August 4, 1905
“Finest holidays I have ever spent.” That was the first point Mr. Tom Watson, the Liverpool Football Club secretary, made known to me when I called at Anfield yesterday. The multitude of friends Mr. Watson has gained round him since he came to the Merseyside from Wearside (comparatively speaking but a short time ago) were rather anxious about their friend, especially so the new shareholders, who bear in mind that he has always been the main cause of the Anfield club making £1,000 profit yearly.
His visit to Russia enabled him to see some of the finest scenery in the world, and long will he remember St. Petersburg, where he made many English friends in a stay of a dozen days. He looked exceedingly well, and declared that from Scotland, across the North Sea, at Norway, Sweden, Germany &c., the steamship Starlight helped him to see many, varied, and always interesting spectacles.
He classes Unter-der-Linden Street as the finest in the world. This is to Berlin’s credit. He says the English papers apparently contain more about the war with the Japs than the Russian journals, which seem to be stinted and censored so that the public do not know the true state of affairs.
“All is quiet in the capital,” he continued, “and, I did not seek an introduction to the Czar, preferring to keep myself posted with home and foreign events by the ‘Liverpool Echo,’ which was regularly sent to me.
“They have their cricket and football out there, and, being favoured with the finest of weather, I witnessed a number of cricket games. Sports are in their infancy, but will make big strides yet.”
Mr. R. Richardson introduced games to the Russians, and by acting as secretary to the various organisations he soon got them going. There are eighteen clubs in a football tournament, and two of them are composed of Englishmen. Mr. Richardson founded the Bolton and District Cricket League before he left for St. Petersburg to take up a berth at a cotton mill, and was for five seasons its secretary. He has founded the St. Petersburg Cricket Association.
They are keener people to look after their business than we are. I went into a shop to purchase a book of views and was greeted, “Good morning, sir,” in first-class English from a Russian.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: August 4, 1905)