
Green, goalkeeper, from Brentford; Towler, goalkeeper; Ross, right back; Lockhart, left back; Barron, right half; Taylor, centre half; Dixon, left half; Crawford, inside right; Aspden, outside right, from Kettering; McFarlane, centre forward, from Barrow; Jackson, inside left, from Barrow; Walders, centre half, from Barrow; Jenkinson, centre forward, from West Ham; Williams, outside left, from Bolton Wanderers.
GRIMSBY TOWN will, of course, this season be found operating in the Second Division. They will have most of the old hands to rely upon, though they have lost their lengthy goalkeeper, Walter Whittaker, the Longsight player, and Ben Hall, the centre half, both of whom have migrated to Derby County.
The new men engaged are J. McConnell (Kilmarnock), C. Roberts (Bishop Auckland), G.McDiarmid (Airdrieonians); W.L. Miller (Edinburgh St. Bernard’s), and T. McAllister (Motherwell).
The full list of players engaged is as follows: –
M. Spindoff, Jas. Horner, A. McConnell, Dave Gardner, J. McConnell (Kilmarnock); A. Dunn, C. Roberts (Bishop Auckland); A. Nelmes, G. McDiarmid (Airdrieonians); James Long; John Nichol (Morpeth Harriers); F.W. Rouse, W.L. Miller (St. Bernard’s), F. Wilkinson (Bishop Auckland); and T. McAllister (Motherwell).
PRESTON NORTH END have retained most of last season’s players and seven new men have been engaged, the best known of these being Jack Bell, the late Everton forward, and McLean, of West Bromwich Albion. This latter player has been exchanged for Fenton, who a season or two ago was secured from Gainsborough Trinity.
Notwithstanding the rumours which were flying about towards the close of last season, Peter McBride, the smartest of goalkeeper, will again assist the North Enders, for whom he will officiate as captain.
The club is now, thanks to the successful bazaar held in the spring, on a sound financial basis, and an effort will be made to regain a place in the inner circle.
The players at the command of the club are as follow: –
Goal, P. McBride and H. Taylor (Hinckley); full backs, J. Derbyshire, R. ORrell, and W. Rowe (Barnsley); half backs, R. Howell, J. Hunter, G. Tod, B. Tickle, J. Martin (Lytham), and J. Wright (Leicester); forwards, H. Wilcox, P.J. Smith, R. Bourne, H. Dawson, R. Bond, J. Bell (Everton), J. McLean (West Bromwich Albion), D. Maher (Brentford), and J. Catterall (Leyland).
Preston North End, 1903/04:
(Manchester Courier: August 22, 1903)